Well, this is a let down.

I feel bad for all of you this morning. You get your coffee/tea/hard liquor and head over to the computer and log onto Yarn Harlot thinking, “I wonder what that woman is up to? Has Joe done something? Have the children endangered her life? Has she screwed up her knitting beyond all reasonable hope and is yet going to bravely launch herself into another pit of knitting disaster and tragedy? The tank is finished, maybe she’s starting an exciting new project, maybe there’s a swatch….”
Sorry, but the Harlot is boring today. If you are close to dying of ennui, keep on going, there’s no help here. Absolutely nothing of note has happened in my life since we spoke last (oh… except we went for a bike ride yesterday and got lost, and we ended up in this really rich neighbourhood and the girls kept calling it “Stepford” except all the women they saw had small breasts, so they decided it wasn’t Stepford after all…but that might have just been funny to me) and to make matters worse, I have begun another Boring Cardie, and to add insult to injury, it is (poor Claudia…) it is blue.
I will try to add interest by knitting it really, really fast. I’ll pretend it’s a knitting race.
A few notes from yesterday.
Thanks for saying nice things about my rack. I appreciate it. Considering that for years of mothering these were “working girls” it makes me feel good to know that they haven’t lost their aesthetic appeal. (Even if I have to knit them special outfits to make them look good)
A big shout out to Kaare who defended the spouses of the knit-obsessed everywhere, and tipped us off to the fact that we aren’t getting away with as much as we hoped. (Maybe go back and read his comment…he’s a funny guy)
Now me, I don’t get away with squat, but I don’t try to. I have my own money and I’m fiscally responsible. (Fine…I’m cheap. Horribly, terribly cheap, though I prefer the term “frugal”) and the way I see it, Joe shouldn’t mind what I do so long as I don’t mind what he does and so long as we can all pay the bills at the end of the day. So here are the questions of the day. (See what I’m doing? I’ve got nothing, so I’m getting you to entertain each other. Smart eh? )
Do you sneak yarn purchases?
If so, Why? Avoiding disapproval? Concealing your habit? Creating an aura of mystery? To see if you can?
If not, can you imagine circumstances under which you would?
Clean Sweep.
In mere moments my super organized insanely tidy Sister-in-law Kelly will arrive. Kelly will be helping me find the house I know is somewhere under this mess. Kelly has a way of taking 89 pounds of crap and making it all seem like 2 pounds of crap. (This is probably because she throws away 87 pounds).
I have discovered that it’s pretty much a crock to expect me to be able to work a 50 hour week, take the girls on bike rides, read stories, help with homework, make there be food and be the sort of happy knitter that I want to be if I have to clean the house too. It’s too much.
Therefore, I am accepting that if I want to be able to keep this house under control, there needs to be less to control. The kids and Joe can, (and do) do their share, but we are all being overrun with “stuff”. This stuff needs to be tidied, dusted and managed…and it’s sucking the life out of me. This stuff is out of here.
Note: For anyone feeling nervous, Kelly is a knitter.
Kelly surely understands that stash, needles, patterns, newsletters, books, roving, spinning stuff, drop spindles, fleeces and works in progress are not “stuff” and that we will not be throwing away so much as a ball of crappy acrylic or a pattern for a chunky sweater with a moose on it. That in fact, when I say “this stuff is out of here” I am referring to the crazy amount of stuff that everyone else in the family has, not my stuff. My stuff is essential.
Right Kell? Kelly? Ok?

30 thoughts on “Well, this is a let down.

  1. Me, I use a backhoe and a flamethrower at biannual intervals. Works fine. (In between, we string ropes — I always identify with the line in Huck Finn where, surveying a room Pap had occupied, drunk, Huck says “They had to take soundings before they could navigate.”
    But Hahlot, dahling, I think I speak for many of us with ‘satiable curiosity when I ask what that 50 hour a week job is? Know you’re a midwife or doula, but there’s been at least one reference to accepting a big job (and I’m sure you wouldn’t refer to your clients that way,) and maybe to grant writing, certainly to paperwork. Please feel free to tell us (me) to go piss up our collective rope, but we Harlettes like to fill in the gaps, even if it’s with openwork.
    P.S. One of my spinning students, first class, asked me within ten minutes of walking in the door whether I’d ever read Yarn Harlot. You’re world famous in Kalamazoo.

  2. ok, ok. I admit, I was hanging around a bit and hitting the refresh button to maybe see a picture of Joe’s rack in the new tank top….

