Freecycling, and Filling the Void

When my friend tells me she needs “retail therapy,” she is not being tongue-in-cheek.  In her life, in her mind, shopping fills the voids.  I gave up shopping with her many years ago: it is not fun, it is stressful — and it leaves me just a bit more depressed.  I am uneasy with the greed, I am uneasy with the thought that I could in fact afford to buy most of the things I covet.  But my friend shows me what she buys, and I look, and am reminded of all the things I have given up and given away.  Occasionally I get that “keeping up with the Joneses” sort of envy, but I have become quite adept at dithering, and it seems “needful things” really do have short shelf lives.   I have decided I like that phrase:  “It was not meant to be.”

I discovered Freecycle six years ago, when our contractor listed just about everything from our master bath remodel: sinks, cabinets, lights, shower, tub, fixtures …  I think someone took even the toilet.  It was rather astonishing to me, but then it had never occurred to me that someone might not mind reusing our old (but not decrepit) bathroom for — say — a basement or a rental unit.  Since then, we have sent bits and pieces of our old lives out into the community, and continue to be surprised by our fellow Freecyclers.  We have simplified our lives in many ways, and though I think sometimes that I am contributing to our materialistic culture, I comfort myself that at least it is not new  materialism.

Last week, I finally gave up on my three-shades-of-violet-but-who’s-counting  Farmhouse Yarn.  I was really resenting that yarn because I was (and still am) pissed off with with both the producer and the retailer, and I just knew that all that hostility meant I was never going to like anything I made from it.  So, Freecycle — because yarn, like furry critters, are without sin — and someone out there will love it and create something wonderful out of it.  Maybe this winter I’ll be walking around town, and I will see a school of purply fish hats amidst dancing snowflakes …

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Violet Confusion

No, really, I like hand dyed yarn from small producers.  But there is hand dyed “with natural variations,” and there is this:

Farmhouse Yarns single ply worsted merino, in violet

The yarn is a single ply worsted merino from Farmhouse Yarns, by Carol Martin of Hopyard Spinnery. I bought 10 skeins of “violet” — but  what I got was 6 skeins of violet, two skeins of lavender, and 2 skeins of navy.  Really.  The disclaimer on the Farmhouse website goes lik this:

Farmhouse Yarns™ are hand-dyed, and by nature, each skein is unique and beautiful.  We don’t use dye lots, and no two skeins are exactly alike.  Variegations and color saturation in each skein  depends on its location in the dye pot.  Typically, skeins at the bottom of the pot are deep and rich in color, and skeins at the top of the pot have more subtle, somewhat less saturated and more muted shades of color.  For an even distribution of color throughout your knitting a project, we suggest alternating skeins every few rows.  Our yarns provide an exciting chance to play with color to great effect, when a project is well planned out.

I don’t require my hand dyed yarn to be “exactly alike”; I understand that each pot will produce yarn with some variation, because it is the nature of the process — but what I got goes beyond “variation.”  I can alternate skeins all I want — I am not going to get an “even distribution of color” from the yarn I received.   Shame on Hopyard Spinnery and Farmhouse Yarns for calling these completely different colored yarn violet, and shame on Flying Fingers Yarn Shop (of scenic Tarrytown, NY) for packaging  and selling these skeins as one “lot” of violet.   What would it have cost them to email me to tell me that of the 10 skeins, only 6 could legitimately be considered violet?