Knitting makes me happy, computers keep me humble.
an opinionated knitter, what works for me is to buy yarn like weaver's
(used to do that too) buy yarn...by the pound, usually on a cone or spool.
While I can wind it off into carry-around chunks with a ball-winder, I
am also free to knit straight from the cone without having to tie skein
ends every 108 yards or so.
The picture at the bottom of the page is part of my cotton collection...hey, I might get snowed in and need some yarn! The other thing I consider when purchasing yarn is PRICE. While it is fun to handle the little blobs of tagged and branded yarn at my local yarn store...and occasionally I DO buy one...yes, usually just one, in general I am not a brand name person. All this leads to the questions: Where do I get this stuff? The Internet (and before that, good old-fashioned mail order.)
The number one, great, UNKNOWN place to get yarn is Robin and Russ Handweavers in McMinnville, Oregon. Now, I just looked at their website and don't see any indication that they sell yarn...but take my word for it...they have a HUGE set of samples sheets. See one here. Price for samples according to their sample sheets is $12 for a complete yarn sample set with updates for five years! This is where I got the gray raw silk for the shawl in the blocking photo...it has tiny flecks of color and I think it was $8/pound. Took about 1/3 lb. for the shawl...
WEBS is popular with lots of knitters. Check out their current specials . They are famous for their "Grab Bags," ten skeins of matching,labeled yarn at $12.95 per bag if you buy 5 bags and a mere $9.60 per bag if you get 10 bags. Just remember, it is a Grab Bag...you don't get to pick, only suggest, what you want :-)
An explanation of the yarn count system...i.e. 4/2, 2/10, etc.
Don't be afraid to mix yarns and colors to create your very own magic yarns!