Cheap, Not Easy

I think it’s a well-established fact that I am cheap. I don’t like to spend money I don’t have to, and I love to bargain shop.

No, that’s not fair. If we are more than flush — and there have been periods in my adult life where this was the case, before mortgage and kid mostly — then I will buy without worrying. Whatever I want, I will get.

But this does not happen often, and thus I have learned to be frugal when it comes to shopping for material stuff. I still have not mastered frugal food shopping, but in that, I am a work in progress.

Anyway, I am cheap. I hate to spend money on things that might be considered “frivolous” or “fun”, and I am always about saving money for the event of an emergency. Or, just saving money, full stop. So, when the time comes to actually SPEND money, it’s a bit of a struggle for me.

For the past couple of birthdays, I have been gifted with a certain amount of money, and I can honestly say I haven’t spent it all. Well, not on myself, anyway — it gets put into the bank and I have the intention of buying this or that. And then I just don’t.

I do a lot of window shopping though. If you checked my computer at any given time, in any number of “shopping carts” on any number of vendor sites, I am sure you’ll find a few things I have placed in there in the course of my browsing. On sale, OF COURSE.

And then what happens is that I either bail, and convince myself that I don’t actually NEED whatever is there, or that I wait too long and whatever it is I was shopping for is sold out.

That kind of takes the decision out of my hands, actually. Which is not bad, because it is also easy to explain away. “Oh, I was GOING to buy it, and then…”

And, as usual, this past December, I spent only a portion of my birthday money. I also have a gift card from Xmas that needs spending. So once again this week, I find myself with a cart full of yarn. There’s a yarn on sale that I have never purchased, but that I have heard is a really good yarn to work with. So yesterday, I made the decision, and I put a bunch of yarn in my cart. And then last night, I put a bit more in.

BDH was all BUY THE DAMN YARN ALREADY WHERE IS YOUR CREDIT CARD HAVE YOU BOUGHT IT YET.

And I hemmed and I hawed and I made excuses, and downstairs on my computer still sits an unordered purchase. I could not bring myself to buy it. Part of me is waffling because I need to purchase more than I had originally thought I would in order to make what I had planned. Part of me is waffling because I am thinking, but I could also buy these books I have wanted.

But mostly it’s the fact that I am going to buy something fun and not completely necessary for myself. And I just can’t bring myself to do it.

I am cheap, but I am certainly not easy.

February Project Update

Well, it’s that time again… time for most of you to click away to a more interesting site while I talk about MY KNITTING PROJECTS!!

(Don’t everyone rush out of here at once.)

February is done and dusted, and I didn’t get as much done, knitting-wise, as I would have liked. I did, however, spend a lot of time and effort getting my stash organized, which has been needed for a long time. So that was good.

So, first off, for my 12 hats in 2012 challenge… I didn’t do anything. Well, that’s not true. My organization of stash was specifically for that project, so I would know what I had to work with. AND it helped me plan for a big sale last week where I bought a bunch more yarn, for pennies, specifically for my hats. So, more to come in March!

(Okay, true confession time: I have been working on a hat, every weekend during Stinkerbelle’s dance class. And the thing is? I’ve started this hat FIVE TIMES NOW. And also frogged it FIVE TIMES. Twice, I miscounted and cast on the wrong number of stitches, and it took me a couple rows to realize it. Twice, as I am knitting in the round, I twisted my stitches. And once, I got most of the way finished when I realized that I didn’t have enough of that yarn to get ALL THE WAY finished, so I frogged it and decided to make some contrasting stripes in the hat instead. THIS YARN IS CURSED, I TELL YOU WHAT.)

ANYWAY… Moving on.

For my first 12 in 2012 challenge, I made the first five 9×9 squares (of maybe 25 or 30) for BDH’s Big Blanket:

What is wrong with the colour in those pictures? It’s all different. TRUST ME THE YARN IS THE SAME. I blame the photographer.

In my second 12-in-12, I did all the February days in my Weather Wrap blanket project. Which is going to look much the same as it did in January because DUDE. WINTER. THE WEATHER’S THE SAME AS JANUARY.

