Knitting Series: Yarn Snobs

Let’s talk about Yarn Snobs.

I am a total yarn snob.

If you don’t know what that is, let me give you a definition:

Yarn Snob: A person, typically a knitter, who prefers high-end yarn. He or she will cringe at the sight of acrylic yarn, and can sense any sale on alpaca within a 50 mile radius. They can typically be found loitering in their Local Yarn Shop (LYS) reverently stroking the cashmere, silk, or angora yarn and imagining the gorgeous projects they would someday make with it, if only they could afford it.

Now let me clarify, I have no problem with crafters who prefer non-luxury products. I know everyone has different tastes and a different budget, and if acrylic is all you want to work with, be my guest. You’ll just never have to worry about me coveting something from your stash.

I have several reasons for preferring indie yarns and luxury fiber.

First of all, working with your average craft store variety yarn is hard on my hands. At only 23, I already have issues with my hands. If I work with the wrong kind of fiber or the wrong kind of needles for too long, the muscles in my hands and forearms develop considerable pain.

I’ll do whatever it takes to keep me knitting for years to come, and if buying luxury yarn is the way I have to do it, I guess I can make that sacrifice.

I also prefer the way an item made from non-mass produced material wears. The drape and feel of a scarf made from a wool nylon blend is vastly preferable to anything by Red Heart, in my opinion. If I’m going to put in hours and hours and hours of work, I want it to look and feel like something I actually want to wear!

More specifically than simply saying “non-mass produced,” I like to get my yarn from indie dyers and other small businesses. It makes me more confident in the product, and also gives me such a variety of colors and fiber contents to choose from.

Not only that, but when I buy from a small business I’m able to create a relationship that extends to the yarn. When I buy from an indie dyer they’re always more than willing to tell me the story of how they got started, where they source their wool from, what inspired their colors. This way, I feel even more of a connection with the piece that I’m knitting. It creates a community that you don’t get when buying yarn from a big box store.

I may not be able to convert every crafter to my yarn snobbery, but hopefully I’ve at least given my fellow snobs some good comebacks to fire back with when they’re accused of being too picky!

Are you a yarn snob, or do you find our kind intolerable? Do you have any other reasons for being a yarn snob? Let me know in the comments!

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