I actually showed some restraint at Stitches yesterday–I took Chicken and we both took floor classes, and that was one hour that we didn’t spend buying stuff. But that was not the only strategy in my campaign to not indulge in the excesses that almost ate into our mortgage last year–in fact, I was sort of proud of myself.
Strategy 1: Sign up for a class. They give you free yarn and needles and you spend some of your time off the floor.
Strategy 2: Since you’re going to be on a train for 2-3 hours anyway, bring yarn for three-four different projects. This strategy has two advantages.
A. It reminds you how much yarn you have already
B. It’s frickin’ heavy, so you’re not quite so tempted to buy more stuff to slog around the enormously crowded floor.
Strategy 3: Hit the Socks That Rock booth first, so you can buy your STR and not spend a crapload of money being pissy because you missed out on the best colors.
Strategy 4: Know your LYS inventory–what’s coming and what they don’t have. This was invaluable. If you look at the picture above, you can see some bright fuschia/lavender Jitterbug sportweight sockyarn. I knew Babetta was getting some of this in, so I bought two skeins–it’s Ladybug’s favorite color, and I’m planning a sweater for her. Two skeins at Stitches, two when Babetta gets hers in, and, hullo, it’s actually a plan! This also is what drove me to the Jojoland booth–I know Babetta doesn’t have Jojoland, and I loves it, so instead of getting distracted by all the pretty stuff that I know I’ll have access to soon, I got something really rare. And so gorgeous, I haven’t even used last years skeins, because it would feel like violating some sort of rare, ancient portrait or something. These skeins, I almost broke out on the train back, but I was spending my train time on Strategy 5. It also kept me from going hog-wild on the malabrigo, because I know that sweet, sweet slide into sin is on it’s way. (Babetta isn’t just a small-business owner, she’s an extraordinarily gifted yarn-pusher as well.)
Strategy 5: Prepare for the odd sale too good to pass up. I started another sweater for Ladybug on the train because these skeins of her favorite color were 1/2 off, and so soft and perfect, and probably discontinued, and I could drop another change-chunk on them because I hadn’t lost my mind beforehand.
Strategy 6: Save up more money. Next year, I’m hitting the Interlacement booth for a sweater for myself, and I am showing my checkbook no mercy!
Strategy 7: Buy more than one unbearably cute al-paca al-paca. Chicken bought the one in the picture for herself, and Ladybug actually hissed at Chicken when she tried to reclaim it. Somethings are just meant to be stolen forever and never shared. Especially if you’re two.