Oh well. Here you go — February:

I am learning a lot from this first kick at the can. First, I will choose a different stitch pattern if I do it again next year. I don’t like the look of the colour changes. Second, I’ll choose different colours and plan for lots of contrast OR for complementary colours. And third, I’ll make it about half again as wide. But it’s not bad as a stashbuster.

And the other projects I’ve been working on in that 12 in 2012 challenge? Well, it’s a secret. I am making some THINGS. For some FRIENDS. And that is ALL I am going to say about THAT. But I am really kind of giggling like a little girl about these projects. And you can see what I made once I give it to the (un)lucky recipients.

So, it’s not a lot. But I’m still clicking along and keeping pace to get everything done, and enjoying what I am working on. And I guess that’s the point, really.

January Project Recap

I set myself a lot of goals, knitting-wise, for 2012. I’m a notorious project-starter, so by setting goals I will be compelled to finish what I start. And by that I mean, I work well on a deadline so I have something to push me to get things done. Plus, I said it out loud, on Teh Interwebs, so there’s the whole guilt factor.

I promised to make at least 15 hats for Melissa for distribution to herd boys in Lesotho. I’ve got four done, plus six or seven I made previously. So that’s good progress.

(click photos to embiggen)

I said I’d make 12 projects in 2012 for another challenge that I am using to get some long-standing, much-neglected projects done. Like a quilt I had planned for Stinkerbelle, originally planned as 16 squares… and somehow I stalled around 8 squares. Plus she’s bigger now, so I should make it bigger. Anyway, I am plugging along on that one, and have added a couple of squares to the pile. I’ve also used that project to do some charity squares at the same time.

Another 12-in-2012 challenge I am using to get some personal projects done. Things like covers for the chair legs in the kitchen (“chair socks”) and for the Kobo e-readers BDH and I got for Christmas.

Part of that 12-in-2012 is a blanket. It’s called a Weather Wrap throw, and it means knitting two rows each day to reflect the weather for that day — so, for example, if it is sunny, I knit two rows of yellow. If it snows, two rows of white. That kind of thing. It’s a stashbuster project, a way to use up yarn that’s been sitting unused in my stash FOR EVAH. I’m really enjoying it though, and if I can keep it up, I think by year’s end it will be cool to have a record of what it was like this year.

So it’s been a productive month so far. Let’s see if I am as productive come the sweltering summer months.

Bagged

When I was living in Japan, being tall and athletic, I couldn’t buy clothes. Most conventional sizes stopped where I began, and certainly would never have been tall enough. So, because I needed clothes, I had to make my own.

Now, back in junior high school, I was not what you’d call a girly girl. And, to be fair, I am STILL not what anyone would call a girly girl. But back then, having no mom or similarly female frame of reference on which to base my ideas of what was feminine, I was not schooled so much in the finer arts of cooking and housekeeping and sewing.

So, when the time came for Home Ec class, I was so incredibly inept at sewing that by about the middle of term, my lovely Home Ec teacher recognized that sewing was going to be an exercise in frustration and failure for me, not to mention any machine I touched, and gently banned me from ever using the sewing machines again. (Cooking proved to be a lot more successful.)

Bearing this in mind, when I was in Japan, and needing clothes, I decided it was time to suck it up and learn, else I go naked through the train system of Osaka. So I sent home for my sewing machine to be shipped to me, and thus began my generally pleasant and mutually respectful relationship with my Singer.

The clothes I made were functional, but looking back, pretty awful. I bought remnants of cheap poly-cottons, and I knew nothing of lining and interfacing. But for the most part, my seams were straight, my zippers and buttonholes worked, and I looked relatively respectable from a distance.

When I came home from Japan, during the 30 or so hours of travel, I must have looked a ridiculous sight, schlepping through train station and airport, carting my faithful Singer in one hand and a fairly large stuffed toy duck in the other. The duck couldn’t fit anywhere else. And the sewing machine? I was not taking ANY chances shipping, and so carried it and stowed it and made sure it got home safely. It got a crack in the case, but otherwise arrived unharmed.

