A Different Kind of Addiction

Sewing is an entirely different kind of addiction from yarn crafts.  The way it begins and progresses follows an entirely different path.  I’ve been contemplating this a lot while held in the vice-like grip of my sewing machine, hour after hour…


Yarn starts innocently with that first garter stitch or single crochet dishcloth.  One little skein of cheap yarn, a pair of loner needles/hook and you’re done for.  It’s like that first cigarette, it seems unlikely it will affect you, but pretty soon you’ve got a 2 skein a week habit.

Pretty soon you start buying the good stuff and your addiction deepens.  You’re carrying a sock in your purse, a hat in the car, and a half-finished blanket in the trunk for emergencies (I mean, what if you were stranded for hours?  You wouldn’t want to run out of yarn!).  This continues, sometimes unchanging for years, until finally you start the dealer phase.  You’ve acquired a stash by now.  The whole “I’ll only buy yarn for one project at a time and finish that project before moving on” thing is long gone.

Now you lurk in front of the sock yarn at your LYS, urging other customers to touch the skeins.  You live vicariously through the purchases of those around you.  Low-level dealers often call to remind you about sales or forward you links.  Sometimes you graduate into a high-level dealer, actually being employed by said LYS.

In the final stages, many yarn addicts become manufacturers, actually making the crack yarn that they crave.  This alters the addiction, changing it into a chronic illness of spinning, dyeing, and consuming.  It becomes an unending cycle, often ending with unfinished afghans willed to loved ones.

And all it took was one little dishcloth…


The sewing addiction is an entirely different animal.  This one starts very slowly and creeps up on you.  It begins with acquisition.  A yard here, some fat quarters there.  It’s all so pretty and looks just lovely in clear boxes.  It’s just decorative.  Just waiting for when you “have time” to learn to sew.  Often this route of acquisition takes on more expensive tones.  A sewing machine that sits, gathering dust.  A row of books on the shelf.  A box of patterns bought during the $1.99 sales.

Then one day, BAM!  You see that perfect pattern that makes you drag all the equipment out.  You may even make a special trip to the fabric store, because the stuff in your stash just isn’t “quite right”.  You drag all the equipment out of the closet, dust it off, and sit down to create.

Hours later, you look up, bleary-eyed.  You’re surrounded by threads and bits of fabric.  The iron is still hot and your bobbin is half-empty.  There’s this thing in front of you.  A completed piece.  You feel like someone slipped you a rufie because you  have no idea where the time went.  But you don’t care.  The exhilaration of a successfully completed project makes you hungry for more.

Days later, your house begins to take on a strange look.  Dishes pile up, the fabric bits on the floor grow into piles, and your family starts to sigh when you sit down in front of the machine.  You don’t notice this until it’s already too late… All you can think of is completing that next project.

The obsession consumes you.  All you can think about is sewing.  You spend breaks at work surfing the net for patterns.  Your lunch hours are whirlwind trips to the fabric store to dig through the remnant bin.  Within a matter of a few days you’re a full-blown addict and you’re not even really sure how it happened…

I guess the first step is admitting you have a problem.  But what if you don’t care that you have a problem?  What then?  Is there a Crafter’s Anonymous group?

Wait, that wouldn’t work!  It’d just turn into a big crafting bee and the addiction would spread.  I guess there’s no help for any us.  If you’ll excuse me, I need to go cut some fabric.


2 thoughts on “A Different Kind of Addiction

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