Stuff that I am planning.

1. I am planning to finish Icarus. Miriam left a comment yesterday pointing out that perhaps I was being punished through the gansey for not finishing Icarus when I was so close to the end. Whether or not the planet is defending this one shawl is impossible to tell, but her point that I’ll see her Friday next when I’m in Salt Lake City (I’m so excited) is a good one. I can’t face her with fewer than 10 rows to go. It’s embarrassing.


I admit that I’m also enjoying knitting something that I haven’t screwed up. (Probably shouldn’t have said that.)


2. I am planning a right huge sized flip-out concerning the tremendous outlay of cash that it takes to get the girls back in school. The binders, paper, pens, scientific calculators…not to mention the activity fees, locker fees, student card fees…lab fees…

It’s seriously pinching the snot out of the budget. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that they are going back, and I’m really grateful that all I have to do is cut a whole bunch of corners to squeeze it out of the finances, but it’s a lot of money and it’s public school. Public school isn’t supposed to cost hundreds of dollars. You’re supposed to have paid for it with your taxes. What about the thousands of families using the TDSB who aren’t lucky enough to have a budget that can be squeezed? Their kid doesn’t get a text book? Their kid doesn’t get a binder, paper or calculator? That’s totally going to have them poised to rise above their parents poverty with education. Totally. (Sorry. Rant over. I’m going to buy some extra pens, paper and a binder and give it to the school for someone else. I shouldn’t have to though. Paying my taxes should take care of it. This country has a surplus economy and basic public education should be free, not pretending to be free.)

3. I am planning to order more of the Knit Picks Options needles. (As soon as the budget gives me that option. They are cheap, but they still cost money.)


I had ordered a couple of the pieces of the set, (a couple of tips, a couple of cables, and one set of dpn’s) and after I yanked the gansey off the needles I decided to put it onto the Knit Picks ones that had just arrived. Normally I wouldn’t switch needles mid-sweater, in case the different needle gave me different tension, but I was knitting the gansey on an Addi Turbo (love those needles) and the Options needles seemed similar enough. Now the gansey is back on the path to rightness, and I’m loving the needles. They improved on the only thing I’ve ever wished the Addi’s had, sharper tips. The Knit Picks ones are sharp enough to hurt yourself with. The only thing that I would have done differently when I ordered these was I would have gotten the storage thingie. The tips are sort of a pain to store. I’m going to loose a one of a set, or loose the little key thing or something. I can feel it.

3. I stumbled on a new Canadian mail order place, The Sweet Sheep. I am planning to give them an extraordinary amount of money for the “‘All things Heather” yarn in their shop just as soon as I can figure out how to do that and still pay for all the kids back to school stuff and….um…food. I would consider it a personal favour if someone would go over there and buy it all out from under me so I could stop trying to think about how much money I might be able to sell the cat for even though I have more yarn than I can knit. Thank you.

4. Further to this budget talk, I am planning to tear the new Knit Picks catalogue into tiny little shreds the moment it arrives and eat them all one by one until every dastardly shred of temptation is removed from my house. (Do NOT tell me about the KIP bags. DO NOT.)

5. I am planning to improve myself enough that I do not manage personal stress with the hunting and procurement of knitting paraphernalia and yarn. (Does trying to quit that give everyone a pain behind their right eye or is that just me?)

224 thoughts on “Stuff that I am planning.

  1. Aren’t you wise to think of eating the Knit Picks catalog pieces after shredding them! I can just see myself on the floor of my dining room, trying to put the shredded pieces back together, scotch tape at the ready.
    Icarus looks lovely. I’ll see you in Sept!

  2. I’ll bet you finish that shawl up in a couple of days — nothing like pressure to show it (completed) to the designer to give you the push you need!
    It must be nice living in a country with a budget surplus, even if you do have to pay for school supplies.

  3. As I was writing a check for $150(!!!) so my kid can play sports, I was having the same rant (and the $85 calculator that is required).
    So, now that he’s off to school, I’m hiding the car keys so I don’t run off to WEBS! Yes, yarn procurement is excellent stress management.

  4. hey, at least if you eat the catalog, you are saving on food and getting your fiber! seriously though, i think you are a wonderful mom (or “mum”) and i am sure your girls appreciate all that you provide for them. i really like your idea of buying extra for a less fortunate student too (although i agree you should have to, but all the more reason to help someone out, right?)

  5. I’m just glad that KP doesn’t ship to the UK. I think I’m glad about it anyway…
    Back to school is still just clothing for a six year old – new shoes (grown two shoe sizes since July), trousers (old ones shrunk an inch). It was still not a fun day’s shopping and as a result I’m working on my KP order right now. Petting wool makes me feel better, there are no calories in it and it doesn’t have side effects.

