Pam MacKenzie wrote a blog post entitled "Being a Yarn Snow has it's Limitations" last week and it got me thinking. In her post Pam talks about yarn snobs limit themselves to all natural fibers or just wool. It really made me reflect on how I perceive yarn snobbery. I had always thought that a yarn snob limited themselves to more expensive and fancier yarns and wouldn't be caught dead purchasing yarn from a big box store or a craft store. I know some knitters who are like that, which was where my train of thought was coming from. I also have considered myself to be a full blown yarn snob because I only knit with yarn that I really like and isn't that what knitting is all about? Having a yarn that feels wonderful and is even prettier to look at, glide across your needles and produce something that you or someone you care about will enjoy wearing? I think we are all a little bit biased when it comes to our favorite yarns.
When I go shopping for yarn, the first thing that always gets my attention is the color. I think that's the case for most knitters, we are naturally drawn to colors that we like. If I am shopping in person and not on line the next thing I notice is how the yarn feels. I have a really hard time putting a skein of yarn down if it is really soft and luxurious to the touch. The final decision maker is how the yarn smells. Yes, I know it's weird, but I smell the yarn. I have no idea what the ladies at Maple Creek Farm use to wash their yarn with, but they really should sell it. It's fragrant but not overpowering and smells nice while I'm knitting. It's a little bonus feature that I think is pretty cool.
Of course we all have our favorite fibers to work with, and mine happens to be wool or a wool blend. I really enjoy the softness of cashmere and silk and when added to a nice merino it's like the icing on the cake. Cake is good by itself, but put some icing on it and now we are talking!
There are so many different types of yarn and fiber out there that to limit yourself to just one is like only eating one food for the rest of your life. I like to try different yarns and fibers because you never know what you might like or how they will knit up. A friend once gave me a skein of yarn that had been made from recycled bottles. Sounds weird, I know. It was kind of a boucle' and I wound up making a reusable market bag out of it.
There are some yarns that I really don't enjoy knitting with and tend to avoid. They tend to either be scratchy, contain a large amount of soy which makes me itch like I have poison ivy, or just don't feel good when I fondle them. It doesn't make them bad yarns, or yarns that shouldn't be used. They just aren't right for me.
Are you a yarn snob? If so, what makes you one?