  3. Sneaking yarn…no one in my house would care! Like you say if you can “pay the bills at the end of the day…”. One of the most expensive yarns I ever purchased was with my DH in tow. He about died (cried) but didn’t stop me.
    My ‘stuff’ all goes to Ebay. Makes more money to get more yarn. You’d be surprised what will sale (or not).
    World famous Harlot…I can see the headlines now. Your just rad in my book!

  4. I have just recently discovered the world of knitters on the internet. I think your blog is so! funny. Discovered it today and spent 1 hour looking back in (your) time. It has been many years since I wrote anything in English, so please forgive me the spelling mistakes and weird sentences…
    And to your question, no I do not sneak in my yarn through the backdoor. He has his running shoes, his cognac, his cigars a.s.o. So all in all I think we spend the same, and try to pay our bill�s :o)
    Looking forward to see….. NO by the way absolutely LOL when I read your conversation with your husband. That�s how they are isn�t it? no matter where in the world you live…
    Again looking forward to visiting “you” again
    Mie, Denmark

  5. LOL Reminds me of the saying we’ve always had here in the office….’my stuff is stuff; your stuff is crap…’Kudos from me as well to Kaare for his defense of knitter-loving spousal units. I apologize for the upcoming long-windedness, but I feel the need to clarify my comment of yesterday….
    When my husband and I were first married two years ago, we were broke all the time. He had just completed law school and was studying for the bar exam. I was supporting us both at the time….I had bought my own house, kept my own checking account, and paid my own bills….I was 29 and had been on my own too long, I suppose, to instantly begin answering to someone for the purchases I made, so I made them without so much as a consultation. When we got married, all that changed. Suddenly it was no longer my money/his money; it was our money, and all purchases were up for comment or censure. That’s when the sneakiness began, I suppose. It went from tossing my head defiantly as I picked up that ball of yarn with my devil may care attitude, to an almost Gollum-like stature, licking my lips nervously, eyes sweeping side to side, coveting the precioussss……but we make a great team, my husband and I, and two years into the marriage, we’ve done pretty well. There is no reason to hide yarn or fiber purchases; it’s just that some habits die hard. While I’m never outright deceptive, I will probably always nestle those purchases into the register, just as he will always get that nervous twitch when he sees a box on the front porch, knowing it probably contains an amazingly space-sucking 3 lbs of wool. But he is supportive…when we went to Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, he went and played electronic poker while I wandered a yarn/fiber shop for over an hour, and he never batted an eye. I guess we’re both learning. *grin*

  6. I don’t hide yarn and he doesn’t comment on yarn consumption. Probably doesn’t really notice when I’ve started a new project initially ( especially if the colour doesn’t change on the needles)unless I’m ‘vocal’ about how it’s going .
    As for the Clean Sweep – I’ve just gone through it ( and posted about it) as a Positive Experience. Now I have to do my Mom’s basement and the glow of purging is rapidly wearing off.

  7. Stephanie, your tank is lovely even if Joe fails to notice. And congradulations on the honour of being one of Canada’s best bloggers!!!! First Canada, then the US, and watch out world!!!
    As to Joe noticing your rack. Well, I always say that if you got it, flaunt it. After all, natural is better!!!
    As to knitting with lots of blue, well, since I happen to really like blue, knit away in blue… On my needles right now are a pair of blue socks, a blue tank, a BonBon in blue, and as soon as I get to my LYS to pick up my new needles another pair of blue socks. I like blue so much, I ride blue fire trucks and bandaid wagons (aka gut bucket or ambulance). That doesn’t mean that I don’t use other colours to knit or wear other colours, I just like blue.

  8. I am really hoping that Kelly freelances and is available for hire. Seriously. I have 89 pounds of crap – well, the other members of my household do at least. I just have and 89 pounds of yarn, plus 89 pounds of books on each floor of the house.

  9. Hi..as Kaare’s yarn-lovin’ spouse, I feel I must jump into the fray and defend my stash sisters! No, he doesn’t know EVERYTHING!! In our house, its more of a friendly “hide the stash” sort of game. Some of my favorite techniques include lots of bags of the same colour (no, not blue!) and my personal fave – Utter brazenly “That old stuff? I’ve had that forever!” and then raise my eyebrow and dare him to call me on it. Also, I think he has definately clued into the benefits of having a happy, excited yarn-binger in the house..it probably helps that the computer is in the bedroom! On a related side note, my theory is that knitting is a very helpful rack-building exercise!

  10. How funny that the harlot and I are living parallel lives of “purging” at the moment (my blog — lumay.blogspot.com — explains it further). Is it something in the air that is causing this wave of “Spring” cleaning? I only hope that we all make it through the day.
    I do sort of hide my purchases, in spite of the fact that my Joe and I are not married, and we are financially independent of each other. However, I have a crappy little job, and I do not want him thinking that I spent the bulk of my crappy wages on fiber. Actually, I am rather thrifty about that. I had a few missteps with buying stash that did not pan out, but not to any financial loss.
    Good luck with the purging. A read-through of “Clearing Your Clutter with Feng Shui” may serve up some inspiration. Of course, inspiration does not carry the mound of stuff to the dumpster.