And then, it sat neglected for much of the last 20 years in closets in the various places I have lived.

I have taken it out, but very rarely. I was making real money, when I got home, so if I needed something I bought it. Sewing was not something I LOVED to do, like knitting. It was something I learned how to do and needed to do, but I didn’t love it. Occasionally, I made something like curtains, and planned and gathered fabric for a quilt for Stinkerbelle, and mended clothing and other items that needed it. But I never really loved it.

And, over the last 20 years, my machine has begun to show its neglect. It is still in good working order, but the once cream-coloured plastic bits of the machine — the case, the handle and some facing bits, the removable tray part on which you put your fabric — has now turned a dull gold-yellow colour from dust and age, and combined with the still-cream metal parts, gives it an oddly retro two-tone look.

But although I don’t love sewing, I do love that machine. And so, this year, I saw it sitting neglected in my closet and decided to use it once again.

Back in September, you may recall, I made a bag for Stinkerbelle to take to school to bring home all her crafts. I found an easy pattern online and whipped up a cute little bag in an afternoon. And I had fabric under my bed that I had purchased a few years back because it was totally up my alley but had never used. So, when at New Years I decided on a bunch of knitting projects, and I realized that I had no storage for them, I thought of that little bag.

I decided to make some knitting project and storage bags out of that fab fabric.

Sewing is not something I can do with Stinkerbelle around, what with irons and ironing boards and pins and moving machine parts, but during naptimes on the weekend I have managed to make a few.

They’re nothing fancy, and on close inspection the seams are pretty shaky and there’s an errant half-a-buttonhole where I began a buttonhole for a drawstring only to realize it has been over 20 years since I used the buttonhole feature and could not really remember how it was supposed to work. So I abandoned it mid-buttonhole. We’ll call that “a feature”.

Each one has handles to grab and go, and a drawstring to pull tight so as not to lose any balls of yarn or needles or whatnot. And they’re various sizes, so I can tote small projects out to keep me busy during Stinkerbelle’s dance class or store larger projects and their yarn like my large Weather Wrap throw blanket.

But the handles on some are slightly wonky, and the drawstring holes are a bit makeshift due to the buttonhole issue (I’ll practice that for next time). And they’re unlined poly-cotton which means they won’t last as long as a lined bag or stronger fabric would. But each one is a learning experience, and will do for the time being, and so I am quite pleased with them.

Perhaps in future I’ll invest in some thicker, stronger fabric, or, more likely, line the bags with other fabric. But for now, they’ll do the job.

Now, my problem is no longer where to store my stash of yarn and projects, but where to store my many bags of yarn.

Welcome, New Year.

It’s a new year, in case you’ve been sleeping or, say, time travelling these past few days.

The whole New Year thing has lost its magic for me in recent years. Nobody is ever transformed instantly with the stroke of 12 and the dawn of a new day, but as you grow up, you wait for that click-over and think “now things will be DIFFERENT”. They never are, and as you grow older, you begin to come to terms with that. So we have stopped with the hoopla of New Years Eve and just get on with it.

That’s not to say we don’t do anything to mark the beginning of a new year. It’s just that we’re no longer about dressing up and going out and drinking and partying and all that. We prefer to spend our New Year’s Eve/Day much more quietly. Some years we watch a movie and eat tasty noms. Some years we go to bed early but make a big meal for New Year’s Day. This year, we spent a very relaxed evening with Janna and Andrew, with way more food than should be allowed by law. And that was nice. So much so, we’re already all WE SHOULD DO THIS AGAIN NEXT YEAR.

I’m also finding, as I grow older, that I no longer feel compelled to make New Year’s Resolutions. Mostly this is because they almost always set you up to fail. Like I said, nobody can change overnight, and I think people make these grand resolutions in the hazy light of a dying year with the hope that some magic will make things different come the dawn. And it never works that way.

Instead, I find myself using the new year as a first step on a road to making some changes in my life, but changes that usually take much more planning or much more deliberately slow progress than a grand pronouncement will allow. I set myself off on the path to making something different. Usually, the path has a number of steps. The change is incremental.  And I find that makes it much, much easier to succeed.

