Saturday, April 29, 2006

Shopping For Bargains

I bought some goodies at JoAnn’s today, and was reminded of a very real fact. There is no doubt that I am yarn wishy-washy. I like all kinds of yarn—yes, acrylics too. I only become a wool purist when it comes to socks. The sock yarn has to be good stuff, but all other knitting can run the gamut from silk to kite string, which I once used to make a big summer tote with silk flowers stitched all over it. I like seeing the result of knitting with junk yarn, and frequently buy mystery yarns. I made a large afghan for my Mother once—so large she, being five feet tall, called it a blanket. It was made from fluff I bought in a little German shop in Bayreuth (where Richard Wagner built his Festspielhaus), and as I recall, it wasn’t even a yarn shop. I didn’t know then, and I still do not know what the composition of the yarn was, because it didn’t have any labels attached. It was thrown into a bin, and could well have been made of dust bunnies, except that it was a beautiful light blue. Through the years it machine washed and wore like steel. It was still on Mother’s bed the day she left us. The afghan now resides with DD in her upstairs window seat, where she sits to read.

No one can tell me that plain old acrylic yarn doesn’t have a place in knitting. If acrylics and acrylic blends did not exist, my kids would never have had hats and gloves to ward off the Chicago chill. I could not afford wool when raising six children. All the blankies, afghans, sweaters, leg warmers—nope, no $10 to $20 a pop wool used there! I used whatever I could find in any $1 sale bin, and developed a real appreciation for cheap, easily washed, long wearing yarns.

I only bought a Chibi, cable needle, and two half-priced Susan Bates needles today, but it made me realize that a trip to JoAnn’s is like going home to me. It’s not quite the same, because they have real wool there now, but there are still enough “garbage” yarns to bring back memories of ski caps and leg warmers in school colors. Those were the days….


Anonymous said...

Katherine - Where is Thousand Trails located? In Texas I hope? Are the Comfort Zone needles sold in any stores in the D/FW metroplex? Thanks.

Gardengirl said...

Hi Katherine. I love going to JoAnn's. We don't have one here in Ontario, Canada but I do make it a point to visit the store when I visit the States. Your right about acrylics. I have a throw that a friend made for me about 20 years ago and it washes like a dream. It looks as good today as it did the day I received it.

Katherine said...

Too bad there are no JoAnn's in Ontario! I love that place. I can always come home with something--if only a bag of beads.

Thanks for the comment.