Tuesday, July 17, 2007

CGOA Conference: The Shopping

Or, "Which Yarns Did a Designer Buy at Full Retail?"
My yarn buying habits have gradually changed since I began designing professionally. Yarn accumulates in my house regularly whether I buy yarn or not, because yarn companies send me yarn to play (design) with and extra skeins for sold designs.
This doesn't stop me from buying yarn, though it does slow me down. It does change what I buy. For example:

1. I don't buy the yarn of a company I design for unless I know that it's a project that's only for myself or a gift.

2. I hesitate to buy yarn that is discontinued or seems likely to be soon, because if it inspires a design out of me, I won't be able to sell it as is. (Occasionally I can talk myself into buying it anyway.)

3. This one's dangerous: If I have a vague design idea, or am curious about a theme or a developing trend, I'll start buying a ball of this or that if it has anything to do with what's on my mind. For example: bamboo. I now have a ball of every kind of bamboo yarn that has crossed my path.

4. There are yarns that I really want to see and touch before I buy them, even for designing, rather than formally request yarn from the company or purchase it online or wait for my yarn shop to stock it.

In the photo above, you might detect an organic and color grown cotton theme developing (see #3). I'd have bought some O-Wool if I'd seen it too. I bought the Patagonia handpainted cotton because it was a very good sale price! All of the above came from Elegant Ewe's booth. I also bought some beautiful hooks.

In the 2nd photo, Gene Ann was having a last day sale of 4 for 3. You see, when I love a yarn, I want an excuse to buy more than 1 skein but how many more? Gene Ann guided me.

These are all Kollage yarns, and the designer in me welcomes getting to know a new-to-me yarn company. The stripey yarns on the far left are stretchy and I have a thing about stretchy. So of course I had to buy one, or make that 4. The plum Scrumptious is 70/30 angora/silk and I was sold when Gene Ann showed me her scarf in progress: zero airborne fuzzies and the stitches were softly and evenly blooming. This says to me that someone knows how to spin angora! On the far right is Yummy, 80/20 bamboo/merino. My stitches are going to be YUMMY. The color is "Foggy Dew"--I have a thing for silvery shades but I could have picked any color of this yarn. The lone blue skein is Kollage's corn fiber and the lone novelty yarn is full of squiggly butterflies so how could I not try it?

What I WOULD have bought:
- A bunch of Tilli Tomas silk skeins (a friend bought them for me instead, yay!)
- A Grafton Fibers hook (also a gift from a friend! More on her later! More on the hook too!)
- A complete set of the "Crochet Lites" but I had trouble getting a straight story from attendees whether a vendor had them or was just taking orders, where exactly the vendor was, and whether they were like the Clover hooks, or like the heavy fully-lit ones.
-Some Noro Kureyon. I have to leave it around the house so that I pick it up and invent new things. It does that to me.
-7 or 9 balls of Rowan Natural Silk Aran for a specific sweater for moi and no one had it, so I'll get it at my yarn shop.
- A hook holder IF: it has clear vinyl pockets labeled with mm sizes. Don't know if it exists.
- Giant tunisian hooks.
- A crochet-themed tshirt or bag or jewelry.
- DMC Cordonnet in sizes from #10-#30, poss. #50.
- Any yarn with Lycra-type content.

I will finish my conference shopping online, buying first from businesses who were in the Market, and I'll ask them to consider my purchases as part of the conference event. If any of these things were in the Market, I couldn't find them in time because I couldn't shop until the last day, when the Market closed at 3pm.

How did I do?