Saturday, October 31, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
So I toss out the question that, if anyone knows a site where I can keep this running dialogue and people could actually post without having to join and it's free, drop me a note. My email is email@example.com I'd be more than happy to change servers as I have no ties here. I'd have no trouble starting over as I can't think of anything I've posted that would cause world chaos if lost to the annals of time.
We actually had one small glimmer of hope this week. I checked the weathercast on Wednesday and they said some rain on Thursday (buckets, actually), maybe some rain on Friday and then an overcast weekend, but the precipitation would stop. In fact, they promised it would stop for all of next week. I can't explain how excited I became when I read that because the simple thought of two days in a row with actual sun was more than my little peabrain could comprehend. By Thursday morning, however, they'd changed their minds once again. Rain all weekend. Rain all this coming week.
In the Garden
The only things flourishing in all this precipitation is the hostas, grasses and my morning glories are doing suprisingly well. I thought they'd need sun in order to find a direction to grow, but they're 6"-8" above the ground and reaching for the fence. Everything else seems to be rotting before it can actuall bloom. I have a mountain laurel that's a beautiful fuscia color. Very pretty. Very small. In fact, this poor plant has survived some seriously hardship. I actually bought it two years ago and, for some strange reason, never got it planted. I think it got tucked in behind the garage with the pile of castoffs and forgotten. But I found it last year in its tiny little gallon container and planted it anyway. Late, of course, because last year was when I got my late start because of the surgery. So I don't think it got into the ground until about August. But I figured, what the heck. If it's survived winter in that tiny little container, it just might come back. Well, last year, it looked half dead. I thought it was a goner for sure.
And, in fact, it wasn't until about three weeks ago that it actually showed life. But then a few leaves appeared and some buds began to build. Wow! What a survivor! So I was looking forward to the fabulous color that I'd remembered and the rain this year basically took that excitement away. The blooms opened and it was gorgeous in all its spindly glory for all of two days before the blooms rotted and fell off...
If we don't get some sun soon, I have a feeling that the only thing that will do well this year is my mulch. Mark did get me two yards. That's a good start. I know it's going to take me another 2-4 yards to finish what I plan on accomplishing this year.
On The Needles/Wheel
I really have to do both at once because there's very little on the needles that isn't languishing until I go back to work. Whenever I get the itch to knit, I pull out the two pairs of socks that I'd begun months ago. I knit a couple rows and then I just want to toss it across the room. I spend so much time knitting when I'm working that the last thing I want to see during the summer months when I'm off is needles and yarn.
Don't get me wrong. I have tons of yarn. I have a whole basketful of just my handspun, let alone all the various commercial yarn I've bought throughout the knitting season. But I just can't stand the thought of picking up needles right now.
Oh, wait, I do have to update. I did find the perfect "yarn" to finish Dee's Mitered Tank with. While at my spinning group last week, I sorted through their Dale of Norway patterns, tucked a few into a corner for safekeeping and then went back the next day. I didn't want to make Lauren actually work and take care of money when the evening is meant for company and support. So I went back the next day and scoured her store for the perfect finishing yarn. I found it. From Great Adirondack. Don't ask specifics because I didn't keep the ball band once I'd gotten it wound on the ball winder. But it's a cotton/silk blend with all kinds of little sparklies. I started to pick up the stitches around the neck (if you check the pattern from Interweave Mag, it's a three row pattern around the neck and armholes). Yuck! It looked really terrible. My first thought was that I'd made a terrible mistake and the yarn wasn't going to work. Then I tried a single crochet row around the edges. I doubled the yarn by pulling from inside and outside the ball and it worked. I just have to finish it by washing and blocking, but she tried it on briefly and it really looks lovely.
