There is something wonderful about buying from indie designers, local artisans, and small businesses. While I don't know the economics of it, but it makes me feel better. The products aren't necessarily cheaper, but you know the creators, can ask questions and get responses, and you know that you are directly making someone's life better.
Like this sock yarn. Ana of Toil and Trouble dyes yarn, and sells both finished pieces and patterns. This is her merino/nylon sock yarn in the Malificent colorway. I don't really remember if I met Ana during a Pints & Purls at Gather Here or if I first saw her tweets when they were retweeted by another maker I know, Liz. This sock yarn came home to me and has been marinating in my stash for a decent chunk of a year.
These socks are standard 60-stitch socks with a picot hem (my version of a fancy sock) with afterthought heels. You can sort of see the random single row of purply-red yarn marking the heel. With self-striping yarns, I like to knit them so that there is no pooling between of the heel and gusset, so I do afterthoughts and get this interesting circle of matching stripes. Though, these socks will still be fraternal. I'm not careful or picky enough to knit them so they start in exactly the same spot.
Ana is selling yarn this weekend as part of the North Shore Yarn Crawl. Of course, I live south of Boston and am car free, so while I don't get to enjoy the crawl, I do get to enjoy any yarn she doesn't sell when it makes it to Etsy (though I hope it all sells).
Buying yarn or bags (I bought a Pansy Maiden bag last year) is a great experience. When I bought my Pansy Maiden bag (I'm hoping to buy a bigger one later this year), I met the designer when I picked up my bag. Shopping local meant no shipping, which was great. I knew when buying the bag that I was helping put kibble and treats into Clementine's bowl, contributing to rent and additional materials for more bags, and maybe a nice dinner out with friends and family.
If you have a favorite local maker, please let me know. I am always interested in finding new interesting shops.