Friday, 28 August 2015

Yarn buying guilt

I will admit right now, I am not a shopper. I only enjoy shopping in a couple of stores: yarn stores and book stores. I can pass every other store on the block except the coffee shop. I like them too. Mostly because I can knit and read there while I drink coffee.

I’ve been working in a yarn shop for the past 2 weeks where I usually work only 1 or 2 days a week. Seeing customers come in day after day is enlightening and discouraging. The hesitation and guilt we (me included) attach to buying yarn which we quite often knit and give away, is incredible to see, time after time after time.
I understand not being able to afford some yarns. I get that. I can't afford everything in the store either. But when I walk into a yarn store I really try to have a good time. I am intending to buy something and want to enjoy the process of deciding which yarn and colour and what I'm going to make. Anticipation, excitement.  But quite often that is not what I hear in my head and now have heard several times every day as customers discuss their purchase, or not.

I go into a coffee shop because I like coffee and getting it in a cafĂ© is a treat which I enjoy. But sometimes I end up saying “I’d really like a large latte with a vanilla flavour shot but I only need a coffee so I should get the regular cup of coffee, but boy I really would like the latte, it’s so yummy and now I can’t make up my mind, oh dear, look how good that latte she’s getting looks, the regular coffee doesn’t look nearly so appealing next to that and I do have coffee at home after all but sitting here for a little bit would be so lovely, the line to the cash is getting shorter and I’m starting to panic about making a decision so … I’ll just go home without anything.” What is that?!

Defence against yarn buying guilt:
1.  Start knitting something right away. Stand in the store and cast on, really, I bet they wouldn't mind. In fact if I'm behind the cash I would gladly do it for you.
2.  Go home and finish something, anything. It's OK to have 15 projects on your needle as long as something is getting done on a regular basis. Now cast on something new. Doesn't that feel good?
3.  Do a charity knit. Make a hat, mittens or doll for your local mitten tree at Christmas or your favourite organization which distributes knitting. Everyone benefits and someone is feeling the love. Your love of knitting and giving.
4.  Gift or swap old stash yarn. This could be fun. Have a little party, swap yarn and listen to someone else get excited about yarn that has been sitting at the back of your stash. You know you have some.

Do you have some more suggestions for alleviating this debilitating knitting problem?

Note to self: Buy the damn latte!
- Deb


  1. Someone once told me not to think of it as a stash but as a "collection" . So think of it as adding to the collection one skein at a time and smile .

  2. My stash is already huge and stable (Stash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy!!) and I've been through this scenario many times. Thank goodness I'm not alone ☺

    My husband complains when I give yarn away, but I can't see the difference in knitting for a charity (which I often do), giving it to a charity, or giving it to someone else to knit for a charity. Men, huh?!


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