Adult Pinwheel Sweater
. I suggested that she come here today (her day off), and we could go shopping for yarn.
Since my mom was pretty stymied as to what colors she wanted for her sweater, I thought I would have her take a look at the sweaters made by Ravelers. I thought that might give her an idea of what sorts of colors she might like for her sweater. She looked at 6 pages of photos of a variety of sweater color styles, only to decide that what she really wanted was a sweater that was as close to Elena's as possible!
We headed off to the local yarn shop. I had told her that the pricier yarns were there, but that we could go to JoAnn's if she preferred. Her response: "That's quite all right. This is going to be an heirloom knit--might as well splurge for the best!" (An heirloom knit? No pressure here!
In we went. Now, on Saturday I was at the LYS to scope out various yarn possibilities. I had a list of possible yarns that were wool or wool-blend, that had a wide variety of colors, and that were worsted- or aran-weight. I had my list ready when we went in, but it was immediately apparent that there were two problems. One: Mom had decided on pastels, like Elena's sweater, and few of my choices had a steady "diet" of pastel colors. Two: Mom said she absolutely did not
want a sweater that had to be handwashed. Those two caveats immediately cut down the yarn choices.
There were other difficulties. The pastel colored yarns that she tried out weren't "bright enough." I could kind of see what she meant even though it sounds strange to say "these pastels aren't bright enough." The colors of Elena's sweater were light, airy, springy. The pastels she had chosen from one yarn brand were rather muted, almost as if they were covered by a light grey mist.
We then decided not to stick with one brand for all the yarn; it just wasn't going to be possible to get the colors she wanted from one brand. So we went back and forth amongst the wool and wool-blend yarns (not cotton, because that would be too heavy, as I explained to Mom), picking out the colors she liked. Then I discovered another problem: yardage. Some of the skeins did not have the necessary yardage, so I had to do some math to figure out how many skeins of some of the colors we needed to get the proper amount for the sweater. (I discovered later that even after doing this math, I underestimated the amount of yarn needed. If you can't divide the yardage of your yarn by the total yardage required evenly, you need to go up a number. I, however, did not. *grumbles about sucky math skills*)
after long last we found enough yarn for every color Mom desired for her sweater. It was going to pricey, I knew... but I had no idea how pricey until all that yarn had been rung up. It was over $132
!! Now, perhaps some knitters are perfectly accustomed to spending such astonishing coinage on yarn for a sweater. Me? Not so much. Even my previously "spare-no-expense!" mother faltered a little at the total. But she bravely handed over her credit card, and out we went with the yarn.
On the way home she admitted she had not realized the yarn would cost so much. She thought, maybe $80 at the most. I was thinking about that amount myself. We talked and talked, and I could tell she was really unnerved about having spent so much for yarn. Finally I asked her if she wanted to go to JoAnn's and at least see what they had. I assured her we had plenty of time. She finally admitted she would like to see if she could find an alternative to all this terribly expensive yarn, and so off we went.
I led Mom through all the yarn aisles at JoAnn's, and her eyes were continuously drawn to the Vanna's Choice yarn. I must confess that until this point I hadn't realized that I had started to become a bit of a yarn snob. I was thinking, "Not the Vanna's Choice. Please, please, not the Vanna's Choice." Why? Really, there shouldn't have been any reason. It's not like this cardigan was going to be all that kept my mother from dying of exposure to extreme cold, for instance. So it really wasn't a big deal for her to get acrylic yarn for the sweater.
Finally she made her decision. This yarn looked every bit as nice as the yarn we had just purchased, she said, and it was a heck of a lot cheaper. This was the yarn she wanted. I had to admit that based strictly on looks, this yarn was indeed just as nice. The price was absolutely cheaper--even at regular price, it was half the price of most of the yarn we had purchased at the LYS, but it was also on sale, so it was even less.
The price tag for this yarn was certainly more reasonable--just over $37. Mom clearly was much happier about buying this yarn. And I then realized that I
was a lot happier as well. Even though it is, perhaps, more fun to work with wool, I really did feel dreadful about Mom spending so much for yarn. I mean, how often was my mother going to buy a $132 sweater? Not often--I'd daresay not at all.
She asked if we could go back to the LYS so she could return the yarn; I told her sure. But I did suggest that I take a peek in the bag and see if there was any yarn I wanted to keep, just for myself. (I know, I'm awful.) Mostly I was embarrassed about buying all that yarn and then returning it. I really love the LYS and like to support it as much as I can, so I felt like keeping a small portion of the yarn would make it a little better. Mom told me I could keep some if I wanted, but that she had no qualms whatsoever about returning all that yarn. Thank God--the thought of returning it all really made me queasy!
I took a look in the bag, and the springy yellow-green balls of Classic Elite Bazic Wool caught my eye. Immediately I thought, finally--something to use for my very own Fetching!
Green is my favorite color, and these balls were such a light color of green that I knew the cables would show up nicely. Now I just have to fight off my urge to cast on immediately, lol!
I did tell Mom that I would need some new needles. I had all the sizes of needle I would need for the project, but they were nearly all wood. I've already learned that wood needles + acrylic yarn = misery (thank you, Twisted Pumpkin Hat!). I explained that I needed to buy metal needles so that the yarn would slide along more easily. She told me she would pay for my needles. Of course, JoAnn's didn't carry what I needed (ugh!), so I decided to check my KnitPicks and Patternworks catalogs when we got home.
Finally I returned Mom to the LYS so she could return the yarn. The LYS employee was very nice about taking it back, but there was a problem when she went to process Mom's refund. She pressed a wrong button on the cash register, evidently, and although it got straightened out with the help of a phone call to the boss, she couldn't print a receipt. There was no copy machine available to copy the original receipt, so that wasn't an option either. Finally she hand-wrote a receipt after Mom insisted she wasn't leaving the store without one. She plans to call her bank when she gets home to make sure the transaction cleared!
So there you have it. Nicole and her mom's Exciting Yarn Shopping Expedition. Who knew yarn shopping could be so adventurous??
So today was an interesting day. As you may recall from my previous post, my mother requested that I knit her a sweater like Elena has--in other words, the