Friday, February 18, 2011

Necessity (and Yarn): the Mother of Invention

Our mailbox gets clobbered every winter.

The first year I replaced my mailbox I was SO proud of myself. I did it completely on my own, with instructions from the local hardware store (that sold me a boatload of tools, the board for under the mailbox, the screws, the brackets, and of course the mailbox). Several hours and much colorful cursing later, I was done. It was a beautiful sight. It was a lovely dark green mailbox that looked new and sleek next to our neighbor’s mailbox (for some unknown reason, their mailbox is always pristine and unblemished).

Sadly, the following winter the new mailbox got pummeled, as the first one had. The little red flag was knocked off and there was a massive dent in the side. After all that work to put it up, I was heartbroken. The next few winters battered it some more. This winter, as you all know, we’ve had a major “snowpocalypse” up this way in New England with more snow than I’ve seen EVER, ANYWHERE. I went out to the mailbox one day and discovered that the only thing holding it to the post was one rusty nail and the mound of snow piled on top of it.

Sure enough, now that the snow has finally started to melt (the Christmas lawn deer are finally visible), the mailbox was now hanging over to one side. It’s a wonder the mailman was still delivering to it. I’ve been in a quandary over what to do, seeing as there’s still too much snow and it’s too damn cold to be out there replacing the mailbox again.

And then, I thought of it…YARN!

I went out there with some Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice yarn in “Rose Mist,” which I thought would go nicely with the dark green, and tied the mailbox back onto its brackets. It was still tipping, so I took more yarn and tied the yarn around the mailbox to the small tree right by the mailbox (the errant tree is another issue we are probably going to need to address this spring, too, unless we want to eventually have no place for a mailbox at all). I tied some nice bows to make it look pretty.

The neighbors probably think I’m insane, but that’s okay…people with more yarn than insulation in their house probably are…

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My niece wants an afghan

My niece wants an afghan for Christmas.

This is exciting news…usually my relatives never request yarn-related items. No, I take that back. My sister requested knee socks a while back, but I haven’t yet found a pattern that’s easy enough. That’s my lame excuse. Actually, I’m putting it off, as I can’t imagine knitting on #1 dpns for a whole calf’s worth of length. I swear I’ll do it someday!

Anyway, in the meantime, my niece has requested a “blanket.” Upon further inquiry, I figured out she meant a standard-sized afghan, but in earth tones. Now, I’m one of those people who is a “Summer” and I look positively dowdy in earth tones, so I generally don’t have them in my stash. Of course, this can only mean one thing…


This got me to thinking of all the excuses we come up with to go yarn shopping, when people around us can already see that we have almost enough yarn to insulate the entire house, even if we moved said house to Siberia.


1) Christmas is coming and you have to make presents. Okay, Christmas isn’t coming for another 11 months, and Uncle Fert may not want another scarf, but a person has to be PREPARED!

2) Someone’s birthday, anniversary, wedding, or baby shower is coming up. Especially if it’s a baby shower—if you knit or crochet, it’s the LAW—you have to make something.

3) In fact, you should have a stock of some sort of baby yarn at all times. If you don’t, go out now and get more!

4) There is a sale at your favorite yarn shop or at one of the stores that make up the Holy Trinity – Michaels, Joann Fabrics, or AC Moore. We don’t have a Hobby Lobby up our way, or I’d probably call them the Four Pillars. Yes, I know the Four Pillars of Destiny are something entirely different, but not to rabid crafters.

5) There is a major STORM coming, and you have to be prepared with enough yarn to “weather” through it. Notice I say “enough.” If you already have what everyone else might see as enough yarn for a three month siege of snow, but you still don’t feel you have enough, then it is your prerogative to go get more. After all, people are all out there getting milk, bread, and eggs they probably don’t need—why shouldn’t you be allowed to go get yarn??? Notice we are not specifying the type of storm…

6) You vow to go on a yarn diet, but then the next day you find out that there is a worthy cause asking for knitted or crocheted donations. I mean, really, wouldn’t it be just HEINOUS to refuse??? Says the person who just got her yarn in the mail to knit a scarf for WomenHeart again this year…

7) And, finally, a dear, kind relative, who has never asked you for ANYTHING, wants an afghan. That’s enough of a reason right there to run out and lay in only the best yarn…

Friday, February 4, 2011

On second thought...

It has come to my attention that perhaps I was a bit hasty in my acceptance to knit something for $$$.

I had an ugly feeling about this, anyway. A friend pointed out to me that one more than likely can't sell anything one makes from a pattern that is not one's own. I thought it would be okay, seeing as I'm charging for the yarn and my time, and I'm by no means passing off the design as my very own. However, it looks like I'm going to have to go back and read the booklet to see what the legality of this is.

At the very least, I'm hoping that I can at least recoup my expenses for the yarn...

Shoot, even if I end up doing it for free, it will be worth it, as this woman has been a very good friend to my partner.

Holy Cow…someone actually wants to pay me!!!

I’ve had a request…my partner has a work friend who saw the Leaf Pullover sweater I just completed and wants to PAY me to make her one!!!

For those of you who are curious, it’s from the leaflet Bernat #530165, All Alpaca (to knit). It calls for Bernat Alpaca Natural Blends, which is a wonderful yarn. It’s thick, but not too thick, and very soft.

Anyway, if I use the same yarn (and she is the same size as me), then it’s going to run to about $35 + tax. It seems like such an odd thing to charge for something I adore doing anyway for a sweater that I can probably knock off in a few weeks, but one must be practical…I settled on $100, as someone suggested I charge around 3x the cost of the yarn. I managed to find the yarn cheaper at the Knitting Warehouse site, so the grand total, with shipping, would be around $33.

One woman online suggested I charge $300, but I knew that would be a little steep...