Yesterday I braved the East Bay heat and travelled to the TKGA conference to visit the market. As my knitting buddy said when we got there, we both have a phobia of people who are "guild" people. Guild...stuffy....meetings about meetings... ya. People who come up to you to inform you that you knit wrong. That's pretty mean and a big generalization, but this is my blog and dammit, I've had it happen.
But we went. And paid $7 to visit the market. Ya, what a waste of $7, even if they do send me a free magazine. $5 would have been okay.
Emily (my buddy) went looking for some Debbie Bliss, Rowan (which I was interested in as well), and a few other things. Am I spoiled by going to Stitches and paying the same amount for at least 4X the vendors? I have NOTHING against mom and pop shops (in fact, I usually shop/eat at them first as a preference) but that is all this was. We found 2 places with some Noro, no DB, no Rowan, 1 place with some Cascade (no black!!), and the rest was all hand dyed/spun/whatever.
A lot of roving too. That's cool I guess, if it wasn't a deathwish to go near it. And no bargains. So I paid to go to a market, could have gotten everything cheaper WITH shipping online, and couldn't find what I needed for my projects.
Did I mention the prices? Phew! I splurged, because I had money burning a hole in my pocket. But now I have to go out and buy MORE for the tanktops I want to make because there was nothing suitable there. Pro: Alpaca seems to be the new wool. There was TONS of it. Not like it was cheap, but hey, there was quite a bit. I almost bought more Mohair, but I was still having To Dye For flashbacks.
I have 3 requirements when I'm buying yarn. Gauge, yardage and price. Now, obviously this is asking for too much. The place with no yardage (they had hanks and hanks, but who the hell knows how much they had in them) was across from the place with no prices. At least at Tess' they had a price sheet. Of course, after finding what I wanted, it was $60 a hank and I needed 2 for a tank. So uh, no. Habu was ridiculous. Small small yardage for the privledge of knitting with twigs (um, persimmon essence or some crap, it was twigs). These little little skeins that were about as big as a bite sized brownie. What do you make with that? There were 2-3 places (including Habu) with Bamboo, which I wanted, but well, I can support HoJo and pay less money. I still want hemp and Habu was the one place that had it, but I don't want to dye my own. Oh, and I don't want to pay a zillion dollars. That too.
Okay, I'm a CHEAP yarn snob. But I did buy stuff. So not so frugal.
What I bought! A pound of black alpaca for way too much money. But its SO soft that I paid $45 for it. No gauge, but yardage. I thought I could make the Hourglass sweater out of it, but it turns out I did it again. I picked up the Laura pattern at White Lies Designs and it looks like I can make that with it too! But Ben hates it, hah. Maybe I'll still make the Hourglass. I have 1330 yds. Gauge? Who the hell knows. It looks kinda worsted *shrug*
Then just because I was there I spent way too much money on Cascade. As I said, they had no black. There was one woman there who picked up 3 balls of purple and I picked up 1. I looked at her and asked if she needed the 3rd since I needed 2 for my project, and she glared at me. Ooohhhkay. Sorry, sheesh. I offerred her the one ball I had but she sneered at me. It was $5.35 for solids, so I didn't save much at all considering I had to pay tax. I picked up a sock pattern pamphlet since I was buying Fixation and there were 3 patterns for it for $3.50.
Okay, I will bitch again. I read through the anklet pattern. CO x stitches....blah blah blah....then undo the provisional cast on...
Wait. You didn't SAY provisional cast on ANYWHERE before this. Is it so hard to write that at the beginning? Maybe I need to run a pattern writing class at the next Stitches. If you are going to charge for a pattern, use English (if that is your audience), grammar, and don't assume anything. Use a legend if you have different stitch patterns, don't assume everyone casts on the same as you do, and draw schematics of your project. Have 10 people triple check for mistakes.
Anyway, I have no yarn for any tank tops, and I'm not really in the mood to sweat all over some Alpaca sweater in July. Its actually warm here for a change. I'm not inspired to work on a sock yet, so I started the Irish Hiking Scarf from Hello Yarn. Its really fun! I'm using some leftover acrylic, but hey, its fun! Yay for cables!