Okay, so she's a teenaged girl and the pattern really minimizes your chest. I don't know why, but it does. She'd much rather that it would work more like a push-up bra and create some fantastic cleavage, but I think she's willing to forego that effect since it ain't gonna happen... /g/
Oh the wheel.... I'm almost at the end of the Alpaca. It's coming along beautifully and I can't wait to reach the end. Not that I want alpaca to end because it's a dream to spin, but I have so much fiber awaiting my attention. I have that Rambouillet as well as the BFL and some merino in silver grey and some gorgeous garnet that I think is either Corriedale or BFL. I can't remember which, but the color is spectacular. A picture would never do it justice because it looks almost black, it's such a dark wine color. And then there are strands here and there that are the color of a rich burgundy wine that peek out amongst all that almost black color. I have no idea what i can use it for except that it simply had to come home with me the weekend I took Mom up to Torrington to Ginger's store (The Sheep Gathering) to pick up her loom.
Youngest daughter is graduating this week. Her school runs an all-night thing they call Project Graduation. Some people have ongoing projects like their crafts. My project this summer is to de-clutter my dining room so I can take over a corner and finally organize all of my yarn and fiber into one area of my house. I did a walk through the other day and found I have yarn and/or fiber stashed in every single room except my daughters' bedroom. Yes, even the kitchen has a skein of yarn. Why? I haven't a clue how it got there, but there it was nonetheless, looking at me with longing for a project to belong to.
What this all means is I no longer have a clue of what I have, what I need or one tiny inkling of how many needles I truly own. They're everywhere. Yes, I know about the two sets of socks that are languishing in my bedroom next to the Pi Are Squared Shawl that I wonder if I'll ever get around to completing. (I need one more skein of alpaca for this project and, so far, I haven't been able to find that one skein. Since it's knit in natural colors, I know I'll find it one day, I just haven't lived that day yet... /wry g/) I have that EZ sweater with all its various skeins of yarn in my dining room. The Mitered Tank is waiting to be washed. (Being cotton, I just need a day that I'm doing laundry and I'm going to toss that into the wash along with some t-shirts.) The Silk Hobo Bag was washed yesterday and is out on the deck railing, attempting to dry. (Be careful, some sun is peeking through the clouds. I might have to get excited if I think about it... LOL!) Don't forget that huge bin of sale yarn that I'd bought a year ago. I hate to admit it, but our guinea pig cage sits atop the bin so Kip can enjoy fresh air and sunshine. He lives in our living room right at our front window. Once the heat sets in, we'll have to move him away from the sun because guinea pigs don't like hot weather, but I figure he really enjoys the cool fresh air from the window until we reach that day. Considering they're only supposed to live 5-7 years and we've already determined that he's got to be at least 7, if not 8, my goal is to keep him as comfortable as possible.
But I'm meandering as usual. I don't have any plans to de-stash. But I certainly have plans to de-clutter and organize. If I can manage to organize the room and keep the dining room set, kewl. If that has to go to make room for the craft, then I'll have to deal with that also. Decisions, decisions.
Today, my plan is to pack up stuff from the hutch. There are items that I didn't buy, never would have bought, but kept because they were gifts. I'm going to set those aside because youngest daughter has said that she'd be more than happy to run a tag sale. She can keep any money she makes. I just want to get rid of excess stuff. Other items, however, will be packed for storage. We have a storage unit for our Dear Aunt's stuff. I can store my stuff with hers until I can finally get that room done the way I want. I might have room at that time. I don't have room now. Silver can be packed away since I almost never use it. But I need room for my fiber and my wheels. 2.3 lbs of Rambouillet needs space. And priorities must be made. And, unless the DH is willing to give up his office (like that is ever gonna happen /g/), I need room for fiber and yarn.
Yup, I can do this.
Hopefully, next week, I'll have a picture of youngest daughter in her Mitered Tank. I have until Wednesday to get it washed and ready for wear. I can do that. Especially since I'm pretty sure she'd be much happier if I had clean underwear for her graduation, so laundry will have to be worked into the schedule prior to Wednesday...
Friday, June 12, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
IOW, I'm hoping to actually cover an agenda today rather than my usual blathering about whatever pops into my mind.
On The Needles
Remember the Mitered Tank for Dee? I found some really cute glass beads to work into the neckline, but I sort of ran into a problem. While waiting to find just the right thing, I started the Vacation Skirt in Blackberry. So I now have a project on the needles I need to finish the tank... Oops... /g/ Course, that one is easy. Just finish the skirt and then I can move back and finish the tank. All of this before her graduation on the 24th. Er... not tomorrow, but the 24th of June. So I have a month to get this done.
