Getting asked to be part of Yarn Shop Day (more of that in a bit) really made me think about knitting and the place that yarn shops and knitting have in our lives.
I think when you start knitting, you have no idea quite where this could take you, how deep you can really go when you pick up your first pair of needles and ball of wool.
Whatever made you start, whatever you get out of it - the pleasures, the pains, the costs - there is something that means you just can't stop and before you know it, your stash has outgrown its original 'must not get bigger than this' container and you are there fully involved and chasing yarns when dyers have updates. Come on, hands up if this is you too!?
I've fallen down the rabbit hole with no way out - and you know what? I am not sure I want to get out anyway.
Knitting for me is not just the finished object you get at the end. They say it's all about the journey; yes, there's something about the the satisfaction of a finished object, but it's the hours of knitting that its taken to get to that point too - and that's not counting the time spent choosing the perfect pattern and the perfect yarn to knit it in.
I spend a lot of time buying yarn in what some might describe as a tad irrational way of the "ooooh isn't that beautiful?!, which us why I have a stash bigger than it needs to be in some ways and no yarns that really go together for multi-skein projects. Isn't that the perfect excuse for more yarn? I try and promise myself that yarn should have a project these days, but that doesn't mean the odd skein (or two) doesn't sneak through.
This year I feel like I've fallen down the rabbit hole head-first again. I think this happens in phases: there's usually a catalyst and mine this year was Edinburgh Yarn Festival and I haven't been able to stop falling since. I need all of the yarns and all of the cast-ons. I won't use this post to share everything I have bought but do watch this space.
My weakness is hand-dyed yarns: most of my yarn generally comes direct from the dyer but that doesn't quell my love for yarn shops. The vibes, the yarn fumes, the yarns you haven't seen before, the accessories that you must have (yet probably don't need) and the knowledge of the owners and their staff are second to none.
So back to Yarn Shop Day. This year I have been invited to go to Countess Ablaze's new Studio along with Whistlebare Yarns and BritYarn. This studio is the ultimate rabbit hole if, like me, you are a lover of hand-dyed yarns. Two floors of skein upon skein in mesmerising colours and gorgeous bases. If you haven't been and can't go for Yarn Shop Day, get it on your list of shops to visit as it won't disapoint.
No matter where you are on Saturday 6th May, go and support a Local Yarn Shop and fall down that rabbit hole just like Alice. Only don't blame me for your bank or credit card balance...