I buy a LOT of yarn, and much of it isn't purchased with a specific use in mind. Here are some of the factors I use in deciding what I buy.
QueerJoe's Yarn Buying Factors
- Color - I try to stick with deep, saturated, smokey, broody colors. Even vibrant jewel tones can fit into this category if the colors are rich and deep enough.
- Tactile Pleasure - The yarn has to have a pleasurable feel. Soft, silky and drapey or ruddy, coarse and satisfying. I just need to know that I will enjoy knitting with it.
- Fiber Content - Mostly, I go toward lamb's wool. It's generally got more loft and has a structure to it. Silk and alpaca are more drapey and create a less structured garment or fabric. I tend to keep away from cotton or other plan fibers unless they're blended with something else. Even acrylics can have a nice effect on plant-based fibers.
- Company - Unless I have some specific project in mind, I will always try to buy from independent yarn producers/dyers. I love yarns like Cascade or Dale of Norway, but I can find them readily any time I need them. I would much prefer to support smaller businesses trying to make their way in the world of yarn.