Sunday, 19 April 2009

Yarn on a Budget

I ventured out to the shops yesterday, thinking I might splurge on a little yarn for Knitty's Hanne. I needed 3 skeins of something colourful and variegated and three of something soft and plain, probably a grey alpaca.

I couldn't face trekking all the way into town to John Lewis and thought I might find something more unusual over at Loop in Islington. And I have to confess I was hopelessly disappointed.

For a start they had very little that wasn't in a solid colour. Only sock yarn and some gorgeous handpainted stuff that was £14.99 (!!!@$$$%£$$!!!!) a skein.

I know it's a boutique shop, but I was surprised at how little 'regular' yarn they stock anymore. A few Rowan, a few Debbie Bliss and that's it. Everything else was high-end, luxury fibre - hardly credit-crunch friendly. The prize went to some very beautiful cashmere that was £32 a skein, and which filled two whole shelves.

The pattern calls for Rowan Tapestry, and I had thought of subbing some Freedom Spirit as it's even cheaper. I didn't really expect Loop to stock either of these but I thought they might have something more original and I would have splashed out if I could have found 100 yds for less than ten quid. 

Anyway, I don't mean to moan and it's hardly their fault if I can't afford most of what they stock. But even if I'd had fistfuls of cash with me, there was very little that would have actually worked for that pattern anyway. It's a few months since I was last in there and I'm sure I remember them having a few more 'normal' brands in there. Ah well, guess from now on I'll be making the trip to Oxford Street after all. But it does rather highlight the problem with supporting a LYS.  It's all very well if you can actually use them but, even aside from the price, if you're after sweater yarns, shops like that aren't always very helpful.

On the bright side I think I've finally worked out what to do with the huge amount of Jamieson's aran I still have lying around, leftover from my brother's seamless hybrid - Heroine. Yes I know it's April. And sunny. And warm. And that a thick felted military jacket isn't really the most practical thing to be considering. But - no really, hear me out - at least if I knit it now it should be finished for when the weather turns again in the Autumn. And if last year is anything to go by, it might prove useful in July, you never know...

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