Saturday, October 30, 2010

Buying Yarn Locally

I learned to knit when I first researched Waldorf education when my oldest was in preschool.  I bought a kit from Magic Cabin Dolls and made an orange cat, like this one:

It was made out of wool and was easy to work with.  When I went out at that time, all I could find were acrylics and novelty yarn.  My mom bought me a bunch of the novelty yarn and I eventually got uninspired and frustrated with knitting.  There was nothing useful and nice that I could knit.

Over this last summer Jennifer Tan spoke on the Waldorf connection about handwork and Melissa Nielson kept talking about it on her list.  How handwork is good for you.  How handwork would help my older child work out her issues and act better.  How handwork would relax me.  On and on.  Well, Jennifer Tan mentioned Ravelry.  So I checked it out and found they had a lot of ideas and patterns.

I was hankering for a felted bag and found some patterns there.  I got into knitting the squares and gained my confidence and decided to check out my local yarn shop.  Wow! 

So what does all of this have to do with buying local?  Well, you know I am a bargain shopper and I look for the best deals.  And I have found that in my town:

Joanne's is about the same price as my local yarn shop but it is all acrylic fibers.

Hobby Lobby has decent sales on tools but the fibers are all kind of junky and they are not that much cheaper than going to my yarn shop. 

Online, you can find lots of stuff but for the yarns that my local shop carries it is the same price and I have to pay shipping.

My local yarn shop carries wonderful yarn.  They have a great selection of yarns that can be felted.  They have yarns that are just for socks.  They carry yarns that are super expensive but they also carry yarns that are great quality at inexpensive prices (no more than you would pay at a chain).  And she has a clearance area where you can find good deals once in a while. 

I think that when you really compare quality and price, you will find a local yarn shop is going to be the best place to go to when you are wanting good yarn.  Plus, there is the whole experience factor.  Your yarn shop owner probably knows which yarns are going to work and wear best for certain projects. 

I have to say, it is really too bad that I waited so long to stop by my local yarn shop.  I could have been making all sorts of lovely things all these years.  But now I know.

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