Thursday, December 08, 2005

Don't hate.

We've all been there...even if it was only for a brief second when we first picked up the sticks and string. Who didn't start out their adventures in knitting with Boye aluminum and a skein of Red Heart? (OK, well, some of us may have coddled ourselves from the very beginning--if this is you, you may as well stop reading now.)

Some of us still knit with trusty old Red Heart...some of us even embrace it, y'all. We are Ghetto Knitters, we've got mad knitting skillz, and if you do too, give a shout out, and take a button!

This button was inspired by Chris's oft-repeated comment about being a ghetto knitter (or, um, "socioeconomically disadvantaged," as she so delicately put it). (And in true ghetto fashion, I made the button in Microsoft Paint. You know, cuz it's free.) Since I visit Hobby Lobby with much more frequency than my LYS, I happily appropriated the term, although Chris has me on probee status for knitting with Mission Falls.

So, how do you spot a Ghetto Knitter? I'm glad you asked:

You Know You're a Ghetto Knitter If:

* Your fancy yarn comes from KnitPicks, or the clearance bin at the LYS.

* You don't understand why Plymouth Encore costs twice as much as Wool-Ease.

* You carry around your knitting in the plastic bag your yarn came in. Who's Jordana Paige?

* You block your shawls with thumbtacks and bamboo skewers (or some other half-ass, homemade method).

* You save those little charms that come with bottles of red wine to use as stitch markers.

* You thought Addis were a new kind of athletic footwear.

If you can identify with one or more of these statements, then you are a Ghetto Knitter! And if you are, you probably have a few items to add to the them in the comments!

Ghetto Knitters of the World, Unite! After all, it's easy to be a knitter when you've got Rowan Calmer to knit with. When all you've got is Red Heart and Lion Brand, but decide to knit anyway, well, that's true passion for the craft.


At 3:15 AM, Blogger candsmom said...

Damn straight that's TRUE passion for the craft, as my calloused and bruised hands can tell you after knitting with Boye Aluminum and Bernat Cotton of the Wal-mart variety!! WOOHOO!! Ghetto knitters stand proud and unite! You know how much I love your list. I'm so, SO glad that Laura was our bridge...what would I do without my fellow girl from the knittin' hood? ;-) The button is ghetto fab and I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with, too. No more probee status for you- you get your full street cred back for laying it all on the line. Just don't let me catch you picking up no stinking Noro or Mission Falls again, Haha! ;-) Love it, love it, love it!! :-)

At 4:22 AM, Blogger Laura said...

I'm getting all verklempft over here.

Olga, this is the funniest thing I have read in a long, long time. I made 4 one-skein wonders in Bernat Cotton Tots purchased at (gasp!) Wal-Mart (a rare occurrence since I don't generally shop there on principle -- bad corporate citizens!). Can I be a ghetto knitter too? Wait, I have 42 skeins of Wool-Ease. Guess I'm in. LOL!

At 5:19 AM, Blogger Karen said...

I thought I was a bit of a yarn snob, but it turns out I'm ghetto too and didn't even know it!!! My first project was an 100% acrylic scarf knitted with Carons. I thought I had seen the light . . . . but yes, my fancy yarn does come from Knit Picks (I order from them so often I think they may offer me some stock). And I just bought Wool-Ease to make slippers for my brother. And YES, I do carry my knitting in my yellow plastic Knitting Central bag - I thought it was kind of pretty. Nothing worse than someone who's Ghetto and didn't even know it!!!!

At 7:19 AM, Blogger crazycatladymel said...

I almost qualify, since my first stop at every LYS is the clearance bin/section, and most of my good yarn has come from those spots. I have carried my LYS bag for my knitting, but am now using one I made myself (needed way more room!).

I do like some less spendy yarns, including a couple of the LB yarns, but I don't think that I can ever bring myself to knit with Red Heart ever again. As soon as the hat I'm working on is done, it's over.

Even though I don't completly qualify, I heartily agree with your analysis that "ghetto knitting" demonstrates a passion for the craft.

At 7:21 AM, Blogger Talitha said...

(*** Warning *** longest comment EVER)

I'm a ghetto knitter because (in addition to your wonderful list):

1. Any needles currently in my possession that aren't Boyes or Susan Bates' were purchased using the Michaels' 40 or 50% off coupons.

