My pocket book allows me the low end of the yarn scale and they have all done the job, though there are a few I would never buy again. One of my absolutely favorite soft affordable yarn is Homespun by Lion Brand. I have made countless scarves and neckwarmers with that yarn and people have loved them. Other favorite yarns are alpacas and cashmere and yes, you can tell a difference between acrylic and alpaca. I would love to own alpacas but that is a whole other odd obsession we should not get into.
My big issue is when I find a project I adore, I hate having to find a more affordable yarn to replace the $36 skein (YOWZA!!). Look at this Pixie Dust Yarn by Knit Collage. It is just GORGEOUS!!!
And this is the blanket you can knit with said yarn.
I would love to knit that beauty, curl up and just chill with some tea and scones and a movie or a book. But then I saw I needed 12 skeins. At $36.60 a skein, you need 12 to make the blanket. That makes the cost $439. I nearly fell off my office chair. (Actually, I think I cursed out loud. Let us hope my son is not destined to have his mother's potty mouth.)They do suggest a more "affordable" yarn, Magnum by Cascade, but again, at $22.60, $271 is still A LOT for a blanket.
Now, I know someone will argue that you want good quality and you need to pay for it. Right on. But I have never in my life paid over $200 for a blanket and I am not going to start now. The same with sweaters. I have seen countless sweaters I want to knit, but the "suggested" yarn ended up adding to over $200. Uh, no, I am knitting so I don't have to spend a lot. When I look at beautiful high end knitting work I admire it, but it is also irritating that a knitting project should be out of my reach financially. It is weird to think "hey, great blanket, but can't afford the materials." Sort of a drag. I get that the specialty yarns that someone is creating is one of a kind and so they should charge more than they average retail store. That does not mean I will not get miffed that I can't buy the product to make something ordinary like a scarf look extraordinary. Here is a great example of handspun specialty yarn at The Yarn Wench. God I would love to make a shawl or something with that yarn. Lament, lament, lament...
I want to know who are these knitters that can afford these pricey jewels because I have yet to meet anyone who knits that buys this type of yarn or has it in their stash. For me, my wool yarns are the highlight of my stash. I love them so that there are times I just look at them and imagine what they will be. Yes, this is the mind of a knitter. Embrace us because it will never change.
Maybe if I come into money one day I will treat myself to high end yarn and make something like this blanket, but in the meantime I will be satisfied with my array of wool yarns, alpaca yarns and even my acrylics, which I bought with a 40% off coupon. :)