  11. Loved your blog today. Joe sounds just like my old guy. Except every now and then when you least expect it he’ll ask “what’s that you’re knitting now? I don’t remember seeing you work on that before” and it’s always the sweater I am sneakily making for his birthday.
    I don’t lie about my stash renewals. I just don’t mention them. He doesn’t ask. Like K. said, it must be a measure of love.
    Liked the Stepford neighbourhood comment. Nearly spit my coffee at that point!
    Barb B.
    P.s. congrats on the blogger thingy!

  12. I have no advice; I am a packrat by birth and education. However, for a good laugh, you might enjoy the book _Feng Sh*t_ (yes, the asterisk is an actual part of the title) by Anna Crosbie. In the worst case, you will experience the shock of recognition; in the best, you will be able to tell yourself that things could be much much worse!

  13. I got a big laugh out of the Stepford bike ride story. Sounds like the girls are as smart and funny as their mama.
    Can you send Kelly to my house once she’s finished with yours? My hubby’s desk is in our living room/dump, or so I assume. It seems to be serving as the foundation for a mammoth paper-recycling project (euphemism for huge pile of ****) and a seemingly eternal source of spousal stress (euphemism for big mess that p***** me off).
    The other night, in a fit of fury, determined to declutter and lead by example, I began by organizing my own stuff. All things knitting were lovingly gathered into my own corner of the living room. As I stood patting myself on the back for all my hard work, I was astonished to find that my pile was bigger than his. “No! This can’t be!” my mind raced until mired in a pool of indecision…..tackle ANOTHER room to store my stash (away from hubby’s too-sharp eyes and too-good-at-math-in-his-head self) or just remove all price tags and leave it to make his pile seem smaller by comparison?

  14. Bleh, your site doesn’t like me. I keep telling it to remember my personal info, but it’s not there the next time I come. But anyway, sneak buy? Hide stash? Nah. I’d never be with somebody if I had to do that. Pretend I’m not on the computer reading/writing blogs? That I’m guilty of — I don’t know why! It’s “my” problem, not his, heh-heh. Gotta work on that, I guess. Or not. 😉

  15. Sneaking yarn purchases? No, not really. I try to justify/rationalize all my yarn purchases. Of course, that doesn’t mean that a few little fiber items don’t come sneaking into the house…mostly to prove that I can. If he can bring home buttloads of fishing flys into the house…well, I think we all know where this is going.
    The 89 lbs. of useless ****? We’ve found that moving every few years seems to do the trick for us. It’s not exactly the reason that we moved so much, but it’s been a nice side benefit.
    That was a lovely article in Spin-Off, by the way. Really cool.

  16. Clandestine purchasing??? Not necessary since I am the breadwinner (and pay the bills) and hubby stays home with the kids. He has his indulgences and I have mine, neither of which have been much indulged lately unfortunatly… But as far as the cost of yarn goes – I don’t look at it as X dollars for a sweater (or whatever) – I look at it as X dollars for many hours of enjoyment…. Since I’m such a SLOW knitter it’s really a very economical hobby if I break it down to yarn cost per hour of knitting – LOL!!!

  17. The only reason I can imagine hiding yarn purchases from my husband is if they were for a present for him. While I do sometimes feel sheepish about buying more yarn, I do always tell him — our finances are joint, so I wouldn’t feel right spending large amounts without notifying him; although I do handle the bills, usually, so I could hide it completely if I wanted! He spends money on dvds and music, so I don’t feel too guilty, even though money is pretty tight right now; and I’m actually fairly moderate in my buying habits. And he’s also very supportive of my knitting — he pays attention to how my projects are going, listens when I discuss them, and loves it when I knit him things. He’s also good at pointing out my handiwork to others — a definite bonus!

  18. Loved the bikeride comments!
    My hubby has grumbled over how much of the family room closet has been taken over by my stash–then the master closet got flooded and we had to empty it out. He was stunned to find out how much yarn I had hidden in there. Caught. The good part is, the yarn was saved, while all those pairs of stinky old sneakers he’d been hanging onto for years were mildewed and trashed and sorry, they finally just had to go.
    Which made room for more yarn! Happy day!

