Here's the deal. I have been beating myself up about how much yarn I buy for as long as I've been knitting. I didn't realize it until I went back through my blog gathering photos of old projects for Ravelry (which rocks, btw, if you are still on the wait list be patient, they are adding new people constantly). Way back when my posts sounded exactly the same as they do now - constantly justifying my yarn purchases. Screw that. Why do I do that? I enjoy buying yarn! It's currently my only money sucking vice. I rarely buy clothes or shoe anymore & I have no clue why I feel the need to justify it to myself - obviously to myself since not THAT many people read my blog - and to people that I knit with. Or other knitters who by & large buy as much as much yarn as I do. It's not that much & for goodness sake, no matter how many podcasters / bloggers compare yarn to crack, at least it literally isn't CRACK. I mean, it could be worse.
There has also been some discussion of yarn snobbery in my local group lately. It seems that someone made a comment that they went to a meet up where many people were using Red Heart & other forms of acrylic & that it was nice that it was about the craft & not about the yarn. Hum. That made me do some thinking.
I use acrylic & acrylic blends as much as any other fiber when appropriate. Acrylic at the LYS isn't any more expensive than acrylic at Walmart. Should I be snubbed when I'm paying the same yard per yard for similar yarn because I went to the LYS? Gee, I sure hope not. I'd rather support a local woman owned business before a billion dollar conglomerate any day of the week. Right now I'm making a Lucy in the Sky cardigan. The yarn that I'm using is an acrylic / wool blend that I got at a LYS for less than $50. Am I more or less noble because of this? Would it be snobbier if I had used Karabella Aurora (the yarn I'm looking at for another sweater on my wish list)? I guess I don't get it. For me it's about the process & making something for myself that I enjoy making & will enjoy wearing. This time around it's a cheap acrylic blend. Watch out, next time it might be expensive cashmere. I don't expect the women I knit with to comment either way - quite frankly it's none of their business. But they wouldn't do that or I wouldn't knit with them, you know?
I guess I equate yarn buying to the way I buy clothes. I buy some of my clothes at Walmart or the thrift stores. They are perfectly good clothes & I wear them a lot. They are totally useful & I wash them a trillion times with no problems & I don't worry much about them because they are sturdy & durable. But sometimes I just want to go to Nordstrom & plop down a pile of money on a nice sweater. I have to hand wash it & care for it differently. I'm ok with that because I deserve it & it has a place in my closet just like my less expensive clothes. Same with my stash. I have all types of yarn in there & it all has it's place. Knitting for me is about the craft. But golly - it's also about the yarn. One of the features that I love the most about Ravelry is that you can search for a pattern & see what kind of yarn everyone used for that project. I love to see the range of yarns that were used for the same thing, it doesn't make the project any more or less beautiful. Work with what you can get, you know?
I think meet ups are a great place to view / touch / exchange yarn experiences - that's one of the the things that love about meet ups! I love that some of my friends buy yarn that I may or may not be able to buy or may or may not WANT to buy. I like to be "in the know" about my yarn choices & that is one way that I learn more. I like to be able to touch & feel yarns that I've heard about or have seen on the internet. Sometimes it makes me want the yarn more, sometimes not. Not every knitter has the same color & touchy feely preferences - I might not want the yarn someone else buys but I enjoying seeing it. I enjoy seeing the joy it brings it's owner. I think that's part of the knitting camaraderie & experience.
I know in my life that I won't always have the most expensive house, clothes, car, shoes, handbag or yarn. I love the women in my life that have more & less than me & I don't judge them either way. I'm surely not going to stop enjoying the company of women who chose to spend $500 on their handbag because I'm a $20 handbag kind of girl. To each her own I say - I'd rather spend my money on yarn. And I am. And I'm not apologizing for it anymore so say goodbye to the yarn diet ticker & purchasing guilt forever! Good riddance I say!