  6. I agree with you on the Knit Picks needles. They are incredible. Let me know if you lose your key. I bought the starter set and then some extras and they keep sending me keys. I’ll be more than happy to send one along to you. πŸ™‚
    (Maybe it will help your budget by not being hungry after eating that lovely catalog. Not only will you not be tempted to buy anything, but you will be full and won’t need to have lunch. LOL Now, what are we going to do about my monitor showing me all that pretty yarn I want to buy?) πŸ™‚

  7. Hey Stephanie,
    I know what you mean about school supplies. Mine is in third grade so it scares me to think of how many years I have of this. And what is with buying tissue for the classroom? I wasn’t aware of the fact that tissue was a school supply but apparently it is.
    Looking forward to seeing you in Seattle at Third Place Books.

  8. Let’s see, retail price of one hour’s therapy… how much yarn could I buy for that? Seems like a bargain to me.

  9. I ordered some dp’s from Knit Picks and love them, especially the sharp ends and the weight the needles have to them. They’re great to knit with.
    My sympathy goes out to you regarding Icarus. I had to force myself to finish those last ten rows, but it is well worth it!

  10. Having just gotten back from a large office supply chain $65.00 poorer (just the “required for 5th grade” list in a public school -no fiddly extras) I feel your pain.
    I do not suggest trying to give up stress management through knitting paraphenalia until the book deadline has been met, lest your head explode. Timing is everything.

  11. I’m pretty sure that color printed paper like that in catalogs has lots of calories. If you eat the catalog, you’ll gain weight and have to knit a whole new wardrobe of knitted stuff and that means you’ll spend more money than if you just bought stuff from the catalog in the first place.

  12. Feeling your pain over here with the school supplies…even with the 10-cent Walmart notebooks, it adds up fast!
    And by the way, stash enhancement is not frivolous spending — it’s an investment in the future. I often mention to my husband that buying jewelry makes sound financial sense as diversification from stocks and bonds.

  13. Now why didn’t i think of eating the Knit Picks catalog? What a great way to remove temptation while keeping one’s stomach filled.
    Do you have any advice for staying off their site, though?

  14. I am so with you on all of the above… the curiously expensive back to public school budget smash, the how can everyone afford this, yarny temptations, the new KnitPicks needles. Except the lace shawl knitting, which is all yours. Looks great so far!

  15. Retail therapy is cheaper than Prozac and Valium… well, provided it isn’t every day. Before I got into yarn (back when cross-stitch was my primary hobby), my normal retail therapy was a single bottle of nail polish. My local x-stitch store was just far enough away that I had better retail therapy options in a CVS.
    Now it is harder. I feel like I can find yarn everywhere.

  16. Stephanie, why on earth would you want to eliminate your completely healthy approach to stress management? You aren’t smoking like a chimney, you aren’t feeding the slots at the casino, and you aren’t shoplifting. Life’s too short for yarn guilt.

  17. No it’s not just you having the pain behind the eye. I know my daughter still needs uniform shirts but that has not stopped me from plotting to but a bag of Debbie Bliss yarn for a sweater. The guilt I feel is the only thing that has stopped me from placing the order.

  18. Don’t get me started on the taxes are supposed to pay for school rant. When we get lists of things they need that include toilet paper, I just see red. And yes, it does make me want to go loose myself in the LYS until I can forget I have a child….
    The shawl is lovely and needs to be finished and shown off! πŸ™‚

  19. Icarus is really looking lovely. I know what you mean about the costs of public school. I won’t even pretend to know what all my mother has spent on us when we were kids and now for her students to keep the learning going. Perhaps that is the true reason she does not knit. No money left for yarn. I’m going to knit something lovely for her. I’m interested to find out how things go with the Knitpicks Options. My friend is having an issue with hers. After only a few rounds, her needles are beginning to get little gouges in them from use. She is not a tight knitter. We leave that to our friend Beth, a new knitter who wears off the color of her aluminum needles with each project.

  20. Hate me but I got the whole options needle set for my anniversary and it is so worth getting the holder book thingy. Everything all there is one place and beautifully organized. . . .
    Maybe that should be a Xmas gift from Joe and the girls????

  21. My sharp stabbing pain is usually over the left eye. So yes, it is normal.
    With you on the school supplies, $147 for my gr 12 student this year. A parent on Vancouver Island challenged this in court, also ran for school board on the issue & got elected. Parents can refuse to make the payment, child will still get the supplies / field trips / whatever, but the money has to come from somewhere. This province has a surplus and there are times when I think it’s on the basis of these user fees. Argghh.
    Looking forward to seeing you at Third Place Books.

  22. I think more people have to remind our Premier that education in this province is indeed already paid for with our taxes. I have friends who teach and they use their PAYCHECK to create mini-libraries in their classrooms to help their students fall in love with reading. Why can’t the government put money where it’s important, our young people…
    Sorry…had to rant….

