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Old 03-28-2008, 07:34 PM   #31
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I am in the middle like most people. Fancy yarns actually helped get me into knitting. I found them so interesting and wonderful and I had to work with them. I love to buy some luxurious hand dyed yarns, but they're not always practical.
For example, I made a lovely afghan out of Manos del Uruguay. I loved working with it and the colours are divine. Each skein cost me about $17 with tax...that's a lot when you have to buy 12. I bought them one or two at a time for about 6 months. Now the afghan is COVERED in pills. I mean literally covered. And the fringe is all felted together. Not exactly what you want in an afghan.
Next time I will use a yarn with some acrylic in it, maybe all acrylic and that is significantly cheaper. It would make washing more convenient too.
On the other hand, I have bought some wonderful sock yarns that were pricier than I would normally buy and I have never once regretted those purchases.
I hadn't really delved too far into the acrylic world until recently though. I made a blanket for the DBF's nanny for Christmas and I used Patons Shetland Chunky, which I discovered was incredibly soft and lovely to work with. Now I am working on these charity baby blankets with 100% acrylic yarn and I'm not hating it!
I think you have to like the yarn enough to work on it for a whole project, expensive or not. Also, if the whole time you're working on it you think "oh my gosh, this way so expensive" you're never going to like it.

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Old 03-29-2008, 03:45 AM   #32
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Each skein cost me about $17 with tax...that's a lot when you have to buy 12. I bought them one or two at a time for about 6 months. Now the afghan is COVERED in pills. I mean literally covered. And the fringe is all felted together. Not exactly what you want in an afghan.
Oh you poor thing! That really sucks. It's hard to tell isn't it?

I try to shop at the local yarn shop where I can simply because I know that they'll give me honest advice. They want you to come back I guess!

I do try and buy yarn that I think is lovely to the touch and is a nice colour. I'll knit with what I like although I'll only knit what I know I can afford.
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:56 AM   #33
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Expensive does not equal better, and neither does inexpensive equal inferior. I've used crappy yarn that was expensive and I've found really good yarn I like working with that was a bargain.

You have to use the best quality you can afford. If you don't like working with a type of yarn, you're less inclined to finish your project. I have UFO's that became that way because I hated the yarn I was working with.

I'm one of those people who buy yarn with specific project in mind, but I always by extra so I don't run out. A majority of my stash is made up of extra yarn left over from projects. What it really comes down to is trying to get the biggest bang for your buck. I do a lot of shopping around on the Internet to find the biggest bang for my buck.
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Old 03-29-2008, 01:04 PM   #34
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I find that it is totally subjective...I have been on a few boards where ppl are discussing yarn, and you get some ppl who are die hard natural fibre users...and others who don't mind the cheap stuff.

For me...I gauge my project. If I fall in love with a natural fibre...and I can find a really nice project for it...I will consider the cost...

But if it is for a new project I am not sure about...or can do with any old thing...I dont have any problem using whatever is on hand, or availble at Walmart (ugh) or Michaels (ugh again)

The project to me counts because some things are really better off with el chepo yarn...for example....things that are not necessarily going to be in direct contact with the skin. For example, a childs back pack. It will likely take abuse, and a lot of wear, and to knit it in really nice yarn wouldn't be worth it..

Mind you...I have also heard ppl of the mind "if it is worth knitting, then it is worth buying the best you can afford" although I do agree that the time and effort you put into something has value...I do always agree that it needs to be premium....

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Old 03-29-2008, 10:57 PM   #35
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When buying yarn I use the "pretty-touchee" rule.
If it's a pretty colour and nice to touch, I look at the price and work out if I can Afford it at the time. If I can, I buy it. If I can't, I write down the yarn and colour so I can find it again when I can afford it and have the prefect pattern in mind.
What something is made out of only comes into mind when I find the most prefect touchee yarn and the colour isn't quite right (or they don't have any of the colour I want. entire ranges without green ) then I look at other "Alpaca blends" or whatever the Yarn was.
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Old 03-30-2008, 12:13 AM   #36
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Mmm, I love the nicer and more expensive fibers, too. I love ones that feel luscious and soft, like Classic Elite Alpaca Sox (probably my favorite soxk yarn) and scartchy ones that are fabulous dyed like Noro Kureyon.
But since learning the difference between all the fibers, I think that I notice the most is that I prefer natural fibers! I mean, some acrylic blends are okay, but most all-acrylics yarns feel like I'm knitting with plastic, even if they're soft like Caron Simply Soft. I call that feeling "craplastic", because it's crappy and plastic.
The good thing for me is: I can get fairly soft natural fibers for little more than the acrylics. I DO enjoy the luxury yarns, but things like Cascade 220 and especially Lion Brand Lion Wool are soft, natural, and fairly cheap. I tend to use yarns like that as my workhorse yarn.
I love the fancy ones, but plain wool is quite lovely and aesthetically pleasing, too. And it's not too much more expensive than craplastic acrylics.

