You Know You’ve Been A Fiber Geek Too Long When…

  • You regard being down to a pound of silk as being totally out of silk.
  • You panic about whether or not the resupply is going to be here IN TIME. In time for what, exactly? You know. In time.
  • You’re down to half a bump each (or 12-15 pounds) of 5 different kinds of commercial wool top, and are worrying you might be pushing it waiting a couple of weeks to restock it on the grounds that…
  • …you really need to clean up your yarn room, because the mound of trash fiber on the floor is definitely larger than the cat.
  • You’re going to throw that trash fiber away.
  • The only room in the house without a fiber project in it is the bathroom…
  • …and that’s got fiber catalogs in it.
  • You aren’t sure how many spinning wheels you have, and are afraid you’ll be off by more than 5 if you guess.
  • There’s at least 50 pounds of prepped fiber, interesting fiber even, not just white raw materials, sitting in your studio, but when you go to see what you’ll spin next, it looks like there’s nothing there to spin, so…
  • …you’ve got to prep more.
  • Heck, you might as well buy more too.
  • You’ve got a lint roller in every room, to keep you from eating cashmere by accident.
  • You leave the studio without de-fibering yourself hardly at all, and go somewhere in public… at which point you realize people are staring at you and you’re literally covered in fluff from head to toe.
  • You know off the top of your head which lint roller refills are interoperable with what rollers… and that all of them are not interchangeable. Nope, they aren’t.
  • When you put your hair up, you do it just like if you were securing a skein.
  • You think of yourself as having a 3-foot staple with a harsh feel to it and high micron count, definitely not next-to-skin soft.
  • You don’t wonder anymore if you can spin the random fibrous things you encounter in odd places like the supermarket. You don’t wonder, because you know. You know, because you’ve tried.
  • You keep thinking it’s going to be great to hit the bookstore and look for a few new yarn type books, but then you get there and realize your shelves at home are larger than the yarn-related sections at most stores. Yes, including the knitting, sewing, weaving, crochet, and magazines. Sigh.
  • But on the bright side, several of the books they do have are by friends of yours.
  • Your mother’s in town, and she asks you for a cable needle. You tell her you don’t have one, because you swore off knitting cables many years ago. She looks at you in horror with the words unspoken on her lips: what have I wrought, unleashing upon the world a child who grew up into a woman who has no cable needle? This doesn’t seem at all strange to you, until someone else points out most mothers would probably reserve that level of shock for, say, not having silverware.
  • As a result of all that, you both have to go to the nearby award-winning famous yarn store. While there, you both shop for projects and yarn… and end up saying “I give up, the right yarn isn’t here, let’s go raid my stash instead.”
  • The yarn you were looking for is in your stash.
  • The hardest part of winter is the static, because it makes your fiber recalcitrant.
  • The hardest part of summer is picking what projects and fibers won’t kill you from the heat.
  • You can’t leave home for 8 hours without taking enough fiber, yarn, and projects that are already in progress to last you a month.
  • You dream fondly of the apocalypse, thinking how great it’ll be when everyone suddenly cares about textile production because without it, they’d have no clothes.
  • Your child actually speaks the sentence, “That’s just my mom. Don’t talk to her unless you like boring yarn and stuff,” and he’s probably right.
  • You have smaller variants of pretty much every type of textile equipment featured on TV shows like “How It’s Made” — except for the really esoteric ones like suction-based devices to turn things right side out after seaming, and you know you’d probably pick one of those up too, if you ran across one.
  • Despite your 3 feet of hair, you have more soaps for fiber than you do shampoo and conditioner.

Let’s hear it — I know you’ve all got more.

23 thoughts on “You Know You’ve Been A Fiber Geek Too Long When…

  1. “You dream fondly of the apocalypse, thinking how great it’ll be when everyone suddenly cares about textile production because without it, they’d have no clothes.”

    Ha! I was just saying that to someone the other day.

    Once, my mom overheard my brother tell a friend on the phone that he couldn’t come over “because my mom is knitting” and she wouldn’t even dream of stopping to drive him over. :p

  2. You left out a couple:

    The hundred-pound dog has learned exactly where he can lay at your feet under the floor loom and not get hit by moving parts or feet.

