Is it fair to justify yarn binges on gift giving? Like, I know I have a lot of relatives to buy for, especially now that I'm almost divorced but still have his family to buy for... but can't I just while away the hours knitting for people? Last night while trying to catch up on some of my blog reading, I came across for not the first time the Sock Wars posts. Now, the idea intrigues me, but since I am a procrastinator, I'm pretty much seeing that it would get me a pair of hand knit socks and someone to finish the pair I started. Win-Win for me, but if you're the one who rushes to get your pair finished, you send them off and get someone else's mess to finish? That sounds like punishment, not reward. Anywho, it got me to thinking more seriously about sock knitting. And that translated to a trip to the LYS, who was also having a large sale on Debbie Bliss and Noro yarns like the store I trekked to a couple weeks back. But the sale yarn couldn't persuade me, it was the sock yarns that I loved. I got 2 balls of trekking, which I've never used before, another skein of stretchy boot yarn (brand escapes me at the moment), and 2 skeins of Lang Jawoll jacquard that were on clearance. I also got a Box of Scarves II for 1/2 price.
A sign at the checkout caught my eye in regards to people shopping at Joanns and other discounters. While the idea that we should frequent our most prized stores, there is also a time & place for discount shopping, and here's my point. I have a yarn addiction... and I mean addiction. I sometimes can't stop myself from buying stuff, and I also horde - if you saw my yarn closet, you would understand how this can be a problem. I sold & gave away about 5 large garbage bags of yarn this summer that I knew I wouldn't use, most of it still in lots that were enough for afghans or sweaters. Now, think of how poor I would be if I allowed myself to amass quality yarn in that manner. When it comes down to it, an alcoholic will drink anything that will get them drunk, even if it's cough syrup or another toxic substance. I will buy stuff I can't really afford wherever and whenever I can. My parents grew up poor and my dad never throws anything out, and I am getting to be the same way. Once I get some crap acrylic or chintzy tools, I'm too afraid to get rid of it in case I need it some day. You'd think I lived thru the depression, the way I hang on to everything. Of course the small store owners would rather have me spending all my money in their stores, but the fact of the matter is that I'd rather get my fix with coupons at AC Moore when the urge strikes for Speed Stix on a Monday night when the yarn shops are closed, than to go buy a single ball of something that will just sit in my salad bowl on display because it's all I could afford and not enough to do anything with. If I'm going to pay the shot for something, I always go to the yarn shops first. Perfect example, the light up needles I got at the LYS the firs time, figured they were cool but I could never afford to buy all of them from the yarn shop. Instead I got them at a percentage off and could buy needles with Pig Heads on them at the yarn shop! To me that was a much better way to spend the money. The fact of the matter is that artisans will do whatever it takes to continue on with their craft. If anything, it's the poor selection and rude service that's to blame when stores go down the tubes. Where I live there are at least 6 shops that I've been to. One is on the outrageously rude side - the old lady watches you and keeps asking you if you need help as if you're going to start releasing skeins and tangling up the store. Another one is in a tough spot to shop due to non-existant parking and a very small selection of yarns. Honestly I've only been there once and didn't see the need to go back since nothing she had was unique from the other shops. Then there's a shop downtown which is probably tied for my favorite because they have a little of everything and a huge selection of books. They've been in business long enough to have a great selection and also some good clearance deals that I can afford. It's a good fondling store, if you know what I mean. There is another smallish shop that's the most out-of-the-way, at least a 30 minute drive from home and not spectacular in any way, but if you're bored with the other shops, it's nice to take a look around. The shop closest to my job is also on the narrow-minded-older-women-fun-fur-scarves side, and everything in the store is arranged by color as if you're only looking to combine 3 yarns together to create a gaudy xyz. They tried to talk me into mixing clearance Karabella Gossamer for $7/skein (which was normally $22+) with 2 other yarns that were $12 each... uh, not my idea of an inexpensive project. They did have a needle I was looking for that no one else carried at the time. I only go there in dire yarn attacks. But the shop I go to most often (and would more if they were open later on weekends) is also the closest to me. It has friendly staff and have built up a great selection of yarns, books & tools. Now if I could just find a job that paid more, I'd be able to take trips there more often.