  23. Sorry to hear about the gansey – good thing you caught it when you did though! Those KP needles sound wonderful. I have the Denise ones which I love, but it would be nice to have an Addi-like set as well.
    The belly and I are looking forward to meeting you at Third Place this Sunday – Eeeee, I’m so excited! πŸ™‚

  24. Knitting has kept me relatively sane these past few years. Any time something kind of bad would have me in the dumps, I would surf the knitting world looking for treasure. I would find something and buy it. I would feel better.
    But I will have to try something else now too. We are moving and no extra money can be spent. I have gone a few weeks without buying anything extra. I still look, but know I can’t buy. It’s a little hard, but getting a place for ourselves is much more important than buying stuff for knitting.
    I can’t believe I just said that. But then I have a pretty good stash I can dip into for a while.

  25. Right on about the costs of public education! I’m a teacher (so actually contributing to your costs) but have often taught in schools in economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods. There the teachers often buy a whack of stuff out of their own pockets but the school budget also goes just to cover the basics. Thus, nice extras, like new band instruments or uniforms or sports uniforms or the fancy new data projector (that would actually be realllly helpful given the learning styles of the kids) are much harder to come by. Other schools seem to have much more — often supported through the contributions of parents and the community. In an era of declining school budgets across much of the province (due to declining enrollment [bodies = funding]), the concerns are even more crucial.
    Okay, rant done — for now. Thanks for helping out another kid.
    I am contemplating tearing out a huge part of an intarisa back of a sweater — where I thought to save some grief at the end by weaving in some ends along the way. I was very optimistic when I chose the size. (Girl, give your head a shake!!) My sympathies for the gansey issues…..

  26. I taught public school for 8 years in the US and it’s the same here. I think the problem is that the amount of money it would cost per child per year to provide for all of his/her needs would cause most bureaucrats to blanche. Much as it does parents. And really, wouldn’t you prefer to know that no money was being wasted in the procurement of these supplies? I’m not so sure we could say the same if the school board got hold of the money instead.
    Have you seen the school Oprah just built in South Africa? It pays for all of the children’s needs (school pop. 150), including three meals a day, and the total cost? Approaching $50 million. And that’s in Africa.

  27. I don’t a pain in my eye, but I do get nauseous & depressed. Although I just had a birthday & got the KIP bags & the Options basic set & the Denise set and love them all!!! I’ve been trying to post about em for days, but my site refuses to upload pics right now. It’s the Knitting Godess punishing me for aquiring too much at once. I also Just ordered a ball winder & 2 more books. Yeah the “public” school thing, it’s supposed to be “free” here too…yeah…

  28. I know this is a totally irrational idea, seeing as how I have only one daughter who looked at me as if I have two heads when I ask her to help out with expenses when she was a teen, but maybe get the daughters to work a little during the summer for extra cash to pay for their schooling. Somehow, my daughter got the idea (from someone else, undoubtedly) and now pays many of her own expenses. Then again, maybe all this is because she’s 23 years old and knows that Mumsy and Dad aren’t going to pay for grad school. But gee…maybe you could lay out the list of things to buy for school and see how much they can pitch in. I know. You’re looking at me as though I have two heads. Sorry Steph, it was a foolish thought.

  29. Dude. Totally want to be happy and content with my yarn stash. Totally jonesing for more yarn. Totally want to spend my whole paycheck on yarn and knitting-related paraphernalia. πŸ™‚

  30. I think you started a rampage, Stephanie. I just tried to go to the Sweet Sheep website and it’s down. Oh, the power you wield…..
    The school supply thing is dreadful. When I was teaching (and that was less than ten years ago), it was all still free at the elementary school level. Fortunately, my sons school does a bulk buy, which makes things cheaper. I just have to send a cheque (I think it’s around $25 or so), and they get supplies for the whole school year. I’m sure the school is eating some of the cost, since there are many kids there who live in public housing.

  31. I would say that being told not to knit by a doctor would be a reason to stop buying yarn, but that didn’t even work for me. I went out to knitpicks and bought all their clearance sock yarn once I was told not to knit for three months…it was a present to myself :oP I’m back at it though and I’m sure I’ll be buying more yarn now…

  32. If this makes you feel better, therapy would cost a lot more than yarn. GO FOR IT.
    (Never said I was a good influence on yarn harlots.)

  33. I’m told that an unbent paper clip works just as well as the Options key. I have not had the opportunity to try it myself (although I’m sure that day is coming, knowing how quickly I lose little, fiddly things), but I can see how it would work.

  34. Every fall, the firm where I work, has a back to school drive. You are assigned a child from a shelter and buy them a backpack, school supplies and a new outfit. I was amazed at how much everything cost when it was all totaled together. It’s a project that has grown tremendously since it started in 1999. It makes me feel good to buy things I know they need and will appreciate.