Shouldn't be a problem except I normally don't knit much at all once I'm out of work. Summer is my spinning time. So I have to actively remind myself to get the project out of the bag and keep knitting away. The skirt is coming along nicely. I have about 35 rows to go in order to finish it, so it shouldn't be a problem.
And I will publicly admit that I've officially snoozed a project until Fall. That sweater I made using the Fibonucci sequence? Well, I still hadn't put the thing together yet. Then, yesterday, I was packing up the sweaters and bringing out the shorts, so I took the body and sleeves and stuffed them into the bag for storage. I did make a mental note to remind myself that I'm going to have to put it together once I bring it back out in the Fall. (Course, knowing me, I'll forget entirely until it comes out of the bag and then I'll laugh and finally get it done. In the meantime, though, it can nap. After all, it's been napping for about 3 months already. What's another 3 months? I know, the height of laziness on my part... LOL!)
I did keep my EZ sweater out for the summer in case I get an itch to knit. I promise it won't last long once the heat of summer arrives, but I like to keep something out in case the itch shows up. Usually it only takes a dose of Zyrtec and one evening of trying to knit wool in 90 degree heat and the itch runs for the hills. But I'll keep it handy anyway.
In The Garden
Not much yet. Three weeks ago, I'd started my little seeds in their little greenhouses. Well, 90% of them took root and they're flourishing quite well. I have a couple herbs, some marigolds, celosia, sweet william and a whole bunch of morning glories. Frankly, I'd thought my clematis was dead, so I figured I could get morning glories to climb the fence between the yard and the driveway. Course, cleaning up the bed yesterday, I found the clematis' are doing just fine. They're just going to take a few more years to really get used to the fence. But I planted a whole bunch of morning glories anyway. So first plants are in the ground.
And the yarrow that I'd started from seed last year? A whole soft cloud of it in my front bed. It's really going to be lovely once it blooms.
On The Wheel
I do have two hanks of lovely natural BFL. It's still on the bobbins and I have to skein that on my kniddy knoddy. Maybe this afternoon if it really does decide to rain. In the meantime, I started some merino in Wild Orchids that I'd bought from Stone Barn Fibers. I do have to predraft it out because it's become quite matted. No fault of Cathi. I've had it hanging around and stuffed tightly into a ziploc bag for the last year or two. So predrafting is a must with this, but I hope to have that spun up by the end of the week.
Summer is my spinning time. I have lots and lots of fiber lined up. Some natural colors and some dyed. Some is BFL (I still have another 2 lbs to go on that.) I have a pound of alpaca with one bobbin of singles done, just waiting for a second bobbin so I can ply that. I bought a couple lbs of Rambouillet at the CT Sheep & Wool last month in a beautiful natural grey. I'm thinking that might make another beautiful EZ-type sweater with the BFL, but we'll have to see how the colors spin up. I like the thought of doing colorwork in my own handspun from natural colors, but it depends how the colors look together. I have another pound of steel grey merino that had come into Country Yarns and the woman who'd ordered it really didn't like it. She thought it would be a softer grey and it's not. But it's a beautiful fiber and I'm thinking it would make a wonderful pair of first socks for the Hubby.
And there's more also. I just can't remember it all, so I have LOTS to spin this summer. But I have to work my way through all of this before I can try The Sheep Shed for their bargain bags of wool. I've heard so much about them and I figure I can ask my spinning group if they'd like to invest in a bag and we can divide it. If not, then I'll do it anyway and have enough fiber to spin for the next 5 years... LOL!
Those are the basic updates of what's been going on. Oh, wait!
Bacon and Waffle now live together in the big cage. Shortly after my last post, we put them together to see how they were acclimating to each other and, the next thing we knew, they were cuddled together in their shirt. I have to tell you about Bacon's little trick on the wheel. They have a running wheel to keep them in shape, specially designed so their tails don't get caught in any spokes. It's all solid except for little holes along one side so they can get in and out. Well, Bacon runs along the wheel to get it moving and then she grabs the sides of one of the holes and spins all the way around with the wheel, kind of like doing a loop-the-loop. It's really cute. She'll run along, grab and loop, then start over again.
