Sunday, July 15, 2007

Adventures in Cheap Yarn

Once upon a time, a few weeks ago, I almost lost my job. Long story short, my department narrowly avoided lay-offs.

After that, I felt like I needed to do something to give back. So I made a small donation to a local charity, and I decided to knit a blanket for Project Linus.

I was confident that I could make an awesome blanket out of stash yarn, because I have so much cheap practical yarn in my stash. After much debate, I realized that I had a lot of yarns that were good candidates, but none of them were going to work very well together. So I pulled out the skein of Red Heart Bright and Lofty I had in Grape Crush. This was the first yarn I bought at the Sumter County Walmart when I started knitting again in 2004 for the first time since elementary school. Apparently, I had a skein leftover.

So I went to Walmart again (this time an Austin Walmart) and bought two more skeins of the yarn, one in Bubblegum and one in Ocean. I thought thought surely this was enough for a kiddie blanket. And the blanket would still be one third stash yarn.

But as I approached the halfway point, it became clear I would need more. At least it'd be one sixth stash yarn. So I went back to Walmart and bought a skein of Ocean and a skein of Bubblegum...and couldn't find Grape Crush.

I looked at another Walmart, Michaels Hobby Lobby and Joann. No luck. I couldn't even find Bright and Lofty at Michaels, Joann and the Hobby Lobby in North Austin.

So I stopped by the Hobby Lobby in South Austin while I was in the neighborhood yesterday. And there, hiding on the bottom shelf, was Bright in Lofty in Grape Crush.

It was on clearance. Yet it was "New!"as well. I have a feeling it had been there a long time.

They also had one of my favorite practical yarns, Wool Ease Chunky. I don't mean the worsted. I don't mean the Thick and Quick. Chunky. And, as usual, the color selection sucked.

Wool Ease Chunky doesn't get the credit it deserves. It is overshadowed by the Thick and Quick. In fact, I've seen stores get the two confused in ads.

Which is a shame, because Wool Ease Chunky is awesome. It is faster than the Wool Ease Worsted, yet it is not nearly as bulky, making it much more practical.

So, to recap for all you purveyors of practical yarn:

1. Wool Ease Chunky is different than Wool Ease Thick and Quick.

2. Wool Ease Chunky is awesome, and it needs to be easier to find in more colors.

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