Monthly Archives: December 2014

Patons, we need to talk

Patons Classic Wool, for a long time now you’ve been my go-to worsted wool yarn. I told myself you were the cheapest worsted weight wool that actually came in colors, and limited though they might be, I thought I needed you.

I realize now I was blinded by love.

You are, at regular price, only .51 cheaper than Cascade 220’s regular price at Webs, and $1.01 cheaper than my LYS.

Now I’ll admit, your regular price at Joanns and Michaels is 2.01 cheaper. And you do go on sale a lot at Joanns, bringing the price even lower. And then of course I get that teacher’s discount at Joanns. Over the past two years or so, this is how you’ve kept me.

But over the past few months, something changed. The colors I need – the colors I know you come in – aren’t on the shelves at Joanns. I check the stock before I head to the store, only to be told it’s inaccurate or they just plain don’t know where you are in the back. So I trudge down the street to Michaels, and I can use a coupon on one ball, but for the rest I pay $6.99 + tax bringing it up to 7.48.

Or Michaels doesn’t have the colors either. So I go home, gas money wasted, and get on Joann’s website. Oh, they take paypal now. Which means no waiting for money from online sales to transfer to my bank account before I can buy more yarn! But I can only use one coupon or discount code per order. Which means I can’t use my teacher’s discount AND a coupon. I can’t use my teacher’s discount AND a free shipping code. When I add in shipping costs, you’re back up to that .51 cheaper than cascade. And Joann’s shipping is slower than Web’s.

I’m working on a project that has a sky in it, so I need a sky blue. And I realized that, Patons, you don’t even have a sky blue. So fine, I’ll use ‘Aquarium” – it’s more greeny than I wanted to use, but the sky looks that way some days I guess, so fine.

But I couldn’t find Aquarium in stores. So, okay, I’ll order it online. You’re on sale on the Joanns site! … but with shipping, one ball would be $12.95. Okay, let me see if Amazon has it! Free shipping with Prime! But it’s only an add-on item, meaning I’d have to spend $25 to get this consolation color. Or, I could buy a 5 pack for $49.40 – paying $9.88 per ball. More than Cascade 220 even cost at my LYS. At my LYS, which is much closer to my house than Joanns and Michaels.

And here’s the kicker. Webs has a discount system where you get 20% off a $60+ order and 25% off a $120+ order. If I buy $120+ of Cascade 220, the price is $7.20 per skein.

Yes, Patons, you read that right. Cascade 220 is $7.20 per skein while you’re $7.48 at the store (where I can’t even get the colors I’m looking for) or $9 – 12 online.

I’ve been so stupid. It will actually be much cheaper if I do a $120+ Webs order of Cascade 220 once a month, and supplement with trips to the LYS in between.

And not only will it be cheaper; I‘ll get the colors I want and need. It isn’t just the stores’ fault; Patons, your color selection is pitiful. You offer me these colors:

patons

(and two of those I’m guessing are discontinued since they are out of stock everywhere) But Cascade offers me these colors:

cascade

So sorry, Patons, but we’re breaking up. Cascade 220 is now my go-to worsted weight wool.

I went to the LYS yesterday in search of that sky blue I needed in Cascade 220. I found a fitting color and the colorway is called… “summer sky”. It’s perfect.

IMG_5161

2014 Goals Update and 2015 goals begin!

There’s just one month left in 2014. How am I doing with my goals?

Crochet 14 Different Pokemon. I did 12

1. Snorlax
2. Pikachu
3. Squirtle
4. Eevee
5. Charmander
6. Cleffa
7. Drifloon
8. Cyndaquil
9. Espeon
10. Camerupt
11. ludicolo
12. luvdisc

I will, most likely, accomplish this one. I don’t see myself NOT crocheting two more different pokemon this month.

Buy 14 handdyed skeins of yarn – I bought 4. Ain’t no way I’m buying 10 more by the end of the year, lol.

1. Hearthside Fibers Vanilla Sox Electric
2. Hearthside Fibers Vanilla Sox Groovy
3. Leading Men Fiber Arts Show Stopper No Good Deed
4. Leading Men Fiber Arts Show Stopper High Tech Mayhem

Though actually, I did buy at least 3 more, but they were for swaps so I’m not counting those since this was more a goal to stash-up.

Complete 6 Afghans and start 1. I completed 2 and started 3. Oops.

1. Tigger Lovey DONE
2. Red Heart Checkerboard Textures Throw CAL DONE
3. Finish Groovy nyan Cat Vs Tac Ghan – Made some parts, but nowhere near finished.
4. 2014 Block A Month & Crochet Sampler Square CAL Afghan 4 blocks/squares done
5. Xmen Afghan 1 block/square done
6. the beekeeper’s quilt 32 hexipuffs done

Actually start Granny Square Mario Bedspread STARTED
“Get Out of the Country on a Star Blanket” STARTED
“Daily Dose Chevrons” STARTED

Okay, so that’s how I’m doing. And I already started planning my 2015 Goals:

2015 Goals
Donate 15 items
Knit 15 different patterns of hats
Finish 2014 afghans.
Buy only 15 patterns (other than patterns from a list of certain people)
Dye 15 skeins of yarn
Buy 15 skeins of handdyed yarn

Now let’s break it down;

Donate 15 items

I recently saw Quiltoni’s putting-together video of the Spritestitch 2014 Child’s Play Charity Quilts and it reminded me; I wanted to do some donating! Back in May I bought the eye sets to make two Paschas and never got around to doing it.