Now... what the heck is with the title to the blog?
Yup, Thanksgiving in May. I love summer because I can invite tons of people over. Why? Because my deck is larger than any room in my house. So all the summer picnics tend to happen here. I love it. This is my entertaining time of the year. The only problem that happens is... well, my family doesn't like macaroni or potato salad. All my guests love my salads, so I always make them, but my family doesn't like them. So all leftovers are inevitably eaten for days on end afterward by me and every bit of them end up expanding my butt.
So I had a thought... You see, I got a turkey on sale. It's been in my freezer for about two months. Time to cook it. And every November, these same poor people get stuffed into my little dining room. So I thought why not do Thanksgiving in May? My bird is defrosted and brining in my bathroom. I'm going to stuff it and cook it tomorrow with mountains of smashed potatoes and rivers of gravy. I'll make a mess of corn and bake a berry pie and see if I can talk Dee into another wonderful coffee cake for dessert. And we'll have Thanksgiving dinner out on the deck where we can won't be cramped for a change.
It will be a small party with about a dozen people, but our deck is big enough to handle that and more. Today will be unwrapping all the furniture and hosing everything down. I have to shop for the potatoes and bake the pie. Then tomorrow will be leisurely with the bird in the oven and potatoes mashing in the mixer.
My flower beds aren't ready for visitors yet, but it's still early in the year. I don't like planting before Memorial Day anyway. I did get started to get the morning glories in so they can really take off, but the rest will come in the future weeks. One bed at a time. One project at a time.
I do love summer and it's almost here.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
So... to pictures. Don't laugh, but my wonderful friend, Sylvia, wanted a picture of me wearing my new red Albertville Dale of Norway. I had just come home from my spinning group last Friday and I was chatting with youngest daughter and her boyfriend and she pulled out her camera. Sorry, but I couldn't resist. If you know me at all, I'm almost never downright silly, so I grabbed the opportunity and ran with it. This is me in my third to last (?) creation. I look a little pregnant (at least, to me I certainly look that way... LOL), but the sweater fits nicely and you can just see the variegation in the red kettle-dyed wool. Both the red and the creamy white are Araucania Nature's Wool. The other two colors are tangelo and chestnut in Knit Pick's Telemark sport weight yarn. The color combination worked beautifully and I certainly can't complain. This might just have to be my entry in the Durham Fair this coming September. That is, unless I come up with something better, but I'm not sure how I can top this one.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Yes, it was an April Fools' edition. And what am I doing? I'm trying to figure out the logistics... LOL!
Somehow I survived the week. Problems with my dearest aunt-in-law are escalating, so that's now moving to a front burner. I'll call Elderly Outreach again starting tomorrow and beg if I have to in order to get some help with that situation. I feel bad for Mark because I've been making him answer the phone... er, most of the time. In the past, I'd intercepted most of the calls and dealt with whatever cropped up. In essence, I was trying to save him from the worst of it. But that wasn't a good idea because now he truly sees what I've been seeing for the past year or so.
Just a quick example is that she called last week because she thought she saw sparks and flames when she started her car. (We know now that she hasn't been driving much because her odometer has only logged 400 miles in the last year.) anyway, the battery was dead. So Mark and I went over, he jumpstarted the car and asked if he could take it for a few days to drive it to make sure everything is okay. Yes, everything is fine. I think it's because all of the indicator lights light up when you initially start the car and she doesn't understand and thinks they're sparks and flames jumping out from the dashboard. So Mark drove the car home and this is when we discovered that she's only driven approx 400 miles in a year. That was last Sunday.
