Times have changed. In spite of technology, there's less time. It takes two to bring in the same income in real terms that one person made a generation ago, a lot of wool is imported, and the cost of knitting an adult size sweater with high quality wool is definitely not low. Knitting is no longer a necessity, as it was in the days when elderly female family members cranked out mitts and hats for cold morning walks to school; it is recreation, stress-reliever, and solace. It can also be pretty darn expensive.
I hope these photos illustrate what can be achieved at relatively low cost (under $15 in total in the case of the Briggs and Little shawl, and the yarn comes in 44!!! colours). The problem? Many LYS's no longer carry these yarns, or if they do, they carry a very limited range of colours. As the owner of my LYS explained, the profits are low, as is the demand. Increasingly, I find myself having to make a special order from the shop, or ordering directly from the mill or supplier. The latter does my local shop no good, I am well aware, but what's a knitter to do? If you love real wool as I do, I hope you will ask for these products at your local shops. If we create demand, won't supply follow? Encourage your LYS owner to display models made from these yarns. We all know how seeing a finished garment can create the desire to cast on to start the same project--today, please, and in the same colour! (Don't you hate how shops are ALWAYS out of the colour used in the display model? That's fodder for another rant.)
I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't enjoy your luxury kid mohair, or extra-fine alpaca, or superwash sock yarn. There's a place in my wardrobe and my budget for these. Let's just not forget what wonderful knitting feats can be achieved and enjoyed with the good old classics.
|Boat slips emptying out as the fall weather turns chilly.|