When I sat down to think about this coming year, I wanted to cut down on my spending (except maybe for my new Cricut, which I am still getting to know how to use)…keeping the books to a bare minimum–because there is NO WAY I cannot buy any books for an entire year, no matter how many books with which I surround myself. Yarn, however, is a different story.
Now, my original idea was to not buy any yarn for the entire year, unless someone asked for something specific that I don’t have on-hand…but I have also been waiting for my husband’s new job and paycheck to enable me to have a little money to spend at my favorite local small business and favorite knitting store: The Weaving Dept at the Myers House. This week I paid them a visit. Please note, their hours and procedures have changed. Please call to make an appointment to visit them. And please enter through the front door when you do arrive.
I bought enough Lettlopi to make a sweater (more on that in a later post) — and a few other skeins. Fine. There was this gorgeous fuchsia Malabrigo that had me from the moment I laid eyes on it. Plus, they have a 50% off rack and a 30% off rack…and how in the world can anyone say no to beautiful yarn when it is ON SALE?? (Which, when I am honest, is my issue in the first place, lol.) I walked out with my ten skeins of Lopi, a beautiful Halloween wool-based sock yarn, and two skeins of gorgeous olive-y green Australian wool. Yummy. And nearly twice as much as I had planned to spend there, but I think that this is the last LYS in the area still standing…it was my favorite one long before the pandemic hit…and I do not want to see them go away. So, I did what I did and I wish I had more to spend because I would have.
Now, enough about that.
One reason for my no yarn buying diet this year is because…I have a TON of yarn. I have a TON of yarn that I have had for YEARS. When the pandemic hit in March of last year, I would have assumed I would have knit or crocheted my way through who knows how much…and I didn’t. There had been so much stress before the pandemic and now the pandemic on top of that that I simply stopped and simply was for the longest time. Then the urge returned.
Lucky me though; for the December holidays I cleaned out our living room, removing shelves of books and knitting supplies. I have five set of interchangeable needles (thank you, Knitpicks) and who knows how many circular needles in a single case–and for the life of me, I have been looking since at least Boxing Day and I cannot find that case anywhere I look–even though I know it is in the house–much like too many other things here–I know it is in a safe place…but where the heck is that? Thankfully I had some of my needles stuck in a jar to be returned to their case…eventually…and thank goodness I never go around to that because those are the only needles I have to work with right now. I even bought a set of circular needles from Amazon, hoping that if I bought new needles, the old ones would show up. Not this time. I did the same thing when I lost the presser foot to my sewing machine. It was nearly a year before I figured out where I put my presser foot and the patterns I had been looking for (in my art area of all places!!) — but at least I found those two things together. These Amazon-bought circulars have longer cords than I normally use…I think they are in the 36-39 inches range…and those will not help me finish the sleeves on sweaters before I find my needle bag…and I have sweaters planned.
I do have SABLE at this point. (SABLE is stash accumulation beyond life expectancy) I love gift cards for holidays and special occasions because I am good at finding sales and deals and whatnot. Even not speaking of gift cards, speaking only of sales and discounts and clearance finds, I used to buy tons of yarn whenever I could–because I was always afraid of running out.
When I was a new knitter, any yarn would do. I have tons of acrylic yarn. Lots of Red Heart Super Saver. I have a stash of Caron One Pound as well. I donate yarn when I can, when asked. I give yarn away when I can, when asked. I do what I can to knit/crochet for charities. (An aside here: this year, my focus is going to be kids in the foster care system, after seeing what the company my husband works for did for foster kids for Christmas. More on that some other time.) But, I didn’t always think ahead to the projects I was planning to make. I was just thinking, buy the yarn now; it’s a good/great deal; buy, buy, buy…yarn does not go bad.
Number one: wool and natural yarns CAN go bad — it’s called bugs in the system. Moth larvae. Whatever. That yarn is salvageable (usually)…but that doesn’t make it indestructible. Acrylic yarn, uhm, yeah, pretty much indestructible.
I read something this past year or the year before that made me shift how I look at the yarns I want to buy to make my sweaters and other items to wear–if you are going to put in the time and effort to knit yourself something, buy good yarn that will last and look good forever — not like the two sweaters I knit in acrylic last year–but I have no issues knitting a pattern in acrylic first to test it out before sinking into the ‘good’ yarn. Plus, wool you can wear all year round. It’s cooling in the summer and warming in the winter, like silk. (There’s an entire lecture on the qualities of wool as an all season fabric…but this is neither the time nor the place.)
Hence the Lettlopi sweater I am currently working on. Plus, I plan to make two tank tops after this using wool that I was gifted last year.
But–that leaves me with a lot of acrylic…but I do have several blanket requests to fulfill. Hey, I was working on moving some stuff out of my work area this past week and found a project bag full of yarn, with a blanket begun and the hook beside it. The blanket is for my daughter. She chose the yarn and the colors. I started it before she moved out the first time. She said there was no rush and not to worry about it. I set the project aside…and there it has been for, what, two years, more, now?
The plan for this year, once I reach that section of the house, is to purge and donate whatever no longer fills me with joy (or in my case, possibility). Save a certain amount of certain types and colors for my mother 9who crochets the most beautiful and WARM C2C blankets I have ever seen). And then–work from my stash.
You think the only thing I found when I was cleaning last week was the blanket UFO for my daughter? Nope. I have two (smallish, say, 12 inch by 12 inch) bins with yarns in them that I originally set aside to make colorwork hats for friends and family. Yep. All that yarn is still sitting there…and I set up another bin as well because I forgot about those two because I had no idea where they were…and I like making colorwork hats…and I need to test-knit some patterns so I can put them up for sale as well…so there ya go there.
So, 2021, the year of the yarn diet. But it is one I have no real problem with. I have plenty of other yarns to keep my busy and occupied for the year.
Just wait until I can access all my knitting books and magazines again. Then I might have to re-start my knit from your books project from over a decade ago again.
What are your plans this year? What sort of ‘diet’ are you thinking of implementing?
Leave your comments, and your questions, below.