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Danger Zone

April 23, 2013

Caution. What you are about to read is the account of one knitter and her experience in a local yarn shop. Based on true events.


It was a bright clear late winter Saturday morning. I remember the day was warm enough to go without a coat, but cool enough to require a sweater. My husband and I had filed taxes early (all those years of school and the dreaded FASFA forms had stuck with us) and had already received part of our refund.  After being responsible adults and using the majority to pay on student loans and the credit card, the two of us were left with a little discretionary. With only one income for our house, it isn’t often we get to have some “fun” money. Needless to say we were both careful in deciding how we wanted to spend this small amount. Luckily all of our needs are taken care of, and so this truly was just for something extra. I scoured my brain for what to buy, I considered being practical and using the money for something that might be helpful in terms of spinning (another bobbin or two?) but I waited. I am still considering selling my current wheel in favor of a double treadle and buying accessories seemed a little silly. No, I held on to the money (figuratively speaking) and waited for something to really stand out.

That Saturday, on a whim we decided to explore the city a little bit more, and for some reason I got it in my head to visit one of the local yarn shops. Now my record when it comes to yarn shops isn’t the greatest. Unfortunately my record stood at 1-3, leaning towards not so great. Luckily there was one shop I found in the town where my in-laws live, and I absolutely love it there. Anyway, when it came to yarn shops in my current city, I had been a bit gun-shy to say the least. Well, my husband is one of those people willing to try new things, and he is game for almost any adventure. So with him on board we decided to brave it. Arriving at the location was a little tricky, we almost drove right past it! Thankfully we made it in time (they close in the middle of the afternoon on weekends) and took the elevator to the shop’s floor. And as we stepped off the elevator and into the brightly lit, wonderfully decorated and beautiful space, my heart beat a little bit faster. Dudes, this place was amazing. (I am used to rather small cramped and awkwardly placed spaces that try to cram as much yarn in there as possible, and include an impossibly large table that pretty much makes it a requirement to jump over chairs to reach everything) it was so spacious, and the yarn, oh the yarn. It was arranged and displayed beautifully. There were walls lined with the stuff, cubbies holding colors and varieties that I wasn’t familiar with. There were baskets of needles and hanks (of yarn) and garments galore. Seriously, this place looked like it came from the pages of a high-end magazine. I am not ashamed to admit I was a little overwhelmed and more than a little giddy (yarn fumes I swear.) The staff was polite, not pushy (which has been an experience I am all too familiar with) they answered questions and offered suggestions and then just let us wander. There was so much to see and explore, but I somehow came to my senses and realized we were on a time limit ( I didn’t want to be one of those people.)

I have, as most of you know been on a yarn diet, under the pretense of using up my stash and making room (most of the yarn is the acrylic of my early days, not that there is anything wrong with it, to be sure) I was doing well, there had been a few purchases, technically done by my husband (nice work around eh?) for some projects, or because it was crazy on sale, but again for the most part I was moving more things out than in when it came to the stash. I really went to that place to look, just to look. I had been lusting after some MadTosh Sock yarn because, well frankly how could you not? Which also stood as a symbol for the higher level yarns (in terms of cost and quality in some cases) and so I quickly scoured the place in search of it. Along the way a big wall of Malabrigo yarn caught my eye. The colors are so vibrant, the yarn is so soft. Like a toddler to an off-limits object, I kept returning to it.

As you might be able to guess, my resolve to just look quickly crumbled. They didn’t have the MadTosh I was looking for, or at least not that I could find, because after about 5 minutes of looking for it I was back to the Malabrigo and my mind had been wandering to colors and options. My husband eventually found me, transfixed at the prospect of it all. In the end I made a purchase, although not entirely selfish. Two hanks of amazingly brilliant Malabrigo sock yarn.

20130323_153921 20130323_154022The green is for my husband and is the Ivy Colorway

The purple is for me and is the Zarzamora Colorway

I waited for about three weeks before breaking down and casting on for socks (my husband’s first) despite the other projects (mainly socks on the list) it is even better when being worked up.

While I broke my yarn diet, the bigger problem is I can see this as gateway yarn and now the question is, how much longer until I can score some more?


From → Knitting

  1. Loved reading this! I’m knitting with Mal sock at the moment. 🙂

  2. I’ve never tried malabrigo. I wonder if they sell it in England? I’ll have to take a look.

  3. shellssells permalink

    The description of the yarn shop you dislike? The cramped space with the big table? The yarn shop I believe you could be talking about used to be JUST THAT. Yarn to the ceiling which was far higher than you could reach without a ladder, cubbies stuffed full with alcoves 2 people could not fit in. However, my Bug was about 3 at that time, and when I went in with her for the first time, she took a book. The owner sat down and read the book to her while I shopped. Pretty much an amazing shopping experience for a single mum.

    • This yarn shop experience wasn’t from my current area. I love the fact that the owner was willing to sit down and read with your daughter, that is amazing and wonderful. No, the original experience with the yarn shop was based on the fact that the owner wasn’t willing to help me, because one of her regulars came into the shop after I had for something. The place was difficult to move around and I was given the cold shoulder as soon as I walked through the door. I found out afterwards I am not the only one to experience this behavior. Hope that helps to clarify.

      • shellssells permalink

        No, I mean the shop you visited and enjoyed. If it happens to be the one I was thinking of, they used to be in a cramped and terrible space. But the owner was very kind. It is lovely to see them in a space that is so beautiful and open and…well…professional now. A friend of mine used to work there and teach lessons there. That meant my little group of knitters got a say in what yarns they began to carry. Dream in Color? You can thank us for that. And malabrigo sock. They always had malabrigo but hadn’t caught on to what a big business sock knitting could be for them. There was a time when they couldn’t keep fancier sock yarns in stock at all, if you weren’t there the first week they got them in, you were out of luck. (Of course, this all assumes we are talking about the same place, and I recognize we may not be.) Anyhow, I am glad you had an enjoyable day shopping for yarn and I love your choices.

        • Oh, my mistake then. I am glad you clarified. Even if we aren’t talking about the same place I am glad the shop you went to was willing to listen to customer input. How lucky to have a friend who worked there, I always wonder how someone gets a job at a yarn store.

  4. Oh gosh Malabrigo was my first High End yarn and it is a favorite of mine. I went to the yarn store today to purchase some Cascade 220, which unfortunately for me is right next to Malabrigo…. But I did well! Only purchased what I went there to get haha =]

  5. From experience, I have to say you’re right. Malabrigo was my gateway yarn, too… So soft and squishy… How can you resist?

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