2. Blocking? I purposely try to pick projects that don't require it because I'm afraid that any apparatus neccessary might cost me money. (So far I've purchased some pins, again with my trusty Michael's coupon)

3. I have made, in total, one trip to each of the two LYS's in my city. (Oh, that's a lie, I ran in specifically once again to one LYS for some recycled sari silk, because I couldn't afford it on my first trip there)

4. Not only is half the yarn in my stash from WalMart, most of that is from the yarn clearance section there.

5. I splurged for a knitting bag about a month ago. It was on sale 25% off at Zellers (also just like WalMart). It cost $15 and, damn, but I'm proud of that bag.

And the reason why I shall be forever a Ghetto Knitter is because I'm meant to be:

I once bought the absolute softest ball of yarn I forget what it was called or what brand it was, but it was like fluffy snow. It was the single most expensive ball of yarn (other than the recycled sari yarn, I can justify the expense of that because it goes to a good cause) in my stash. One day I came home to fluffy white "snow" all over my living room floor. My dog had chewed the ball into 14 different pieces. I spent the entire evening painstakingly rewinding all the itty bitty tangled pieces into itty bitty balls and stuck them all in Ziplock bags. Ahh, now they're safe. NOT. The very next day I came home to every little ball I had rolled up chewed into two little balls. I rolled them all back up, each ball containing from 6 inches to a yard of yarn. I was able to justify not throwing it out by telling myself I just use it for garnish on some projects anyway, but the real reason I can't part with it is because it was so darn expensive. That was a long story. Sorry about that. Kinda depressing too. Whoops.

Anyway, thanks for creating something to celebrate those of us who embrace our true knitting ghetto.

At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Nancy said...

As a WASP gal from an upper middle class suburb it would be hard to think of me as Ghetto in anything, but I hold my head high with my Lion Brand. And like Talitha, my bamboo needles were bought with 40% off coupons from Joann's. And my knitting books that were not bought used on Amazon were bought with %'s off from Borders. You know what else? I throw. Say it loud...say it proud!

At 8:54 AM, Blogger keohinani said...

that is absolutely fabulous! ahahaah!! throw it up for the ghetto knitters :)
sadly, i don't qualify anymore :( one little splurge purchase from kpixie was all it took, and i couldn't look back at the yarn section at walmart the same again.
so does that make me a ghetto knitter groupie?

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Marisa said...

Damn Gina! If I knew I could be a ghetto knitter, I would've picked up the needles long ago. Still resisting the urge. I've got plenty to make me ghetto and a few too many hobbies at that.

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Laura said...

Maaa-risss-aaa...pick up the needles... pick up the needles... the needles are your friends ...

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Jill said...

Damn, you can take the girl outtah the 'hood, but you can't take the 'hood outtah the girl. I left the 'ghetto' a few years back to move to the glitzier ghetto of Newport Beach - but my yarn stash still reflects how I'm keeping it real! ;-)

At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Neighborhood Laura said...

Well, my first sweater was in RedHeart dk-ish. It was black, and super dense because all the stitches were twisted. Not because I wanted to make a super dense and warm sweater (although it was) but because I didn't know how to do a proper knit stitch yet. I used aluminum needles that are that lovely aqua color. I didn't have a pattern-- just maggie righetti's "Knitting in Plain english" and the will to look busy enough to avoid gainful employment for a month while living at my parent's house. My niece still has it, and takes it out after she visits me. I don't think that she's been able to fit into it in eight years. So my first project fit into this category.
However since then I have developed a prejudice towards wood and bamboo needles that nothing will break, not even breaking needles (damn you, birch sock needles!) On the other hand, I have enough acrylic in my stash to clothe a largish pony in argyle sweaters and legwarmers for a year.
Trapped between two worlds-- it is my tragedy.

At 6:41 PM, Blogger Teresa said...

Oh yeah, I am all over the ghetto. In fact, I was thinking of having 'Boye's Forever' tattooed on my ass. Knit-picks is luxury, and Wool-ease is used for "special occasions". In fact. they all roll their eyes at the LYS store when they see me coming. "15 bucks for 100 yards of 'name brand yarn'?! I could get 7 skeins of Wool-ease for that price, and almost twice the yardage!!".

