A Good Old-Fashioned Yarn

Get this: I’m sitting here on the couch with my 22 cats, just sneezing away (on the account of my allergies), when all of the sudden, one of the feistier felines, Brown Kitty, starts batting a ball of yarn around the room. Now, to the average observer, this might be considered adorable, possibly even precious. Personally, I find it horrifying. Why? That ball of yarn isn’t just your average bundle of crochet-caliber crap. It’s from my private collection of fine and rare knittables.

Yes, as many of you already know, I have a rather extensive yarn collection. It began with just a few small strands and grew into thousands upon thousands of cherished skeins. For a long time, people thought I was crazy. “What’s with the yarn collecting, Smivey?” they’d say. And I’d respond, “If you have to ask, your vacuous mind would never be able to comprehend it.” Nine times out of ten, this would result in me getting my ass kicked. But I didn’t care. It was all about the yarn.

Later on, as an adult, I discovered an entire Web community devoted to yarn collecting. After joining the online forums, I learned where the best yarn conventions were and even got some pointers on dealing with the ridicule associated with being a yarnny (that’s what we call ourselves). Before too long, I became a highly-respected yarn trader and was even asked to be a guest yarn appraiser for the Antiques Road Show (the British version, not that crappy American one). To date, I have over 1,000 varieties of yarn, most of which are hermetically sealed and stored in an undisclosed location.

Why hide what I’ve spent so many years to acquire? Well, I wasn’t always so protective of my collection. But one day, when I was about 12, I came home to find several skeins of laceweight baby alpaca missing from my stash. My mother told me not to worry. “I’m sure they’ll turn up somewhere,” she said. And she was right. About a month later, my grandmother came over to celebrate my birthday. Her present to me? A beautiful alpaca scarf. “NOOOO!” I screamed. “My alpaca! My prized alpaca! You stupid bitch!” I grabbed the scarf and ran up to my room. After locking the door, I got out my loupe and examined the fibers. The damage was worse than I thought. Honestly, she might as well have knitted me a fucking toaster cozy. Still, after hours and hours of meticulous unraveling, I was able to salvage a few precious yards.

But that’s all ancient history now. Oh sure, I still despise my grandmother. But since that time, I’ve acquired not one, but three beautiful skeins of exquisite alpaca (on sale at the Yarn Barn). Vicuña, on the other hand, is a completely different story. I have only one tightly bound ball of it. Unfortunately for me, it’s the same ball that Brown Kitty is currently batting around the room. Every time that ignorant animal’s claws tear into those precious fibers, I envision a frail, naked vicuña shivering in the cold.

Oh course, now that Brown Kitty has discovered my vicuña, all my other cats want to get into the act (Phallus, Mega, Apeshit, Minty Fresh, Snoopy, Pickle Feet, Cat, Walking Goiter, Herbert Bennington III, Yttik, Tool Shed, Fat Angry Dog, ODK, Foamy, Rancid Tuna, Third Base, Rice Pudding With Cinnamon, Sickly Wretch, Blow Pop, Pet Sematary and Dr. Pinebetty — Cognitive Therapist). They’re each taking turns attacking my vicuña, completely ignoring the alarm system I installed to deter them.

Granted, it’s a rather primitive alarm system, but ingenious just the same. Rather than rely on fancy electronics, I carefully attached a series of tiny jingle bells to the surface of the yarn. The idea was that if a cat ever touched my vicuña, the tiny bells would ring, thus scaring away the stupid animal. At least that’s how it was supposed to work. In reality, the cats seem to love the bells, attempting to ring them over and over and over again.

In hindsight, it probably wasn’t such a good idea to leave my prized vicuña out on display like that. But I was so proud of it. I discovered the delicate ball of beauty just two weeks ago on eBay. Of course, I ended up paying a small fortune for it. But I’ll never regret transferring that $25.75 from my PayPal account. Never.

