Currently, I'm in a phase of life and knitting where my stash is getting smaller... And it's great! The budget was a bit tight and somehow I simply didn't want to buy more, although I guess I still could. But why not make something that was waiting for such a long time.
That would be a gift scarf for Barbara, a very nice lady my husband met at work, a thank you for all the little favors she's been doing all the time. If you're interested in making one yourself, it's a free pattern, here is the link:
I'm quite happy with how it turned out, although I probably shouldn't have added more stitches to the central panel. I was a bit afraid of it being too narrow while I was casting on, but as a present it would have been just fine. With the original pattern one skein would have been enough, this way I used about one third of the second. No harm done, those two skeins were waiting for this scarf to happen for more than a year :) Getting new yarn is great, but sometimes it gets in the way of the old and some things are left behind for no reason.
This yarn was bought online, as most of my current stash. Sure, I'm missing out on that lovely feeling you get when you wonder through the yarn store, touching those little fluffy balls of potential. And I still go from time to time... But it simply isn't working for me anymore. Aside from that particular feeling, the rest is not worth much.
When I need small amount of yarn for a hat or scarf, I don't mind the price. But if I want to make a sweater or something similar, I'm looking for a discount. It's hard for me to come home saying: "Darling, I just spent 100 euros on something, it might be a sweater, but I'll keep it hidden under our bed for a while, we'll see how it turns out!" I wouldn't appreciate it if my darling did the same :)
For a good reason, if there's a discount in local yarn shops, I think of two things, either it's a minimal quantity or there is something wrong with the yarn. I have two projects to prove it, beloved and still worn, not deserving the flaws that they have.
This is the first sweater I made for myself, one of my favorite colors and simply what I like wearing with my jeans. The yarn was maybe 10% off, not such a bargain. It was only when I attached the sleeves that I noticed that one of them was darker in color then the rest. It won't stop me from wearing it, but I will always know. You know how men are not suppose to notice anything? Well, Dean noticed it the first time he saw me in it :D
The second time I got burned in Innsbruck yarn stores was when I got some rather robust yarn for Dean's sweater. We both liked the rough look and this is the kind of sweater he wears outside without a jacket when it's not terribly cold. Also, I assumed it's some small local manufacturer since the label stated MADE IN AUSTRIA and not much else and it was not expensive, some 40 euros all together.
Here I was lucky enough that the bad ball of yarn is stretching across his back. Just a bit darker... Terrible...
This happened to me in two, let's say, serious yarn stores in Innsbruck, very disappointing. To be absolutely fair, there is a store in Museumstraße that also sells yarn, this one is quite nice, but they sell many other things. It's mostly good yarn, decent prices, but not much variety. There is a similar store in Sillpark; both are perfect for buying sock yarn, which is not my main interest.
There is one more store that I know of, in Ursulinenpassage, so small that you can hardly enter it :) There, I only bought something when it was displayed outside and I could look around by myself. If you enter, you have to ask for something specific, usually without success.
At least I found an alternative, a great online shop that makes free deliveries in Austria no matter how much yarn you buy, free patterns when you buy the yarn, needles and hooks... There's a chance to buy discontinued yarn for a fine price. The only problem is that they keep sending me free stuff, including cute little brochures, so I end up buying more :) So I miss out on the yarn shop rituals, but I can't risk another shade mismatch, it would be too much...