It's generally just way too precious for me to justify the cost, but it doesn't hurt to try every now and then.
The market is flooded with so much cheap cashmere. Instead of being an ultra-luxury good, the Chinese figured out how to mass produce it and now you can get a sweater of low-quality, but a label that says 100% cashmere, for less than $50. Ten or so years ago, you would be paying many hundreds of dollars. It's astounding. Still, when you come across the real, high-quality stuff, it's worlds different. It feels like heaven.
So, back when I lived in New York, at one point I inadvertently signed up for Groupon. Ugh, Groupon. Your idealist sales pitches make me feel inadequate for not getting my hair straightened and my face microdemabraided and my cellulite lasered daily. I would pop one into my shopping cart every now and then when it was something I would actually use: usually restaurants I was already known to frequent, or a good deal on a yoga studio package that was somewhere between work and home. Occasionally, a fancy yarn store would offer up one, and being no fool, I would grab it.
So I had a Groupon for Knitty City- a place on the Upper West Side that was just a little too far out of my daily grind to be of any real use to me. I think you pay $25 and got $50 worth of product, or something like that. It's a nice way to try new yarns anyway. I showed up, looked around, and instantly noticed that they had Jade Sapphire 6-ply cashmere bundled up as a scarf kit- 4 skeins for $100, when the yarn is normally about $50 a skein. So, for $75 total, I ended up buying $200 worth of the nicest cashmere yarn money could possibly buy. It was still ridiculously expensive, the color selection made me a little depressed, but it came home with me and sat in my stash, occasionally being gently petted and dreamed of the day when I might actually have the balls to make something with this wonder of the textile world.
Finally, right before I moved from France: much travel time, the need to use bamboo needles on the plane, and the need for a fairly mindless pattern resulted in this:
A lovely, wearable Saroyan scarf. It worked out perfectly- the yarn is so soft and drapey and cushy, a simple pattern was best; something unfussy. I still am a bit ashamed of the ungodly amount of money it cost me for the yarn, but it's so snuggly and amazing and warm, $75 seems totally reasonable now.
The lace-leaf edging gives it a nice touch. I've worn it pretty much constantly since I finished it and it's my go-to scarf this winter. As it should be!
Despite the fact that I finished it while in Costa Rica, I managed to weave in the ends with my stubby fingers and trim them off with my pocket knife (gasp!) and started wearing it instantly, regardless of it being quite tropical in climate.
But it's fantastic, and my favorite thing ever (at the moment anyway) and I might even take this time to admit that I have worn this to bed on more than one occasion. It's that comforting. When I do reluctantly take it off, it feels like I've sawed off a limb and I totally feel a sense of loss. The bottom line is: I refuse to have a bad day when I am wearing this scarf.
Totally worth it.