Mind you, I didn’t just stick my ball on the mantel and leave it at that. I did what any intelligent person would do with a delicate work of art: I displayed it high above the ground on a pedestal covered with carpet. Where does one find a carpeted pedestal? Well, oddly enough, I obtained mine from a neighbor’s yard sale. That soft, fluffy surface seemed perfect for my yarn. But then the oddest thing happened: The cats went fucking nuts over the pedestal. I swear, they started scratching at it like there was no tomorrow. Fortunately, using an average spray bottle, I was able to quickly teach the cats to stay off my post. All but one, that is: Brown Kitty.

I found Brown Kitty in the alleyway just days ago and immediately knew he would be the ideal addition to my cat clan. I named him Brown Kitty because when I looked at him, he reminded me of a teacher I once had whose name was Professor Brown Kitty.

Anyhow, none of that’s important. The only thing that really matters is my lovely vicuña. And at this very moment, I’m watching it being torn to shreds by those fucking cats. I suppose instead of typing this story, I could have reached for my spray bottle and blasted those motherfuckers away. But what if i were to accidentally dampen the vicuña? What then? I couldn’t risk using my hairdryer on the delicate fibers. I suppose I could hang it outside, but then that leaves the chance of mildew forming.

Hi. Sorry to cut off my story like that, but I just got my weekly e-mail from YarnBarn.com. Guess what’s on sale? Uh huh. Vicuña. Two skeins for seven dollars. I’d say that’s a tad bit cheaper than the twenty-six bucks I paid for one ratty ball of the shit. You know what, fuck eBay. Hell, fuck the damn vicuña! . . . Oh shit. Looks like one of my cats had exactly the same idea. Ugh. That’s just wrong. Where’s my spray bottle? Bad kitty! Bad Phallus! Or is that Snoopy? I can’t tell these fucking beasts apart.

Comments 13

  1. dvl wrote:

    “third base”…. that’s precious.

    Posted 07 May 2006 at 9:17 pm
  2. Lani wrote:

    kill those cats and knit me a scarf!

    Posted 08 May 2006 at 11:04 am
  3. JeN wrote:

    perhaps you were a spider in a past life

    Posted 09 May 2006 at 7:56 am
  4. Smivey wrote:

    OK, the spider thing might be true, if it wasn’t for the fact that I do not knit! How could anyone destroy such beautiful yarn by abusing it like that? It makes me sick to think about it.

    Posted 09 May 2006 at 8:58 am
  5. blondie wrote:

    This story is pretty funny, but the new design does suck!
    It’s WAY to happy looking to feel like Smivey.

    Posted 10 May 2006 at 5:06 pm
  6. Smivey wrote:

    Well, I felt that if my site looked as dark as my writing, people would just off themselves after visiting. I couldn’t deal with that kind of guilt.

    Posted 11 May 2006 at 11:40 am
  7. knitgirl wrote:

    something’s different…..
    and are you freakin’ kidding me?!?

    Posted 13 May 2006 at 12:41 pm
  8. Smivey wrote:

    No, knitgirl. I am dead serious. I do not joke around about my yarn. . . Are we still talking about yarn?

    Posted 13 May 2006 at 12:45 pm
  9. knitgirl wrote:

    I will never be a yarn lady with bags and bags of half finished projects and yarn hither thither…..keep on keepin’ on!

    Posted 13 May 2006 at 2:22 pm
  10. C.S.D. wrote:

    22 Kitties Massive Yarn Collection = Feline’s Fantasy

    I’m starting to admire your writing. You officially have another groupie.

    BTW, I have quite a fancy yarn store around the corner from me….

    Posted 24 Nov 2006 at 12:46 am
  11. Smivey wrote:

    Well, thank you. It’s nice to have you around, C. I’ll keep that yarn store in mind for the future.

    Posted 24 Nov 2006 at 12:49 am
  12. deep wrote:

    for someone who doesn’t knit, you sure have done your research. do yarnies really exist?

    Posted 15 Apr 2007 at 11:15 pm
  13. Smivey wrote:

    Do yarnies really exist? What kind of question is that? You think I make this stuff up or something? Yeesh.

    Posted 16 Apr 2007 at 5:51 am

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