It feels like I’ve been gone a long while from here, but it really was just the weekend. I pretty much skipped YPF as I was hungover most of Friday (the reason I do not drink as much any more) and then I headed down south to see my family for the weekend.

As promised, I have a picture of my year old niece modeling her new sweater.

While she looks adorable, it is, sadly, way too big for her. As I have never made baby items before, I followed the pattern for the year old size, but she is a very small year old (apparently, she is still wearing 6 month sized clothing). So it’ll be a little bit before she able to wear her sweater more often.

The book I also picked up for her went over well.

I got to spend most of Saturday with my mom – the rest of the family was at a wedding, so my mom & I went to see Stardust (which is very cute & funny – there are many changes from the book and while I loved the book, it didn’t bother me to see the changes), it is so my mom’s type of movie. She has turned into a fantasy fanatic – her favourite movies are the Lord of the Rings trilogy and all the Harry Potter films, so I knew she would love Stardust too. So it was a nice time with just the 2 of us.

And since it was just the two of us, we, of course, went yarn shopping. We are such enablers to each other, I actually don’t think she knits as much as I do, but she always ends up buying just as much yarn when we are together.

Next to the theater is Ben Franklin. I know I’ve wrote about it before because I always seem to find good deals there. There was a lot of yarn on sale ($1.50 a skein sale on some – and it wasn’t just novelty yarns, there were some 100% wool as well as wool/acrylic & cotton/acrylic blends in that category as well) I ended up getting some wool from a company I’ve never heard of but the colours were so pretty.

It’s from Sierra Pacific Crafts – a really neat company from Oregon. It’s their yarn Armytage – 100% wool, heavy worsted weight, with long colour repeats. I picked up 2 of the colours Foliage & Denim – and they were $4.88 each. While it says right on the tag they are ideal for felting, I think it might be a couple of nice warm scarves – the wool feels soft in my hand so I think they’ll make nice gifts. Although I’m slowly realizing how much I dislike making scarves – it just goes on forever. But as this is almost a bulky weight yarn, it should go quicker.

On the Ravelry forums there has been a lot of talk about LYS vs Online Yarn Stores vs Big Box Craft stores – a lot of the talk is in the Portland forums, but the discussion pops up in other subforums as well. With Mabel’s closing their knitting part of their shop & blaming, in part, online resources, it got me thinking about my own buying habits. I love my LYS, I almost always buy yarn when I go to them but I also love KnitPicks. But am I buying locally when I make my 3 or 4 times a year purchases from them ? They are based locally – Vancouver WA. And what about Ben Franklin? They are not a huge chain – I think there are less then 10 stores in the US – but they do have the Big Box feel to it – probably from the multiple craft items they sell there. Their yarn selection is more LYS than anything – they carry Noro, Cascade, Louets, & hemp yarns, all nestled right next to Red Heart, Patons & Lion Brand. And they’re one of the few stores that carry the Sierra Pacific Crafts yarn, a website you should check out, as it is a collection of independent crafters. So when I buy that yarn from Ben Franklin, which am I supporting?

I realize there are no easy answers to these questions, I’m rambling a bit. But I’ve been thinking about it all morning.