Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wherein I Tell You I Spend Too Much Money On Crafting...

I think we can say - as, for the second time this month, I've spent $179.00 on yarn - I have a habit. Verging on a problem. The only thing that redeems me is that I am actually using up all the yarn I am purchasing, before purchasing more. That is to say, I have practically no stash and I'm still spending hundreds of dollars.

Those of you who think that sewing is expensive, meet knitting.

Today I bought:
  • Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in black. I was serious when I said I'd be making that shrug again. And I got an extra skein so I can lengthen the sleeves. You know how I like elbow-length.
  • A whack of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK (a lighter weight than the Aran) in camel (what a terrible name for a colour) and some black Liberty worsted neck/sleeve/hem contrast colour cuz I'm going to make this:

    Split- Neckline Cap Sleeve Tee by Stefanie Japel
I really love Stefanie's patterns (and her instruction). This one is from that book I got recently, Fitted Knits. Seriously, her Craftsy course has totally reframed my understanding of pattern modification.

To wit, I spent three hours scoping out how to fit this on me, modifying the top-down pattern to reflect my sizing needs:
  • XS neck / arms which grade to...
  • ...S body (plus a few stitches) to accommodate a 37" bust. I'm just going to increase them onto my circular needles when I start knitting the torso in the round. Knitters: Does that seem like it will work?
  • Removal of vertical length i.e. rows between bust and waist
  • Decrease in 32 stitches between bust and waist circumference
  • Removal of vertical length i.e. rows between waist and high hip
  • Increase of 38 stitches between waist and hip circumference
Peeps, it's a production - but I LOVE figuring out this wacky math... And I hope my lady/vintage camel/black combo will be elegant rather than boring.

At this point, I bundle all of my projects with their respective patterns, modifications and needles into self-serve ziploc bags. That way everything stays where it should.

Then there's my sewing. In keeping with my add a new skirt and use a TNT plan, I'm going to remake the high-waisted pencil, Vogue 8640, in the boucle I used to make my Lady Grey coat. With this yellow lining. Interesting, huh? I am hoping to get to that this weekend, though there are a few alternate plans coalescing.

I wish that I had the moxy to cut and sew on weekday evenings but I just don't - and I can't do it with my family around me (a priority) which knitting affords quite easily. Pls don't confuse my recent knitting emphasis with a decline in my love for sewing. I just haven't shown those wares in as much detail lately...


  1. Good to know that you aren't leaving sewing behind, though I can see the pull behind being able to do something crafty while spending time with the family. :-) I do have to say HOLY SHIT!!! I can't believe that knitting stuff costs so much money! LOL.

  2. I hear you about the cost of these hobbies. Unlike you, I’ve exercised zero self control when purchasing yarn so I’m now determined to knit my way through my stash before any more makes its way into the house. That knitted T is going to be super cute!

  3. Heh. Welcome to the wonderful world of knitting. ;-)

  4. I couldn't believe my eyes the first time I saw the damage I'd done only to get the bare minimum yarn for a basic scarf. Even as I somewhat happily ho-hummed through the making process, I was never quite able to get over the financial outlay. In retrospect, I realized that that argument was just a foil for what I really felt: knitting was really not my forte and nor did I have the drive to learn to make it so. So I guess i viewed dropping any hard cash on something I couldn't fully walk through - in either trial or tribulation - too bitter a pill to swallow.

    You certainly are not in this category! You invest in your interest emotionally, psychologically first. Your expenditures are byproducts rather than motivating factors. . .

  5. I think we all probably go through waves of time/interest/mojo for different activities. If knitting works well mid-week and keeps you feeling creative, why not?

  6. CGC: It's really shocking. Admittedly, I'm buying the wool with the word "cashmere" in it :-)

    Andrea: Oh, don't get me wrong, I love a good stash. I just haven't got the space for it - or the cash, apparently :-)

    Gail: Seriously, this is insane!

    Lydia: Thank you for this thoughtful comment. I am going to reflect on your point about my expenditures being byproducts rather than motivating factors. I love how that sounds :-) And I love your art advisor video. I tried to leave a comment but couldn't figure out how to - is there a button I'm just not seeing??

    Sera: That's what I say. I really feel the need to stay creative, and I have to find the midweek medium that works for everyone.

  7. Right there with you, altho' I don't sew anymore. I know why they're so good to me at my LYS! And I easily justify every penny spent there as being part of my entertainment budget just as much as that of my wardrobe. More, really.

  8. Yes, it is rather shocking when you buy the yarn isn't it. But I can find many many ways to justify it.

    You have pinned down exactly why I have been knitting more than sewing in recent years. Evening time with family is an imortant priority and I can knit. With my life at the moment, finding time to myself to sew seems more elusive, but I'm not giving up.

  9. I admire your knitting progress!

    I am determined to keep sewing but I'm with everyone regarding the issue of it being a solitary activity thus not easy to integrate with other activities, specifically spending time with family. It's an ongoing struggle.

  10. Like you, I love both sewing and knitting. But its so much better when the weather gets colder, to cosy up to a movie while knitting.

    Mmmm Cashmere... Is there anything better? (Well, perhaps silk+cashmere, but we won't go there...)

    Your V8640 plans sound lovely. I love contrasting lining on projects.

  11. I am definitely not one of the more thrifty fabric stashers out there - I like the good stuff! And OMG, I just started knitting 9 days ago (literally) and I've already spent $150 on what will ultimately be 2 scarves and a hat. And I'm not even buying the cashmere stuff (I'm, um, ahem "settling" for merino). Thankfully, I just "won" a mass of needles on Ebay, cause they aren't cheap either. So, yeah, I hear and feel your pain!

    But I love the "tee" you've picked out. I can't wait until I can make things other than rectangles. LOL.

  12. I didn't have a clue that sewing could be so expensive. This is why I buy all my clothes already made, this and the fact that I can't sew :)

    leather bags

  13. Did your knitting course talk about short rows? IIRC Fitted Knits does talk about them. Short rows are supposed to be a busty woman's friend (I don't really have that particular issue though).

  14. Thank you ever so much for not only watching, but liking the art advisory video. That goes a long way from my longest Twitter friend whom I've known since day one! I don't think there's a comment section, which isn't that helpful is it?

    I hope you mull over what I shared. Guilt should be banished as a guide in our life and work.

    Keep on trucking, my dear.