Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cold sheeping, WIPdowns, and other awfully grown-up concepts.

Last week Bandit and I sat down and made a budget. It was designed to be what I call a Terribly Responsible Budget - we went back through our bank statements and extrapolated how much we would be paying for food, rent, utilities and various kinds of insurance each month. Then we started ruthlessly cutting back on luxuries. Subscriptions to Spotify, Audible and satellite TV got the axe. Eating out was forbidden; we cooked solely at home for two weeks and discovered that we could make healthy, tasty meals for less than $40 a week. (At the end of the two weeks, we caved and got burgers to use up a coupon we had. We quickly discovered that fast food tasted disgusting after so much home cooking!)

I decided to do my part by voluntarily giving myself a monthly yarn budget of $0. That's right - I am cold sheeping. At the beginning of July I resolved to buy no more yarn until my birthday. This turned out to be a rather painless resolution (with the exception of a few moments in yarn stores), so I see no problem in maintaining it until the end of the year.

For one, I've discovered the joys of shopping from stash. This was a concept I'd never really understood before - why not just, you know, not build up your stash with yarn you aren't going to use right away, and then shop from actual shops when you need something? Well, this is why: shopping from stash is shopping from a place that only stocks yarn that you like. It's like a yarn store that's perfectly tailored to you.

I've been looking at all the beautiful yarns I have, and they've been sparking project ideas left and right.

Which brings me to the second, and much more difficult, part of being a Responsible Grown-Up Knitter: I have eleven WIPs, and I really need to finish them. I've decided, after some agonizing, that I need to finish at least five of them before I can cast anything else on. Fortunately, I'm in good company here - there's a monthly WIPdown hosted on RemRants, and the My Sister's Knitter Rav group has just started a WIPdown as their quarterly knit/crochet-along. Both are very lively and encouraging communities, and I look forward to cheering everyone else on towards their WIPdown goals!

Unfortunately, however, my knitting output has drastically decreased lately. This is, unsurprisingly, because of the kitten. She's begun to grow up and calm down a little, but she still loves to play with yarn or any other wiggly thing. I can no longer safely keep my projects by my computer and knit a few stitches here and there, which is what the vast majority of my knitting time consisted of. It looks like I'll have to start scheduling blocks of uninterrupted knitting time for myself in order to get anything done.


  1. I admire your cold sheeping. My yarn diets never really worked out, however I am trying now as well to not buy yarn until my birthday (which is in December), with the prospect that if I manage to do that, I can buy myself some nice birthday yarn.

  2. To be fair, you have an amazing stash, so that's a wonderful compromise! Will you break down for the holidays? Maybe Bandit can give you a skein you've been eying? I know, I'm being terrible, sorry! Hopefully kitty settles down a little soon, I want to see more gorgeous FO's!

  3. Bravo to you for being more fiscally responsible. That is something we've been really dealing with this summer as well. Unfortunately we'd have to eat beans for every meal to ever cut the grocery bill down to $40. (The big city can be so expensive!) I'm also trying a yarn diet and only using from the stash so it's nice to know I'm not alone. I hope I find it as easy as you have!

  4. Being a grown can really stink. My boyfriend and I are trying like heck to get our grocery bill down, we end up planning meals around the dented cans and about-to-expire items in the discount bins. In Alaska, groceries are so expensive, I can't image getting the weekly bill down to $40. I was able to recently save us $60 a month on our joint phone bill by lessening our data plan, so that has helped us out. Your stash is lovely, no wonder you like to shop there.

    Knitting in Pearls

  5. Budgeting sometimes reveals things that go unappreciated when we are spending more freely. Like you I find shopping the stash can be so much fun, After all there was a reason we bough the beauties we did and sometimes they get lost amongst all our new acquisitions.
    Well done on being grown up. It is a fun journey if you allow it!

  6. Hm I think I accidentally deleted my comment lol. Budgeting can be fun! I remember cutting back on the luxuries as well, and for some reason I still have no tv subscription. I cancelled it when I really didn't want to spend the 70 euro's it cost for all the extra channels and I've never missed not having tv. I'd rather watch movies or series on netflix without the commercials screaming at me to buy some useless stuff.. :)

  7. Good for you, Kaiya. We did something similar a long time ago, about 10 years ago, when we were starting to think about having our first child. We knew we wanted to have me stay home and not work for years to take care of our children, so we started cutting things out like cable TV, going to the movies, eating out more than about once a month, etc. It was hard for the first couple of months but then we realized we didn't even miss that stuff. We have very few luxuries but we don't really mind. I'm glad you're able to go yarn-shopping right there at home, your yarn is beautiful and I am sure you will make fabulous things with the yarn you've already chosen for yourself. I look forward to seeing what you do with it. :)

  8. I love the way you described your stash! A personalized yarn store :) I'm with you. Best of luck and I look forward to seeing your WIPs whittle down to FOs.