I have a problem that isn't really even a problem at all.
I've always been (and continue to be to this day) a firm believer in that idea that you do NOT have to spend a large sum of money on materials to make something beautiful out of it. Some of my favorite things I've ever knit (or otherwise made) were from inexpensively priced materials. Do I love them? Yes. Do they mean a lot to me? Absolutely. Do I regret making them from "cheap" materials? No way. Do I ask too many rhetorical questions in my blog posts? Always.
I've only recently discovered the delight that is small-batch hand- or kettle-dyed yarn. This type of fiber is more expensive because of the fact that each skein is usually unique, it takes more time to make them, and they're usually dyed by a small company. But the end result is brilliant - the color isn't flat, there are variations in tone, and the finished product is so much more stunning.
And did I mention that they're beautiful, even in the hank?
(Each of the yarns shown has a click-through link to its listing on Etsy. Check them out!)
Why this is a problem - Four words: I. WANT. THEM. ALL.
Why this really isn't a problem at all - It would be severely impractical and pretty much impossible for me to always be spending anywhere from $18 to $30 (plus shipping) on a single skein of yarn, even if it is 450 yards. But the solution is that I don't even have to worry about it if I can't afford to spend that kind of money!
HA! Take THAT, post-college debt! My practical side has defeated you once again.
Okay, well, it's not like I'm never going to spend that much on yarn, but I can't imagine it becoming something I do too often in the near future. But I can't help but want to. I know how much work and effort goes into dyeing these yarns, and I think that the small-small businesses on Etsy are a really good choice for quality hand-dyed yarns. People may disagree with me on this, saying that it's more likely we can depend on larger, more experienced retailers for better quality yarns, but I think that small-small businesses mean that people put just a little more love into what they're doing.
I could be totally off base on this, but if I ever want to buy hand-dyed yarn, I'll make my way to one of those Etsy shops I've favorited, scroll through their selection, and purchase from them. I find it really important to support small businesses if I can - and it's why I continue to go back to my favorite local yarn shop, All About Ewe, even if their yarn is a little more expensive than anything you'd find at a big name craft store. Can I always do this? No, but I do when I'm able.
Shawl 3 of 14 is being knit with beautiful yarn like this, and I can't wait to finish it and show it off. :)
(What's with the title of this post? It's something Ms. Frizzle always says on The Magic School Bus, and since that show is one of my favorite things from childhood, I had to use it. Why Carlos? Because he's a beast with the puns. My kind of kid.)