I’m sitting here at my kitchen table and every few minutes I catch the scent of my birthday roses that my hubster, Joe, gave me last Thursday. He proudly brought them into the studio to surprise me. Was I surprised? Yes and no. Honestly, after 33 years together I know his M.O. I get flowers for all special occasions. Typically, red roses. You know, those hot house varieties that have no scent or worse, they smell faintly of mildew. He might have found them at a grocery store or a chain florist. He believes they represent love and yes, they do. I’ve asked for carnations (my favorite because they smell so divine) several times but he ignores me and buys the standard flowers because he loves me.
I’m not complaining. I love flowers. I also love plants as you can tell by the front window of the studio. So, was I surprised by getting flowers? Not really. However, he did a few things new and it was a dual surprise. First, he purchased this years birthday roses at one of his clients, a special florist in Newark. He asked for a dozen of their best roses with all the trimmings. Knowing that we live in Columbus, they took their time and put a water reservoir on each rose so they would survive the trip home to me. They added greenery and baby’s breath filler to make my bouquet that much more special. The florist wrapped all this sweet smelling beauty in waxed tissue and a gorgeous pink ribbon. One would think all of this cost much more than those grocery store roses, but they didn’t! As you can see they are quite a fantastic buy as the other roses would have had their heads nodded and died instead of opening up at this point. I’d say they were worth it the extra cost, wouldn’t you? My hubster was so proud when he brought them to me at the studio and boy, oh boy, was I surprised. One of the best birthday presents, ever.
So why did I just spend the last the whole opening paragraph on my birthday present from my hubster? There’s been conversations on social media these days about the cost of yarn, especially the yarns that popular designers use for their designs. Some have wanted the designers to give an affordable substitute for their chosen yarns. Many designers use their testing pool to see if other yarns would work. Sometimes it doesn’t work that way for a variety of reasons. It’s not really an efficient use of the designers time that has spent countless hours and dollars getting the pattern tech edited for mistakes worked with the chosen yarn. It’s up to us the stitcher or even better, the LYS to help with giving you assistance in choosing a substitute yarn. You may want a substitute because you can’t work with that fiber. Or maybe you can’t afford the yarn from the original design. Or even worse, it’s discontinued, and we have to find another. At the studio, I have thoughtfully searched out special yarns at multiple price points and fiber choices that you can use for most patterns. I provide the service to help assist you with your choices to make a quality project.
When I began knitting (only 16 years ago, can you believe it?), I couldn’t bring myself to spend tons of money for my projects. It took me a few years to step foot into a Local Yarn Shop instead of the box stores, thinking my knitting wasn’t improved enough to merit the good stuff. Then a friend brought me into my first LYS. I only purchased from the sales or clearance bins. Then I learned from the sales ladies that many of the yarns were not as expensive as I thought at full price, thus more affordable. As my skill set progressed so did my yarn knowledge. I learned I loved natural fibers such as wool vs. manmade like acrylics. My finished projects became heirloom pieces to be enjoyed years after. I can only imagine the florist, lovingly putting together my birthday bouquet, knowing how much I would love it. This is what drives me to come to work every day. This is why I love this part of the industry.
Do you have any questions you would like me to answer about yarn substitution? Please don’t hesitate to come into the shop or shoot me an email!