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View Full Version : Intimidated by all the different yarns!


ckk
01-16-2010, 01:51 AM
Hi, I've been knitting for about 6 months. Picked it up to try and relax and make myself sit still for awhile and I absolutely love it. I don't have too much time but so far, one laprobe and 3 scarves. Took beginner lessons at my private LYS, learned the basics, but I must say the yarn there is quite expensive for me. I have kept going back to the private LYS because since I took lessons there they are always willing to help with any questions, but I know it would not be good to go for help with others yarn!!
Will be taking a class at the Lion brand store in NYC next month, for increasing, decreasing, mistakes etc. Anyway, what I'm getting at is there such a big difference in yarns? I know I really don't know the difference yet but,the scarf i just finished was yarn from the chain store, so soft, beautiful colors, and very reasonable. While at the private store I heard other knitters talking about "yarn snobs"! But I cant afford to be a snob!! Just wondering what eveyones take is on the different yarns and what to look for. thanks so much.

ArtLady1981
01-16-2010, 05:43 AM
So nice to have you here with us! Thanks for joining Knitting Help!

I think it's perfectly OK to knit with the best yarn that you can afford! Certainly there are many many fine yarns that are affordably priced! Joann's has quite a number of yarns that you view before buying!

If you don't mind purchasing yarn 'online'...the two websites that immediately come to mind are:

Knit Picks (http://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/knitting_yarns.html), and Elann! (http://www.elann.com/)

Both sites carry many fine yarns that are affordably priced! A low price doesn't mean low quality!

First of all, before making a decision about the yarn for a particular project, decide whether or not you are willing and able to handwash the item! If not, then shop for a yarn that declares itself to be machine washable! Superwash wools are just one type of washable yarn. And of course, almost all acrylics are washable!

Next, shop for the 'character' you'd like in a yarn. For instance, I love tweeds. So I will always browse the tweed offerings of any yarn website!

Wherever we go, we can ALWAYS find a snob, right?
Shoe snobs, handbag snobs, coffee snobs, wine snobs, car snobs, and of course, yarn snobs!

Take heart! :heart: There are more of US than there are of THEM!

It's more important to try to knit well and have fun doing it!

It sounds like you are off to a good start, taking classes and such! Good for you!
You're interested in mastering your skills! :thumbsup: Knit with any yarn that pleases you!

Debbie
01-16-2010, 10:26 AM
The Lion Brand Store in NYC ... OH MY !!!! That sounds really fun. Lion Brand has every kind of yarn you can imagine from a new stainless steel yarn .... to great acrylics! I think they will have a selection for the tiny bit yarn snob in all of us and the frugal, practical knitters we are in every day life :) Go carefully, my dear !

zkimom
01-16-2010, 10:48 AM
The Lion Brand Store in NYC ... OH MY !!!! That sounds really fun. Lion Brand has every kind of yarn you can imagine from a new stainless steel yarn .... to great acrylics! I think they will have a selection for the tiny bit yarn snob in all of us and the frugal, practical knitters we are in every day life :) Go carefully, my dear !

Really, the thought could make me giddy! cloud9

AngelaR
01-16-2010, 01:32 PM
I buy a lot of my yarn online from Yarn Collection (http://www.yarncollection.com/) because all of the yarn here is only available at Michael's, Hobby Lobby and Volde*Mart. They carry a vast collection of yarns that I just don't like, or I like and they don't have the color I want. Because they are national retailers they are only going to carry the most popular yarns and what is available one season may disappear forever the next.

But, going to the Lion Brand class in NYC... color me NVS ;)

Ellieblue
01-16-2010, 01:50 PM
another great source in the NYC area is smiley's. They have a website so you can check it out.

ckk
01-16-2010, 07:04 PM
I absolutely love this site and these forums. Find it all so helpful and everyone seems so nice!! I am looking forward to the visit and class at the Lion Brand Store. Find it very hard to pick up the techniques online or in the books. If its showed to me once i can usually pick it up quickly. I'm ready to move on from scarves!
And thanks for letting me know that the yarns at the chain stores are "acceptable"!! Otherwise I think I would have to work OT to pay for the yarn.
Heard alot about Smiley's, actually only live about 45 min from my home.Grew up not too far from there, so I guess I will be making a trip to Smiley's too!
Thanks again.

lissaplus2
01-16-2010, 08:36 PM
Will be taking a class at the Lion brand store in NYC next month

HOLY COW!!!:drool: I would love to do that...You need a knitting buddy to go with ya??:poke:

I buy from smilies too but online only...would love to go to that store too!!!