She called us Friday, worried because her car was gone. She did ask if Mark had taken her car, but she was worried because it was gone. It wasn't in her garage and it wasn't parked in front. And she was out of cigarettes. (Don't even go there because the one thing I do know is that she's never smoked in her bedroom or in bed. For 20 years, she either stands at her kitchen counter or sits at her kitchen table while smoking.) So Mark took her some cigarettes and, yes, he has her car. Then she called yesterday because she's in trouble with the Dept of Motor Vehicles. She'd received a notice that her emissions was expired and they'd taken her car. No, another reason Mark took her car is because he has an appt on Tuesday to take it through emissions for her. They didn't take her car. We did so we could take care of this. Then she called again because she's out of bread. Twice, she called about this one. So he called and asked her if she needed bread, though he'd been to her house the night before. No, that's okay, she could wait because of the terrible storm outside.
You have to understand that she was almost hit by lightning as a child, so she's always been terrified. Yes, we'd had some thunder earlier in the evening. I imagine she'd closed all of her blinds so she wouldn't be scared by the lightning and still thought the storm was raging (though, in reality, it was periods of light rain and I only saw one flash of lightning and a few rolls of thunder). So that could wait until today.
Well, speaking of our dear Aunt, she just called. She's out of coffee and really cranky because she hasn't had any coffee yet.
Poor Mark is in the shower. No, he can't deal with the daily problems. We're going to have to fix this and get some help. So I'll start calling again tomorrow. Six months ago, I was dealing with this by myself and Mark wasn't exactly supportive because he didn't see the extent. Well, it's gotten a LOT worse than it was six months ago, but at least he's going to work with me to get dear Aunt the help she needs.
The funny part about this whole thing is that my mother-in-law is actually the perfect person for this type of thing. She really is terrific. When dealing with someone who's not exactly firing with all pistons, my MIL can have the patience of Job. She works with a woman right now who's in the same kind of circumstance that dear Aunt is and my MIL deserves a medal for the way she can gently nudge her patient in the right direction. The problem is that dear Aunt and MIL don't get along. Dear Aunt has the funds to pay MIL to come in a few hours a day and do things like the laundry and shopping and make sure she eats at least one hot meal a day. And MIL would be wonderful at it. But they would be like putting a match and flame too close together.
Oh dear. I feel really bad for Mark, but he needed to be driven to the edge before he'll let me see that things are done that need doing.
Okay, that all said. I've started my EZ Scandinavian design. I received my yarn from Knit Picks and it's going to work really really well. But I also received the new Vogue Knitting. A couple of their tank top designs are really pretty. I'm actually feeling a new surge of creativity in a different direction. I'm thinking of KP's Cotlin in a few tanks for spring and summer. Two of the designs in their metallic section are wonderful. (I'm thinking the short sleeve with the cowl that's knitted top down. Wow! What a truly gorgeous design.) But no way am I thinking in terms of metallic. I'm thinking cotton or linen or silk or some combination of the three. Simple classic designs with small details that truly set them apart.
So I imagine my next purchase will be some Cotlin for one of them. Yes, I even like the new Nora Gaughan design. Done in Cotlin in that new pale salmon color? Wouldn't that be really pretty on a hot summer day once I get working on my summer tan? I'm thinking the 4th of July fireworks over in Hamden. Oh yeah, this would be the perfect tank to wear to an event like that.
And I wonder if I have enough time for the capped-sleeved cowl for the basketball banquet next month? I'm not sure I could finish it in time, but that would certainly be lovely in a two-tone natural cotton or cotlin over a plain pair of black pants.
Okay, off to shower and make some phone calls. Be ready once Dee wakes up so I can get some pics of all my lovely sweaters out in the bright sunshine. It's either that or I'm going to be tempted to run outside and start my spring clean-up of the yard. I have lots of raking and plants that need their spring cutbacks. Hmm.... choices, choices. Don't you just love a world with choices?
Have a wonderful week and I'll be back with pics. (If I'm really talented, I'll get the pics, upload and just edit this post to add them in, but it remains to be seen if I'm actually that knowledgable... LOL!)
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Yes, it's done. I actually cast off the final stitches on the newest Dale of Norway Albertville colorway around the end of February, but then I had do all the finishing work... Sewing the edges before cutting, then picking up for the neck and knitting the neckband, tacking that baby down, then sewing in the sleeves. You know, all that detail work that I SOOOOO try to avoid doing... LOL!