    When you can’t find the cat, you know to look under the tablet weaving loom that’s been sitting on the chair for the past couple months.

    (Okay, actually that last one was cheating, because if I were a _real_ fiber geek the loom wouldn’t be idle!)

  3. Your cat has learned not to raise her head when she’s sitting in your lap while you’re spinning because her whiskers will get spun into the thread. Ditto not to bat at the thread because she will be dumped off.

    I too, dream of the apocolypse for the same reason.

    My boys used to say: “She’s spinning [you idiot]” when people asked me what in the world I was doing. They also learned (at age 5) to remove the drive band before treadling my spinning wheel (on pain of death). I never could get them to either learn to spin or keep their hands off it.

  4. While a couple of these made me squirm in recognition, I apparently still have a long way to go. Excuse me, I have to go to the yarn store now!

  5. Abby, is considering you a role model the sign of a larger problem?


  6. When friends and family automatically say, “Oh, I bet you made that” about any sweater you wear … and you are mortified if you have to say, “No, it’s store bought.”

  7. your 10 month old finds a small ball of wound-off scrap singles on the floor. Shows you, with a HUGE smile, holding it up triumphantly. Picks up big sister’s high-heeled dressup shoe and starts babblingexcitedly into it…like a phone. About her ball of yarn.

  8. You ship out three (mumble mumble) pound boxes of washed wool and alpaca on Friday and the next Friday 6 boxes of roving arrive back at your house…then you realize what’s come back is less than 1/2 of what you sent..

  9. Thanks for such a super list and a great giggle. I’m not quite at that level yet but I’ve got a few years to perfect my technique.

  10. Thanks for the giggle. I’m still at the random fiber encounters stage, and I must ask what can you spin from the grocery store? All I’ve tried so far is steel wool. Apparently I have a long way to go πŸ™‚

  11. When you child says for every special occasion, “I know what we can get mummy, some wool. You love wool don’t you mummy”

  12. I knew I had turned the bend when the “trash wool” was no longer saved.

    *You have more wheels and or looms than you have seating in the living room.

    *You rate chairs/couches on whether you can knit or spin well in them. You wouldn’t dream of buying new furniture without “trying out” first.

    I’m sure I have more but some little girls want breakfast. πŸ™‚

  13. …when your mother (who’s yarn shop you grew up in) has her friends and folks in her non-profit world call/email you for advice on various things. Do you have this old yarn in your stash? Should I buy this piece of equipment or the other one? Which yarn is better for what I want it to do? Will you donate some hand spun to our fundraiser? Do you know so-and-so? Should I take this workshop?

    When you’ve trained your GSDs to herd sheep. Competition and titles are nice, but you want them to do the work ’cause you’ll have sheep some day and want to be prepared. It’s so cool when the 7 week old puppies turn on and try to ‘work’ the big sheep.

    You have records for fleece purchases dating back more than a decade – and sometimes the growers call to ask questions about them.

    Fiber is a spice.

    -the redhead-

  14. I absolutely loved this. And can especially relate to walking out covered in fiber. Most people know I cna’t wear black because I have a white cat. It’s the rainbow of colored fibers that are hard to explain.

  15. ok, first off, i don’t USE a cable needle, and still knit cables. i love ’em.

    and my additions?

    you’ve got more yarn than towels hanging from the shower curtain rod/towel racks, etc.

  16. What a fab post! πŸ™‚

    (And I’d totally take that trash fiber off your hands.)

  17. You wake up with a nasty headache, not because you’re hung over, but because you started spinning as soon as you got home from work and forgot to eat.

  18. Ahhh, the apocalypse …

    my possible additions:

    You treadle in your sleep.

    All of the dreams you remember are fiber related.

    Your husband knows the look of concentration and knows you are counting and knows NOT to interrupt with a question about the location of something.

  19. 1. In movies that are in time periods before the invention of the spinning wheel, you find yourself wishing they would show the actors spinning and weaving in the background. You know they had to be spinning all the time, so why don’t we see them? Huh?
    2. You LOVE conference calls because you can close your office door with a DO NOT DISTURB sign and spin while you’re on the call. (I have 2 drop spindles in my drawer: one for wool, and one for cotton)

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