Wow!! yanno what im sayin? WOW!

anyway, back to reality..... You knit with WHATEVER tickles your fancy!!!
I should have some stock in Knitpicks i buy from them so much!! When i have something i wanna knit and they suggest a $18 per skein yarn(:noway: )...i head to knit picks for a substitute...havent been let down yet!!
Lion brand has alot of my money too!!
there are some yarns that i knit with that i will pay extra for tho because its worth it....you will grow to have preferences and learn what can be substituted and what cannot with good results... give it time...the yarn ball will have you under its spell too!!! and you will kick one of your kids outta her room because you need that space for your yarn and stuff!!! :roflhard:

WELCOME to KH!! And to the Knitting world!! :waving:

:knitting:
Melissa

borealowl
01-18-2010, 05:27 PM
Just some more thoughts on buying yarn. I too have a low budget, which is sometimes out of control. Knit with yarn you like and don't worry about the yarn snobs. I buy a lot of yarn at JoAnn's with their 40% off coupons and many sales. In particular - Patons Classic wool and Decor, both quality yarns at a reasonable price. I shop for bargains at lys stores. The mail order source I have found most reliable with good customer service is Patternworks. Right now I am knitting a rug with low price Red Heart yarn (about all it's good for) and a more expensive cardigan with Lopi yarn on sale at Patternworks. Just explore and buy what you can afford.

ArtLady1981
01-18-2010, 05:33 PM
Another idea for a yarn source, and some knitters do this almost as an addiction (treasure hunts!):

Routinely visit the second hand stores, buying up sweaters that are knit with quality yarns. Then 'deconstruct' the sweater, salvaging the yarn!

Be wary of sweaters where the seams have been 'serged' by machine. The serger 'cuts the edges' as it seams and overcasts. That type of sweater is not going to be salvagable!
You will not be able to 'frog' long lengths of yarn!

AngelaR
01-18-2010, 08:51 PM
What a wonderful idea ArtLady! I had never thought to do that.

ArtLady1981
01-18-2010, 09:48 PM
I found it! I saved this website/blog a while back!
This young woman has yarn treasure hunts down to a science!
She calls it: Recycling Sweaters For Yarn!

Here it is! (http://dawnprickett.blogspot.com/2008/01/recycling-sweaters-for-yarn.html)

WandaT
01-19-2010, 09:20 AM
Don't get me wrong ... I LOVE my local yarn shops ... and I do support them. But I also will check out my local chains for certain yarns and certain projects. It just depends on whether or not I can find what I want or need there before I'll go to my LYS. And for the most part I do consider myself somewhat of a yarn snob. LOL I love those exquisite yarns and use them when I can.

fluffybunny
01-19-2010, 06:57 PM
One thing that works out beautifully, imo, is that when you are a beginner and working on the simpler patterns (unless you are a real dynamo going for big challenges right away!) - if you buy really nice yarn, the beauty of it will make your project special, even if it is simpler in style.

When you become more proficient, sometimes you can fudge a little on yarn - perhaps run a "less than ideal" wool with a strand of mohair of angora which will really dress it up. Even then, really really nice yarn calls for simplicity, in order to show it's beauty.

So treat yourself to some really nice yarn and make something sumptuous out of it!
Donna

ArtLady1981
01-19-2010, 07:55 PM
One thing that works out beautifully, imo, is that when you are a beginner and working on the simpler patterns (unless you are a real dynamo going for big challenges right away!) - if you buy really nice yarn, the beauty of it will make your project special, even if it is simpler in style.

When you become more proficient, sometimes you can fudge a little on yarn - perhaps run a "less than ideal" wool with a strand of mohair of angora which will really dress it up. Even then, really really nice yarn calls for simplicity, in order to show it's beauty.

So treat yourself to some really nice yarn and make something sumptuous out of it!
Donna

I agree! Good advise! :thumbsup: