I don’t really knit for results, I knit for fun. Much of my knitting is experimental. I own pattern books, but consider these as rough guidelines. (People knit from patterns? What is that?) The penguin sweater I knit was roughly knit from a pattern book of raglan sweaters. The neck was designed for someone with a large head. (I knit it twice the length I wanted, bound off very loosely, folded it over, and sewed it.) The penguin was a photo of Tux taken off the Internet and transferred to graph paper. I put it too low on the sweater, but I can live with that minor problem.
Our local Walmart no longer carries yarn. I don’t blame them; I suspect sales are down. The two other stores where I sometimes buy yarn have reduced their inventories. Sometimes the fun part of knitting is trying new yarns and seeing what will result. Jo-ann fabrics had a great wool blend that was machine washable and very soft. It was expensive, but I knit four lap blankets with it because it was so nice to work with. The last two were knit from yarn bought online. I knew I wouldn’t have a failure with the lap robes, because how hard is it to knit a rectangle?
I like to look at yarn and feel it before I buy it. Unless I want my choice to be very limited, I won’t be able to do that now. I live near an expensive yarn shop, but I don’t shop there, because I have so many failures. I knit for fun, and don’t like to spend a lot of money on it. That’s why I knit.