Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Yarn Diet Diverted

Zara print tweedYou've heard me talk big about yarn diets in the past.

How I was going to save money by just knitting from my stash and not buying new yarn.

And how I've always quickly found some excuse to buy yarn soon after making my declaration.

But this time was going to be different.

This time I was going to stick with it. Mainly because I was going to be forced to.

The Bad News
You see, at the beginning of January Cynthia told us she was closing Knitting Central's physical location and moving to an online only model. This would allow her to spend more time with her family.

I haven't mentioned it before this because it was just too sad to discuss.

You can bet there were a bunch of stunned and sad staff members at that meeting. After all, the store was doing fine despite the economy so we weren't expecting such an announcement. We all understood, of course, since we all have families.

It was the deprivation that would have been the hard part.

No longer would I be able to casually throw a project in my bag and instantly have opinions from other knitters. On the other hand, plans were quickly formed to have a regular knitting night just for the staff so we could keep in touch.

I would no longer have easy access to tons of lovely yarn. On the other hand, I also wouldn't be constantly tempted to buy new yarn. I could think of six sweaters worth of yarn off the top of my head. If a sweater takes me two months, that's a year's worth of projects right there. And let's not discuss all the sock yarn I have squirreled away. I could hunker down with my stash and struggle through.

Cynthia explained she had to give the landlord two month notice, so the doors would close the beginning of March. She encouraged us all to think about our next fiber adventure and said she would help anyway she could.

When I told Hubby the news he was quiet for a bit, then said, "You're habit is about to get more expensive."

Then he said it was lucky he had already asked for a sweater and a new scarf, since my supply was about to be cut off.

When I told mom, she asked, "Can we still go back to Rhinebeck?"

Proving we all react to sad news in different ways.

Stash Enhancement
So we began the process of the going out of business sale. Boy howdy, was the store hopping on those January weekends. Sapphire Juniper

I didn't work the first weekend of the sale. When I was getting ready to work the second weekend I told myself firmly that I wouldn't buy anything. After all, if I hadn't needed the yarn in December I didn't need it in January either.

As you've guessed from the pictures peppering this post it turns out I did need yarn.

The Zara, which is what I'm using for my Schleppy Sweater, is a color we'd never had before. My eyes when straight to its red/black/white glory as soon as I walked in the door and I knew it had to be mine. There is also a wee bit of yellow, just for good measure. Most of my favorite colors rolled into one, how could I resist?

I had, of course, given myself exceptions for various socks yarns, all of which were already gone. Expect this lovely electric blue Alchemy Juniper. I really liked this yarn when I made those purple socks for The Guy in the Art Department last year and had been considering getting a skein for myself.

Shadow metal I also got a little ball of blue and purple Shadow Metal to make another Quicksilver Collar for mom. She really liked that horrid yellow one I made her and had asked for another one at the time. Of course I said no because it was harder to make than it looks. But I figured if my access to yarn was going to be cut off I should strike while I could.

The Good News!
Then in mid-February we received the exciting news that the store had been bought!


A longtime customer named Beth decided that she and other areas knitters could not be deprived of the wonderful resources that was Knitting Central.

In a frantic, breakneck week she wrote a business plan and secured financing. We were saved and Westport Yarns was born.

It all happened so quickly that she didn't have a sign, stationery, or website. For now information is still on the KC website, but a dedicated site is supposed to be up and running by end of next week.

Beth wisely invited all the current staff to stay on. She recognized that we were an important part of what made the store awesome. Who wouldn't want to keep such a talented and experienced group around?

There was an awkward week between KC's going out of business sale ending and WY stocking up. But our shelves are almost back to full capacity and more yarn is still expected to arrive.

There are old standbys like Zara and Torino, as well as exciting new yarns like Cotton Tail from Classic Elite and a slew of different yarns from Cascade.

In fact, just the other day (in a moment of insanity) I asked Hubby what colors he would want if I was to make him a pair of argyles. He said earth tones. Well, we've got this Heritage Sock yarn from Cascade now that seems just the thing. It's a wool/nylon blend, but very soft, and lots of yardage. The colors Beth selected are all solid and muted without being muddy.

I was petting them all day Saturday, but managed to resist. Of course the arrival of this yarn right after I asked Hubby about argyles seems like fate to me. Also, some of these colors might work for my Landscape socks, which I'm never going to get to make if I don't start collecting yarn already.

See what I mean about constant temptation?

Grand Opening
Which brings us to the final bit of news.

The grand opening for Westport Yarns is on Thursday, March 18, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Renowned knitwear designer Shirley Paden will be doing a book signing and discussion about her new book, "Knitwear Design Workshop."

It should be pretty fun and informative. I might have to get a copy, seeing as I'm all about designing sweaters at the moment.

If you're in the area, you should stop by.

1 comment:

  1. Yay for the new owners!! I hope everything works out well so you can keep buying yarn!