  35. I agree, having a LYS is temptation enough and then the mail man brings the Knit Picks catalog right to the door! And then you tell me how good the new needles (that I’ve been drooling over) are. Although I’m so used to the blunter tips on Addis that I have trouble adjusting to a set with sharper tips! If it makes you feel any better, I bought the new bag set – they’re really nice, but not quite perfect (I think the long shoulder straps are stiff & heavy – maybe I’ll felt myself some new ones?!?!?) and I’m sure you want to wait for perfection. Maybe The Sweet Sheep would buy your cat fur for yarn? Then you can keep the cat plus get the yarn you want. Also, it’s healthier to get through stress with yarn & accessories than food, booze, or drugs, so knit (and shop) on!

  36. I agree with you about all the costs related to education. My additional complaint as I stood at the counter of the middle school the other day was having to write out 4 separate checks rather than one huge one – one check for school lunches had to be made out to the district office, one check for sports had to be to the specific school he attends, and another check had to be made out to the booster’s club. I can’t even remember the fourth one. Can’t we please just write one? Do they think we can’t add up the numbers in our head and realize the total amount is rather big? Okay, over with the rant.
    Look on the bright side…as you are shopping in the U.S. or on U.S. web sites, you are getting a good exchange rate right now. So…really, you should be buying those Knit Picks Options now…if you delay they may cost more! And if you want any advice on financial matters with teens, check out The author wrote a great book about the influence media and peers have on spending and counters with great advice on spending based on principles.
    To that end…I need the Options needles, not merely want them!

  37. That pain behind the eye??? oh yeah.. Icarus looking big and yes, there’s a bit of pressure to get it done but you always do well under pressure. I’m waiting for an order from KP, needles in there, good to hear you like them. Guess I’ll have to wait a bit to check out the Sweet Sheep….
    4 days…

  38. My mom said the same thing to me yesterday about school supplies — she counldn’t believe that my sister and I had a list for each kid. That said, my lists were very reasonable. That Kid Picks catalog is so tantalizing — it’s cruel!

  39. I hear you on school supplies. Let’s add in the new shoes and clothes and suddenly Kraft Dinner is looking like a viable option for most meals in the month of September.
    Between my yarn diet, financial diet and food diet — I’m pretty much trying to take pleasure in the small things.

  40. Yeah, that’s a good idea. Your entire in-house economy is based on knitting, on your expertise and wide experience of fibers and techniques, so cutting back’s the way to go. Shouldn’t it all be deductible for you, anyway? Do I hear any accountants out there volunteering?

  41. You should see the bill my Canadian school (UBC) sent me!
    Consider yourself warned: if you don’t start extolling the virtues of baristahood, you may find yourself with several kids in the private education sector — at $400+ a class, it ain’t pretty.

  42. Dude, at least your public schools are safe enough to trust with your precious children. Here in good old Memphis, TN I have to send my boys to private school. This year their combined tuition is $22,500.00! This absurd amount does not include supplies. Needless to say, I must only knit with the yarn that I have. Thank goodness for KnitPicks. I have baskets of sock yarn to keep me happy/sane.
    The shawl is beautiful! Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  43. I totally agree about the school supplies. That’s very thoughtful of you to send extras to the school, for those without.
    Textbooks, paper, pencils, even glue – the school should be supplying these things!!
    But then, the Toronto School Board just issued themselves a LARGE pay increase, VERY LARGE, did they not? Hmmm.m.m.m.m.m.m.m.

  44. I was one of the students whose family coudn’t afford the graphing calculator. Or rather, we could afford one, and that one my brother took with him to college. So I did the matrices in math class in my head, while everyone else had the darn calculator. Nobody cared. I got a D, the only one I’ve ever had. Thank you for caring.

  45. Let me chime in with the other teachers. The school district (US)where I work just built a new (Beautiful!) middle school for multi-millions. The music and art teachers have had their budgets slashed and the classroom teachers are working with reading books held together by tape. the only new books we get are when someone decides to add “new, revolutionary” learning/teaching method. And, Kim, just think about the colds, etc in the classroom and you will be glad to send in a box of tissues.
    I’m going to go sit in the corner and fondle yarn now. *twitch*

  46. Clearly, autumn has begun in your vicinity. Your nesting instinct and/or the instinct to shove the kids out the door to school has taken over. Just like a squirrel, you feel the urge to line your nest with warm, insulating fiber. Don’t fight it; it’s all natural and therefore completely correct.
    Or maybe that’s just me. Anyhow, finish up bookbook #4 quick now (heh! I bet that helps your stress level) and then you’ll have money from that (if that’s the way it works).
    Apropos of nothing, I am totally obsessed with spinning. You may have had something to do with that. Luckily, I’m still at the stage where I don’t desire enough of any one hamdspun yarn to do something with; I just desire handspun, period.

