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In Search Of…Yarn

Today’s adventure out included groceries, a new lawn mower, and finding the local yarn store; a lovely place called Untangled Purls in Fredricksburg, Virginia.

Before I get into talking about Untangled Purls, I want to bring up my trip to A.C. Moore. I haven’t been in an A.C. Moore store in like forever. I even forgot that they existed. How terrible is that? First, I hate their website. They don’t sell anything via their website (the online store was supposed to be up months ago), you can’t check what is in store or anything. You can view the sale ad and look for projects. That’s it. So not helpful. I personally don’t like having to go from craft store to craft store to find what I am looking for since they all carry different things.

My visit scored me a 55% off one regular priced item coupon. The problem is 95% of the store is always on sale. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good luck finding a regular priced item to use that coupon.

Let’s talk yarn. They have a metric ton of yarn in there. Quite possibly more yarn than I have ever seen at Michael’s or Joann’s. The majority of it is Stitch Studio by Nicole…and believe me when I say there are a lot of variations of this yarn.

My problem is, 99% of it is acrylic. We all know how much I hate acrylic yarn. My need for natural fibers is seriously out of control. I admit it. I am even surprised I made my shark hat out of acrylic yarn. I am considering a demand in my will that it be buried with me. That solves the problem. It will also confuse the hell out of any archaeologist thousands of years from now who comes along to check out ancient graveyards.

I was considering checking out one or two varieties of the yarn because it’s soft and different than anything I have worked with (one variety looks like very thin fabric strips). A google search took me to a message board where a number of people were expressing their disappointment with the yarn, and how they were embarrassed to give the items they made as gifts because of inconsistencies and stains. It wasn’t stated if the yarn was shipped to the store stained or ended up stained at the store.

Stitch Studio yarn is still acrylic and will never decompose. This is always going to be an issue for me and my inner tree hugging hippy. Anything I make with it will still be here after I am long gone. It will still be here after my great-great-great-great-grandchildren (assuming I have any) are long gone. The only way that one can get rid of that stuff is thermal decomposition.

I honestly want to know what it is with chain stores and their need to sell mostly acrylic yarn. Do these stores not know that people want choices? Is it because people haven’t complained that they want choices and instead take their business online or to the local yarn store? Do people not know that acrylic yarn doesn’t decompose and is bad for the environment? Do they not care? Do they not think about it? Do people just like acrylic yarn that much? Does the need to knit, crochet, or do other yarn projects so strong that it outweighs the environmental impact? Do people buy so much yarn that they can only buy the most inexpensive yarn they can find? I need answers!

Seriously, I am not letting this societal love of non-decomposing yarn and fiber go. I mean, I don’t expect places like Joann’s or Michael’s to sell boutique brand yarns like local yarn stores do. However, I do know that companies like Bernat and Red Heart make cotton yarn, I have bought it before. There are reasonably priced natural alternatives to acrylic yarn however I rarely seem them in the stores.

This brings me to Untangled Purls.

No, they don’t carry cotton Bernat and Red Heart yarns. They carry those boutique yarns I mentioned.

Not surprisingly the store caters to knitters. I understand that this is pretty much the norm for whatever reason. I won’t hold that against the store or the owner. I can still buy yarn there, that’s the important thing. It’s a small store but that’s also okay. Look at this (I pulled this picture from their Facebook page):

You see all that yarn? It’s all natural fibers. Cotton and wool and silk and hemp…and it’s all so soft! That scratchy wool sweater your grandmother made for you last Christmas, send it back and tell her to spend the money on the good wool yarn that feels like you are petting the sheep it came of off. After all, she loves you and wants you to wear that sweater.

Remember the last local yarn store I was in where I was complaining that there were only two skeins of any one colour of yarn? That isn’t the case here.

That is 7 skeins of pretty green cotton denim yarn by Debbie Bliss. 7 skeins!! That means there is actually enough of each colour yarn if you need more than two skeins or if more than one person wants the same colour! Well, except this green because I bought all that was there. This right here makes Untangled Purls awesome. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I buy yarn, I don’t buy just one or two skeins. Well, there was that one time when I needed one skein of a colour that had been out of stock, but that doesn’t count.

Yes, I know, crocheting takes more yarn than knitting. Even if I did knit (one of these days) and I only needed two skeins of yarn and the yarn that I picked was something that I fell in love with, I would still buy more than I needed for other projects. I’m just like that. Maybe I am just weird, but I accept that.

That reminds me, I seen a sign in there that says:

“Be yourself…everyone else is taken.”

At any rate, I am happy that I have a place to get the nice high quality all natural yarns that I want for some of my projects. As much as I love Lily’s Sugar ‘n Cream yarn I don’t want to make everything out of it. I have a pretty warm weather sweater earmarked for this yarn that I can’t wait to get started on.

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