Monday, January 07, 2008

Quite possibly the ugliest thing I've ever knitted. Ever.

Nine partial balls of Schaefer Elaine yarn. Each one beautiful in its own way. Independently beautiful. Together? It's as if I knitted up the barf from my dog after he got into the kids' neon twist-up crayons. (Thank God that stuff was non-toxic.) It was the strangest thing. I was POSSESSED by this project. The more I knit, the uglier it got. The uglier it got, the more I was compelled to knit it. I started it Wednesday morning, finished it last night. 5 days. Of knitting this thing. I used the basic idea of the Moderne Log Cabin garter stitch blanket from the Mason-Dixon Knitting book. Seriously, I love this yarn. It made some of my very favorite scarves knitted years ago. I just would NEVER put these colors together on purpose. It ended up being 26" X 44", which is just perfect for a lap blanket for me while I'm working at my computer. Also, if you spin it in an ever widening circle and flip the lights on and off, it looks just like the start of a migraine. You never know when that may come in handy.

I've decided to not make sleeves for the Zimmerman-ish sweater jacket thing I'm working on. Adding a band/border thing around the inside, not sure if I'll like it or not. I'll probably finish it off with an i-cord bindoff and see what I think.

Anyone, besides Chery catch the little phrase "HUGE downturn in the freshly acquired yarn department" in the lat post? I'm on a budget. *gasp* I know, it sucks. The whole saving for our future crap, not living for today, but living for tomorrow......blah blah blah. Yes, I do truly want to have a place to live and retire early enough to be able to enjoy our lives. I'd also like the home we retire in to have electricity, running water, air conditioning and internet access. Though the tick-infested "farm" we were looking into has dropped off the list, we're now looking at 3 more country properties. Our goal is to move there when the kids go to college, in about 12 years. In order to do that, I've got to help save for the greater good. The budget I wrote had a very modest $300/year yarn allowance. Those that know me well snorted quite loudly at that amount. Apparently, I don't walk into a yarn shop without spending about $80 per trip. Seriously. The whole "you need MORE YARN?" discussion came about after the boy pointed out the cedar chest full of lovely yarn. I decided not to point out the large 6-drawer monster dresser also full of yarn. See, sometimes I CAN think before I talk. So, the $300/year is off the board. gone. no yarn budget. for me. none.

SO, the new plan is to pay groceries, medical stuff, bills, gas, etc from the checking account. Live on $100 per month for the rest of my misc. spending needs. This includes McDonalds' trips, pizza deliveries, movies, entertainment and YARN. Cripes almighty. Seeing as I'm a shopaholic yarn snob, you'd think the stash would have some good stuff in it. It does, but also my tastes have changed drastically in the almost 4 years I've been knitting. The plan is to re-fall in love with this fiber that I couldn't live without. I do have some good stuff in there along with a lot of single balls of strange stuff. I'll save my pennies up for goodies and use the couple of gift certificates I've got and hope to make it through. I still have a secret stash fund for monster yarn cravings, (and the yarn shopping room at the Knitting in the Heartland Spring festival thing) but I'm going to try to use it sparingly.

Frugal doesn't come naturally to me. A normal weekend outing with the kids would be taking my two to the movies, buying popcorn and icees and pop for me and a big ass bag of peanut m&ms to share. Easily spend over $50. Then maybe order pizza for dinner, another $20 including tip. OK, so I see how this COULD add up to a lot of wasted cash. In a fit of frugal go-get-it-ness I planned an entirely FREE outing this last weekend. The kids and I mixed up some kool-aid in thermoses, iced tea in a thermos for me, packed some granola bars and fruit roll-ups and hit the road. We went to the Nelson Atkins Art Gallery and parked on the road outside (free parking) and toured the old part of the museum and admired traditional paintings and sculptures and various Chinese displays. Then we wandered into the new Bloch wing and it ROCKED! That had such neat, unusual things the kids were fascinated. Then we walked all freaking OVER the outside checking out the sculptures and enjoying the beautiful weather. We must have walked for almost 3 hours total. We had a picnic snack in the minivan and headed for home, tired and proud of ourselves. I'm going to try to scout out other free adventures here around the city. Being frugal sure does take a lot more planning and thinking.

I was all inspired by myself and went to a frugal mom website to get more ideas. They were talking about making their own granola for cripes sakes. I'm not going that far, I just wanna save some money but still knit with soft, pretty yarn. Is that so wrong? For the record, saying "for the greater good" in Dumbledore-speak doesn't really help either. Not shopping still sucks. Anyone with good ideas of outings for the kids and I please feel free to send a note. I'm just starting on this stupid ass budget challenging new lifestyle and could use some help.

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