It's no secret. I'm a yarn snob. And a fabric snob. And a milk snob (that one might be a secret, since I don't often talk about my food buying on here). I wanted to talk about why I choose what I do as a snob of many types....
Ahh, yarn. We all love it (well, I assume if you read my blog you love it). A lot of us probably own too much of it... I know I do. I am pretty picky about the yarn that I use. So here is why I buy what I buy...
*I love natural fibers. Why dress in plastic, when wool is so breathable, alpaca is so soft, or silk is so luxurious? Plastic? No thanks.
*I also tend not to buy super wash yarns... I hand wash all of my hand knits (including blankets) because they will last longer and it is less expensive. Plus, the process that makes yarns machine washable is quite harsh and sometimes can destroy some of the qualities I love in the yarn.
*I believe strongly in you get what you pay for. I try to use quality materials for my hobbies. If I'm going to spend 20 hours knitting something, shouldn't it be something that is worthy of that much time? Yes, I may spend a bit more upfront, but seriously... I know how long things take me to finish, I want something that I love when I am finished. And something that will last as long as I will, hopefully longer.
I have quite the fabric stash. I'm really good at picking out things I love and then putting them in a drawer to dream of what they will become. I only buy fabric at quality quilt stores, for many of the same reasons I mentioned about my yarn buying habits. Another reason I'm a bit nuts about my fabric buying is that you can really tell the difference. Fabric from a quality quilt shop feels nicer. The thread count is higher, seems to cut better, and it is normally printed more on the grain...it's just great. Fabric from a chain store is a gamble. I do not mix fabric from a chain store and a quality quilt store as I want all the fabrics to last the same amount of time. It would be terrible for a few pieces of a quilt to start falling apart while the rest of it to still be holding together. And, again, the price difference is negotiable. Sure, the cost is a bit higher up front (although, I've done the math, and it normally is only about $40-$50 difference buying a whole quilt top from a chain vs. a quality store) but if you are spending time on something you want to last a lifetime, isn't the cost worth it?
I pay $5 for a gallon of milk. There are store brands and other brands of milk I can buy for much cheaper (I think I can get two gallons of milk at Costco for $6, for example) but I honestly can not think of the last time I bought any milk that wasn't Matanuska Creamery (which is a local brand). I remember having milk at Weston's parent's house that wasn't Mat. Creamery and tasting the difference. I drink probably a gallon of milk or more a week... oh, and I drink whole milk. So why this milk craziness? For a few reasons... I like to support the local creamery, I can taste the difference (other milk tastes almost burnt to me, I can not drink ultra-pastruized milk, which is why I don't drink organic milks. The organic milk available at my grocery store are all ultra-pastrurized, which to me tastes terrible), and it lasts longer (which I guess at the rate I drink milk isn't really an issue). Plus, I feel like it is as close as organic milk as I can get without the label.
So, that's that. I'm a snob. I believe in using the best materials you can afford. And sure, I have to save up for bigger projects, but I still feel good about my choices. Now I'm off to knit, with my pinky held high in the air. :)