My husband and I had the Saturday all to ourselves as Colton was spending the weekend in DC with Johnny. Friday was a pretty wild time with me and Malcolm falling asleep around 7:30 on (or near) the sofa.
But Saturday was a trip to Fredericksburg, and when in Fredericksburg, a stop at Wegman's is non-negotiable. I love everything about this store, but it's the cheese counter that calls to me most. Cheese, like wine, is a fascinating living product with a million varieties, each with its unique characteristics. Even after all these years of loving cheese, I still tend to the kinds I know because they're safe. But I want to know more - to make informed selections. I thought maybe I'd get a book on cheese because reading about a thing has always been my go to strategy. I reasoned that I could find out which cheeses are stronger, which are milder, and so forth. So I asked the friendly cheese guy about a book on cheese. As we talked, he said, you know, you can learn about cheese from a book, but to learn what something tastes like you have to, you know, taste it. Of course you do. How else will you know what you like?
As always, it made me think about yarn and the shop. As I've said before, I totally understand how intimidating it can be to come into a yarn store for the first time. An overwhelming array of yarns. All the different fibers and weights and spins and more -- where does one even begin? It's a totally legit question. Maybe you've gone to Ravelry and looked at different yarns used in various patterns, and checked out the comments. One person thinks a yarn is the greatest, and someone else hates it. That doesn't really tell you whether you would like it or not.
It's like the cheese - you can read about it till your eyes are sore, but at the end of the day, you have to taste it - well, not really, but you have to use it. That's the only way to know what it's like, and whether you like it or not. There's no right or wrong answer either. Your opinion is all that matters. It's about you and what you like. It's your project, and you're the only one who needs to be happy with it.
I know it can be scary, but go on and get a skein of a yarn you think you might like. If you want a little guidance, tell me that you'd like to try something a new. I'll help you find something. Stretch your experience a little or a lot. It's up to you. Swatch your new yarn on a few different needle sizes. Try garter stitch, ribbing, seed -- - play with it a bit and see what you like. There's enough yarn in most skeins for a little hat or at least a pair of fingerless gloves. When you've finished playing, not only will you have learned a little bit about yarn and gauge and twist and ply, you'll have an awesome little hat or set of fingerless gloves to remind you what you learned.
I look forward to helping you learn in the shop and around the table. You are always welcome here.
P.S. Look for our yarn tastings for the new spring yarns coming up - another fun way to get your hands on a bunch of different yarns and learn about them all.