  19. Ladies, you should not worry about your 89lbs of crap/valuable yarn stash and getting rid of it. I believe I know how a knitter thinks, and It is my opinion that regardless of what your spouse says, it is every womens RIGHT to do as she pleases. (yes, I realize that I am whipped, but I was tired of losing all the battles!) My solution, build a yarn wall in our house so that when I open a closet I will not drown in the wave of yarn that falls from every nook and cranny.
    As for the hidding issue. I do see more that my other half realizes. We have two sweet/evil little girls (4 & 2) who routinely tattle on thier mother. If any one ever knocks on our door the girls shout in unison, “Mom, theres a package for you!”. Ask the two year old what she thinks in the package and she will say Yarns!
    The final note is this: It is **more** beneficial for me to have a happy & content knitter than a women suffering from fibre withdrawl! Happiness is only a yarn store away.

  20. Can Kelly come to my house?
    As for another blue tank – If that’s what you like and what you wear – GO GIRL! After all you knit them and wear them with such flair.
    Ditto on Flylady.com

  21. Even though I am currently financially dependant for the first time in my life, I still spend at least half the proceeds of my pitiful little part-time job on yarn. Mostly these days it’s secondhand sweaters to unravel, though. He only complains if the stash/frog pile is left out on the dining room table (dining room floor, coffee table, couch. . .)and not away in the drawers.
    Today, I spent the day at the table rolling 2 different yarns from a big blue dyebath into balls, to add to the overflowing stash of blue! Nothing wrong with blue.
    By the way, I am so addicted to your blog that I can’t wait to check in the morning right after you’ve posted, then check again hours later so I don’t miss any of the comments. I hope we never need a 12-step program for this.

  22. I do hide yarn, it lives in the closet in the room where the cats don’t go. I’m rationalising it by splitting it up into unassigned yarn I got cause I like the colour, and “assigned yarn” I have waiting for projects. The assigned yarn includes all the stuff for the Eternal Sweater I started on when we got engaged. Ten years later, I’m still working on the sweater…

  23. Never, I repeat NEVER apologize for blue knitting.
    My husband tried to sneak a BOAT by me. Do I hid yarn purchases? Hell no! I sashay by, flaunt them around, remind him that I have a loooong way to go before I catch up to the boat. And he always notices when I am working on a new project. “What are you making now?” “This old thing? Same as the last 3 years.” “Unh,uh. That shade of blue is ever so slightly lighter than the other, and where are the twisty things? Did you ever finish that one?” Hrmph! Just when you think he isn’t paying any attention to you at all…….. But if I ever tried to rope him into a conversation about my knitting, he and Joe would become brothers in the mono-syllabic fraternity of wife-deaf husbands.
    Love your blog, tops all over, not just Canada!

  24. Yeah, I hide yarn. I just don’t want to hear “more yarn!” “how much did THAT cost??” I don’t think he really even cares, but it’s a genetic trait to ask the cost.
    One day the mail man pulled up and I was standing by the mail box to get the mail. DH came up behind me and when he saw I got a package, rolled his eyes and said “oh, more yarn”. My dear mailman (who has since been crossed off my Christmas Card list) said “well, she gets one *every* day”. I DO NOT! I nearly said “It’s not yarn. I have you both fooled, it’s kinky sex toys for me!”

  25. Hide yarn? HA! I have no one to hide yarn from!!
    Though I do have a funny yarn buying story (that is only fully understood by fellow wool-pigs). I was telling one of my best friends about a recent yarn purchase and his response was…get this: “You aren’t out of yarn already, are you?”
    *roll on floor laughing* The man just doesn’t understand (not yet, anyway…I recently taught him to knit). *grin*

  26. I never hide my yarn purchases. We’re both responsible with money. And besides, I never complain when he buys wine for the wine cellar. There are mutual benefits. I get to drink the wine and he likes the things I make for him. He requested an afghan for his computer room and when it was done, he requested a matching hat (keeps the bald head warm on winter mornings). Done. Much to my chagrin, he even showed off the hat to a knitting colleague at work. It is a cool modular hat. I’m thinking of publishing the pattern. Congrats on your blog honor.

  27. HE and my son (11) think I have too much fiber (as a spinner it comes in roving form, the occassional raw fleece) Two trunks worth?? Hardly a huge stash! Besides, they have no idea my office closet is stuffed as well as my cabinet 🙂 I carry a large purse and new purchases are usually undetected… Funny though, hubby could care a wit but there is a certain PRIDE in not being considered an ‘addict’ 😉

  28. Hi Steph: Last night I made an error on a tank I’m knitting. Rather than rip back 6 rows, I used a crochet hook to fix it. ‘Took about 2 minutes, and worked like a charm. I never would have thought of it if you hadn’t discussed the technique recently. Thanks for that. Susan

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