Once I Was a Crazy Yarn Buyer

Wool yarn skeins, Jamieson & Smith and Rauma

No one ever told me I would have this problem when I began knitting. I would become a crazy yarn buyer.

All knitters probably have the over-buying bug when it comes to yarn. Yarn is pretty….very pretty. The more you realize the options available, you feel like you must try it all. Every skein, ball and hank will eventually be used to knit something … you tell yourself.

Sales Are Deadly

Sales are the absolute worst! Pattern sales are totally worth it, but yarn on sale, that I can’t pass up, will need a place to live in my small house. I’ve bought yarn in bulk even though I wasn’t crazy about the color. It would be cute as a sweater, right? And look at this self-striping yarn for making socks! It doesn’t matter that I had never knit socks, I might one day.

Eventually I created a short list (in my head) of what I like to knit, and which yarns were my favorites. Now, the choices don’t seem so overwhelming. I bypass sales on yarn I never use. There is a lot of “good” yarn out there, so I stick with patterns that would use my favorite types of yarn.

wool yarn Jamieson & Smith
Jamieson & Smith wool skeins of yarn

I’ve come to love colorwork. Hats, mittens, cowls and other little projects that require use of two or more colors have become a favorite. Thin (fingering) wool yarn in smaller skeins are affordable and very useful and pretty for such projects. Jamieson and Smith’s small skeins are so affordable! And all those colors make me drool.

New Hampshire Travels

I’ve been vacationing in New Hampshire and have realized that fingerless mitts would have come in handy here! I could easily take iPhone photos without removing my mittens if I wore a pair of mitts, which I have knit, but didn’t bring. I could wear them for warmth in my chilly rental. So new colorwork mitts are on my to-do knitting list.

Now I buy a lot less yarn. I’ve accumulated bunches and don’t have a lot of space to store it. I guess having a big house could be a downfall for knitters with a lack of self-control and money to spend.

It comes down to being realistic. Knitting takes time. Before I get to that project I once loved, I have come across other patterns I love even more, and yarn needs change. You know what I am saying here. The yarn bought on sale gets pushed to the back of the drawer or bin and new yarn is added.

Last year (Covid year) reduced my income greatly, so yarn buying had to cease. It was the perfect chance to find patterns where I could use up my yarn stash, or at least make a dent.

This is where I pat myself on my back for doing a fairly good job of sticking to my self-imposed no-buying rule! I caved when I needed a comfy and warm sweater for my trip and bought lots of Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter yarn to knit the Cobblestone Cardigan. I’m wearing it during my trip – a lot! So, I’m happy about that. My daughter is modeling the sweater below.

Modeling the Cobblestone cardigan and Katie's Kep
My daughter wearing the Cobblestone Cardigan and Katie’s Kep

If I Wear It, I must Like It

Living in a hot climate means I seldom get the chance to wear what I knit. When I visited a cold place for a few weeks, it was easy to see how much I would wear certain hand knits. The Cobblestone sweater is big and bulky and perfect to wear over anything.

And another item I brought was the neck wrap, which is a crescent shaped shawl. I have used that to keep my neck warm numerous times. Once I was back in Florida, everything was washed and stored away. Sadly, I won’t get much chance to wear those items again.

Sock Yarn Overload

Unfortunately I have lots of sock yarn – washable fingering in merino wool. I bought sock yarn back when I was simply buying yarn because it was pretty! I had no idea what I would use it for.

Now, I want nylon added to wool for knitting socks. I want earthy, rustic wool for warm clothing and colorwork. Sock yarn is often used for shawls, which I really have no use for.

I’ve made progress in my knitting life by whittling down my list of must haves. I no longer randomly buy pretty yarn. I don’t knit to impress others online, or join in when everyone seems to be knitting “it”. If I won’t ever wear it, I won’t knit it. KAL’s were fun at first, but I’d rather knit on my own. And some patterns that go viral don’t interest me.

A lack of income has prevented me from buying this year, but I have a lot of yarn staring at me from the bins!

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