Shopping for Yarn

If you know me well, you know how much I LOVE yarn! I've always loved it and even as a little girl, whenever my mom and I went shopping I would love to go to the yarn aisle and just touch the skeins. My first crochet class was when I was 12. I didn't know how much yarn would play into my life but I can't imagine my life without it.

Can us makers ever have enough yarn? Uh... NAW! New textures come out all the time and it's hard to not to want it all and stash it even if we don't use it right away. A few months back, I asked some ladies at my church where and how I could get more yarn to make prayer shawls and one told me about a hardware store about 25 minutes away that got a ton of yarns and get this...selling all of their skeins for just $2.50 ea., no matter how small or large so even One Pound Caron yarns just $2.50 ea.! I couldn't believe it but my first visit there was unbelievable! They have an entire back section with yarns everywhere! Cotton, worsted weight, super merino, wool blends in every color you could imagine! I thought I had gone to Yarn Heaven!

I've been back three times, list in hand and I'm planning to go again this week after payday! The story behind the yarn is really sweet, the owner's mother-in-law is in her 90s and she loved to knit. She would knit and watch TV so over all those years of her life, she accumulated hundreds of yarns and these are full skeins too with the labels! Lion Brand, Red Heart, Sensations, Yarnspirations, Caron, Bernat, and others that I had never seen before. I wished I could have it all, but I'd need to rent a shed to house it all. I don't know how this little lady kept it all in her house. Anyway, one day she decided she didn't want the yarns anymore and tada... it's all on sale. She even did loom knitting and I found notions like crochet hooks and knitting needles too.

What do you look for in a yarn when you're ready to shop?

First off, I love soft yarns. Because I make mainly scarves, wraps and shawls and hats, I want the yarn to be soft against the skin. So, I look for Red Heart with Love, Red Heart Soft, Simply Soft Caron, Lion Brand Heartland, Hometown USA, and Homespun are all very soft yarns. I also like Bernat Softee Chunky, Lion Brand Woolspun, and Perfection by Kraemer Yarns. My favorite, absolute favorite, is Lion Brand Scarfie yarns! I fell in love with this yarn last year when I made my first sweater and Mobieus wrap (that I sold)!

I used a pattern from Crystal with Bag 'O Day Crochet & More to make this beautiful sweater, I used 3 balls of Lion Brand Scarfie cranberry/black. I probably could have lengthened the sleeves with a 4th ball. I plan to make another sweater cause it was fun crocheting this.

The pattern for this Mobieus wrap is from Donna Wolfe of The term "Mobieus" means "twist". So, we actually make the twist at the beginning and then crochet on the top and bottom of all the stitches. I sold this one at my local arts center this year.

I also love variegated yarns whether it be slow changing like the Caron cakes or Sweet Rolls, but also the ombres like Red Heart Ombre. Simply Soft Caron has an ombre yarn collection too. I'm anxious to see if it is as soft as their regular colorways. Red Heart Stripes or yarns like those which change colors every other strand are great for planned pooling that can translate into argyle patterns. They make good blankets or squares that you can seam together to make blankets or even bags and pillows.

The wool blends, baby alpacas are new to me and I'm enjoying working with them. I can't wear 100% wool but when it's blended with acrylic or some other fabric, it's not a problem. When I shop, I typically go by feel as well as the brand name. If I like how it feels, it'll usually find its way into my basket! I can't wait to see what I pick up this week, I'll have to make more room in my studio though! It's a fun problem.

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