Yarn Snob

Yarn Snob. For some it’s worn as a badge of honour and for others, it’s the worst thing in the world, but what exactly is a yarn snob? And why are we talking about it on today’s podcast? Well, it’s a word that is thrown around the bazaars quite a bit, and it’s also a word that tends to provoke strong opinions in people. That’s as good a reason as any to going into it a little deeper here.

Yarn Snob Definition

There was (unsurprisingly) no dictionary definition for yarn snob, so I looked up both words individually to arrive at the following:

Yarn Snob noun – A person who believes that their tastes in spun thread used for knitting, weaving or sewing are superior to those of other people.

Types of Yarn Snob

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all description when it comes to describing yarn snobbery – I find it can take many guises, depending upon the attitudes of the people involved. It isn’t simply a case of snooting down the nose at certain fibres or blends.

I looked far and wide to come up with 6, gusting 7 different types of yarn snob, and I’m looking for your help to get that up to a solid ten types.

In no particular order…

Fair Isle is so street these days

1) Acrylic Yarn Snob.

Would rather be found face down in a pool of their own urine than knit with acrylic yarn.

May have a point with the very cheap and squeaky acrylic, but there is some really reasonable acrylic blends out there today that are perfectly suited to certain jobs, like items for kids. Yeah, it gets a bit sweaty, but even my Mum can wash it without cocking it up, and it will survive the eventual heat death of the universe, so it has its benefits!

I know it’s terrible. I make no excuses!

2) Novelty Yarn Snob.

May or may not embrace the acrylic but would definitely not be seen working with eyelash yarn, tinsel yarn, fun fur, pom pom yarn or any other novelty type yarn.

(These people are missing out on a major joy of life – tinsel yarn. Ed.)

Box of Chocolates

3) Indie/Hand Dyed Snob.

If a real person they know hasn’t sweated on or broken their back over it, they don’t want to know. Machine dyed yarn is the work of satan himself.

I get this snob, as I am a huge fan of hand dyed yarn myself, but there are situations when hand dyed is inferior to machine dyed yarn. Case in point – knitting socks. The German machine dyed yarn brands are indestructible (Regia, Opal) whereas I have found that hand dyed yarns with the same fibre composition tend to fade faster.

Dragonfly Wings shawl by Aimee Nicholson. Image reproduced here with kind permission.

4) Luxury Fibre Snob.

They won’t even knit with a 75/25 Merino/Nylon if it is hand dyed – it’s cashmere, alpaca, baby camel and silk all the way here.

Luxury fibres don’t always make the best materials for a project, especially is they are soft and loosely spun. Case in point – pretty much any Boo Knits shawl. She uses so many beads, you need yarn that is strong enough to hold the weight.

5) The Trendy Name Snob.

This is the artist formerly known as Wollmeise circa 2012, when people would full up brawl to get their hands on it. Back then, it was the yarn to have (current comparable: La Bien Aimee). They won’t use anything that has had its jour.

6) Price Snob.

Don’t care what it’s made from as long as it’s stupidly expensive.

Wanting a cheeky discount? Gotta get past Sanimal first…

7)* The Confused Yarn Snob/ Yarn Swinger.

Likes your luxury and hand dyed but also vocal about love for tinsel yarn. Swings all ways when it comes to yarn; doesn’t like to save the love for one subset. All yarn is great yarn and all yarn has a purpose!

Which Yarn Snob Are You?

Do you identify with any of these? Any more you’d like to offer to get us to ten?

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10 comments on “Ep 114 – Yarn Snob

  1. Judy Meyer says:

    There’s the “heritage breed” yarn snob, the “organic” yarn snob, and the “naturally dyed” yarn snob. Combine them, and you have the organically naturally dyed organically raised heritage breed yarn snob.

    Ooh! Then there are the knitting needle snobs…

    1. Jo Milmine says:

      OH these are some really good ones! Adding them to the list. Thanks Judy!

      Did you come out in a particular snob camp?

      1. I had avoided falling into any to the yarn snob categories but Judy raises the issue of needle snobs. It is not that I refuse to knit on anything but carbon fibre but there are definitely needle types and brands I prefer and I will spend a bit extra to have those. Then again as a designer who makes quite a lot of her own samples, good tools are important

        1. Jo Milmine says:

          Yes definitely agree on the good tools part, especially when you are using them a lot. There probably should be another episode called Needle Snob – which are your go to brands?

          1. Bronagh Miskelly says:

            My main needle choice for some years have been Knitpros. Interchangeable symfonies are my go to needles and I mainly use zing DPN and for the smallest sizes in general because I am Mrs Clumsy so very fine wooden needles are a poor choice for me. Full disclosure while I have been a Knitpro user for years, I have in the last two or three years started working with the company.
            Looking through my needle store most of my other needles (that get used regularly).are metal from Addi.
            As someone who knits every day – as a designer, swatching and creating samples are part of my work life – I am very particular about how the needles feel in my hands, smoothness and weight. I also prefer circulars and dpns . I find I knit faster on shorter lengths plus I find I have more tension in by back/shoulders if I use long straights not good for someone who has had problems with their spine.

  2. Katherine says:

    I’m with you in the confused yarn snob group! I love an indie yarn, But also love a good tinsel, which are excellent for making cat nip mice! I believe there is a place and a knitter/crocheter/crafter for every type of yarn! I’m not sure if there is also an ethical yarn snob? Someone who will only use a particular yarn e.g. plant based due to ethics e.g. vegan? Thank you for your honest podcast, you make me smile as I drive around. Keep up the good work, and this confused yarn snob has signed up for the VIP

    1. Jo Milmine says:

      Ooh ethical yarn snob could be in there although it feels a bit like surely you would want to be ethical if you knew? I guess the problem is that you don’t always know as the info isn’t always there. I will add it to the list!

      Glad to hear you are on Team Tinsel. It’s for winners 🙂

  3. Brig says:

    The un-intentional (or the shy, or in my case the really stupid) yard snob., you know the one who goes to a yarn fest, pick yarn and almost has an heart attack when she sees her bill but is too ashamed to say “ho! I didn’t know it was so expensive, no thanks”. I know that this yarn will make the most expensive sweater she’ll ever knit while not paying the hydro bill. Practical really.

    1. Jo Milmine says:

      It’s so easy to get caught out by the pretty isn’t it? Hopefully you got the hydro bill sorted!

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