“Are you excited about your yarn?” #1 son asked me as we drove. We were talking about hobbies, and he had kindly taken me to a famous yarn shop where I spent a startling amount of money the price of one RTW jacket on locally made yarns in fine colors and fibers.

DIL remarked that her mother got really angry about the time and money she and #1 son put into their rock climbing hobby. I had to laugh once I understood this — where does one person get off questioning another person’s hobby? Our hobbies are important parts of our lives, and only our fellow aficionados can be expected to understand them fully.

And yes of course I’m excited about my yarn. I have three sweaters on the needles right now and will not be starting a new sweater with the new yarn for some time, but I am certainly thinking and planning, and I may swatch, too.

The thinking and planning is a big part of the enjoyment of a hobby. There are people who only think and plan, people who think and plan and buy, people who think and plan and buy and do, and people who do all those things and then use the products of their hobbies in some way. This is obvious for knitting, sewing, and baking, but there are rock climbers who get companies to sponsor them, who compete and win prizes in the sport, or who parlay their hobby into a paying job. Not to mention the physical fitness that hobby supports.

Ditto for some whose hobbies are music or make up or reading or running or collecting teapots.

I have quite a few hobbies, and I enjoy each of them through the full spectrum. I am currently getting a lot of pleasure out of planning my future knitting, I greatly enjoyed my stashbuilding foray to the yarn shop, I like trying new techniques, I enjoy the process of knitting, and I take pleasure in wearing the fruits of my work. I even like writing about my knitting here at the blog that began as solely a knitting blog.

The picture at the top of this post is of a quilt we ran into during our travels. It was hanging on the wall of some government building. Of course I took a snap, because I might make something like it in the future.

Our hobbies enrich our lives and bring us pleasure. For some of us, they improve our quality of life in some practical way, making our homes more beautiful or keeping us healthy. It might be easier for outsiders to see the value of hobbies like that, though that is apparently not true for my DIL’s mother.

But surely these passions are part of our humanity. They keep our brains elastic, provide opportunities for learning and sensory pleasure, and make us who we are. That’s a lot of value.