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Let's start with the close-up of the big pattern. I think it really came out well. I knew in my heart that the tangelo would work with the red, but I'm not that thrilled with the "brown". Knitpicks doesn't offer as much color variety in their Telemark yarn as they do in their Palette line, so I didn't have much choice in the brown. This one is called "chestnut", but the orange and red make it look a bit more grey than I'd have liked. I'd wanted a rich, deep, chocolately brown. This one is more of an ash brown. But, what the heck.... It worked overall.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
I'm really pleased with how well this sweater turned out. I always knew the colors would work. I just never expected it to work so well.... And I really apologize because you can't tell from this picture just how well they do work. (Refer to pics from last post.) Once the whole process is done and the sweater has been washed and blocked, I'll take it outside on a sunny day and do my hang-it-on-the-fence thing so you can really see how the colors blend.~
Maybe I'll even model it so we can find out how well it fits. I think it will all be fine, but you never know until all the work is done and you actually try to fit lumpy body into gorgeous sweater.~
Anyway, the reason I'm posting so close to the end is because I wanted everyone to see how much I like this sweater. Enough that I've already begun my next. It's easy enough to carry the knitting to work, but that's not a place where I can do the finishing things like steeking and sewing. For economical reasons that I'll get into a bit later, I decided to make this pattern again.~
As you can see, the base pattern is the same. But I'm changing the emphasis of the colors and I'm going to make a few other adjustments. Last spring while perusing my favorite local yarn store, I'd found some Araucania Nature Wool on a "discontinued" table. 6 skeins of this gorgeous kettle-dyed red (see the variation in the color?) and 2 skeins of a beautiful creamy white that would go with everything and anything. So I bought it all. 8 skeins for half price. Can't beat that. But what to do? I really didn't have enough to make a whole sweater... Well, I'm sure I could if I don't mind having a loose knit. But I like a fairly firm fabric. I live in Connecticut. We don't do mild winters where loose knitting is an option.~
So I held on, knowing that something would come along. And I fell in love with the Albertville Olympic pattern from above. So I thought, what if the red became the base color? You'd see that variation from the kettle-dyed process and now I'd just have to add accents. Well, the creamy white will be the main contrasting color (obviously). The red hints towards a brick red, not a bluish red. So I chose tangelo and chestnut from KnitPicks' Telemark, which is the yarn I used to knit the first Albertville sweater. It's very close in weight. A slight difference, but workable. So the color change will go from red being the main, to the orange to the brown in the center of the design, back to orange and back to red.~
The other thing I'm going to do to highlight this beautiful variation is eliminate the X's and O's from the center of the body and sleeves. What Dale calls their "main pattern" for the center section. This sweater will have that big pattern at the bottom, again at the top and then the border at the top of the shoulders and sleeves. No pattern connecting top to bottom. Just 5" or 6" of straight stockinette to showcase the beauty of the red variation. Again, it's something in my head. I'm pretty sure it will work. But you never know until you've got the whole thing done.~
If you look back at the first sweater, you'll see that the border at the top of the body and sleeves used red as a base. The pattern wanted me to repeat the light blue as a base for that border pattern, but there were two reasons I opted out. First is that the light blue was a heathered yarn. And the weight really varied from the rest of the Telemark yarns I'd bought. If you look closely at the first pattern at the bottom of the sweater, you can see that it pulls in slightly. Like an idiot, I wasn't paying attention as much as I should. I'm hoping I can block that out, at least enough so it's not as noticeable. So I didn't want the thickness to be a factor while knitting around the shoulders. Second is I didn't want to overwhelm the sweater with so much darn blue. I've got dark blue as the main contrast and then light blue in the center of the patterns. Let's not go for overkill. So I opted instead to use red in the border.~
I didn't know if it would work until I was done. And I think it worked perfectly. Just what I wanted and imagined.~
