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sedgwick
Warming Up

87 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2003 :  5:41:56 PM  Show Profile Send sedgwick a Private Message
I love this place. I cruise around here reading about what y'all are making now, getting good suggestions for how to solve little knitting problems, being inspired by the young ones who are just starting out and making sassy, uninhibited knitting and by the old ones who have kept the flame of knitting alive during the times when hardly anyone was interested.

In one way, though, I find myself feeling out of place, so I thought I'd see if I really am. Here's the thing: I never buy beautiful yarns. I always buy yarn at places like Walmart and Michael's, or on ebay where I can get acrylic yarns in big batches for little money. I use Sugar and Cream for a lot of projects, am using kitchen cotton for the hobo bag (which is turning out great!), and feel that the kitchen cotton at about $3.59 for 6 oz is pretty expensive.

I knit afghans for charity and some items for myself. I want things to be washable and inexpensive, I don't want to have to worry about fabric care or expense. I'm not much interested in mohair or eyelash or other interesting surfaces--neither to buy in something ready-made, nor to work with. I have bought some chenille on ebay recently, and that's about as fancy as I will get.

I imagine there are lots of people like me, else Michael's and Walmart and those places wouldn't sell all that yarn. But there seems to be a significant difference between serious knitters who use handpainted yarns, handspun yarns, etc., and other knitters. Not that I have ever picked up anywhere on this site that people who work only in no-dye-lot acrylics are unserious knitters--not at all. I get that really from the knitting magazines which to my mind rarely have anything of interest for me.

I consider myself a serious, as well as a long-time, knitter. And I doubt I will ever knit with wool again, much less any of the other wonderful fibers available.

What do you think about this question? Maybe it exists only in my own mind, and no one else even thinks about it. If so, whew! Even if not, no problem. I'll still love this place--but I'll pipe down about my materials.

sedgwick

Ditzy Girl
Permanent Resident

USA
4723 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2003 :  5:55:02 PM  Show Profile Send Ditzy Girl a Private Message
Sedgwick, Here is my answer they main reason I don't use redheart anymore is it makes such heavy sweaters and as for sugar and cream I don't like the way it hangs. That said I spend a lot of money on sugar and cream for my dishclothes that I give as gifts. Redhart I don't really use much any more simply because I don't like the way it feels. I really like the Takhi cotton because it has a wonderful feel, machine washable and is no more expensive than redheart especially if you can get on sale. Unlike you most of my knitting is small sweater for my gd so I don't have the expense that you have making a afghan or the like. I have bought some really beautiful yarn on E Bay, but the price was right. I mainly buy the yarns that I love the feel while I'm knitting. If what you knit with works for you why change?

Zola
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kdcrowley
Permanent Resident

USA
4773 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2003 :  6:10:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit kdcrowley's Homepage Send kdcrowley a Private Message
There is alot to be said for inexpensive and readily available yarns for the knitting that you do. That said, there is a quiet little store in my town. She sells mostly acrylic yarns that are made by Patons and others that are absolutely gorgeous and reasonably priced.

But, you know, I want the knitting experience to be fun and varied. I am really enjoying those 'fancy' yarns, especially as I doubt that they will be around for very long. They will go out of style and you know what, the plain wools, cottons and acrylics will still be around and there will be something new around the corner. Plus, at some point, I am going to start making those aran and really textural sweaters that I love, and those novelties just won't do it for those designs.

And let's not lose sight of the fact that many cities and towns don't have the mid-scale yarn stores that we all drool over. So sedgwick, you knock yourself out with the yarn that YOU enjoy using! Don't feel out of it, just because you aren't into the fancy stuff that alot of us get carried away with. We would love to hear from you more often!

