Sunday, April 27, 2008

Yarn vs. Clothes

Yesterday, I finally visited a new yarn store near my house called The Red Purl. The store is small yet cozy, the yarns are gorgeous and the owner was very friendly to me. Lots of hand dyed yarn like Fleece Artist, Peace Fleece, and Lobster Pot (all yarns I've heard fabulous things about but never got to know up close and personal). Feast your eyes on my booty (not my culo but the yarn people)!

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Uptown and some Peace Fleece Pyho Mnpa in Shaba Green. I've knit with the this yarn before and I was very disappointed with the wear of it (remember these socks?) Well now they have a hole in them.

I knitted these socks two and a half years ago and after just a few months, they got holes in the heel. I grafted those holes but they still kept coming. This hole is probably the third one on this pair of socks, which kind of pisses me off (being expensive sock yarn and all). So why did I pick up this same yarn yesterday? Because the colors are phenomenal! And though the yarn does not wear well on my feet, the yarn is sooooooo soft. Maybe for the safety of this future pair of socks, I should regulate them to being house socks or bed socks. Too soft to wear in boots in the cold Indiana winters but just perfect for wearing while knitting by the fire, sipping on some hot chocolate or tea.

The Peace Fleece is nice too. A 70/30 wool/mohair blend that is tough as nails yet soft and squishy. The store owner showed me a hat she made out of this yarn and told me that the hand really softens up when you wash it. Sure enough she was right! I just picked it up because the green was so fresh and lovely. I'm not sure what I'll do with this one. Sometimes you just buy things because they make you happy and that's what I did.

Yarn vs. Clothes

Which brings me to my next discussion topic. This past Friday, I was at my desk thinking about knitting (actually, work is where I get most of my ideas for this blog) and thought about women and fashion. Knitting magazines and pattern books are largely influenced by current fashions. Where as in most men spend their extra money on gadgets, video games, or sports gear, typically, women spend whatever dispensible cash they have on appearance: hair, nails, tanning, and of course clothing.

Growing up in New York City has definitely influenced my fashion sense. I remember practically every other weekend my mom, little sisters and I would go to the mall to shop. Sometimes we would buy something, and other times we would just walk around, look at the styles, and finish off our day at a nice restaurant (needless to say my mom went broke doing that but we were spending time as a family). However, since I have become a knitter, my shopping excursions have become less frequent as I have forsaken fashion and replaced it with yarn or knitting related items. I am so for real when I say I haven't been shopping since Christmas. And even though I've been telling myself, "Kelly, you really need to get yourself some new Spring pieces to keep your wardrobe fresh and interesting." I dismiss that thought with, "I don't have enough money right now" and leave it at that.

Nowadays, past food, shelter, and gas for my car, the only thing I'm concerned with is collecting more yarn for my enjoyment. However, I think it's rather funny that I would spend $24 on some hand dyed sock yarn but think that would be an outrageous price for a button up shirt? I would never spend $35 for a sweater from Banana Republic but I would spend that much on yarn for a sweater and tell myself "Man, this is a bargain!"

I mean lets face it. $24 for a pair of socks is outrageous in an economy where you can get 15 pairs of socks for that same price. I guess the point of this whole thing is I realize that my spending habits when it comes to yarn and clothing have changed. Frankly, I'd rather spend $24 on some yarn than $24 on a shirt. Does that mean I'm weird and have lost all my fashion sense? Have you as of late lost all of your style for the sake of knitting? Do you ever think about these things? Let me know what you think about yarn vs. clothing.

Playing Catch Up

Oh yeah, I've been knitting too:

I finished the Back to School Vest from Fitted Knits and have started some toe-up socks out of the Lorna's Laces I scored from Susie. The sock is coming along great, the vest, however, is not my favorite. You see, the vest is too short on the bottom. I know the simple solution is to just cut out the bottom and add some more ribbing, but I'm feeling lazy right now and it's already spring so it's not like I need to have this vest right now. Besides, I'm already psychologically done with it.

And finally, some Lion Brand Yarn:

Two weeks ago I was in a JoAnn's and saw this on the shelf. I have never seen it before and I only bought it because I did not believe that JoAnn's was capable of selling anything but acrylic. The yarn is pretty basic but gorgeous. Called Fisherman's Wool, it's 100% wool, worsted weight, 8 oz, 400+ yards and cost about $9 USD a skein, making it an even better value than Cascade 220. The only drawback is that it only comes in two colors: the cream above and a dark brown color but there are enough dyeing tutorials online to remedy that. I knitted up a swatch and plan on making the Tyrolean Stockings from the Fall 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. I can't wait to get that started!

That's all for now. Today I'm planning on doing nothing but knitting and watching The Shield. See ya!


Virtuous said...

Great to come across new and neat yarn shops! I luv the name of course! ;op But even better that they are open on Saturdays!!

OOh how I need to finish up my BTS...I am paralyzed at the splitting for the sleeves right now....I don't know why I can't get over my Knitter Anixety of that...I think it is b/c I know the mods I want to make on those straps but really want to make sure I do them right....sigh

Okay what pattern are you going to use on your LL sock yarn?? I have some over there that has been waiting on me for MONTHS! And I really just want to do some cute toe-up socks!

Hope you had a great knitting day!!

Anonymous said...

I had gotten VERY bad about not even wanting to go clothes shopping (that's what happens when you have little kids, mostly), but I'm trying to get out of that & fast! What's good now is that I have a lot of yarn & am trying to only buy as needed for projects--I've been doing really good on that. Overall, though, I'm trying to have a less consumerist attitude, so even with clothes, I buy what's "needed"...I need sandals, but not another 3 pairs of black shoes.

noblinknits said...

Well, I learned a new word today (culo). I've never been very fashionable but I'm definitely slow at buying clothes because I think I can knit them all. And I find it much easier to buy yarn than, say new lenses for my glasses which I really need. Yummy looking socks and yarn and everything.