That’s the thing about goals: they need to measurable and achievable.

When I was a teacher, I learned to set people up to succeed, even if it was simply in small ways to begin with. People like to succeed, and it’s good for your progress if you do every now and again. So I try now to build that “need to succeed” into these goals for myself. I try to set myself smaller goals, sometimes as a way to make larger goals happen, but sometimes not. Sometimes the smaller goals are enough. I set myself some challenges, usually incremental things that I can do maybe weekly or monthly, so that each increment competed is a success.

So, what am I going to do this year to make some changes in my life, or in the lives of others, or both?

  • Photos: In 2010, I did a Project 365, taking a photo each day for a year. That was a really challenging one, and I kind of failed at it. I probably managed a photo on, say, 325 days of the 365. More than A photo, more like 10 or 50 or 100 photos each day I managed to get a camera out. So while I failed at the 365 challenge, where I succeeded was to have an enormous treasure trove of photos of the year and, more specifically, photos of Stinkerbelle. And this past year, 2011, I really noticed the lack of photos to mark her growth and change. So this year, I’m kind of modifying my challenge to myself. I’m going to aim for taking a picture for as many days as I can, but my actual goal is to make sure I have photos for each week. 52 storage folders on our hard drive, each one filled with as many photos as I can manage that week.
  • Exercise: This one is hard. Lifestyle change goals are almost impossible to meet unless you make them realistic. I know I need more exercise in my life, but I also know that whatever I do, it has to be adaptable. A couple of years ago, BDH and I used to do 100-Day Exercise Challenges and the like, to push each other to exercise on a regular basis. And we’re competitive, so there was someone to push you to get ‘er done. But with a Stinkerbelle and our busy lives, something that long and hard is not always that easy, nor are we always able to do things at the same time. So I am going to set myself monthly challenges of things to do, and re-evaluate every month how it’s going. Maybe I will try to do yoga every day one month. Maybe I’ll get up early each workday and ride the recumbent bike in another month. Maybe I’ll get out and walk every day once the weather is fine. But in small, interesting, motivating blocks of time, I can fit in exercise AND make it a change that is easy to continue with.
  • 12 knitting projects in 2012: Last year I did an “11 in 2011” knitting challenge in my online knitting community, and had to get 11 projects done over the course of the year. And I did it, which was a great feeling of accomplishment. I’m doing another one this year, but this time it’s “12 in 2012”. Dog help me. But I learned that not all projects have to be OMG GIANT PROJECTS  like blankets and such, and that it was good to push myself to get some things done. I got two blankets, a scarf, and a bunch of little things done, as well as some charity squares and things that didn’t even go into the challenge. This year, I have a blanket for Stinkerbelle to finish, some charity squares I want to get done and sent, as well as some small household projects, and some new things I’d like to try. There’s no shortage of things to knit, certainly.
  • 12 knitted hats in 2012: This one is similar to the knitting challenge above. Signing up for the challenge keeps me on track and accountable, and after finding a 12 in 12 challenge specific to hats, I knew exactly what I would do. After reading on her blog about herd boys in Lesotho and the deplorable conditions that they live in, I promised Melissa that I would make 15 hats for her to take when she travels to contribute to improving the lots of these boys.

We’ve also got some Very Important Life Stuff to get done, and some other little changes we’d like to make around here, so we need to set out some goals and plans and get them done.

OMG YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS??? MORE LISTS! ::happy clap!::

I am sure there are other things to try to do, things I have forgotten. But that’s a good start. A good start and a good plan for what I hope will be a good year.

Inspiration and Donation

Some days I get all inspired.

Usually it’s around charitable donation. I don’t have a lot of money. I don’t have the skills to organize and inspire and lead people to get things done. I don’t have vision. But I can knit.

Charity knitting. I see projects, or yarn, or organizations, and I am gripped with a fever to KNIT ALL THE THINGS!! But then, sometimes, I get going on a project and I find another organization that needs this, and another group that needs that, and all of a sudden I hit the wall. There’s just so much need, and not enough me. Or, as Dan says earlier in the episode above, “A couple of months ago I wrote a check to someone. Now I’m in the middle of Dickensian London.”

(Ooh, Dan. Yum. How perfect is HE? But I digress.)

What I need? Is a LIST.

(No, I kid. You THOUGHT I was going to say “list”, didn’t you?)

What I ACTUALLY need? Is a PLAN. Which is LIKE a list, only with more levels of organization.

(Okay. So you weren’t so far off. Yes, you’re very smart. Shut up.)

A plan would help me, I think. What’s bad is that, while I am an Olympic-calibre project starter, my follow through is for crap. I have a bazillion knitted things around the house, for this group and that organization. What I need is to get my arse in gear and get them packaged and sent. And that’s where I seem to get stuck.

I know there are so many people and animals that would benefit if I could just get a plan together. This is my challenge, of late. It’s the holiday season, and it’s winter, and so I am seeing more and more people and animals in need. I’m finding pet projects I want to support. But until I can begin to think about these things, I need a plan.

I have the will. I have the desire. I have the stash. What I lack are the listmaker’s favourite things: Lists. Lists of people and addresses and websites.Lists of needs. Lists of deadlines. And a plan to pull all these things together, to help me get my stash on the needles, my knitting completed, and my projects out the door.

Well, that, and a dash of reality. I also need to be realistic in what I can do, while also getting the personal projects I commit to completed in a timely fashion, within the confines of my free time. Because, as much as I want to donate to ALL THE THINGS, realistically I have to draw some lines somewhere.

You get bogged down, looking at all the charities that need help, here in the middle of Dickensian London. They are all deserving. But you just can’t do everything for everyone.

That may be a big part of my projects dying before they get out the door: I want to do so much, and when I finish something, it seems to be so little.

So more perspective is needed. Because really, every little bit you can do helps, because it’s that much more than the recipients of your efforts had before. A couple of squares here, some hats there… it all adds up. If I am doing a little bit, it’s added to someone else’s little bit, and it all comes together to be so much more. The trick, as they say, is to get in the game.

So, a plan. I need one. So since BDH got us our fabulous list-making software, the first step is to make use of it to accumulate all the charities and websites and needs and contact information I need. That will be the first step in the plan. Then I need to set some realistic goals, and deadlines. And then, make another plan for follow-through at the end.

I have to see my inspiration through the perspiration to get to donation. Because, when all those pieces fall into place, even if just one person in need gets a blanket or a hat…  just look at what we can do.

Enabler

My husband, he is an enabler.

I have a couple of obsessions. He enables them. Sometimes this is a bad thing. Mostly it’s a good thing. Sometimes it’s an OMG TOTALLY FULL OF WIN thing.

So, you know the other day, I was talking about this thing I have about lists? Yeah, he has a list thing, too. So what does he do? He finds this program called Evernote, and it lets us make lists on whatever computer we are on, and synchronize them. So that means that no matter what computer you use to add something to your list, if you sign in on another computer you can add something to that same list, and see what you added previously. So if I am upstairs, and I think “Oh, I need to add X to my shopping list” I can add it right then and there to the shopping list. Or if I am at work, I can add something there. But the BONUS is, that if BDH is at work, and he thinks of something, he can add it too, from his work computer. We can SHARE lists.

Takes list-making to a whole new level, doesn’t it. I KNOW!!

He also knows I lovelovelove music. Like, geeked-out love. And radio, too. But, in the last couple of years, I have grown disillusioned with commercial radio, in particular the station I listened to since university. We have iTunes and I have links to listen to stations worldwide to get a good station that I enjoy, but that doesn’t help when, say, I’m out and about in the car, or at work, or whatever. So, with a little research… voila, we have satellite radio. So that’s been really nice.