Kelley

Everywhere you go, there you are! Imagine that....
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OryxRun
Seriously Hooked

USA
625 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2003 :  6:35:18 PM  Show Profile Send OryxRun a Private Message
[brown]My dearest sedgwick, I am also a Walmart, Michaels, and AC Moore shopper. I love to knit and some of the yarn items they have suit me just fine. If I had the means i would love to indulge. As a matter of fact I want to try my hand at socks and because they are an item that will take a lot of abuse (especially from my husband & sons) i have done some research here and will probably spend a little more. But it's the craft itslef that i love. Nothing gives me more pleasure that to make something, even if it's just a scarf and pass it on. Now i also believe the acrylic yarn manufacturers have come a long way with the textures they now make, and most of the colors are so much fun. Another factor is one never knows if the person they are knitting for is allergic to wool. I always like to play it safe. ... I still love to knit and chat...I'm glad you said what you had to say because now you know I'm here too.
Ciao 4 now[brown]


Mary
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reelgrrrl
Chatty Knitter

USA
229 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2003 :  7:02:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit reelgrrrl's Homepage Send reelgrrrl a Private Message
just letting you know youre not the only one! Im the same! Although I do love my LYS and splurge if its something really special

http://cherryduckie.blogspot.com/
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diane leirer
Chatty Knitter

USA
299 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2003 :  7:13:22 PM  Show Profile Send diane leirer a Private Message
Sedgwick, I think it comes down to what is affordable, available, and what you are ultimately comfortable working with. I tend to be a purist with fiber--esp. if it is going to be touching my skin. I like the natural fibers for their breathe-a-bility.
I also am a little cautious about using synthetic yarn--maybe a little neurotic. My grandmother knit a lot--afghans, sweaters, hats for all of her children and grandchildren. When she was in her eighties, she was in the habit of holding hew knitting very close to her face to see it better. The synthetic yarns over period of time broke off in little air-born fibers that floated on her eyes and collected in her lower lid. She did not know what was happening until she had an infection and it did some damage to her vision. I think that synthetic yarns tend to be more brittle. But it certainly makes me wonder if natural fibers can do the same thing.

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onestitchshort
Chatty Knitter

USA
106 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2003 :  8:12:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit onestitchshort's Homepage Send onestitchshort a Private Message
I'm a new knitter and, honestly, only familiar right now with the yarns sold at Hobby Lobby and Michaels (although Hobby Lobby has a way better selection to me). I went into a LYS today for the first time and found myself totally intimidated. It's not that the people weren't nice, it's just that I don't even know where to start. I don't think that I knew that many different types of yarns existed! I don't know what's good for one project or bad for another and I often feel silly asking, even though I know that there are no stupid questions. So, until I tire of the selection at Hobby Lobby, I'll stay there. Eventually I hope to learn about other yarns and see what is out there and then I will make an educated decision concerning which yarns to use. You guys will be instrumental in my journey to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of other yarns, I'm sure. It's great to have options, isn't it?
Sarah

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OryxRun
Seriously Hooked

USA
625 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2003 :  8:50:39 PM  Show Profile Send OryxRun a Private Message
You know what they say about opinions, don't you?
Everyone is entitled to OURS!!!
Great to meet the two of you. I love to read the women with all the stars. The just r 2 funny sometimes. Insightful and they know their stuff!
Ciao 4 now


Mary
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emanonx
Chatty Knitter

USA
161 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2003 :  9:54:07 PM  Show Profile Send emanonx a Private Message
whats up, i shop at walmart for my yarn mostly...and micheals when they have a sale (but they seem to jack the prices up more than walmart ever would)

i love the lions brand yarns, yes i do, and the cotton yarns are great! also the denim crochet yarn that you can get at walmart is *awesome* and so cheap!! it doesn't shrink like other denim yarns, ie. expensive rowan, and is *perfect* for that denim touch :) (yes, i am addicted to denim)

even chicknitter bonne marie burns (http://chicknits.com) admits to loving a good bargain!

check out ebay if you want something special too, you can get some really good deals there! i know i have, especially in 'off season' :)

