A momentary lapse

March 4, 2011

So, I’ve been on a yarn diet since October.  It’s actually a yarn fast since I haven’t actually bought ANY yarn but a calling it a yarn diet works.  It doens’t sound so severe and painful.  Actually it’s not been that painful.  I’ve avoided yarn shops and opening emails from Webs and other stores I used to frequent while I was online.  I bypassed the Spinnrite Winter Sale.  I haven’t missed buying yarn all that much either.  I’ve looked through my stash (several times) and my pattern books and I’ve got probably ten things I want to knit RIGHT THIS  MOMENT.  I also have the suggested yarn for those projects too, which is serendipitous.

During one of my stash shopping trips I found a lonely ball of Lion Brand Homespun (in Edwardian) and remembered that I had bought it with the express purpose of making this shrug.  The Hubs and I are going to a wedding this weekend and I figured it’d be easier to knit this than wrestle with a pashmina-type wrap all night.  Plus I get to add another ball of yarn to my 111 in 2011 project.  So I cast on Monday night.  Wednesday night I knew the yarn requirements were wrong.  Even if I didn’t add another five rows of garter stitch to the back I’d be hooped and have run out of yarn midway through the back.  I wasn’t about to frog the Homespun (ugh) and I didn’t want to toss it. 

So, a trip to Michaels.  For one ball of yarn.  One.  Ball. Of. Yarn.  That turned into seven.  That F’ing Michaels had Wool-Ease on sale for $2.49 a ball.  $2.49!  I had to restrain myself to six balls.  If I didn’t have to meet the Hubs at Staples in five minutes I would have done a lot more damage. 

But it’s just a momentary lapse.  A slight bump in the road.  For $15 I got my fix and I know it’s something that will get used very shortly.  Today, I’m back on the woolly wagon.  It’s just a bit sad that I fell off for Lion Brand.  Why couldn’t it have been Noro?


111 in 2011

January 28, 2011

I have a lot of yarn.  A lot.  I can’t fit it all in one room anymore.  Well, that’s not entirely true, it can all fit in one room, if I emptied it all out on the floor or just stacked up all the boxes and baskets and totes in that room and forgot about furniture. 

Mostly it’s stored in what I call my home office (which co-incidentally happens to be the smallest room in the house…outside of the 2nd floor bathroom) and what the Hubs calls the Hoarders Episode.  But I also have yarn in the spare room closet and a bit in our bedroom.  Oh, and our actual home office.  Crap I have a lot of yarn.  It’s frightening when I think of it.  I’m not at Hoarders level yet, but I could easily get there.

So enough is enough.  Also something I’ve had enough of is the Hubs bitching about it.  Oh sure I’d bitch about his stuff, except that he doesn’t really collect stuff.  Except for bottles of Diet Coke.  But he drinks those as fast as he buys them so no dice.

I don’t know where I came across this idea, probably on Ravelry since I’m not this imaginative, but it struck a cord.  Someone was going to go through 100 balls of yarn in 2011.  Neat idea, but for me 100 balls in 2011 didn’t have a nice ring.  So I’m going for 111 in 11.  It has a nicer ring to it.

And I don’t imagine it will be all that hard.  I’m not putting a distance requirement on this project, one ball is just as good as another.  Obviously laceweight is going to bite since it’s so thin and there’s so much of it but even still, it will be nice to get a few skeins of that out of the closet and made into a shawl.  Or three.  I have just over 11 months to go.  I’m pumped.

I just used up five balls of yarn (365m) as of last night.  That means I have 106 balls to go.  And I’m about to start the Hub’s Lopi sweater which will use up 22 more balls.  And there’s my self-imposed-sock-club (post to come on that one of these days) which will knock off at least 11 more skeins/balls and maybe more.  I have a few baby blankets to knit and several hats to make, Lizard Ridge  (21 more balls) and my mom wants a shawl as well.  I hope to reach my goal in the fall but that’s likely tempting the fates so I’ll keep my mouth shut. 

It will be interesting at the end of it all to see how many kilometres of yarn I’ve used.  I can’t wait to tell the Hubs how far we could have driven overall with the amount I will have knitted.  That will be supercool.  Well for a knitter it will be.

