Saturday, November 29, 2008

Restocking Time

Every couple of years, I have to buy yarn. No, I don't mean buy a skein here or there because I need a bit to finish a project. I mean Buy Yarn. I have to restock the stash with millspun yarns for my charity knitting projects, dyeing projects, and for any large-scale projects (sweaters, afghans) that are going to use up a lot of yarn.

It seems the Black Friday sales are the best time for big yarn purchases, and this year is exceptional. With the economy foundering, retailers have hit the panic button, and are in full discount mode. Recognizing this fear the way a shark smells blood in the water, I started watching the advertisements at the beginning of this week for the real deals on millspun yarns. My favorite is Patons Classic Wool worsted-weight yarn. It's soft enough I can wear it, it's good quality, and I like most of the colors and colorways available. I also like their Kroy sock-weight yarn, even though it's not superwash and I can't throw the socks in the dryer. Since those two are my favorites, a good deal on Patons is something I'm willing to investigate.

JoAnn's fired the opening salvo with their post-Thanksgiving flyer advertising Patons Classic Wool for $3.50/skein. They also had a 20% off coupon good for Friday morning. Michael's Arts & Crafts returned fire with their flyer: all Patons yarns for $3.49/skein and a 25% off coupon for Friday morning. Hmmm...this was going to require some thinking, as the two best caches would be approximately 20 miles apart.

Friday morning, I bounced out of bed early (OK, after 5 hours of sleep, I didn't exactly "bounce"), got some coffee, and headed to Michael's. I walked in the door at 7:45 a.m., armed with my coupon and a shopping cart, and proceeded to clean out their bin of ecru yarn. Ecru is a wonderful color, because you can dye the yarn to any color or colors you need or want. I supplemented with mound of ecru with some specific colorways for charity knitting--two variegated with purple got matching skeins of purple, while two green variegateds got matching green and olive skeins. I also got a good quantity of sock yarn, as it's not just for socks; gloves are also knit from sock yarn, and since I have a special request for a pair of "rifleman mittens" with a separate index finger, I need sock yarn to knit them.

Once I cleaned out Michael's, I headed to our Super JoAnn's. Much larger than a regular JoAnn's, the Super JoAnn's was also a lot more crowded, but I was prepared for the crowds. I found a nice gray for a special-request "skull" sweater, and some black for the intarsia skull. I also found several skeins of a lovely peacock blue for an Irish hiking scarf.

I dragged home all my yarn, cataloged it (thank heavens for Ravelry, or I'd never keep all this organized), and packed it away in the stash closet. I'm now set for another couple years, and can resist all the future sales (yeah, right!).