Saturday, June 4, 2011

Came in on time and under budget.

No, I'm not talking about a work project, I'm talking about the fiber festival this weekend. This is the second year I've attended and I'm getting really, really fond of the practice.

I had a particular colorway in mind this year for my prospective yarn purchases. Not a popular one, unfortunately. But I tend to do that. Let me sing you the saga of my day at the fiber festival.

I arrived early, mostly because I was commuting with a member of my knit coven and she needed to be back in town early, but also because early bird gets the fresh, farm-spun alpaca! Also, I was looking for a particular colorway in my yarn--I wasn't even too specific or needy about the fibers involved, it just had to be black and green, like old bronze that's been polished up a small bit--and I knew it would be difficult to find. We're not talking the hot, new spring colors (mostly sherbet tones, if what I saw this morning is representative), but it's not like I'm looking for something completely beyond the pale. I simply had hopes of finding something more suitable than is available at my Box Store of choice.

The first thing I saw that I snagged was a nearly $20 skein of sock-weight green (wrong shade, but...) and black yarn. It was super wash, but I figured for a proof of concept scarf, it wasn't too terrible. We wandered about a bit more and then came back to that same booth (my friend wanted some yarn she'd passed by at it originally) and I saw something else:

A better green and black (with a bit of poison purple tossed in for good measure). AND, it's got bamboo in. Wool, bamboo and nylon. Typical sock yarn, but softer. I went over to the lady manning (ladying?) the booth and asked how much it was. It was the same price as the one I'd originally bought, so she let me just trade out.

This one was far more...sinister in appearance, and for the pattern I have in mind, "sinister" is key. Well, not key, but certainly a nice feature.

After I got that, we wandered around a bit and I realized I should have stopped and checked out booths in the center of the first display hall before I bought. I found a very, very nice lady who offered to special-order dye some soft superwash sock yarn for me. We had a nice discussion about the specific colors I wanted and in what proportions, and how I wanted them arranged...and I get this yarn, dyed to my specific request, for only $5 more than the one I bought off the rack.

Granted, I have to wait two to three weeks, but knowing the exact yarn I want is on its way to my hot little hands helps me practice my patience.

Then I decided to go ahead and splurge a little. Hey, I'd had a good shopping day--some pretty sock yarn in a really nice color, specially dyed yarn in the exact colors I wanted originally, a bookmark made out of old aluminum knitting needles (oops, didn't tell you about that one: well, I bought this bookmark, it's really nice and can be used as a bookmark, hair ornament or a shawl pin and it looks like this:

) so we trudged back to a small booth toward the exit that had a 50% off basket or two sitting on their counter and played with the yarns. Actually, to be honest, we'd passed it on the way in (both entrances were at the same end of the hall so we had to pass this booth to get in and pass it again to get out) and hidden some of her more choice tidbits beneath the fluff and novelty yarns.

I dropped a little bit of cash on this:

300 yards of what appears to be laceweight alpaca cotton blend. I've never had an alpaca cotton blend yarn. It should be interesting to play with. Or terrible; that's the thing about new-to-you yarns, you just don't know if it will be Halloween or Christmas when you get the ball band off!

I actually came in $12 under budget for the day! Ok, ok, I'd spent the cash I was carrying and some $8 of banked money, but that's still $12 less than I'd originally planned to spend. I know how I work, really--I carried the cash and hoped I'd only spend that much, but really knew I wouldn't be able to resist spending at least $20 more.

It's handy, knowing yourself that well. You can plan better that way.


adriene said...

I have a fiber festival coming up this month that I've been looking forward to for a long time. I'm taking a yarn dyeing course, and I'm still debating what I want to purchase while I'm there, and how much I want to budget for it... certainly a new spindle and some roving/batts to spin. Last year, I came in well under budget, but I'm not sure if I'll be as good this year!

Silver Phoenix said...

It's so hard to know when to stop, I agree. I myself just pick a theme and shop to it--since my themes are generally so arcane, it's self-budgeting. :-D