Ghetto? Hell, I'll say it-I am just cheap. But proud of it!!!

At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ghetto? i have to drive half an hour for walmart yarn. we have no choice but to be ghetto here in the sticks.

At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Cara said...

Well, I've definitely moved out of the ghetto, but my roots are there! My grandmother taught me to knit and gave me some neon orange red heart and some pink aluminum boye needles that were all bent and sent me on my way!

Thanks for the laugh and the memory!

At 1:41 PM, Blogger Legalfrugalbabe said...

Frugal law student here - and cheap knitter. I am so with Teresa on this. I go to my LYS and look at and admire yarn, and yet cannot bring myself to pay anything beyond the prices at the sales rack. Recently I checked out beautiful, bright fuchsia bamboo yarn. $25 a skein. I tried to stay polite but the saleswoman saw my eyes open wide as saucers and I had to refrain from laughing out loud and pointing, "Hahahahaaa! People are actually dumb enough to pay that?" Or the time I asked how much it would cost me to get some self-striping yarn to make a pair of socks - $20. $20 for a pair of socks. I don't think so.

The cardigan I'm working on is LB Homespun, thank you very much. It's soft and I like it. What's wrong with that?

Ghetto all the way, Baby!

At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't forget the trips to the LTS, (local thrift store), for those cheap men's extra large pilled out wool sweaters that you spend an evening searching for tiny little threads to cut so you can frog the whole thing for a pair of super soft wool socks!
$2.00 a skein, doncha love it!

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Cheesy Knit Wit said...

Sweet Gourdes, I have found my home!

I am a Ghetto Knitter!

That button will be on my blog stat!

At 12:03 PM, Blogger roxy ^-o-^ said...

Size 13 purple ALuminum Boyes and purple ombre Red Heart ($2.27 for the huge skein @ Wal-Mart), baby!

Thank you for elevating the status of unrecognized knitters everywhere!

At 9:30 PM, Blogger diosaperdida said...

I qualified on most of those ...and I hate yarn snobs..who cares if you took out a loan to make a sweater?
I guess I am so getto, that I dont really even see what makes knitpicks qualify as such.
Plus I have been known to knit with potholder loops...and I was proud of myself. I still am.

At 2:12 PM, Blogger Roe said...

hahahaha... my ghetto sisters, I embrace you with pride and joy. And I'm TOTALLY sticking this button on my blog. I salute you all, with my Susan Bates #7s that I'm currently working up a Lion Brand project on!

At 1:41 PM, Blogger floresita said...

This is so awesome, I am glad I found it!!! This reminds me of those long lists my family and friends and I would oft recite that start with "You know you're Mexican if..."

I, too, am a sociologically disadvantaged knitter (ok, I guess I used to be - technically now I have no excuse)... I will wear that MS Paint-crafted banner with pride from now on! :)

At 7:14 PM, Blogger Michele Zzah said...

I found your button through floresita's blog and I have put it on my page. The sad part is I didn't even know that knitting with "red heart" and aluminum needles would be considered ghetto! hahahahahhaha I thought I was stepping up when I stopped using Wal-Mart yarn last year... :)

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Genita said...

If being ghetto means buying the bulk of one's yarn at Wal Mart,the second hand store, and Hobby Lobby..( Oh yeah,on the rare occaision I DO buy LB, it's always at Hancock's..only because the Pound of Love's a little cheaper..than Michael's.)- then yeah, this Kansas Redneck's Ghetto...all da way baby!!! LOL..

But, speaking of needles, I like Boye over Susan Bates Quick Silvers...but, I don't like how I seem to go through Boye Needles like a drunkard does his booze, though...(LOVE how slippery the Boye needles, are,but totally detest their crochet hooks- I prefer Susan Bates Silvalumes for my preferred crochet hooks!!)

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Hanane said...

