I am of the firm belief that if one is going to take the time to crochet something (and as I'm sure you know, some projects take quite a bit of time), then one should truly enjoy the yarns one uses. Nothing is more infuriating then spending several hours on a project with a yarn that splits or slips off itself or just doesn't feel as nice as it looked in the picture online.
That's why I love Sara Lucas's idea for the Yarn of the Month Club. She has organized this club for the purpose of serious knitters and crocheters to able to sample the latest and greatest yarns that become available each season. Monthly membership cost is quite affordable (currently $9.25/month for US subscribers and $13.95/month for international), and for this price you actually get samples of two different yarns each month. While you won't be getting a whole skein, you'll get enough that you could make a granny square or other such motif, which is plenty enough to decide whether you like the yarn or not. And if you stay in the club long enough, eventually you'll have enough squares to make a patchwork project!
The Animator's Wife just signed up for it, and this is what she received for December's shipment.
Each month also includes a pattern that can be used with the featured yarn, although we've been informed that these patterns are usually knitting patterns. But crocheters, never fear! We've gotten Ms. Lucas's permission to post our own crochet square and motif patterns to correspond with each month's shipment.
So keep your eyes peeled in January. Not only will we begin reviewing the yarns of the month, we'll also be posting a pattern for a new crochet stitch and motif that will best show them off.