While I'm looking at my big projects for next year... I'm also looking at affordable yarn buying options AS WELL AS keeping an eye toward working with buying yarn from a dear friend who just opened up a new LYS in town.
She's been kind enough to offer to special order for me 'big' orders as well as offering a discount on big orders... and I'd love to do my shopping there all the time... but let's face it. Her wool collection has to be larger than her non-wool offerings for sale - that's just common sense. But she is trying to make sure she offers me options as well (which is VERY kind and considerate). So I do want to repay her kindness.
Generally speaking, if she's going to order yarn for me (in bulk) she'll have to get on average 10 skeins of yarn for each color ordered.
So, first out of the gate, one of the blankets I'm planning to make next year only needs 2 skeins of 5 colors and 7 skeins of a 6th color. If she already had in stock the colors I needed, I wouldn't feel bad asking her to order the sixth color in a larger batch for me. BUT she doesn't. I'm looking for rainbow-color-bright with black as the sixth color. I don't think it's fair for me to ask her to order five other colors if I'm only going to want 2 of the 10 skeins from each package as then she has to have someone else around who is going to want to make something in your face BRIGHT.
But, another project I'm thinking about making requires 15-18 skeins of the same color. THAT one I think I should order through her - she'll get to sell most of the order immediately and I wouldn't worry as much about the few skeins I wasn't using being sold as I will be picking a much more muted/in style tone of color.
But let's look at pricing (not including tax - simplify my math).
At the LYS - I can get about 250 yards/skein for $5.40 - but my LYS owner now hopes someone else wants to make a rainbow in your face BRIGHT blanket
At Knitpicks - I can get about 220 yards/skein for $3.00.
At the hobby shop - I can get about 350 yards/skein for $5.00.
For the 6-color blanket - I need about 400 yards for each of the first five colors and 1700 yards for the sixth color.
Knitpicks - 17 skeins - $51.00
Hobby Shop - $75.00 (2 less skeins for the sixth color)
In this scenario - Knitpicks is going to get my order because I can't get away with only one skein of the hobby shop yarn - I'd have to buy two to get 400 yards; which ends up costing me more in the end.
For the 1-color blanket - I need about 3600 yards.
At the LYS - if I order 16 skeins (to ensure enough yarn) $86.40
At Knitpicks - 18 skeins - $54.00
At hobby shop - $60.00
In this scenario - I'm still tempted to buy yarn at the LYS. Yes, I could save about $30 at knitpicks, but the LYS yarn is EVERY bit as nice, if not a bit nicer to work with AND I get to figure that a good portion of that difference is money that is staying in my local economy.
AND yes, I'm fully aware I can buy blankets cheaper at Walmart. This isn't about the end result blanket. It's about finding ways to invest in my hobby, make something beautiful and not go broke while doing it.