I arrived in northern Wisconsin on Wednesday to visit family and have a couple of days at our little cottage on a lake in northern Wisconsin. August 9th is my grandmother’s 89th birthday, so I wanted to make her something. I didn’t have room to bring yarn with me, since I was travelling with the kids, and I also wanted to be sure I picked a color/style she’d actually wear. So after some consultation, I went shopping at the local big box store that I normally boycott–but it is the only place in that sells yarn in town. The small selection at the store included lots of novelty yarns at reasonable prices as well as the worsted weight acrylics frowned upon by lots of stitchers I know. I started to wonder where yarn snobbery comes from… Does price=coolness? When Coats and Clark, the makers of Red Heart also make a “high-end” line called Moda Dea and large fiber manufacturers sell the same yarn to brands with a variety of price points and distribution options, why does brand even matter? I personally never shop by brand, only by feel, weight, color, etc. Beyond the look and feel, my ideal yarns come from sustainable fibers with a low impact on the environment, i.e. organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, soy, etc. And of course, when I’m designing for publication, it makes sense to use yarns that are affordable, easy to find and have a track record. It is a lot to balance.

Oh, so what am I using for Grandma’s shawl? I chose a midnight blue color of Red Heart Symphony–a faux mohair which is the most realistic I’ve seen (a boon for vegans and those with wool allergies), and I’ve mixed it with a variagated Red Heart worsted in colors my grandmother likes. The result is really stunning–like water colors. I’m using a big hook (size P) and a simple shell stitch. I’m not quite sure how the shawl will take shape, but I’ll post a picture when it’s done.

Yarn Snobbery, or crocheting in the North Woods

4 thoughts on “Yarn Snobbery, or crocheting in the North Woods

  • August 6, 2005 at 9:20 am

    The shawl sounds lovely. I can’t wait to see pics.

  • August 8, 2005 at 5:47 am

    I’ll never understand yarn snobbery. There are so many different and great fibers out there now. I personally can’t bring myself to exclude something just because someone else think’s its ‘bad’ or not ‘cool/trendy’ enough.

    Same as you, I choose my yarns based on need, color, texture, feel, etc.

    Your shawl sounds beautiful, I look forward to see picture of it when your complete. =)

  • August 8, 2005 at 2:54 pm

    Agreed about the yarn snobbery thing. I have a soft spot in my heart (no pun intended) for Red Heart. Sometimes, there is nothing like a good acrylic in a bazillion colors in which to work up a pattern. Spoken like a true yarn ‘ho. LOL

  • August 21, 2005 at 1:32 pm

    I suspect the snobbery extends to more than just the yarns they use. Those are the folks who would insist on paying ridiculously inflated prices for a name-brand anything. I really do think THEY think it makes them “cool”. What pitiful lives they must lead!

    I too go by feel – color and texture and softness are my guides, not names! Budget also plays it’s part, good thing there is such a nice variety to choose from.

    Your shawl sounds intriguing, wish I had time to be a pattern tester. Would love to see a pic!

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