don’t be scared!!!

walk right into that yarn shop! look around! buy something you have not idea what you are going to do with!

why you might ask am i telling you this?

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one of my all time favorite yarn shops – looped yarn works at dupont circle in dc.

well the other day a BEGINNER KNITTER was telling me about her trip to colorado. i immediately asked her if she went to any yarn shops. and she said “oh no! we saw a yarn shop but i was too scared to go in!” she explained that she wouldn’t know what to buy or how much of it to buy!

fibre space in old town alexandria, va

i know! yarn shops can be intimidating. but they aren’t any different from other shops you stroll into during vacation. just walk in with confidence! you’re a knitter just like them!

now to the shopping and buying part. find a yarn you absolutely love! you love the color or the fiber or you’ve been drooling over it on ravelry! i know what you’re thinking – i don’t know what i’m going to do with it so i don’t know how much to buy!

got 2 ball of this at hancock’s in el dorado when they were going out of business. it was 75% off but can’t do much with 110 yards of super bulky (even at that price). although if i could have foreseen the future i might have gotten a pussycat out of it in january 2017.

when i first started knitting, i would go into a yarn shop while on vacation and buy a single skein of something. do you know how many single skeins i used to have?!?!?! and really you can’t do much with a 100 yards of worsted weight. ok there are a lot of headband and coffee cup koozes that you can knit with 100 yards of worsted weight but really?!?!?!

i bought this rowan colourscape chucky at little bo peep’s in eureka springs about 7 years ago. this was during my “i’ll buy everything you have just in case” phase.

then i started buying at least 500 to 1000 yards of something. just in case! but that can get expense quickly. your husband starts asking about “your budget” before you walk in. never a good sign.

then i decided i would have a plan. i’d “favorite” projects i loved on ravelry and when i got to the shop, i’d pull out my trusty phone, pull up ravelry and start shopping. that worked to a point. i mean i was buying with purpose. but i didn’t necessarily LOVE the yarn with the project. i was just making it work!

so i switched tactics again and this one really works for me (and my husband’s budget). i let the yarn tell me what it wants to be. i know that sound hokey and not at all me but it’s true. the yarn will tell you what it wants to be. sometimes it even screams it.

when i’m shopping i think about whether it wants to be a hat or a shawl/cowl or a sweater. and i have ballpark yardage requirements in my back pocket for different projects.

  • 400 yards of fingering = hat, shawl/cowl, pair of socks
  • 800 yards of fingering = really big shawl with lacy pattern
  • 350 yards of dk or worsted = hat
  • 500 yards of worsted or aran = cowl/shawl
  • 1500 to 2000 yards of anything = sweater in my size

so i fall in love with the yarn. i imagine what i want it to be. i buy accordingly.

here’s an example.

i bought this anzula for better or worsted at the last anzula trunk show we had. i feel in love with the color way. i think it was called gumball. but i had no idea what i was going to do with it. i bought 2 skeins. total yardage about 500 yards.

it didn’t scream hat to me. plus i had a little too much for a hat. and i thought it screamed shawl but not really. then while i was winding one of the skeins, i put the other skeins around my neck. COWL!!! of course.

now to find a pattern. i could have just designed one but sometimes it nice to let someone else do the heavy lifting. i looked at the pattern ideas tab under anzula for better or worsted but nothing jumped out at me. i looked at stephen west’s page because the color seemed right for him. still nothing.

then while searching cowls, i came across this pattern called sceite by lynn di cristina. none of the project pictures showed it in a multi colored yarn but i took a chance and it worked out quite lovely i think!

so don’t be afraid to walk into that yarn shop next time you’re on vacation and make a confident purchase! you’re a knitter! you know what to do!

 

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