The reason I mention this is because I'm not sure I won't change out the borders on this new sweater also. If I follow the pattern, they should be chestnut background with cream making the X and O pattern. I might opt to use the orange. It depends. I certainly don't want orange to overwhelm because it's not a color I wear often. I want the sweater to be thought of as mainly red. The touches of orange bring out the brick undertone of the red and then the chestnut brown grounds the whole scheme into the earth tones. So this is all good. I want to keep that. But I'll see how I decide to do the border once I get there. I'll look at the overall design and choose the two colors that will bring the whole sweater together. I think the red did that in the rainbow-hued first sweater. We'll see what happens with the second one.~
Okay, economics. I'll be using a lot of stash this year. Not that I've ever had much. I have a lot of loose skeins here and there. Not a lot of any one particular color. But the point is that Mark is being furloughed for a week this month. Yes, he can collect unemployment for that week, but $300 doesn't even cover half of what he makes per week. After 30 years with a company, this news really bites. So I've signed up for overtime at my job to try and cover what we'll lose in his paycheck.~
The bad news is that this might not be the end of Mark's company cutting back. Some of the other divisions have cut salaries as much as 25%. That's something we definitely cannot afford. Course, it's not like we'll have a choice in the matter, but he's already had another job offer if this comes down the pike. He can make the same money doing something he really enjoys if the company comes along and tells him they're cutting his salary. So I've already told him that, if this comes to pass, he should "retire" from his job. Take his guaranteed pension, tell them to take their paycut and jam it, and go to work for this other guy. I'll pick up the rest of the benefits. I already cover our medical, so it's just adding dental and eye benefits. I can do that. I'll also look at what they offer for life insurance.~
But, before that happens, I have to see if we can refinance our mortgage while the salaries are good. Interest rates are at an all-time low and, regardless of the decline in house costs, we still have equity in our home. Even if we lost 20% of the value of our home (possibly upwards of 25%), we still have about $70K equity in the house. So I could refinance and get some bills paid down in preparation of what might happen in the future.~
In the meantime, I ordered Don Aslett's book like I said I was going to. That gives me a plan of action for this year. I still have fiber to spin and a few more sweaters to knit. Oh... remember I mentioned economics as the reason for using the Araucania? I'd already bought that yarn, so I can't add the $40 cost of that yarn. It was already in my stash. How much did I spend on new yarn to be able to knit my new red sweater? All of $16. Well.... okay, so I spoiled myself. Let's say $27 because I had it sent 3-day priority. And it's a good thing I did. I'd finished my last sleeve on the white and I'd cast on for the ribbing on the red. I was literally at the point of adding the first new color (orange) and wondering how I was going to make it through work without knitting to keep me occupied when the box arrived. Whew!!!! Talk about the nick of time for sanity.~
I'll have to plan my next sweater much better so I don't have to pay the extra for shipping. I still think I'm going to knit the Barcelona sweater (unless Dale releases their new olympic design for 2010... I've seen the pics and it's gorgeous!). I know this sounds like a terrible indulgence on my part, but there's more to the economics than initially believed. First is that I'd culled my sweater drawer and I have very few sweaters to wear. Second is that I prefer to invest in good sweaters. No cheap bargain basement that'll last a year and then they start to fall apart. So I'm going to pay a good $40-$60 for a sweater anyway. So why not purchase the yarn for the same price and knit my own? They'll certainly last many more years because they're good wool sweaters and, Lord knows, I'll wear them because I wouldn't knit something I don't love already. Lastly is that it keeps me sane at my job. People don't believe that I really and truly knit probably 35-38 hours per week at my job. I have very few interruptions and there's no way I could sit all day and do nothing. Knitting keeps me sane. It gives me something to look forward to when I arrive at the job in the morning. Without it, I'd dread the lost hours, thinking of everything I could be doing if I were anywhere else.~
I just regret that I can't frequent my local yarn stores for my yarn. I can't afford it. I wish I could. But when I can get my yarn for about $2.50 a skein at KnitPicks as opposed to $8-$10 per skein at an LYS, I have to save where I can.~
If anyone has other suggestions on how to be economical in these times without losing our knitting, I'd certainly love to hear about it.