28 March 2011

Please Don't Caress the Cashmere - 2KCBWDAY1

I am a tactile knitter.  I must feel the yarn before I can commit to using it.  It doesn't matter how beautiful the colorway or perfectly it might work, if it doesn't feel good then I won't use it.

I once went to a boutique yarn store that was my version of heaven on earth - almost.  Everything was just so luxurious, from the buttery leather chairs that no one was sitting in to the rows of glorious yarn that no one was touching.  I was hunting for some cashmere to make a little wrap out of - just a touch of luxury to brighten up any day.  I knew that this piece was going to be an investment and I believed myself ready for the challenge.  I was fairly young so I had to save up in order to even think of walking into the store.  Once I had though, I wondered why.

Yes, this store had every top brand you could image.  It had the most decadent fibers known to any knitter.  It was, as I said, almost heaven.  The reason there is a qualifier on that statement is because of one simple thing - proximity.  You see, I found the cashmere and I reached into the bin, pulled out the most gorgeous shade of eggshell I had ever seen and then I gently rubbed it across my cheek.  I fondled the weight and played with the edge along my fingers when I was approached by the sweetest looking woman who wore just a bit of time on her face.  I was expecting a gentle "Have you found what you were looking for" type of question but instead I was met with a very curt "Please don't caress the cashmere" and a lengthy dissertation regarding skin oils and how it ruins the fibers.  After handing me a pair of odd feeling gloves, she turned on her heel and walked away - I think I heard her click them together after the abrupt about-face but I will never be sure.  In utter shock and embarrassment, I replaced the $40 skein of cashmere and pretended to meander through the rest of the bins - leaving empty handed.

I was mortified.  All I wanted was to make myself something sinfully soft.  Bound, bit and determined to do just that - I headed to my local big box craft store.  I ran my hand over every single skein, several times.  I would stop and rub the contenders across my cheek in hopes of finding something suitable to replace what I had found earlier.  While absentmindedly strolling and trolling through the fibers, and replaying the events of earlier, I found myself enjoying a rather bulky version of the same softness I had found at the boutique store.  It was garish in color but only because my mind was stuck on eggshell for elegance.  "Berry Burst" was the colorway and it was just delicious!  Deep ruby reds running into soft petal pinks and back again.  Had I found a cashmere here, in this retail chain - nope, it was actually 100% acrylic!

My mind was spinning.  There was no way I was able to find something that made me feel just as glorious and spoiled for only $4 a skein.  It just wasn't humanly possible.  In order to be luscious and slightly guilty in the pleasure category, it had to also be worth the same amount as the GNP of a third world nation... didn't it?  So I did what any other knitter would do - I grabbed up all that I needed for my pattern, plus one, and headed to the check out.  You would have thought I won the lottery with the size of the smile on my face.  I was going to make something luxurious and instead of it consuming the entire $200 I had planned on for this project (I told you I saved up for it!), my receipt read $20.

On that day I learned a good many things ~ Shop around for something that feels like what you envision.  Just because a woman is older, doesn't mean she is necessarily sweeter.  Saving $180 makes for a great day... oh, and don't caress the cashmere.


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