You've been caught. And it's embarrassing enough to have three skeins of yarn around your neck, but you were nose deep into an alpaca ball when the yarn shop owner approached you. After flashing a timid smile you open your mouth to begin an apology. The friendly owner interrupts you and says, "No worries, we all have our own way of sampling the yarn. You should run this new wool/silk combination across your cheek, which is my favorite testing method." Ah, to be in the company of other yarn addicts is so comforting.
Yarn is described by its fiber content and its weight. But the true character of a yarn cannot be described on the label. What methods do you use in selecting yarn? Following an afternoon at a busy local yarn shop, we discovered there are three primary types of yarn shoppers. Which one are you?
The Squeezers. These knitters are all about the texture of the yarn and how it moves over their fingers. They squeeze a skein multiple times and rub the strands between their fingers.
The Cheek Rubbers. These knitters are all about the feel of the yarn on their skin. They typically start by rubbing the yarn over the cheeks. We saw one knitter walking around the store with a skein held under her chin while continuing to shop. "It's the only way I can tell if the yarn will make me itch," she explained.
The Wearers. These knitters are all about how the yarn will look on them. They often place the skein around their neck and admire themselves in the mirror. Taking the yarn into natural light is also important and many a knitter has been seen inspecting yarn in a shop's window.
Whatever your inspection method, those of us who are yarn addicted relish an afternoon in our favorite yarn shop. Just be prepared for the curious yet sympathetic glances from your fellow shoppers.