Thursday, March 5, 2009

Coming Full Circle

It's been a year this week since I quit buying "new" yarn, and, incredibly, I ended the year with a profit.

One of the eyeglass cases I gave away last fall ended up in the front desk of a new office building, holding the rectangular plastic key cards the employees use to move through the building. Soon after, I got an email asking me what I would charge to make more "keycard holders" for the other departments. I quickly made six more, completely out of scrap yarns.
I also sold the gossamer scarf featured here a few months ago.
So, I spent $20 this year on yarn, and made more than three times that amount from the scrap yarns I purchased. Now, I need to decide whether or not I can spend that money on YARN, or stick to my budget for another year. [Note: several people gave me lovely yarn as gifts, and I was careful not to make anything for sale from that yarn. It just didn't seem right.]
Some really good yarn is left---the blue cone yarn and the bag of cotton boucle are still awaiting proper pattern ideas. Additionally, I got wonderful orphan skeins in swaps with Jami and Lisa, and a box of Softee Chunky from Barbara (I used most of this, but there's still enough left to make something nice).
The year had a lot of high points. In November, I was (big surprise) knitting in the hallway of the courthouse and chatting with a woman as we waited for the court to return from lunch. She told me that she managed a group home for eight foster teen boys, and that none of their families had left them any gifts to open on Christmas morning. She was hoping to find some donations. Due to the generosity of Barbara and Jami and the yarn they sent, each boy got a Christmas hat! [There are many, many wonderful charities distributing hats, scarves, afghans, and the like, but if anyone wants to knit or crochet items for the local community, just google Catholic Charities to find your local office and give them a call. They have group homes that serve all sorts of people---including the teen mothers and babies that I've been knitting for throughout this year.]
This was also the year I rediscovered crochet, after many years without holding a hook. My hands are arthritic, and sometimes get too stiff to knit. At such times, it's easier to crochet for a few days. Gosh, it's fun! Crochet just lends itself so well to small, multicolor projects.
My most popular project (by the number of emails I received asking for the pattern) is the knit "overlapping scallops" baby blanket. I was so glad to make the two baby blankets and finally use up most of my baby yarns. And, thanks to Lisa, I was able to finish the neutrals afghan. Now it just needs some sort of border.
There are so many projects that I didn't post patterns for, because I found that writing down patterns was a lot harder than I originally thought it would be. I've resolved to post the baby blanket pattern this week, and several other winter patterns (mittens, hats) ASAP.
Right now (and I really mean RIGHT THIS MINUTE) I'm trying to finish a set of Jack and Annie dolls (the Magic Treehouse books). I'm adapting them from an old pattern I have of Jack and Jill, and struggling to embroider the necessary eyeglasses on Jack. He also needs a backpack! They'll go to my youngest grandson's first grade classroom, where the kids act out the stories. I knew all that pale pink worsted would come in handy.
It's been a good year. Thank you all for being there. Hugs all around.



Busters Mom said...

I stumbled across your blog a few months back. I am really impressed that you stuck to your yarn budet. I need to go back and check out all the projects you did this year.

I think since you stuck to your budget this year you could do it again. Unless there is something special you have been dreaming of knitting. Then reward youself on a job well done and buy brand new yarn. :)

Sasa said...

WOO HOO! She did it, she actually DID IT! But I hope this doesn't mean you won't be starting the cycle again - no matter what your "budget" I still want to see what you are up to.

BTW - I am still "de-stashing" so there will be a few more orphans on their way to you.

Take care and GB!


Suzanne said...

Congratulations on your success! I also stumbled across your blog a while back and hope you continue blogging about your adventures with inexpensively obtained yarn.

Barbara said...

Excellent! I knew you could do it. I still have to crank out a couple of those glasses cases, and didn't you love someone finding another use for them? Do not stop blogging, please, we like to see what you're making. You're so creative.