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The scene outside of Three Bags Fulls Belated Boxing Day sale.

The scene outside of Three Bags Full's Belated Boxing Day sale.

In recent weeks my knitting friends have been telling me about the wonder that is the annual Belated Boxing Day sale at Three Bags Full. Upon seeing the sale flyer posted on their website on Friday, I decided to throw my budget to the wind and indulge myself in some serious yarn shopping.

Now, I still stand by the statements I made in the past. I do want to avoid stashing without purpose. I only want to purchase yarn with specific projects in mind. But I may have dropped the “can make in the foreseeable future” aspect of those statements in the name of bulk savings. Oh, who am I kidding? I definitely purchased a few things that I still, upon a day’s reflection, have no idea what I’m going to use for.

I have a big bonus coming through this week, which means that I don’t really have to feel guilty about breaking (er, shattering) my budget. The whole experience was fun, and it gave me some food for thought.

I’m really grateful to be able to afford natural fibres. Acrylic has its place, but I would always prefer to purchase something naturally produced. I’m also very grateful that I’m finally at the point in life where I can choose to be extravagent now and then. I can choose to splurge on Rowan Felted Tweed, instead of using Paton’s Classic Merino (which still remains my favourite.) I can choose to treat myself to some Kidsilk Haze, which really will accept no substitutes. I can choose to support independant yarn stores, rather than trekking to Michaels, where I know I’d get more for less.

Basically, I can choose to spend my money how I see fit. Not that I don’t have a budget, and “afford” is a bit arbitrary when you’re paying down a student loan. But I can still buy groceries and pay my rent and my bills AND buy fancy-pants yarn, which is really a blessing.

The security, I mean. Not the yarn.

Usually, I’d like to be a little more thrifty. I’m totally excited to make a bunch of sweaters out of Paton’s Classic and Cascade this year. But I firmly believe in the old saying, “everything in moderation, including moderation…” and this was definitely an “including moderation” sort of weekend.

So, without further yammering… my acquisitions:

Malabrigo Sock - Stonechat

Malabrigo Sock - Stonechat

Malabrigo Sock - Persia

Malabrigo Sock - Persia

Malabrigo Sock - Archangel (I ended up with two of these...)

Malabrigo Sock - Archangel

Blue Sky Alpacas Brushed Suri - Candied Apple

Blue Sky Alpacas Brushed Suri - Candied Apple

Fiddlesticks Knitting Zephyr Wool-Silk Laceweight - Mahogony

Fiddlesticks Knitting Zephyr Wool-Silk Laceweight - Mahogony

Mission Falls 136 Merino Superwash - 003 & 023

Mission Falls 136 Merino Superwash - 003 & 023

Rowan Felted Tweed - SH151

Rowan Felted Tweed - SH151

Lovely, non?

I have some lace projects in mind, and a sweater, and a specific mitten pattern. The sock yarn… I’ll have to get back to you on that one. But it was so pretty…

Selecting yarn really only took 15 minutes. Waiting in line to pay for the yarn, however, took over two hours. Which sounds like hell to the average person, but I actually found it strangely comforting. I had two whole hours with which to obsess, overthink, change my mind and change it back again. What I ended up paying for was very different than what I first entered the line with. It was very convenient that the lineup ran around the perimeter of the store, so you could drop things off and pick new things up as you made your way through it.

Despite all this time, though, I managed to make one poor decision. The Brushed Suri was for a particular project that I thought simply needed a sort of haloed look, but upon coming home I realized I really should have bought laceweight. So I ventured back out there again today (this is my punishment for being neurotic) to treat myself to some Kidsilk Haze.

Of course, I didn’t escape that easily.

I walked out with three more skeins of Mission Falls 136, for a baby sweater I need to make before February 1st, as well as a skein of Smooshy sock yarn wich I have NO IDEA what I will use for. But isn’t the colourway pretty?

Mission Falls 136 Merino Superwash - 001 & 003

Mission Falls 136 Merino Superwash - 001 & 003

Dream in Colour Smooshy Sock Yarn - Petal Shower (personally, I would have called this one Neopolitan...)

Dream in Colour Smooshy Sock Yarn - Petal Shower (personally, I would have called this one Neopolitan...)

Rowan Kidsilk Haze - 582

Rowan Kidsilk Haze - 582

Also, I picked up a second skein of Malabrigo Sock in Archangel, after someone pointed out that it would make a really pretty shawl. Damn enablers.

I’m fighting the buyer’s remorse. I’m thrilled with my purchases, but I feel like a consumer whore. That said, I saved close to seventy dollars, which is really nothing to sneeze at. I won’t need to buy yarn anytime soon, unless I come up with a necessary gift project that requires more than one skein of sock yarn (single skiens of sock yarn are apparently my weakness, which is troublesome, considering I don’t really knit socks.)

