Thanks to a perpetually hectic schedule and the second law of thermodynamics, my room at home is a mess by the end of every week. I don’t even live at home during work days, and it still ends up a horrendous mess.

The upside of that is that every time I clean my room, it feels a little like Christmas. I find stuff that I forgot I had, and it’s almost like receiving it for the first time.

Today I went through my yarn collection.

It was all stored in my cedar chest. On the top was a layer of stuff that made my jaw drop. Good yarn—real fiber yarn that I remembered falling in love with but had forgotten I’d bought it. Wool. Alpaca. Angora bamboo blends. Beautiful natural fibers in beautiful colors.

But then I dug a little deeper. I found the crud yarn. Crud yarn from back in the early days when I didn’t know the difference between acrylic and cashmere. I went for color and weight. Or whatever looked cool and cost little at the time.

Since then I have learned that no matter how good a knitter you are or how lovely the pattern is, a perfectly good project can be ruined by cruddy yarn. Hence why I stopped buying as much of it, and being highly selective when it comes to my choice of artificial fibers.

But what was fun was remembering what I had made or attempted to make with that yarn. Baby blankets. Vests. Stuffed animals. Afghans. Scarves. Socks. I remembered the people I made them for and how happy they were to receive the gifts. They didn’t care if it was acrylic. All that mattered was that I made something that they thought was beautiful.

There’s a lesson in there. I’m just not sure what it is.