  47. In regard to #2: Amen
    I just purchased the Knit Picks set. I couldn’t help myself. The other way to spell need is W-A-N-T.

  48. Oh, $DEITY, the school supplies. Don’t start me – TOO LATE!! I only have two in school-school. One in third grade. One in first grade.
    One Hundred and Forty Dollars, for school supplies for two small children.
    And $5 for this and $10 for that and $25 for library fees and soccer starts soon and for a mere $300…
    All four of mine are in daycare, so I’ve got $75 each for Fall registration fees; $155 for ‘education fees’ for the younger two; $25 for field trips; $20 for t-shirts to wear on the field trips…
    Hoooookay. That’s enough ranting. I’m going to give myself a breakdown. And if I suffer a breakdown, there will be a MAJOR purchase at Knit Picks to help me get back up off the floor…hmm…that said…Have I mentioned the cost of gas lately? And that my furnace is on its last legs? And that the Old (Not So) Reliable van is likewise about to go Ka-BLURP? And…?

  49. no kidding! my kid is only is first grade and we have to bring paper towel (paper towels??!?!?), and ziploc bags, and hand wipes…every year I am amazed. There are no athletics…and yes, I can afford it, but like you it seems insane to me. When they get older i will have to stop feeding them…

  50. If it wasn’t for periodically surfing the web for yarn and patterns (which I never seem to buy), my current duties at my job would drive me nuts. I don’t advise following through with #5. Nobody says you have to spend money. Just looking is theraputic.

  51. I agree with Mim–you should finish Icarus. (And then you should have it with you in NYC in a couple of weeks.)

  52. Even you mentioning KnitPicks on your blog stirred an impulse to go to the website. And of course, after going there, I have to go to and and then I’m screwed. Ahh.

  53. Rant on! It’s the expectation for all students to have ready access to state-of-the art computers to get class assignments, do research and write power point reports that gets me.
    “Oh, you don’t have a computer at home? (voice dripping with sarcasm) Use the public libray one, so what if there are 25 kids needing the three available computers. It’s only a five page report, you should be able to do that in under the hour time allotment on the library’s computer. Oh, you live twelve miles out in the country? No problem – you’re a cute 10 year old, someone nice will pick you up if you stick out your thumb.”
    Burrowing into my knitting therapy.

  54. So, my financial choice was to either get the car fixed, or buy the kp options set…
    those kp options are really great to knit with.

  55. SweetSheep. Canadian and they take PayPal.
    Is there no stopping you, woman?

  56. Grumperina says that Knitpicks needles have a fast-and-loose relationship with size. I don’t know if that is limited to their tiny circs, or to the whole set (lovelovelove) so you might wanna, oh, I dunno, measure your gauge again or something. Just to make sure.
    Oh, and your rant? Please rant on. Earlier this summer, my 10 MONTH OLD BABY was sent home from daycare with a FUND-FRICKING-RAISING PACKET. Now, granted, we do not have a surplus budget and we insist on spending gazillions keeping other people in line while our own are starving or living in squalor or dying with no healthcare, but really? Babies need to fund-raise? I’m moving to Antarctica and I’m homeschooling, I swear it. I’ll feed that fundraising packet to the seals.

  57. Unless you have Ken perform some computer mojo that completely denies you access to the KnitPicks website (preferably with a pop up of something laughing at you), you know damn well eating the catalogue won’t help. Why put yourself through it?
    My physiotherapist tried to tell me no knitting this week. I worked her down to no ‘crazy’ knitting. Didn’t stop me from being This Close to coming home with some Alchemy yarn last night to start yet another project.

  58. you’re lucky you’re a hardcore knitter / spinner:your efforts (and finances) are focused in the same general direction. knitting – or actually knit blogging – has become a gateway hobby for me. i just bought a sewing machine. and i don’t know how to sew. yet. so easily do i succumb to peer pressure. i should change my name to “lemming.”

  59. Sometimes retail therapy (or in this case knitting shopping therapy) is the way to go. And with yarn – it never goes out of style and can always be used (unlike clothing).
    My school was the same way with all the activity fees. In some classes we had to share text books because there weren’t enough to go around. made doing homework pretty difficult.
    Instead of eating up the catalogue,place it where people will see it, and add a note about how lovely it would be to recieve for chirstmas…

  60. Amen on the cost of sendg kids back to “public” school! After a $250 run to Target on the tax-free weekend we still didn’t have everything they needed. And they both still need shoes too. Sigh.
    And what I hate the most, then the PTA and the band pressure the children to sell (i.e. their parents to buy) crappy wrapping paper and cheap knickknacks for outrageous amounts of money, to raise funds for something else! I’d rather just send in a donation and cut out the middleman (and the ugly wrapping paper and desk doodads).