I also recently discovered Wool-aid which is great for me because I have had a hard time finding places to donate hats I actually want to make. Groups always want acrylic yarn in patterns I’m not going to do with acrylic, but Wool-aid – which accepts nothing BUT wool – opens up so many possibilities.

And lastly I want to donate something elaborate to the Penny Arcade charity auction (where one of the Spritestitch quilts go). Maybe a Magikarp hat, or a giant Pikachu… I’m not sure yet.

Knit 15 different patterns of hats

There’s several groups doing 15 hats in 2015. In 2014, I have knit at least 30 hats so far. So 15 hats isn’t really a challenge for me. But 15 different patterns? I think this is a great way to add some fresh hats to my etsy store, and this can overlap with the donating!

Finish 2014 afghans.

Well, I mean finish the afghans FROM 2014. That’ll be 7 afghans, assuming I don’t finish any this month, which I probably won’t.

Buy only 15 patterns
Okay, I have a LOT of patterns. And honestly, whenever I go to use a purchased one, 95% of the time I change so many things, and take so many aspects from free patterns, and do so much of my own math (because I tend to want to change the pattern to match my guage, rather than changing my gauge to match the pattern lol) that in the end I’m not using the paid-for pattern at all. The majority of patterns where I actually use the patterns are free ones! I think I mentioned earlier this year that I was spending too much money on patterns – and I’ve done great with only buying patterns with money I made from knitting/crocheting. But I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t really NEED patterns anymore, so paying for them is silly.

I do have a personal list of certain people who I think do really amazing things that I’d never think up on my own. These are people I support, and want to continue to support. That is why this isn’t a “stop buying patterns” goal. But I’m only going to buy from those people. Other than that, I already own way more patterns than I could knit in a year.

Dye 15 skeins of yarn

I’ve got yarn, I’ve got dye, I just need to set aside some time to combine the two! In order to have this time, I need to NOT participate in swaps (Except Reddit Secret Santa and Arbitrary Day).

Buy 15 skeins of handdyed yarn

I think I said this last year (if I didn’t, I thought it), and while I did it a bit, I need to work on it some more. Rather than participating in swaps, I need to not feel bad about treating myself.

I feel bad/guilty when I buy something for myself. So I use swaps as a way to get something, while buying for someone else. But I end up spending too much time and stress picking out stuff for the swap, making sure I have money to ship, and making a handmade item. It just isn’t worth it. And sometimes stuff arrives for the swap and I’m like “Man, I really want to keep that for myself. But there’s not enough time to order something else.”

Why not just skip all that and buy stuff for myself? There’s no reason to feel bad/guilty. I deserve it. I work hard. I earn the money for this stuff. And if I’m not buying patterns, there will be even more money for yarn.

So. off I go to crochet those last two Pokemon!

Portage Christmas Craft Fair 2014 recap

Happy Cyber Monday! Thank you for taking a break from your cybering to read this!

I did pretty good at the Portage Christmas Craft fair. Surprisingly, others were saying they were doing horrible, and one lady even stormed out early saying she wouldn’t be back next year. I guess people were just giving all their money to me?

I do think they need to do better advertising. I saw basically none at all in the weeks leading up to the craft show. And I actually LOOKED. (I did see something after I left/it was over though, lol.) I was shocked when after the middle of the day Saturday, the organizer went around asking everyone if they had facebook. When they said yes, she asked everyone to share something about the show. Basically, she wanted US to do the advertising… after the show was already over a fourth done? Uh, no. First of all, I’d already been advertising on facebook, and second of all, that’s her job which should have been done weeks ago.

But with others complaining and the one lady leaving early, I think (/hope) she will wise up for next year. Which should mean I’ll do even better next year.

I wish I had gotten a picture of my “booth”. It was my first time using wire cube shelves and my banner. It worked out really well, and nothing fell. I was worried about it falling since the wire cube shelves that I keep my yarn on recently fell (again). But it was fine, and it even held up to a few kids that felt the need to manhandle it a bit.

I had a lot of fun. It was good to see a lot of the same sellers as last year. Most of them do more craft shows together, so know each other better, but I didn’t feel the odd person out at all. I grabbed a present for Chance, handmade by someone that had purchased something from me last year, lol.

If you’re here because of the craft fair (I handed out quite a few cards) then thank you for stopping by both the booth and my site! I’m having a Christmas Sale over on Etsy; if you saw something you liked at the fair but didn’t get it, it just might be over there. If you want something else just contact me for a custom order!

So my ranking for the Portage Christmas Craft Fair 2014: 7/10 will sell again.

Anyway, with that over, now I can think about Christmas! I signed up for Reddit Secret Santa again, of course. (I tried not to do many swaps this year, but Reddit Secret Santa and Arbitrary Day are two I will always do.) I got my giftee today, and he is so awesomely perfect! We share several interests, so the gears are already turning about what to give him.

I’m also excited about the things I plan to make for my kids. AND I’m excited for what 2015 will bring. I’ve already got a lot of ideas kicking around, but that’s for another post! Which I am actually going to go type right now. Cya there!