Ok, just bear with me while I have a bit of a rant. It's bad enough when you go shopping for some new clothes in January, only to find that the shops are stuffed with flimsy summer tops and swimming costumes; woe betide you if your warm coat falls apart before the end of the winter season, you will have no choice but to wear half a dozen layers.
I was faced with a similar situation yesterday - nipped out at lunchtime to buy a couple of balls of something arany and tweedy to make a pair of Dashing mittens for my friend's birthday present, and was faced with shelves of DK, cotton, cashcotton, 4-ply etc etc. In fairness, I probably didn't give myself the best of chances by going to John Lewis' rather minimal yarn department, but it was chosen purely in terms of accessibility from my office. The IKnit store, which is the closest to my workplace, doesn't open on Mondays so I thought if I trekked up to JL I'd be able to get a head start on the gift. Looks like he'll be getting a book instead.
Such yarn stock policies are fine for those who want to make small gift items (except anything wintry, ha!) but I don't think I'm bigging myself up too much by saying that I am probably the nearest you could get to an average knitter. I'm fairly quick and reasonably experienced and I spend quite a lot of time knitting while still holding down a full-time job, a relationship and a healthy number of other demands on my time. I would be quite likely to want to start knitting a jumper NOW for next winter, as I estimate that I would need at least six-eight months to finish it, unless I was to work on it exclusively. And we all know that just doesn't happen, what with new sock patterns etc! Having a 'winter' and 'summer' stock is all very well, and when you buy that nice cotton yarn you might be looking forward to wearing it...but if you're anything like me, by the time your little strappy top is finished you need a big woolly jumper to go on the top of it!
I trust that this is only a fault with the department stores (I know Liberty's is the same), and that specialist yarn shops know better than to pursue such silly policies. I will be continuing my investigation....
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