  61. Oh! That yarn website looks fantastic!
    I’d love to help you out buy buying up half of it, if only the current sock yarn wasn’t already doing battle for my time with the 2 sweaters I’ve got on the go. So much knitting, so little time.
    And I am completely on board wiht your public school rant. Imagine what that 1% of the GST could be paying for?

  62. I got the knitpicks catalogue today and it is going to take a gouge outta my life, I can tell. I want the Telemark sweater cause I figure if I’m going to f&^$ up steeks, I may as well make it a cheap f&^$ up. Thanks to you, I want needles too. Plus, now I get to feel like I have extra cash cause my kids aren’t in school yet so I’m eyeing some books too. Shoulda let DH check the mail – he’d have hidden the catalogue!

  63. Now the cost of school supplies would not bother me so much if the kids would just stop growing! 15yr old son normal growth – normal amount of new required. Same with the 6yr old son. But my 12yr old daughter has done quite the spurt this summer. From 14 to 4/5 ladies in the clothing department, and from 5 to 8 (US) in the shoes. School starts next week and serious shopping needs to be done. Overnight she has even outgrown her undergarments. Nothing is able to be re-used this year. Unless of course I send her in micro-minis and cropped tops with toe toppers on her feet, uh but that is against the dress code. 12 year old female + mall + shopping under duress = no fun for momma.
    Thanks I feel better now πŸ™‚
    The shaw is beautiful and I can’t wait to see it finished.

  64. It gives me a pain behind BOTH eyes. And since you spin, you can add roving and all sorts of other collectables to the list. *sigh*

  65. There are schools here in Mobile that have to hold raffles to buy janitorial supplies — terlit paper, fer crap’s sake (literally)! When the annual fund from the snotty university I attended calls for my money I explain the situation and enjoy the awkward silence on the other end. And then I ask THEM for money for local schools. Needless to say, no money is exchanged. And I buy a but*load of raffle tickets.

  66. I have heard that Addi turbos are coming out with a lace knitting circular needle which has a sharper point.
    A friend bought DVD cases and a DVD storage container to store her KP Options. She says they work well.
    How charitable of you to support another child’s school needs. There is something wrong with the way tax dollars are managed in this province (and country)!!

  67. My daughter is finally gainfully employed. The very best part? She paid for her own school supplies this year. My budget is so very happy ;o)

  68. I just thought high school was expensive here in the US for one girl-child. Wait til you get them to college. Those hundreds turn into thousands. Year number three coming up!

  69. When our kids were in K-12, the superintendent’s bonus granted by the school board every year was enough that it could have covered an awful lot of those supplies. The same superintendent who quit and left town after the parents got up in arms over his mistakes. One bright idea that disappeared fast: that middle schoolers (!) were to be given Apple laptops. (Hello? Can we give provide lined paper for the elementaries first?) But only the middleschoolers at the school in the richest part of town. The other kids could buy their own paper and write things out by hand.

  70. How about I tell you something really bad about the KIP bags so you won’t want one? They’re made of nylon, vinyl, and polyester, all of which are really bad for this here Earth we live on. So revel in not wanting them.

  71. Eating the Knit Picks catalog–if prepared with a lovely mushroom gravy–might ease the budgetary pinch with regard to food, at least for one meal.
    Oh yeah, and managing personal stress by procuring…um, guilty. My staff (and everyone who works in my building) mocks me when the UPS truck pulls up. The UPS guy once stopped me in the lobby to exclaim, “You’re the one I deliver all the boxes to!” Procurement? That’s my middle name…

  72. Where I live, they keep cutting income taxes at the state level. This leads to cutting the amounts the state gives to the town for schools. Which leads to a town-wide argument over raising real estate taxes to pay for schools (fair for wealthy families new to the area with young children, not fair for elderly retired people watching property values skyrocket as all these new families pay insane amounts to get into this school district). When the voters don’t approve the tax hike, the result is (as it has been this past year) the cutting of the school budget by truly frightening amounts. My town’s elementary (through 5th grade) Science Center — the central repository of the science curricula and all the support people and props for it — was nearly cut; for this year, the town is accepting private funds to keep it alive. I CANNOT believe we were auctioning beanie babies to provide science in the schools!
    Ironically, because my family lives in the portion of the district where the elementary school gets direct federal aid because of the number of under-privileged kids, we don’t have to buy many school supplies. Friends in wealthier parts of town are going crazy with the stocking up.
    It’s all bass-ackwards and totally insane! Must buy more yarn to soothe the inner confusion and irritation. -twitch- -twitch-

  73. The knitpicks needles are just like the Boye needlemaster (I love mine – had it for 20+ years). Anyway, look in the back to school section and get the HEAVY DUTY zipper bags to store the needles & cables – or, do like I do, store the cables in ziplock & the needles, tools, & tightener in a longish tupperware container. I put the whole mess in a tote bag and hang it on the doorknob of my sewing/guest/knitting/craft/crap room.

