Today, let's talk about yarn support.
But here's the thing about yarn support: just because it's "free" to me (as in I didn't give anyone money for it), doesn't mean it's free. It still costs the yarn company money. They have to make it and deal with all the associated costs that go along with that. When a company gives me yarn, they are expecting that I'll actually do something with it.
So, I take my yarn support seriously.
I don't take a lot of "free" yarn from yarn companies. When I attend TNNA, I don't come home with a suitcase full of yarn. There are a couple of companies that I have good relationships and they'll send me yarn to try or design with "if the mood strikes." However, most of the yarn I use for my self-publish designs, I purchase myself.
The reason I do things this way is simple: I like having the freedom to create what I want, when I want. Sure, if I have a very specific idea in mind for a design, I'll go to a yarn company and discuss the possibility of yarn support. When I'm working on my books, I absolutely reach out to the yarn companies I love and want to work with and ask for yarn support for my book.
The truth is, I like shopping my yarn stash for yarns to design with when it comes to self-published designs. Before this was my job, it was my hobby. I still love buying yarn, although I do a lot less of that these days. When I do buy yarn at events like New York Sheep & Wool, I do it with designing on the brain. Maybe I buy two skeins of that yarn I love instead of one, because I know it will make an awesome shawl design when the time is right.
If you're a designer, I'd love to hear your opinions on yarn support. Like I always say, everyone navigates their way through this industry differently, and that's great!