And I can’t wait to see how much free space I’ll have at the end of it.  I’m hoping to free up at least two 76L totes.  But who knows.  Maybe it will be more.  Maybe I’ll be able to finally fit another chair in the Hoarders Episode room my home office.  Maybe I’ll be able to fit a chair under my desk.  Oooh the possibilities.

I’m also on a yarn diet too.  In conjunction with using up these 111 balls.  The diet ends in April (when I take a brief visit to the US and all their glorious and well stocked craft stores) but I’ll be back on it in May. 

Wish me luck.  And send suggestions on yarn eating projects.  I’ll post sporadically about how many balls I’ve knit up and how many kilometres I’ve knitted.  I’m guessing that by the end of it I will be able to get from my house to Toronto.  That’s 70 kms.  About a marathon and a half.  I can knit it.  Now if only I could run it!

Here’s looking at you kid

September 1, 2010

So my SIL, who can be a bit pretentious at times, has decided to celebrate her upcoming milestone birthday in Marakesh, Morocco (and yes I know the quote is from Casablanca but it was the closest I could find).  Normally she spends it in London or New York.  But I guess when it’s gonna be a big one, you may as well do it up in style. 

Morocco is somewhere DH and I have always wanted to go.  I am, unsurprisingly, all over the souks.  And the desert tours.  DH is all over the history.  It was a contender for our honeymoon destination.  You’d think DH would be all over going.  This trip will have history, exotic-ness (is that even a word?), family and friends.  But he’s balking. 

We have several rooms to paint in the house and stuff to do at the cottage.  We need to buy carpeting for the stair case and the chimney needs to be repointed.  The driveway needs to be repaved.  His job is very stressful and he doesn’t know if/when he can take the time off and let’s not even go down the I-feel-sorry-for-me-because-I-have-no-children road.  That being said, if he doesn’t take time off, I see a big hot meltdown coming and soon.

I really want to go on this trip.  For a number of reasons.  Let’s start with the fact that DH hasn’t had a decent holiday since he went to Greece this time last year.  He’s worn out and stressed out and heading for some alone time in a nicely padded room if he doesn’t watch out. 

Also he hasn’t seen his sister since Christmas and even then they didn’t spend much time together as she spent several days mysteriously wrapped up in “meetings” in the big city all the while staying with her “friend”.  (I suspect she’s dating this “friend” who happens to live there but that’s just my take on things.  Afterall, wouldn’t your company put you up in a hotel if you’re there on company business?  Just sayin).  His sister and their cousin just spent a few weeks together in Europe and DH was green with envy.  I would have been happy for him to join them but he’s under the impression that his company will fall apart if he leaves for any length of time, so he stayed home and worked.

Also, come on it’s Marakesh.  The home of the biggest markets in Africa.  Since we didn’t buy a rug in India you can be damn sure I’ll be purchasing one if we go.  Maybe more.  Especially since we’re in the market for some area rugs.  And I’ve done the math, the dirham is a very good deal right now and things are inexpensive in Morocco.  It’s a shopper’s dream.  And I’m a shopper.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there will be few if any babies/children on this trip.  While I’m sure some people travel to Morocco with babies, I can’t imagine why you would.  Even if the SIL’s friends have children, it’s highly likely they’ll be left at home.  So it will be a perfect trip for DH  to just relax and not stress out about why everyone has kids and we don’t.  Yes, he is still stressing about that.  And yes I know, he really should be talking to someone about it.  You can lead a horse to water and all that.  Besides, being around people who don’t have kids will hopefully remind/show him that you can have a full and happy life even if you don’t have kids.  Or at least that’s my hope.

So to sweeten the deal, I’ve told him I’ll deal with painting some of the rooms while I’m on vacation next week.  If you know me you’ll know what a HUGE deal this is as I loathe painting.  But it will save us $1000.  Maybe more.  And I’ll stop nagging about how craptastic the unpainted rooms look if I don’t get to them.  There’s always next year.  Which will be when we redo the driveway and repoint the chimney.  Or maybe the year after.  Both need to be done but another few years of waiting won’t hurt.

