>Crochet is supposed to be a pleasant experience. Some of us are in it for the process; we love the act of crocheting and are not overly concerned about what we are making. Some others are in it for the stuff, possibly chafing at the long, tedious hours of work, but eager for the completion of a project and the chance to wear it or show it to you. Either way, crochet can feed emotional needs by soothing the soul, creating a sense of well-being or swell of pride in accomplishment. It has also been described as nurturing; the same way cooking and caring for your loved ones is nurturing, so is making them scarves and mittens.
Crochet is also a satisfying feast for at least two of your senses. (If you habitually crochet while listening to music or eating, then obviously more senses get in the act.) Visually, crochet is incredibly stimulating. The first thing we notice about yarn is the color. Gorgeous colors, even neutral and/or drab colors are pleasing to look at. But it’s not all about the color. Yarn-a-holics admit to “drooling over” yarn shop displays. That can be taken quite literally. Just seeing an object of desire can set off a gang of Pavlovian conditioned responses. Don’t you feel your eyes and pupils widen, your pulse quicken, and your fingers quiver in anticipation at the mere sight of beautiful yarns? Maybe it’s just me, but do you find that good yarn makes your teeth itch, too?
Crochet is also an overwhelmingly satisfying tactile experience. We enjoy grasping the hook and the smooth motions of making that hook glide in, out and around the stitches. We don’t just touch the yarn, we revel in it, dive into it. We love the feel, texture and drape of the yarn and of the project growing in our hands.
It goes a long way toward explaining the yarn stash. The stash is not a collecting thing, like it is with antiques, statehood quarters, baseball cards or Hummels. Most yarn stashers are not in it for the status of acquiring, owning and hoarding stuff so we can tell everybody we have it. There is no collector’s guide to follow, no list of must-haves without which our collections are worthless. It’s not about being smug or one-up. We occasionally justify purchasing yarn because it is on sale and well priced, but we know it’s not about saving money. We occasionally purchase yarn because we don’t have anything like it in the stash (that we can recall). But it’s not about uniqueness or variety. We may purchase yarn with every intention of using it for a particular crochet project. But we often don’t buy enough to make anything out of it, and besides, most of those things never ever get made anyway. So what is this stash thing all about?
Here is my theory. The visual and tactile rewards from yarn are so enormous that we, like junkies, simply have to have it, economic downturn notwithstanding. There are numerous other things, legal and socially acceptable things, over which it is possible to be so completely obsessive, chocolate being a prime example. (I had hoped to research, strictly for blog fodder, mind you, the correlation between yarn stashing and choc-o-holism, but for lack of funding and the five to ten extra pounds of flesh already around my middle, I had to drop the idea.) Anytime we need a fix, we can go to the yarn basket (or cupboard or closet or room or warehouse, or all of the above) to see and touch our yarn … and make our brains unbelievably happy.