FIBEAR SPEAKS: The Portal to Yarnia

This stash belongs to Sandy Powers, whose lovely designs are in our shop and also at

This stash belongs to Sandy Powers, whose lovely designs are in our shop and also at

Armina designed this cute little hook caddy.  More of her designs at

Armina designed this cute little hook caddy. More of her designs at


OK, despite what you may think I’m not the world’s most organized person. Yes my mp3 collection is sorted alphabetically and by genre on my computer and my player. Yes I can instantly put my hand on any book in the bookstore at my day job.  But ask me where my car keys are first thing in the morning? I have to do the magic key finding dance. You know the one, where you pat every single pocket on your person several times while chanting “Keys, keys, keys”. We’ve all done it…


Anyhoo this changes when it comes to my crochet stuff. My yarn is in (several) clear Tupperware bins from a home improvement store. In it, all the yarn has taken a trip through the ball winder and is further  ensconced in plastic freezer bags labeled with sharpies as to name, brand, yardage, content, color way, lot number and weight. There’s fabric softener sheets in with the organic fibers and even red labels on the cashmere, the merino super wash, and the baby alpaca that is softer than my infant nephew’s tuchus. The red labels are there so I know not to USE this yarn, since there’s no one I’ve ever met that I would want to make a seventy dollar scarf for. This includes the dude I meet every morning when I look in the mirror and shave. The expensive yarn is like Paris Hilton. Pretty to look at and feel but serves no useful purpose.  Granted, if you feel Paris Hilton you’ll need penicillin afterward.

My spare hooks (their numbers are legion) live in a coffee can on my desk. The patterns that are NOT in pdf form live in magazine holders, clearly indiced binders or in their books, arranged on my shelf alphabetically according to type: Afghans, Baby, Caps, etc. 


Now here’s the magic part. My large, capacious project bag, which is a huge orange monstrosity covered in pins that either advertise books or have pithy charming sayings on them, is an interdimensional portal.  No really! I’ve come to this conclusion because every single bleepity bleepin’ time I put my tape measure and good scissors in their compartments, load up a couple of skeins of yarn and the notes on whatever it is I’m working on, when I get to my stitch group, SOMETHING has gone missing. Even when I check the bag twice before leaving the house.  I call this dimensional portal the Gateway to Yarnia. 


Yarnia is a magical land, where tape measures slither through sunlit fields of wavy grass and flocks of scissors congregate in massive trees and chitter at each other like sparrows. Stitch markers roll and frolic down massive hills of single socks and all your missing hooks congregate and have a giant picnic and sing “Fahoo Foray”.


The gateways to Yarnia are hidden from the sight of us poor crocheters. Some people find that their sofa cushions “eat” their hooks. Nay says I! They have found the gateway and right this moment are off saving Yarnia from the Wide Stitch, the same evil harridan who throws off your gauge swatch. Of course wise (read: lazy) yarn crafters like myself thwart the Wide Stitch’s evil plan for world domination by never working a gauge swatch and cheerfully calling any mistakes in measurements “ design features”.


You don’t believe in Yarnia? Then why do you think it’s called “Lion” brand?


Joshua McKiernan (a.k.a the Fibear) lives and hooks on the South Shore of Massachusetts. He can be found at Benegesseritrm [at] yahoo [dot] com or on Ravelry as Benegesseritrm



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Great Bird, THIS EXPLAINS EVERYTHING! I always attributed missing hooks and yarn to a lunatic faction of house elves, but Yarnia is a Unified Craft Theory. Congratulations; expect the call from the Nobel Committee any day now.

Korina, a fan

So True!!

I have lost many a good hook to Yarnia. My knitting implements also escape there on occaision.


Great article, Josh! (and no, I'm not being paid to say that!)


I love it.  And I am so glad to see someone else out there who has a stash like myself.  I love the humor.  It will make me laugh the next time I think of it when I lose my hook (or whatever).  I usually get upset at myself for being a mess.