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What came first…

the chicken or the egg? Or in this case, the yarn or the pattern?

I’m interested in what other people tend to do when it comes to buying yarn.

I have on occasion bought a pattern or crochet book and then bought some yarn with specific pattern in mind but mostly I am an impulse purchaser. I will go to stock up on something I’m running low on and need a little bit more of for an ongoing project and then be ambushed by some yarn I never intended to buy and have no idea what to do with. This happened ‘by proxy’ earlier this month. A fellow crocheter stumbled across this little scene at her local House of Fraser

Glorious Yarny Bargains!

Glorious Yarny Bargains!

Naturally I lost my head and she bought a huge glut of cut price Rowan All Seasons Chunky my behalf. We arranged to meet at Borough Market and did a handover from her buggy to mine. I giggled to myself about it on the way home on the train, one yarn addict feeding another’s addiction and exchanging bags of the good stuff on side streets under the railway arches. We all have our vices eh?

This was the glorious haul before she smuggled it to London via train under the cover of darkness….. actually it was more like the 9:40 from somewhere in Northamptonshire.
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I actually now have probably more than enough yarn to open a small stall or even shop. It’s ridiculous but still more keeps falling into my arms and coming home with me. I’m actually really really properly out of room now.

I have filled two large blanket boxes, 20 large stacker boxes, two deep shelves in my bedroom, a drawer under my bed and several miscellanous ‘project’ bags. The stash above has been hidden in the upstairs hall cupboard where hopefully my husband will not discover my guilty secret….

My nan (Nanny 2 as she is known, the crocheting nan sadly no longer with us was known as Nanny 1) is a knitter doesn’t seem to suffer this impulse buy problem, she might once in a blue moon buy a quantity of yarn that is a really good deal because she knows in her head she has a pattern it will be useful for in her collection, but mostly she goes to the shop with exact yarn and quantities in mind, for a specific pattern to make something for a specific person. She might substitute it if the yarn works out too pricey but she will buy what she needs for the project and nothing else. She just doesn’t get utterly seduced by the yarn the way I do.

I’ve been wondering is this a knitting vs crochet thing? are all crocheters more like me and will amass yarn then either go looking for some patterns or just get creative? whereas knitters tend to be more focussed only keeping to what they need, when they need it? Perhaps its the nature of crochet in that it lends itself to making lots of small items and is forgiving of a bit of mix and match and knitting to me seems to be more about the long project, large clothing items etc so you have to be sure you have enough to complete and from the same dye lot, so purchases of a couple of balls of this and that is just a bit wasteful? I’m not suggesting some crochet isn’t very precise in quantity and needs forward planning for a project like an adult sweater, but to date that’s not really my style at all.

I guess now is a good time to confess that a few short days after collecting the above yarn…

this happened

Excuse the crumbs on the rug, I've been out all day and not hoovered yet and just tipped these out for a photo.

Excuse the crumbs on the rug, I’ve been out all day and not hoovered yet and just tipped these out for a photo.

I wasn’t sure if I would like Stylecraft DK as it is 100% acrylic and some acrylic only yarns can be a bit yuck. I am not a yarn snob, I believe there is a need for different kinds of yarns for each individual project. I have to TOUCH the yarn to decide. I’d ordered some of the Stylecraft because I needed orange for a project I was working on (the toddler leggings and a rainbow cowl) and orange seems to be really REALLY hard to find. I liked it so ordered a load more! I think its a bit thinner than a lot of double knits, it feels kind of half way between DK and 4 ply but I think it does have a nice texture to it, slippy and soft and also works up really nicely (I think I might consider going down a hook size though so the work doesn’t end up to lacy/open unintentionally), it also comes in a huge range of colours and is super inexpensive 🙂

This pattern is what I have in mind for it

http://notyouraveragecrochet.com/as-we-go-stripey-blanket/

Will eventually be a bed cover for the little dark star’s bed when she moves into a Big Bed of her own. Of course I am doing my usual last minute procrastination “should I really use this yarn for that project? Perhaps I should do join as you go granny squares? Maybe The Wendy Blanket I saw on Ravelry?” I do this ALL THE TIME. I teeter for some time on the verge of starting a long term, yarn heavy, time heavy project then after gripping the side of the imaginary ‘pool’ with my toes arms out front hesitating I plunge in head first into the gloriousness of A New Project and lose myself in a kind of obsession for it for weeks on end. I have been unable to sleep some nights thinking about the next square or the next row on a big project.

Honestly, I am nuts about crochet. Utterly bonkers.

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6 thoughts on “What came first…

  1. LoL! Beautiful yarn!! You are not alone … the boys know that any time we go to Walmart (an all-general store here in the US) and I get “lost”, they know to find me in the yarn aisle, where I’ll have a skein or two or three in my arms, contemplating on what I can make with that yarn, or how many more I need to finish off a project. I’ve got a draft on my yarn-buying habits too, which I should probably redraft and revise now too, as I have noticed a change …

  2. SarahG says:

    I lovvvveeee that ‘as we go blanket’ and now have itchy fingers. I love reading your musings.I have all sorts of yarn too and I concur that I think for yarny folk its a proper addiction, but as addictions go its not so bad so I just roll with itI

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