Monday, December 6, 2010

The Trouble with Being a Yarn Tourist

Every year, my husband and I debate the pros and cons of escaping the prairie winter for the California sunshine. We've been to L.A. twice and to San Francisco once in the deep winter of January or February, and have enjoyed it immensely. We are very laid back tourists - no need to rush around or get stuck in themeparks. We love exploring the markets and discovering the green oases of the city. This year, we've taken the plunge again and have booked three nights in a great hotel in L.A., where we stayed last year.

Whenever I travel, I always try to take advantage of the opportunity to do a bit of shopping, and of course, more specifically, yarn shopping. Being in a small town with no local yarn shop means that I'm practically salivating at the thought of going to a city. I try to be prepared... research the shops, finding out what they carry, comparing that yarn to the projects I'd like to attempt... That might seem a little anal, but I think it's important to make the most of the time you've got in a shop, especially when you're dragging someone around with you who is not exactly titillated by the prospect of wandering around and around the shop with you.

This time, I'd like to try to stop in at Wildfiber in Santa Monica. This is purely for souvenir yarn - something special that I can't get in Canada, hopefully middle-of-the-road pricing, enough for a shawl or scarf, and small enough to fit into my luggage. The reviews of the shop are half and half, but I'm not going to let that deter me. The pictures of the store selection are enough for me to want to give it a shot.

But here's the problem: That trip is not until the middle of January. And there are other temptations on the horizon.

For one: This Saturday, I'm going with a friend into Calgary to take part in my first ever spindle class at Make One Yarn Studio. And well... there will be lots of fibre to admire and, *cough* purchase. I haven't been there for a while now, and I know that their selection has changed. I could budget a small amount for... incidentals...

And secondly: I'm going home to Winnipeg for the Christmas holidays. And what's in Winnipeg? Ram Wools, that's what. It's a great store with a very, VERY tempting sale section at the back. It's where I got the yarn for a sweater for my mom's Christmas present last year. And it's so convenient: decent parking and good hours. And well, it's just so darn fun being in there.

So, it's a financial pitfall for me if I give in to all these temptations, especially since I've yet to pay for the flights and accommodations in L.A., and the spindle course in Calgary, and the gas to drive to Winnipeg.

It also doesn't help that I bought the latest issue of Interweave Knits, and there are lots of gorgeous things I want to make from there, especially the Isobel Skirt:

I also have fantasies of knitting straight from silk hankies, à la the Yarn Harlot's post from a few weeks ago, and as demonstrated here. (And, just so you know, I'm so impressed with myself for getting that accent in there.)

So, what to do?

Dad would say: "Save as much as you can. It's important to save as much money as possible. After all, in the end, no one will save it for you."

My friend Tara (who's going to Calgary for the spindle class with me) would say: "Well, you can't go without some souvenirs." Have I mentioned how great an enabler she is?

My husband would shrug his shoulders.

I could hope that there is a Santa out there, and he is planning to give me a nice wad of cash with which to splurge and treat myself.

Oh sorry - there's no Santa. Apologies to the little kids out there. We won't get into the subject of the Easter Bunny...

I could hope that there's a mondo huge sale at all of these stores which would lessen the guilt of purchasing things from them.

I could hope that, while walking in L.A., Calgary, or Winnipeg, a big truck full of yarn would drive past and accidentally drop a huge bag of yarn on the street.

Or, I could quit worrying and just try to be as sensible as possible.

But what's the fun in that?

Ah well. I suppose there could be worse things to be worrying about, but the prospect of so much choice where there was previously none is dizzying. But heck, I may as well enjoy it.

And, well, while I'm at it, I may as well be on the lookout for that mystical truck at the same time. You never know, right?

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