OMG! When I saw this button on Florista's Blog I had to have it. I belong to several knitting circles and the ones I love the most are the two that I go two that are totally into using red heart. You can actually hear the squeak of acryllic. I myself do have a few indulgences. You need real wool if you are going to felt...which I love to do. BUT I always buy it on sale and I have found some AT GARAGE SALES for a buck a skein. Love me some bargains. I love LB woolease I have many skeins in my stash. I shop the LYS when they have sales, I love when Sugar and Cream goes on sale at hobby lobby for 99c a skein or 3 for 1.99 for the big skeins at JoAnns. I am Ghetto and proud to be so. I posted a huge long post on my blog about it being about the craft not the "STUFF" and a lot of times i think people get into crafts to see how much quality stuff they can aquire, and it becomes a keeping up with the Jones kind of mentality and I can't keep up with the Jones and don't want to. I can barely keep up with myself.

Go Ghetto and enjoy the craft....
Knit on!

At 12:43 PM, Blogger roxy =^o^= said...

Red Heart Christmas Ombre colorway. Classic Red and Forest Green. Those were THE 3 colors we had tons of in our household when I was growing up, learning how to knit & crochet. You go girl! Thank you for posting the old-skool love.

At 7:47 PM, Blogger Suni said...

never thought i would be happy to be ghetto but this makes me smile.

At 7:41 AM, Blogger Gypsy Moon said...

Nancy, we are sisters in throwing! I'm a new knitter and didn't know the difference until someone said, "Oh... So you're a thrower. You'll have to learn to 'pick' if you ever want to be any good."
I think even though I am a throwing, ghetto knitter, I'm pretty good.

At 11:25 PM, Blogger amybean said...

Ok, so I've upped my yarn quality to merino, but I still pack it all away in the bags they came in. Who Knew? Yay for Ghetto!

At 9:27 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

I love this button. I saw it at Floresita's blog and it definitely fits me. I've bought one or two skeins of this or that at the LYS but it was when 100% wool wasn't readily available at JoAnn's or ACMoore for felting. I get so annoyed by yarn snobs and fabric snobs. Sometimes working with what you can find is better than not knitting or crocheting at all.

Don't get me wrong, I believe in using the best supplies your budget can handle but Red Heart is great, especially when your dog or cat sleeps or throws up on it, no trying to remember if it's wool and if it has to be handwashed, toss in the washer and no worries.

I guess I'm an all around ghetto crafter. I will crochet or knit with anything and will pretty much cross stitch on any fabric I can find. Do I love nice linen? Sure, but it's not always in the budget. I can always find aida and it makes many of cross stitching friends cringe when I mention I'm stitching something on that fabric.

For me it is all about the craft, period. Time spent doing something I love. That's really all that matters.

At 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wine bottle charms for stitch markers? That actually pretty fancy, I need to remember that. I've been using paperclips.

At 9:31 AM, Anonymous stormina_teacup said...

Looks like I'm a ghetto knitter too. Most of the stuff I use is free donations or acquired from charity shops. I also knit with video tape, audio tape, name tape, salvage anything in strip, helium balloon foil cut offs. I confess I do have a small box of posh stuff. It's far too nice to kniw with though, I just like stroking the skeins! Lx

At 6:56 PM, Blogger gigi said...

Both socioeconomically "challenged" (social security only), yet frugal long before this "challenge" hit, have always found it hard to pay some LYS prices, but have bo't a few nice skeins on sale ... haven't made anything yet, b/c I don't want to "waste" it on something that's not particularly "special." ;o)

Anyway, have been knitting/crocheting since a kid, since it was all part & parcel of "larnin'" in this household. Also---since someone mentioned X-stitching---have done a lot of this, including creating several original patterns, often "seeing" with my imagination's eye something I did not find "out there" already in some book.

Enjoyed reading these comments ... know what you mean, tho', re some acrylics. There's a sweater my mother made "eons" ago that I use for an outer layer in winter for as long as I can stand, hating coats (tho' I will stoop to wearing them, as I'm always cold then). It was once so nice ... but now has pilled enough ... stretched OUT enough, that it's much bigger than originally (hence, thinner, too, with the fibers flattening in the stretching, or something).

So, we want to make the same style now, but with yarn that might hold up longer than the decade-plus I've already worn it. ;o)

At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Vivi said...

This is so wonderful. I have tried to knit, but just can't get the hang of it. I am, however, a ghetto crocheter. I'd love a button for all the other ghetto crocheters like me. :) (I am headed out to ransack the clearance bins right now)


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