I went to Webs yesterday. I had the whole day off with the baby and was dying for an outing, but had reason to be concerned that he wouldn’t behave well enough to make us welcome at the MFA. Plus, I’d heard that Webs was the absolute ultimate knitshop experience, not to be missed, and I live somewhere between 60 and 80 miles away. I love the website. I couldn’t…not…go. Right?
Well. In my defense, the baby hasn’t slept a solid night since the weekend, which means that I haven’t either. And I had to tote him along, which makes it kind of hard to get a train of thought going (or move about freely, since people in American shops tend to frown on things like ditching the baby at the end of the aisle to deliberate over which yarn color you’d like to wear next to your face several times a winter for the rest of your life. Not that the baby, owing to terminal fractiousness, would have allowed it without a great big noisy fuss anyhow). But I was completely, utterly overwhelmed by it. And I’d come so far that I felt like I had to buy something or I’d wasted three hours of my life.
So I ended up looking for yarn for a Lia sweater. They had a helpful shop model, and it was as gorgeous as I thought it’d be, and reinforced my interest in knitting it. Sadly, their stock of Malabrigo Chunky was utterly depleted…and the Malabrigo was much nicer than anything else that was right to make that sweater, and also remotely affordable in the necessary quantity. I eventually left with ten balls of Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky, which is their house brand and a wool/alpaca blend. It felt okay against my neck, but I suspect I’ll have to wear a shirt under it, and that isn’t what I envisioned. Pout. I thought that in some Ravelry pictures, it looked a little chintzy knitted up in that pattern. Perhaps it was just unfortunate lighting. It seemed nice enough in the ball.
Your mileage may vary, of course, and especially if you don’t have to drive through some of Massachusetts’s more remote hamlets to get there. But my takeaway is that the bigger and more awesome the yarn store, the better off I’ll be if I go in with a plan, order from the website, and save my browsing for my smaller, much more digestible shops near home.