But the final test – does my yarn still fit in its basket?

The limits of my yarn universe.

The limits of my yarn universe.

All tucked in...

All tucked in.

… Yes! Which pleases me, because I’m not willing to let it expand any further.

Really.

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9 Comments

  1. Oh my, I am drooling, literally DROOLING over your newly acquired stash. Wow, just gorgeous. I’m with you on the lucky to be able to afford to buy nicer yarn. I really am lucky and love that I can splurge every once in a while. I’m afraid I’ve become a bit of a yarn snob, though, and just flat out refuse to knit with acrylic. I’m trying not to spend much money on yarn this year, though, so I’m very lucky that I have a very large stash to go through without having to buy fancy-pants yarn to do my knitting with, LOL!

    • bitchnstitches
    • Posted January 12, 2009 at 09:09
    • Permalink

    It’s hard to spend that much money all at once, on ridiculously extravagant things, and not feel dirty. But I have a feeling I’ll be glad I did it in the coming months.

    I wouldn’t say I refuse to knit with acrylic – I think it has its place. I would still choose it for things like afghans, which really should be thrown in the washer on hot now and then, and really would be ridiculously expensive to knit with 100% wool. Nobody wants to cold-water hand-wash something that’s been baby-barfed on, you know?

    But I really believe that, in general, it’s better to use the things already provided to us by nature than it is to manufacture something completely new. This belief spills over into every aspect of my life (butter vs. margarine, leather vs. PVC, etc) and would completely prevent me from becoming a vegan (despite my being very aware of the downsides of my choice, including potential animal cruelty, chemical pollution, etc.)

    I’ve done a lot of research on the subject and I feel it’s the best choice for me; that the downsides of my choice are less than the downsides of the alternative, and easier to mitigate. That said, someone else may come up with a totally different result if they have different priorities and values than me.

    But, bottom line is… everyone should knit with yarn that makes them happy :)

    Okay clearly this is going to be the subject of a blog post in the future, isn’t it?

    • preita
    • Posted January 12, 2009 at 10:10
    • Permalink

    You bought some beautiful yarn. I don’t even see sock yarn as stashing because it’s so small comparatively to other project stashes :)

    I wish my stash fit into one neat little basket. This is why I’m not allowing any new yarn into my house till May, I need to knit down my stash. And I’m only allowing myself yarn in May because I’m traveling & souvineer yarn isn’t really stashing ;)

  2. I am so jealous of the fabulous yarn stash you acquired. It sounds like a fabulous experience; getting together with like minded individuals whilst picking and choosing the best yarn for you!

    I also wish I could get my stash in one basket. You are remarkably disciplined, or an exceptionally fast knitter.

    • bitchnstitches
    • Posted January 12, 2009 at 14:09
    • Permalink

    I only became so obsessed with knitting relatively recently. Until this year, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to even visit a yarn shop, let alone purchase yarn, if I didn’t have a specific project that required it. So that’s part of it.

    The other part is finances – I’ve only been out of university since 2006, and I spent 5 years studying with little-to-no income and a growing student loan. I’m now in the process of paying off that loan, so it always feels a bit funny making extravagant purchases. But hey, gotta live sometimes, right?

    The final part is just a philosophical problem I have with caving in to my want-monster… I’m always trying to be aware of my desire to aquire things, and curb it whenever possible. They’re just things, after all. There will always be beautiful yarn for me to buy. Also, I’m quite messy, so the less stuff I have, the less stuff I have to make a mess of :)

    PS – love your name :)

    • silencepainter
    • Posted January 14, 2009 at 19:36
    • Permalink

    What a great little stash you just built up!

    I can understand the feelings of guilt, but I think you did the smart thing! You bought yarn that you probably would have needed to buy anyway, and got it at a better price!

    • bitchnstitches
    • Posted January 15, 2009 at 18:24
    • Permalink

    You have to treat yourself now and then… I forget that sometimes :)

  3. my local yarn store was having a moving sale the other day and I couldn’t buy a thing. Now I’m sad. I might prefer to feel guilty.

    • bitchnstitches
    • Posted January 19, 2009 at 16:07
    • Permalink

    It’s a lose-lose situation, sometimes.


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  1. By slurp! « b i t c h n s t i t c h e s on 11 Mar 2009 at 9:11 am

    […] flip-flopper, I couldn’t bear to go out and buy yet another skein of yarn, considering how much I acquired in January. Pawing through my stash basket, the only thing that stuck out as appropriate was this skein of […]

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