And then there’s knitting. I love to knit. And it’s fair to say, I have a large stash of yarn. Now, in the past, he enabled my knitting obsession by picking up GIANT SKEINS OF YARN he found on sale. And he didn’t bat an eye when I picked up a bunch of balls here, or a bag of mill ends there, or went a little nutty at the going-out-of-business sale at our local yarn store. But this is why I have such a large stash of yarn. I’m slowly knitting my way through it, but the operative word is SLOW. And so, we have had to shove yarn into drawers and bags and boxes and bins to store it, else we end up buried up to our collective whatzis in cheap acrylic and handicraft cotton.

But my birthday is approaching. I am nothing if not cheap, and so when I am asked for what I want for gifts, it is usually something practical. Something I NEED. Now, BDH HATES this. He wants me to get something I WANT. So, this year? I found something frivolous and enjoyable and fun.

A MYSTERY GRAB BAG OF YARN FROM A FANCY SUPPLIER.

So this means, I put in the order, and I get something like 25 balls of yarn, their choosing, and they pack it up and ship it to me. And SURPRISE! I see what I get in the box, and away I go coming up with something to knit. It would be a chance to try yarns that I have never knit with before, so that’s fun. (To be honest, the cheap practical me would probably try to ensure I got something useful and practical, like cottons and washable wools. But still.) And I like the surprise aspect of the colours and so forth. But it also means — MORE YARN WE HAVE NO PLACE TO STORE.

Did BDH complain when I suggested it? On the contrary. He keeps bugging me to see if I have placed the order yet.

So yeah, he’s an enabler. But he’s MY enabler. And if you have a problem with that, you can add it to my list. (But not right now because I have the radio on and I’m knitting.)

Attention All Passengers

Just a reminder that tomorrow (Wednesday) is our discussion of the Movie Night movie for July, “Enchanted April”. I’ll post the start of the discussion… sometime tomorrow.

Also, just for fun, here are my most recent knitting works-in-progress, two blankets for two special little girls:

And for all passengers not going ashore, there will be a shuffleboard tournament on the Lido Deck starting at 2 pm.

That is all.

Prepare to Be Dazzled

Or, more likely, I should have said “prepare the eyeball bleach”. Because it is time to unleash upon Teh Interwebs the wonder that is THE UGLIEST TEA COZY EVER.

BEHOLD:

For my 11 Projects in 2011 knitting challenge, I decided I needed a tea cozy. Well, I DID need one, in fact, because I always make tea and then forget about it sitting in my teapot for hours until it is cold and nasty. So I decided that for my March project, I would make a tea cozy.

(Where is my February project, you ask? Well, it is done, but I cannot post photos of it because it is a SURPRISE for somebody who reads my blog. So. Once I get the package sent off containing the knitted surprisey goodness, I will post photos.)

And so, my March project is done and dusted.  I’ve needed a tea cozy for a long time, and it was an easy project to knit. This way, I can make my tea, put its little sweater on, forget about it for an hour or whatever, and when I come back? STILL WARM. And less tea goes to waste as well. A FUNCTIONAL OBJECT.

I KNOW. YOU ARE AMAZED.

I made it out of an old sweater. I hated that sweater. It always itched. I think my skin is overly sensitive to wool. Plus it was crap yarn. I cannot imagine why I ever bought this sweater — or the one exactly like it, but in BEIGE — so somebody must have given them to me as a gift.

So in a fit of thriftiness I decided last year to frog the sweater and reuse the yarn. Certainly not for something anyone would WEAR, because OMGWTF SO ITCHY. But then the time came for me to start my next project, and this was the only yarn close at hand (as I was parked in front of one of the many BBC series I watch on the Tubes of You and the Netflix and I was NOT ABOUT TO GET UP WHEN THERES A COSTUME DRAMA ON SHUDDUP DONT YOU JUDGE ME).

And it’s a TEAPOT. It doesn’t get itchy. And it certainly doesn’t need to dress all fancy.

So it took me all of a few hours to knit and sew up, and it’s functional and made of recycled yarn. I didn’t think I could be so proud of something so ugly, but I AM. I’m quite fond of it, actually.

(But Tova, I will understand if, now, having seen it, you recoil in horror and think OMG NEVER MIND DON’T BOTHER MAKING ME ONE I DO NOT WANT THAT THING IN MY HOUSE.)

