27 February 2009

A Sleepy Man Walks Into His LYS...

I knew I shouldn't have stopped at the yarn store on the way home from school this afternoon, but I couldn't help it. My local yarn store, In a Yarn Basket, is celebrating a year of being in business. I, coincidently, am celebrating a year of being a knitter and thought I would be nice to myself and buy two more skeins of Noro for the Lizard Ridge.

Note to self: do not go to the yarn store when sleepy. I had lost two days at the beginning of the week to a head cold and had managed to still complete everything I needed to get done, but by the time the symposium I organized had finished this afternoon, I was exhausted again. Sleepiness + piles and piles of lovely, lovely yarn = Me, walking out of the store looking like a drug addict who had just gotten his fix. Not only did I walk out with the two skeins of Noro but also with six skeins of Cascade 220, the fixings for more Fiddlehead mittens.

I feel a little guilty: I had promised myself I would not buy more yarn until I had worked through a good portion of the yarn I already own. Must use the stash. However, I realized, all the yarn purchased today has a purpose, patterns already attached to them. I'm buying early holiday presents that will, eventually, get knit up. I'm buying entertainment on the random night I do actually have free. Rob from Threadbear had a post a day or two ago that got me thinking about the economics of knitting, particularly about the price knitters pay to create the garments and projects we make. True, it may cost more to make socks than actually buying socks, but there's something about the act of actually creating something with one's own hands that cannot be duplicated. The act of knitting, much like the act of writing, feeds me.

Walking out of the yarn store this evening, yarn in hand, I hoped for a similar scene a year from now: In a Yarn Basket's second anniversary. In a time of economic turbulence, local businesses need thoughtful support from community members. A few things I'm trying to do in my own yarn (and general product consumption):
  • I try to pay with cash, particularly if I am shopping at a LYS. Credit and debit cards carry a small transaction fee with them that I would rather help my LYS avoid if possible. Every once in a while, I don't have cash and they happily accept my little plastic card; it's just something I try to keep in the back of my head.
  • I try to limit my online yarn shopping. Chances are, aside from the lovely offerings on etsy.com, my LYS can order any yarn my little heart desires. I might as well order it through them since it tends to equal out after shipping and handling.
  • I try remember to bring my own bag. Bags, like everything else, cost money and I own enough of them that I can easily bring one with me when I visit the LYS. It's better for the environment, helps the LYS conserve resources, and helps keep my closet clear of excess bags. (Side note: If you're ever in Bloomington, In a Yarn Basket has great bags. Seriously great bags.)
It will be a while until I need more yarn: the skeins purchased this afternoon join an over-flowing bin of wool that will soon become mittens, blankets and, maybe, even a sweater. When it's time to purchase yarn for a new project, however, I will be thoughtful about how I go about it. Long live the LYS.

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