Wednesday, February 20, 2013

On the subject of Fun Fur

     We have all done it. In the beginning of the knitting revolution that took place back in 2001-2002 novelty yarn was everywhere. And we all bought them, (in one form or another) the novelty yarns that are now the secret part of our stash we hide from ourselves and other "snobby" knitters. The novelty yarns became a sort of rite of passage turned joke turned shameful secret; specifically Fun Fur. That impossible-to-see-what-you-are-doing-without-flood-lights yarn was all the rage back then. In the US you could go anywhere, walk into any store and see women and children wearing these long furry caterpillar-like scarves. They really reminded me of a trampled feather boa that was left behind after a Mardi Gras parade. Limp, sad, and made anyone wearing them look silly.

     The thing is, I made those scarves. I made dozens of them and gave them out to anyone that commented on liking the yarn or the scarf-to-be. I'll admit, I even held two or more strands of fun fur in different colors together to make even crazier impossible-to-wear scarves. Happily giving them to people and secretly wondering "How on earth are they gonna pull that monstrosity of a scarf off?!". It is rather obvious that I never wore any of my hand knit fun fur scarves. That doesn't mean that I didn't try them on or anything, but they just weren't my style. This went on for months by the way. So it is safe to say I accumulated quite the fun fur and novelty yarn stash.

     Since then I have been slowly getting rid of all of my novelty yarns. And as a matter of fact, all of the fun fur I had is now gone. I added it as trim to wrist warmers, used a bunch of it on a crocheted scrap yarn blanket. (which if you watch the show Nashville and see the crocheted scrap blanket on Scarlett's sofa, it also has fun fur and other novelty yarns knit into it -- might be a new trend!)

And to get rid of a bunch of leftover beige, brown and gold fun fur I even knit it into a crocheted sweater. For a cat. 

I also bought a lot of soft, furry yarns that I knit up with tape yarn ( which I still like by the way ) into impossibly long scarves and thick chunky neckwarmers. 

So why the confession about Fun Fur and other novelty yarns you ask? 

     Well. I may have bought a skein last week from a craft store. 

And I may have been convinced to do so, by Gwen. 

     You see with my family's recent addiction to Hayao Miyazaki films there has been a great deal of discussion over buying some of the stuffed creatures from the movies. Specifically soot sprite/soot gremlins and Totoros. Well, being my crafty self I decided to take on the task of not knitting them and trying to make soot gremlin pom-poms using my pom pom makers. Yah know, to save time.
     Lets just say, never, ever, try to make a fun fur pom-pom. I had to bring out the vacuum cleaner ( after the kids had gone to bed, which is a BIG no-no in our house ) to suck up all of the fun fur wispy bits that were everywhere. We will file that mistake under "things you should never do with fun fur".

     So, I ended up knitting a soot gremlin instead, loosely following a pattern I found on Ravelry. Gwen is quite pleased with it and runs around the house quoting Mei from the movie My Neighbor Totoro exclaiming.."I caught a soot gremlin!". 

And so now, I am the owner of a rather annoyingly large "leftover" skein of Fun Fur. 
Maybe I should start another crocheted scrap blanket. After all I hear fun fur scrap blankets are all the rage..  

Happy Knitting!

An Afterthought: 
While I try to stay away from buying 100% synthetic yarns and buy almost exclusively the "snobby yarns", I still admire skeins of novelty yarns. I look at them and am reminded that those yarns helped to hide my many mistakes as a novice knitter and made knitting truly fun for me. Without them I wouldn't be the knitter I am today. And, I think we all need to be reminded of the fact that using novelty yarns doesn't make you any less of a knitter. So now I have another confession to make. I am very seriously considering buying more fun fur with the intent to knit a crazy novelty yarn scrap blanket. Screw the mini skein blankets. I want a giant furry granny square blanket, and I am not ashamed to say it.