We had a lovely customer at the table who needed a new circular needle. Ginni asked her whether she wanted Addi's, ChiaGoo Red Lace, or Lykke's. She said, "I don't know, which one is the cheapest?" As it happens, they're all within a few dollars of each other, and I was sad that her decision was going to come down to price. I said, "You know, each needle is slightly different, and you ought to decide based on the yarn, the project, and your personal preference. Why don't you try them all and see which works best for you?" So she did. I don't remember what she chose, but I was happy that she had made a conscious choice rather than opting for what might have been a sub-optimal selection based entirely on price.
The whole interaction reminded me of a beautiful scene from the novel A Gentleman in Moscow, in which The Count overhears a young man at the next table struggling to choose a wine for himself and his date. The self-serving waiter recommends a wine that is not only out of the young man's price range, but inappropriate for the meal. The Count comes to the young man's aid, graciously suggesting a more modest wine with a flavor profile that will complement their entree. The Count is happy and the couple is happy because choosing wine is not about foisting the most expensive wine on the unsuspecting, but about making a conscious selection of wine to create a wonderful dining experience.
It's the same with yarn. You cannot simply choose based on price and assume that the most expensive yarn will be the best for your project. Say I'm making a baby blanket-‑my best choice is going to be a sturdy wool that will stand up to regular washing and look great for a long time. Even if it's a really special baby and money is no object, I'm still not going to want cashmere. I might notch things up with a hand-dyed merino, but I'll be looking for something on the sturdy side, and definitely easy care. The goal is to give a thoughtful gift that will be *worn and loved and washed* repeat between *s.
The best wine, like the best yarn, is the one you like that works for your project and fits your budget. Thank you for letting us help find just what you need.
I look forward to seeing you in the shop and around the table. You are always welcome here. ~Ellen