Munching on Yarn

Posted on 12, September 2009 by


When the doors of the Jeanne’s yarn shop Unwind kicked off its grand opening in August, I attended the cocktail party along with several invited guests. As part of the fun, all of our names were put into a drawing for door prizes. Creatively, each door prize was written on a slip of paper hidden inside a skein of yarn. When my name was chosen, I selected the ShiBui Knits DK Alpaca and won a year’s worth of yarn tastings.

Wait, what is a yarn tasting, and why partake in one?

Like wine, yarn can be cheap and it also can be pricey. I have “colored string” in my stash that ranges from as little as $3 to as much as $100 per unit (ball/hank/skein). Yarn is a knitter’s investment for potential. If a project (using a cardigan as my example) states to use 12 units of a certain yarn, the knitter should purchase a ball of it before deciding to purchase that commitment or find an appropriate substitution. Nothing can be more aggravating than buying 12 units of yarn at $10 each, and then discovering that the yarn is not working out as expected. Thinking of the saved potential costs, a yarn tasting allows a person to try out a yarn before buying it outright. If the knitter does enjoy the feel of it through the fingers, then a purchasing decision can be made. Similarly, when trying to decide on a color for painting a room in the house, one gets a small amount to test on the wall instead of painting the entire room and discovering the purchased shade is not the desired color.
Unwind at East Greenwich, RI
So… I won a year’s worth of yarn tastings at Unwind, and the first was held on Thursday, September 10th. Running a bit late, I walked into a packed house of what seemed over two dozen tasters. I quickly picked up a chocolate brown Asian take-out box and folder, then found a seat with Juanita and Paulette. Noro Kureyon, Noro Silk Garden Sock, Misti Alpaca Baby Grande, and Filaturo di Crosa Zara were just a few of the fibery goodies to taste. Inside the folder were suggested patterns for these yarns. A quick scan and I saw many possible Christmas and holiday presents for friends and family.
Unwind at East Greenwich, RI
Conversation was animated while we tried each of the yarns. Some folks even started the suggested patterns in the folder while others used their own ideas. As for myself, I sat back and knitted away while watching everyone react to these tastings. Jeanne and her employees were busy from giving their undivided attention to those who had questions. Smiling inwardly, I thought how calming it was to be surrounded with others who enjoyed trying out new yarns. I look forward to next month’s flavors! =:8