I don't have to go to a shrink in order to feel fairly human. I have yarn to turn to. The colors, textures, and smells of yarn help me decide what to knit or crochet with them. Looking at the huge selection of patterns also help me to decide what to do with the yarn. Going to knitting/crocheting groups force me to get out of the house so that I won't be such a hermit.
Colors, Textures, and Smells
The first impression I get from yarn is the multitude of colors that are available. There are many different shades of reds, blues, whites, yellows, oranges, and on and on and on. I seem to navigate toward some shades of blue, purple, burgundy, darker greens, and darker oranges. I also prefer white to off-white. These colors I use mostly when I make something for myself. If I'm making something for someone else or for charity, I'll use colors that are not on my regular color palette.
The next thing I notice about the yarn is the feel of it. It can be soft, scratchy, silky, or smooth. There can be nibs, beads, or sequins in the yarn. The strand of yarn can be very fine or bulky. It could also have a crinkley look to it that would give the knitted or crocheted item a different texture rather than just smooth.
The smell of the yarn can be nice, too. Wool can smell like the sheep, alpaca, or llama that it came from. To me, some yarns have a chemical smell to it and certain ones can give me a headache. Cotton yarns have a nice, fresh fragrance.
Selecting A Pattern
There are so many patterns for knitting and crocheting to chose from. I see them everywhere: on the internet, at the yarn store, in books at the library or book store, and in magazines. I like to use a pattern that is pretty easy and doesn't take a whole lot of brain power to figure it out. Sometimes, some of the ladies at the yarn groups that I go to will show a pattern that they are using on the their current project and if I really like it, I ask them where they got the pattern from and get it for one of my own future projects. As I already mentioned, I like patterns that are pretty easy. Once in awhile, I will get a pattern for a sweater that has cable work or for an item that has some lace work. The free patterns that I can get on the internet are the best kind! Although, I have bought several online, too.
Going To Knitting/Crocheting Groups
A couple of times a week, I pack up my knitting bag with a current project, some accessories, extra crochet hooks and maybe extra yarn and head to the local yarn shop. Not only do I get out of the house, I get to be with other people who have a common interest. We all like to work with yarn. We help out each other whenever we have a problem with doing certain stitches, don't understand something about a pattern we are using, or in choosing colors of the yarn for our next project. Like me, some of the other ladies knit and crochet. Some others either knit or crochet, not both. Also, at least two of the ladies do some weaving. No one has brought in a spinning wheel yet. I'm waiting for the day that someone does do some spinning. Who knows? It might be me!
The main reason I knit and crochet is that I like to see the end result of my efforts. When I complete a sweater, a poncho, or a shawl that has a nice design and it looks good, I feel good about myself.