The Scarf

Alright, my interwebs peeps, it is time. Time for the unveiling of The Scarf.

Behold! Bask in the glory of the knitting project that knew no end!

(Sorry the pictures are so badly exposed. It’s a black scarf with green characters on it.)

I started this scarf back in late November 2009 when I was younger and more ambitious and Stinkerbelle was less mobile and less busy. I quickly learned that colourwork and toddlers do not mix.

So it got shelved for a goodly period of time.

But I picked it back up again in the fall and knit a row here and a row of pattern there. And then I decided to get the damn thing done before Christmas.

Didn’t happen. But I was close, so I used my 11 in 2011 knitting challenge to get it done.

(knitgeek talk)

The pattern is easy (Binary from Knitty 2006) and the colourwork is just 2 colours, but it’s knit in the round, and you carry both colours at all times. And if your circular needles are too long (as mine were by about an INCH goddammit), it’s a pain in the fricking arse. Not to mention the fingers. And I didn’t swatch beforehand so it’s my own fault, but I never swatch. I AM A REBEL SO THERE. And I used acrylic because you want something like this to wear like iron — maybe a superwash wool would have been better. But I’d hate for BDH to find he could not wear wool next to the skin after all this work.

(/knitgeek talk)

So it’s about 6 or 7 feet long and really wide and as thick as hell, and BDH seems to love it. And I am glad. It was a challenge, and reminded me why I rarely do colourwork. But I like the finished product and I’m glad I did it.

And I can’t show you February’s challenge until I get it in the mail because OMG ITS A SURPRISE. So, I’ll have to find something else to show you in the meantime.

Addict

I am in need of a 12 Step Program. It’s true. I am an addict. A YARN addict.

I know I need help. I know I have WAY more yarn than is possible for me to knit in a YEAR. And yet? STILL BUYING.

There is a sale on at one of my local yarn stores right now. Stinkerbelle and I stopped in and browsed, and then picked out some yarn. I kept the damage to under $40, which I thought was very restrained of me.

The upside is that I don’t knit anything but bibs and blankets and scarves and squares. So although there is much gorgeous, soft, expensive yarn to be had, I really have no need for it. I knit in cotton, and that’s it. Washable, dryer-friendly cotton yarn. For washable, dryer-friendly stuff.

I tell you, though, wandering around this morning through all the soft, gorgeous, expensive wools and bamboos and alpacas in all their brilliant, rich colours was very tempting. High end yarn is very sexy. It’s like dangling a sparkly, shiny trinket in front of a magpie. WANTWANTWANT.

It’s very tempting. But I am able to resist. I gave up knitting sweaters years and years ago when I discovered it was no fun for me. It requires too much thinking.

Instead, I knit things that do not require much thought, that I can do while watching a movie or as That Baby putters around me or while having coffee and visiting with friends. And these are generally hard-wear items, like bibs and blankets and washcloths. (I LOVE to knit blankets and bibs. I could go into business knitting blankets and bibs, except for the fact that I am slow.)

So I have no need for the fancy-schmancy yarns. But still, there was a sale on today, and I could not resist some CottonTots in lovely blue and green and yellow. Another blanket for That Baby.

That’s not counting the super sale on bulk yarn I encountered a month ago at Zellers, wherein I bought 24 balls of cotton, suitable for ANOTHER blanket. So yeah — Stinkerbelle will be well and truly set for blankets until kindergarten, at this rate.

So, it’s safe to say I have enough cotton to keep me in knitting for quite some time. Oh, and that also doesn’t take into account the sale at Michaels a few weeks ago where I picked up some skeins for bibs. And beyond that, well… I have yarn left over from old finished projects, and old not-yet-started projects, just waiting to be cast on.

And I have not even mentioned the baby-melting acrylic I have accumulated over the years for toys and dolls and other projects. Or the yarn blends.

My yarn stash is becoming unwieldy.

When we buy our next house, when we win the lottery, I will have one room dedicated to crafts. And the walls will be lined with storage for my yarn.