[Jenn - moonglitter@moonglitter.net]

KnitFemme:
http://moonglitter.net/knitfemme/ http://moonglitter.net/luster/ Luster Soapwork - Natural bath and beauty products made by me!
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2003 :  10:04:03 PM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
Dear Sedgewick,

90% of the yarn I use is purchased at Walmart.....why.....because that is all that is available to me. I am allergic to wool and cannot use anything except acrylics and synthetics and cottons. I am knitting now with my very first handpaint cotton and rayon yarn. i would loke to say to all that find Red Hearts plasticky and hard, to pick up Red Heart Soft the next time. It comes in the same colors, size of skeins, and price but is very soft and feels totally different from the usual Red Heart yarn. I only make slippers out of the regular Red Heart because I do feel it wears a little better. A beautiful sweater can be beautiful because it is made from a beautiful yarn, but most of them are beautiful because they were made by a beautiful knitter.

fran

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chrisknit
Chatty Knitter

Australia
279 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2003 :  10:06:14 PM  Show Profile Send chrisknit a Private Message
Depends on what I'm knitting as to what fibre I'll use. I love good quality wools and cottons, they feel so lovely and the colours are often outstanding, but then I'll do a toy for my son out of the cheap acrylic at the local k-mart or spotlight. But I must say a lot of synthetic yarn can be very expensive and I wonder if it's worth the price in durability.
Chrissy


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Marg in Mirror
Permanent Resident

Canada
3205 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2003 :  10:10:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit Marg in Mirror's Homepage  Send Marg in Mirror a Yahoo! Message Send Marg in Mirror a Private Message
Sedgwick,

It's pretty well all been said...but...for years I knit only with Sayelle or orlon from Mary Maxim or Lewiscraft. Sometimes I splurged on washable Patons wool blends (I still think they have great stuff!). Knit what you want with what you like to work with. I am just at the stage now where I can afford to treat myself to some higher-priced wools. I'm not that fond of cotton, just because it doesn't have the body that wool does, and so ribbings don't always fit right on me. I also haven't explored mohairs and such very much, and cashmere -- even on sale -- is right out of my league, esp. with the exchange on the $CDN.

So...enjoy what you're doing and don't fuss about where you got your materials!

-- Marg in Calgary

TLWKOTB
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sedgwick
Warming Up

87 Posts

Posted - 02/24/2003 :  11:17:12 PM  Show Profile Send sedgwick a Private Message
Well, gosh, it's clear that I'm not alone. I love to hear about the great yarns people use and how much you love trying new things. And I must say it has helped me feel at home here to know that lots of folks use the (now much softer) acrylics.

We have a new Hobby Lobby near my house--I'm going over there tomorrow to check out their selection. Woo-hoo!

sedgwick (who appreciates all the support)
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Jane
SustaYning Member

USA
4377 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2003 :  05:17:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit Jane's Homepage Send Jane a Private Message
I came to kntting through a back door, so to speak --- weaving and spinning -- so I have always used natural fibers. Not because I am a yarn snob, but more because I choose them based on their physical properties and what they bring to my design. I "know" them better, and can manipulate them and take advantage of them. That said, I've no qualms about using synthetics for the right reasons -- durability, intended use, recipient's preferences, etc. As for availability -- I am someone who doesn't have a Walmart or a craft store anywhere nearby, nor do I have a LYS, so my yarn excursions are made after much planning and take a lot of time, and I usually head for a yarn store with more selection than the Walmart has. I buy a lot online, too.

I love KR because every time I check in there's an interesting discussion like this one going on. We're all serious knitters, in my opinion, or else we wouldn't be talking about this! Hooray for all of us! Thanks, Sedgwick.

Jane
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BlueStocking
Sustaining Member

USA
945 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2003 :  08:21:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit BlueStocking's Homepage Send BlueStocking a Private Message
Hi Sedgwick!

