Disappointing Stash Enhancement

I say disappointing because as I progress into the world of crochet I'm coming across some more expensive yarns that I really enjoy working with, but at the moment I just can't afford to buy any. (insert whine here)

I'm working on a series of shawls and throw blankets for Christmas gifts. They're gifts for the kids in the family (ranging in age from 3-13) and the parents would be pretty ticked off to receive something that wasn't easy to care for. Who wants to handwash a toddler's blanket for instance, after she drags it around the floor? This factor and the recent demise of my finances due to Mark's surgery led me down the path of a Red Heart shopping spree (that cost me under $30 no less). So for my nephew's ultra boy blanket I purchased 3 more skeins of camoflauge and one skein of black for the border since I'm running out of both and need it desperately. For my baby niece's blanket I picked up 3 skeins of RH in Lavendar and 1 skein in Amethyst for the border. She's in a phase where she will only wear or use purple items and hopefully that won't change by Christmas. I grabbed 4 skeins of black to make two shawls, one for my brother's girlfriend and one for myself for a one-time wear. I know the girlfriend will want something she can throw in with her normal washables so acrylic would be best for her. For mine, I know it will be a one time wear and I don't really want to spend the money on something I won't appreciate or use often. The thought of making it is actually kind of a chore, but unless I can find a really cheap wrap, shawl, shrug, etc. that looks good with this dress (which I can't because I define cheap as under $5), then I'm shit out of luck. Lastly I got three skeins in Nickel for yet one more shawl for another family member who will also refuse to take any special care of a garment. I've got two more shawls in the works for a 12 and a 13 year old, a scarf idea and lastly a felted purse I'm working on (G Hook! I'm doing it right this time!).

It's funny how the shawl thing just took off like crazy for my family and friends. I made one for myself because I'm always cold and it's nice to throw it around myself when I'm watching TV. Now everyone wants one, even picky 13 year olds. That's fine by me, they're so easy and quick. And cheap.

With the yarn I bought today online and the stash I have at home, I will be able to make about 15 Christmas gifts. That's 15 gifts that won't feel like I have spent any real money to speak of. I hope to have all of these done before the summer's end. What a relief to not have to shop this year. I will really appreciate that come December when I can stay home away from the crowds. Yep, I'm already stressing about Holdiay money and shopping and it's only April 19th.

I don't mean to sound like a yarn snob in regards to the RH. I'm really not. When I first started to crochet again recently I would go on these shopping sprees where I would buy 1 skein of something I liked and I would make a hat with it. It wasn't very practical as I never had enough yarn to make anything substantial. But I got a feel for different yarns and learned what I liked and didn't like. I had always been a Red Heart Classic or Super Saver kinda gal because the elderly woman who taught me to crochet as a kid used it, and she gave me a lot of it. My mother always had some on hand, and it was just what I always had access to. By experimenting recently though, I realized that I don't really like Red Heart all that much. I hate how it feels, and I mean HATE the texture and how uncomfortable it seems. It does soften up to a degree after a few washings, but it just doesn't feel good to me. But then there's the trade off. It's so inexpensive and the skeins are decent sizes. It's super easy to care for. People who are not yarn addicts don't seem to care that it's acrylic and lacking softness. They're just glad to have a nice handmade gift. So, there's my frustration. A very economical product that makes a lot of sense in many ways, but I'm not in love with it and I'm certainly never excited to work with it. I suppose until I win the Powerball and can afford to crochet a $200 blanket, though, this is the way it's going to have to be. Ultimately I don't mind. But I'd rather be making shawls and blankets out of something a little more fabulous, I guess. But even still, it's pretty great to spend $30 and have enough yarn to complete quite a few gifts. Oh well.


Deneen said...
Thursday, 19 April, 2007

You know, I was very anti-RHSS for a long, long time, but bought some recently for the colors I needed and I did find out one thing, the variegated colors are much rougher than the solids and never soften up as much. When I need cheap stash enhancement, I now opt for Caron Simply Soft-soft, pretty sheen, nice colors, but again, variegated is rougher-must be the dye quality.

Sometimes expensive yarn is splitty and washes crappy too-discouraging. I try to still use acrylic for lapghans and such, but try to opt for natural fibers for other stuff (Wool of the Andes or Patons wool) is perfect for hats, scarves. Look at Joann.com if you don't have one nearby. Their boucle yarn not the tiny skein of casual boucle), but the big $8.00 skein makes gorgeous colorways for shawls and one ball makes about 1 1/3 shawls-the leftovers can be used for scarves.

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