Friday, November 13, 2009

The Web, I knit

Mrs Luedtke asked the question

"So where do you purchase your "yummy yarn" on the internet. How close have colors matched from the screen to actual arrival? Please, let me know your internet yarn secrets!"
Here is my EXTREMELY scattered answer:

So here's the deal. I'm kind of a yarn snob. And even a yarn store snob. Not that any one is better than the other, I just have a VERY strong preference. So, well, yes I do believe that some IS better than the other. But I also think to each his or her own.
Yarn choices are also made based upon what you will be knitting, who you are knitting for and it's function. Where and how you purchase them can be based upon whether your priorities like in cushioning the wallet or keeping small businesses open and supporting the independent crafter. I also like to factor in how soon I need (okay crave) the yarn.
Warning, I am about to reference The Yarn Harlot several times. Her calendar is a fantastic resource. I encourage you to ask for one for Christmas. Thank you Mark and Cindy! I didn't even have to ask! ;)
1.)In 1953 the first commercial polyester fiber was put into production by the Dupont company. With this invention began a knitterly debate about the pros and cons of man-made fibers and their use in knitting. The battle still rages to this day. When you're selecting yarn to make something for a baby (or anyone for that matter *) keep in mind that many synthetic yarns (like acrylic) are extremely flammable and shouldn't be used for things that babies will wear when unattended or for sleep(or around the campfire, at a candlelit Christmas service, when reaching across the dinner table with candles). Superwash wool can go in the washer and dryer.

My Vandal Fall hat and many other projects you may or may not have seen are knit out of Lynda's Superwash wool hand dyed sock yarn<click here>. Very soft, very vivid, very love.

2.) August 14 is love your LYS day. LYS=local yarn shop. Local yarn shops truly procide a service that is vital to knitters and you will NEVER EVER find it at JoAnnes or Michaels. At a local yarn shop you will find years of experience, camaraderie, and joy. When I was first in McCall and needed friends Luke said "Go find friends, go to a fabric store or something." Well I went to the fabric stores, they were cool and all, but when Lynda offered right then and there to teach me how to knit, and she showed me the table where people come in just to knit, my heart was won over. Friends, you will never find that at a mega craft store. If it means I pay more for yarn, I remember I'm getting much much more than yarn. On that note, Fresno does have very good local shops. I've rather turned into a hermit, sort of to my dismay. (I say sort of because Im really okay with it right now.) In my opinion Swatches has the most kindred spirit feel, but there is also Janna's (Fresno and Bullard) and Ancient Pathways (by St Therese, the Armenian Catholic Church.)

Okay so those were things I had to throw out there. Now on to how I buy online:

First, I have become a Ravelry <click here> junkie. It's like Facebook for knitters and crocheters. You can view reviews of gazillions of patterns, find free patterns, see how other peoples projects turned out if you're considering a patter AND get yarn recommendations. I can click to view the yarn the pattern uses and I can click on the yarns tab and see what other yarns have been used and how many times. If I click to see the projects done in the yarn I am considering and they all look funky, I search for the yarns that look good, or get used the most. THEN I start looking into it online. You can click the "Where to buy this yarn" link. I check out prices, color availability, etc. Sometimes I'll call around to see if I can find the yarn locally, other times I get it for 45% off (only happened once) and order it ASAP!

If I know that finding the right color/size is imperative and I need the advice of an expert with a large stock available, I call Wendy at The Websters in Ashland, OR. <Click Here> Wendy has been amazing. She helped me pick the yarn for Janice's Slippers when I told her I needed aqua and red for crocheting slippers, she helped me pick the yarn for Cindy's slippers when I said I need vibrant orange and pink in cotton, and she helped me pick the Navy Blue and Gold yarn for Henry's hat and mittens. When I call her with my request she goes on a yarn hunt, gathers them all together, then takes pictures of each of the color combos, and then emails them to me. Ooooh she is awesome! The colors are never "Dead On" with what I expect but then again I've always refused her offer to send me swatches because I am too anxious to have the yarn in my hands!

1 comment:

The Luedtke Family said...

Love all the info! Brings buying yarn to a whole new level. I agree on the local yarn shop tid-bits, and have a store called "Have Ewe Any Wool" that is delightful. And always expensive. So rare are my trips there! We have a Hobby Lobby, which I love. It is a large craft store along the lines of Michaels. But they always play Christian music and are closed on Sundays and very often have seasonal items 50% off even well before the holiday season passes. Better yarn selection than Jo Ann's or other fabric stores.

I needed to perfectly match yarn to Norah's winter coat. Deep, deep purple and bright green. And I was anxious. So, Hobby Lobby I went. And found yarn that was entitled "Silk Bamboo". That hat will be "hand wash only" but the colors were P.E.R.F.E.C.T. So soft and luxurious feeling. Still a bit pricey, but "yummy"! Just wait for the post!