I just figured I'd add my , too ... even though it's pretty much the same as everyone else's . Use what you like, use what you can afford -- the important thing is you're KNITTING!

The thing that I love about KR and everyone here is that, yep, we're a fairly opinionated bunch, but not at all a judgmental bunch.

Happy Knitting!

Jen


"What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?"

check out my knitting: http://TheSpiritTrail.blogspot.com
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2003 :  08:30:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
I go almost entirely on texture - don't care if it's "high quality" or not, I just care if it feels good to knit with (of course, color is important to what I buy as well, but no sense in falling in love with a color that makes me break out in hives!)

And a little secret - at the retreat last November, I brought a scrap of cheap yarn so I could practice new stitches without interrupting my WIP - several different people knat (?) on my swatch, each of them complimented me on how nice the yarn was. It was Sugar and Cream. Bought at WalMart. I had a very proud "only her hairdresser knows for sure" moment.

Buy what you like. I've found the people (on this board anyway) may be picky about what they knit with themselves, but won't judge you for your own choices. KNIT ON WITH PRIDE!

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
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sedgwick
Warming Up

87 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2003 :  08:36:26 AM  Show Profile Send sedgwick a Private Message
Jen, I did check out your knitting blog, listed in your signature, and I loved the photos of your knitting. Margie is going to be one happy camper when she gets her afghan! Woo-ee!

And RoseByAny, I love the word "knat," although I'm sure my beloved Dictionary of Modern American Usage would say "knitted." Thanks for your motto: Knit on with pride! Yep, that's all of us here, all right. What a great place.

sedgwick
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Atavistic
Permanent Resident

6604 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2003 :  1:38:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit Atavistic's Homepage Send Atavistic a Private Message
quote:

Buy what you like. I've found the people (on this board anyway) may be picky about what they knit with themselves, but won't judge you for your own choices. KNIT ON WITH PRIDE!



Amen. This is the least judgemental board that I've been on. I have yet to see the yarn snobs that I see elsewhere.

Amanda

Mindy to Heidi: Did I tell you she knits in class? She knits away and two weeks later she comes in wearing a new sweater!
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marfa
Permanent Resident

USA
1994 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2003 :  3:53:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit marfa's Homepage Send marfa a Private Message
How do.
Sedgwick, my experience w/the KR Forum is this: folks are glad to be here, glad to have others here too & glad that we're all knitting! Folks do have their favs (we all do w/different "items" & there is a David Letterman Top 10 List for just about everything under the sun) & no one imposes the "You should..." edict on anyone else.
Re the sources of yarns available to us, there are WalMarts, Michael's & AC Moore stores w/in a 30 minute drive. My preferred palce is the LYS - I do love my LYS. I'm able to ask ??s, take classes, be inspired by what I see & hear. And I know I'm lucky to have a selection of places to go for yarn.
Whatever floats your boat via texture, price & yarn brand, go for it! Glad to read about your tho'ts & experiences - please keep sharing.

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Gelsomina
Chatty Knitter

250 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2003 :  4:52:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit Gelsomina's Homepage Send Gelsomina a Private Message
I'm new to knitting but not new to getting a bargain on things. I'm obsessed with it even though I can afford to buy whatever I want (joy of being a single professional.)

I love buying bargain yarns because I love the thrill of making something out of almost nothing. I don't care if RH or LB or other Walmart yarns are not en vogue, because I know whatever I knit will end up tres chic.

I have had disappointments with some Walmart yarns though, but at the same time I know that people have run into disappointments with the expensive stuff as well.

Just because something is pricey and en vogue doesn't mean it's good. Thank goodness for websites that aren't afraid to pooh-pooh snob yarns.

I think you're effort and creativity are what really count. Anyone can knit up something blah in expensive Rowan yarns, right? Might as well go to the store and buy a sweater, it'll be cheaper that way anyway.

You go, girl!!!

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