Finally, I told the hubs I’d hold off on buying yarn for the rest of the year.  I know.  No more yarn in 2010 (the KW Knitter’s Fair doesn’t count…the yarn diet starts AFTER September 11).  It will be tough.  But I have a giant stash and really should be knitting that down.  And think of the yarn buying bender I can go on in 2011 and all the space I’ll have for that new yarn.  It would be totally worth it.

So cross your fingers for me.  DH is thinking about it.  He’s already talked about going a week early and spending it on the coast in a resort.  And maybe even spending some time in London, England as we’d connect through there.  The kicker will be work.  If I am very lucky his projects will slow down and he’ll be able to take a few weeks off.  He can spend time with his sister and immerse himself in all the Moroccan history he can handle.  I can compare carpets to my heart’s content and look for hidden treasures in the souks.  Win-win.  Cross your fingers for me and think desert-y thoughts.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch….

October 23, 2009

Earlier today I was reading a blog where the author was talking about having nothing to say.  And I have to say that that has been me lately.  Nothing blog-worthy has been going on in my life.  I’ve been busy…cleaning my house (which quite frankly has reached biohazard status levels…you should see the size of my dust elephants bunnies), planning for DH’s 40th birthday parties next weekend, frantically trying to finish his sweater, trying to get some exercise in, working on my garden and spending an inordinate amount of time watching my seedlings grow.  Yes, I have just admitted to the world at large that I am obsessed with my plants.  Laugh at me now if you want but I’ll have the last laugh in August and September when my 42 tomato plants bear fruit.  Or maybe you’ll still be laughing since two humans cannot possibly eat that many tomatoes.  Unless one of those humans is DH.  That man can eat!

Ahem.  Like I said, I’ve been busy but boring.  However, all that is about to change.

I’ve written before that DH has a big, loud, much-of-the-time obnoxious, mostly dysfunctional family.  Anyway, in order to accomodate the dysfunctionality, we’re having three days of parties for him so that as many relatives as possible can a) wish him happy 40th birthday in person yet not have to interact with other family members they hate and b) see the Money Pit so we don’t have to spend the rest of the summer inviting them all over for drinks/dinner can kill two birds with one stone.  I tell you Army Generals have nothing on my planning and logistics skills.

So about the drama.  Well, DH has two cousins who are sisters.  Let’s call them Gwynneth and Winona.  Gwynneth and Winona have spent the last 20 years of their lives trying to outdo each other while not speaking to each other over some matter which no one really knows (or cares at this point) much about.  Which must have made life difficult as they still lived at home while all of this began.  So both Gwennie and Noni have grown up, moved away from home, gotten married and had kids.  But they still aren’t talking to each other.  And their mother, at least to my mind, continues this feud by telling each daughter what her sister is up to.  She won’t let it die.  Which is sick.  I think she likes the attention she gets when people tell her how terrible they feel for her.  Which is even sicker.  Munchausen’s By Proxy I’d guess but I’m no doctor. 

So these sisters, who haven’t spoken in decades, are set to descend on our house next weekend.  We knew one would come, as that’s the usual MO.  One decides to go and tells their mother who imparts that information on to the other sister who conveys her regrets.  Needless to say, I was blown away earlier this week when I got the second RSVP from the other sister saying she and her family would also be coming.

Now my house is big but it is by no means big enough to contain this kind of drama.  And I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I really do hope something happens as I’m really looking forward to telling one (or both) of them to get their heads out of their asses and grow up (oh please please PLEASE powers that be let me have the opportunity to say that!!!).  Plus Iwant to kick someone out of my house.  You can’t say it’s a successful party until someone has been forcibly ejected.

But I’m sure, with Murphy’s Law being what it is, one sister will suddenly back out of attending.  Or as DH says, they will time their attendance so that one is leaving while the other is arriving.  Which will suck.  From a drama point of view anyway.  And let’s face it, if one backs out, it won’t be the one I want to back out.  I’m not that lucky.

In the interim though, I’m going to practice my get-your-head-out-of-your-ass-and-stop-ruining-DH’s-party speech in my best adult voice every night.  You never know, the fates could be kind and usher DH’s 40th birthday in with a bang.  I wonder what kind of sacrifice I’d have to do to make sure that happens?  Is it worth a yarn diet for the next month?  Six months?  Forget it….no drama is worth going without yarn for more than six months.