  74. I had the same rant regarding public high school fees for my boys when they were in high school (my youngest starts college next week). At our local high school,though, a certain student couldn’t get enough ice time for hockey, so his dad built an ice rink on the school grounds. I was just one small voice complaining about a couple hundred dollars for school fees in a large group of parents who thought that was a cheap day for them.

  75. Yes, school supplies….I have ranted to anyone who will listen how I spent $50…yes $50…..on a bunch of notebooks, paper, pens and pencils just to get my freshman in high school ready for the year. What happened to the days when we got those little tablets, a new pencil and a box of crayons and that was all that was needed? Why do we need to look at outrageously expensive messenger bags when last year’s backpack is in perfectly good condition??? Well so far, I’m winning on that one. But I did spend $50 on just paper products!!!!!!
    Icarus looks lovely!

  76. Can you take one more school rant? I’m a parent volunteer with our local schools’ foundation, which every school district in California has, where we dun all the local businesses and the parents for money to pay for stuff that was just taken for granted when we were kids — you know, classes with a reasonable number of kids, music class, art class, a library. I call lots of parents during our annual phone-a-thon to ask them to donate. Many are surprised that this is necessary. The tax money that our district gets from the state (it all goes to the state to be re-distributed) pays for a lot less than the education we used to take for granted.
    One more rant — the State is supposed to set its budget in June (often they’re late). The school district is required by law to set its budget in May (before they know what they’re getting from the state). The school district is required to send out lay-off notices (if necessary) in March. Before they’ve set their own budget. WTF?!

  77. Don’t hate me for this, but if you are going to get the case for the needles, you might as well get a KIPer’s bag.They match! I have the medium sized. I love it. It is currently holding a sweater sleeve, two balls of Noro Silk Garden (in case I finish the sleeve and am stuck somewhere), my oversized anal retentive planner, the matching tool bag, a score, and my ipod. I just received the purse organizer yesterday. I love this bag!
    ok….sorry about that. I’m glad to hear the ganset is back on the needles! Can’t wait to see it and Icharus!

  78. Firstly, Icarus is looking gorgeous! As for item 5, trust me, it’s not worth the effort. It’s like a pressure cooker – the longer you let the head of steam build up, the worse the final explosion is going to be.

  79. and how about I tell you that I ordered a complete set of the KIP bags and sent them back the very next day? as a serious knitting bagaholic, I realized that the concept was wonderful, but in practice they weren’t quite up to snuff …

  80. Ah, yes, the annual back to school bankrupsy. We have this thing here in TUcson, where if you go to Walmart or Target, or pretty much any store that sells school suplies, and donate some suplies, most will match your donation. So, if you put one box of crayons in the box, the school get’s two boxes. And most schools will have a list when you first walk in for each grade, what is needed. Then, each class has a surplus for the kids who are broke.
    It really sucks that that happens, that you can’t even afford school supplies, shoes, socks, stuff that you need to send your kids to school. The high school I went to had some really poor kids. To the point that the school didn’t requier shoes to be worn. When school started, it was warm enough to go aroud barefoot (which was the style to wear. Noone wore shoes, so you never knew who was barefoot because they were poor or who was barefoot because they were cool), and the whole first simester we had sock drives, so by the time it was cold enough to need shoes, there were enough to go around.
    I don’t know what the school system is like in Canada, but it seems here, every year it gets more and more expensive to go to public school, and you get a worse and worse education…when knitters take over the world, that will change.

  81. i feel the pain on school supplies, i am lamenting the money that will go towards that rather than yarn or something really important. i caught my 8 year old reading your third book the other day and smiled, obviously i must be doing something right. sorry i will miss you in seattle, something crazy call parental maitenance or something like that calls…

  82. I just went through the same discussion about a budget because I want to buy furniture. I guess I can’t be bothered to knit an entire couch.

  83. “(Does trying to quit that give everyone a pain behind their right eye or is that just me?)”
    It is not just you.
    I feel for you about public school costs, my kids are all out of school now,and if yours are planning higher education, these years are just getting your toes wet. Sorry for the bummer.

  84. “(Does trying to quit that give everyone a pain behind their right eye or is that just me?)”
    It is not just you.
    I feel for you about public school costs, my kids are all out of school now,and if yours are planning higher education, these years are just getting your toes wet. Sorry for the bummer.

  85. I am a huge fan of Heather of All Things Heather and I’ve used her hand-dyed yarns and rovings. Everything is gorgeous. Did you know she has a blog? Buying her stuff is money well spent.

  86. I’m trying to rationalise that buying wool I have to spin is somehow more virtuous. But it’s true! I have no yarn in a colour that Mr. Black Turtleneck will wear! I have to have new wool!
    For me, it’s totally the left eye, but I think that’s the brain stuff talking. If the right eye starts to go too, I and my budget are SO screwed, because my second grader’s list of stuff to get for this year was huge.

