Yarn Festival Season: How to Strategize Your Shopping

 

With so many great yarn and fiber festivals coming up, you are very likely to be making some purchases, some of which are planned, and many of which are probably .... not planned.To avoid coming home with all sorts of things you don't really know what to do with, we've got some tips on how to strategize your yarn and fiber shopping: 
  1. What patterns/projects would you like to make in the next 4 months? Make a list, and get really clear on what knitting/crochet patterns will be getting your attention in the near future. Write down the yarn information: you should have the yardage you need, the yarn weight, and the fiber content listed - a worsted weight alpaca and silk blend is going to knit up very different than a worsted weight natural wool. You will want to find yarns for your chosen patterns that are similar in fiber to what the original pattern calls for. 
  2. Consult your stash. Do some of the patterns on your list require more than one colour, or have you perhaps forgotten about a sweater's worth of that perfect yarn you have stashed away somewhere? Check your stash against your project list, and figure out if you have anything that will work for some of those items. 
  3. Pick out some 'One Skein Wonder" patterns before you go. Ideally, consider a few fingering weight and worsted weight patterns (again, making note of the yardage, weight, and fiber content) that will encourage you to discover a new yarn, or impulse buy a colourway that speaks to you. If you already know of some single skein projects that you would like to make, then those surprise skeins that will find their way into your bag will be all the more wonderful when you get them home. 
  4. Don't forget tools and notions! Do you need new stitch markers? You probably do. What about a some new project bags, stitch dictionaries, buttons, a drop spindle, beads, or a shawl pin? Think about some of the 'nice to have' items that add joy to your crafting experience that aren't  necessarily fiber. They can be wonderful finds at festivals, and you are likely to find things you can't find anywhere else. 
  5. Bring your list, cash (for snacks and drinks!) and a couple of shopping totes. Relax and have  fun- discover new-to-you yarns and indie businesses, people watch, squish all the sumptuous yarn. Don't stress about getting everything on your list, and have fun choosing some single skeins that really speak to you for those One Skein Wonder projects you'll be whipping up soon! 
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