"An excellent woman, who can find? She is far more precious than jewels . . . She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands." - Proverbs 31:10;13
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Old 04-01-2008, 03:16 PM   #37
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Re: Manos del Uruguay
I want to first thank you for the report/opinion on MANOS DEL URUGUAY yarn..When I first got back into knitting again just a few months ago, I was drawn to that verigated yarn like a magnet.. It is just so beautiful. Like you say it is still in the $17.range per hank and I thought I'd wait until I was a little,(or more) better knitter before I invested that much for a sweater I'd love to have. MY GOSH,your saying that it pills like crazy would have just been a huge disappointment. I am so sorry for your disappointment as well..but thank you for sharing that info. Perhaps a good thread would be just for yarns we have used,and love,and those we don't,and why. Seems it would be benificial to all of us newbie(moi)and veterans alike.
Thanks again for the response,and head's up.
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Old 04-03-2008, 04:30 PM   #38
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I just recently was blessed with a HUGH HUGH stash (really hugh, 3 large plastic totes 4 shopping bags, 1 large lawn/leaf bag full of yarn plus 120 spools of doilly thread) from a friends Grandmother that passed. It is not all expensive yarn, I have had hours of knitting so far with this yarn. If by chance I have an extra dollar and I'm able to splurge on a LYS trip, I find it all the more special to be able to make something for someone special (grandbaby) with the more expensive yarn. There are very nice yarns out there that are inexpensive. What ever you make will be made with love and I sure anyone will be glad to receive such a gift. If the type of yarn is an issue for anyone you knit for, then I'm sure they know a bit about types of yarn and probably know how to knit and or crochet and can make something for themselves.
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Old 04-03-2008, 06:13 PM   #39
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I'm a zen knitter. What I knit has to have some sort of balance in my life. Which means that sometimes the item I desire to make will outweigh the need for more expensive yarns or the yarn is lucious enough to balance out the fact that it is outrageously expensive. Sometimes a substitution will work. Sometimes it won't. I have to decide which is more important. Really cool yarn like in the pattern or actually being able to afford the project. :D

The one thing I don't skimp on, ever, is sock yarn. I've yet to pay less than $12 for sock yarn enough for a pair (except the one time I tried knitting them from KP Pallette and was highly disapointed) For me 2 things are important with sock yarn. 1. It must be of good quality so it will hold up. 2. It must be unique enough that not everyone is going to have my socks. For me, paying $18 to have sock yarn that is unique, pretty and quality is well worth it!

I do believe that there are some yarns that are just worth the price. Other times I've found less expensive substitutions. I'm not going to pay $20 for a skein of Merino wool in a solid color that isn't all that interesting when I can get Merino wool in the same weight in a very similar color for half or a third of that price. I'm a bargain shopper, too and am willing to sit and wait for something to come on sale or find an equivelant.

Now to add to all this, there is some yarn that I just don't enjoy knitting. I'm not crazy about most acrylic yarns. When I have to knit using acrylic (like for several charity projects I've done) I find the nicest softest in the prettiest colors that I can find. I'm very texture-oriented so even if it is absolutely gorgeous, if I don't care for the feel I most likely won't buy it. I've learned too many times that if I buy it and I dont' like the way it feels in my hands I'll end up not knitting it.

You have to buy what you want and what you can afford and find what that balance is with your pocket book. Later in life, when you've won the lottery or written that NY Times bestseller then you can buy all the expensive yarns you want! Until then make due. I'd prefer to knit with Caron Simply Soft for the rest of my life than to never get to knit at all.
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