  87. Love the Icarus! Mine is nearly done as well – 15 more rows.
    I will say something about the KIP bags. I thought they looked great and I loved the idea of the attachable purse organizer; I was also thrilled that they have long detachable shoulder straps. The big bag could hold my knitting, a book, my lunch, etc. and I could detach the organizer to take with me on lunch hour errands without lugging the large bag around. Well, the large bag is quite heavy in its empty state. Fill it up with all the the above mentioned “stuff” and you need wheels to pull it about.
    The purse organizer is a nice idea, but you need to open it up all the way around to fasten/unfasten it to the main bag; anything “loose” in the main part can easily fall out. The fasteners are easily disloged. I got to my seat on the bus the other day to find the organizer hanging by only one fastener – I don’t remember getting caught on anything hard enough to make it come apart.
    So I’m not giving the KIP bag a thumbs up. However, I just love the DAISY BAGS! Three sizes, clear plastic so you can show off your beautiful yarn and work in progress and a zipper to keep bag closed and dust out should the work stay “in progress” for longer than expected.

  88. Totally with you on all counts. My 4-year-old started kindergarten at a charter school last week. Uniforms, about 200 bucks. School supplies (mostly bought by my mother-in-law–he’s her first grandkid), a good $50 or more (for kindergarten!) Plus a $37.50 supplies fee paid to the school, plus they ask parents to pick 4 items from a donations list. Boxes of facial tissue, zip-top bags, copy paper, and stickers were among the named items. (Charter schools are public schools, but differ in their curriculum and some other areas from the district standard).
    And I’m sooo longing to get my hands on those Options needles! Even though I have an almost complete collection of bamboo circs which I totally love!!! And I won’t even go into all the yarn that’s calling me right now. I’m “preshopping” for a sweater for my husband–I narrow it down, then he picks the color. He keeps asking me to wait until the budget can stand it.

  89. Here the brillant idea is to provide high school students with a laptop. Two years ago the stupid things cost us several hundred dollars-$50 each to rent plus hundreds in non-insurance covered repairs. Then we told the kids, if they wanted one, they would be paying for it. They were really unhappy the first time they needed repaired (100 dollars a pop) This year each child in high school band (we have three) has to pay $100 in fees that don’t even cover the required $30 shoes. This is nuts.
    My oldest is now in college in Austin. I was so bummed after going down to see him, that my husband took me out for some retail therapy. Squeezed my new sock yarn all the way home and felt so much better.
    Don’t mess with what works. Buy all the yarn you can afford.

  90. Another rant about the cost of “public” schools: we often vacation in the smallest and poorest county in a southern state. Several years ago, they received a rather large school grant from somebody or other. And THEY BUILT A BASEBALL DIAMOND!!

  91. It isn’t school costs that break my budget, although that is not so fun! It’s the out-of-school sports – baseball and soccer fees. New equipment almost every season (the kids insist on growing!!), select sports fees, additional training fees….I keep telling my middle son that when he turns pro, I expect him to keep me in a manner I plan to rapidly become accustomed to! Son promises to buy me a yarn shop!

  92. Icarus is beautiful. The colour just makes you feel warm to look at, so welcoming. And I absolutely agree with you about school supplies. What do people do when the budget can’t stretch? It’s a terrible situation and you describe it well.

  93. I hated the student fees when I was in high school. The fees were about $40 a year, which isn’t too bad, all things considered, but the breakdown bugged me. It was something like $10 for the student guide, $5 for a locker, and the rest went to the sports teams. Whether or not one was actually on a team, or planned to be, or even had an interest in sports of any kind, the bulk of everyone’s student fees went to support the extracurricular activities of a bunch of jocks. And one couldn’t get away with not paying their student fees.
    Well, I suppose they could, I guess. I doubt that they were going to kick somebody out for not forking over $40. But heck, knowing the school I went to, it’s not exactly outside the realm of possiblity.

  94. Don’t know how spend-crazy ya nutty Canucks are, but in the US, the National Retail Federation reports that for this year, total back-to-school spending across the country is estimated to hit $17.6 billion, up from $13.4 billion last year. That means that the average household this year will spend about $527 on back-to-school items (that’s the household, not PER GIRL spending).
    Which is why I volunteer with Project Cool, which each year provides about 2100 homeless kids with backpacks “filled with age-appropriate school supplies, gift certificates for new shoes, dental care items and information on community resources.” (

  95. I ordered a set of the Knit Picks needles to try as well and I’m going to ask very nicely for a set for the holidays. πŸ˜€ The blunt tips of the Addi Turbos always bothered me.

  96. Hi… back in action here. I’m one of those (few?) knitters that push the needle with my finger, thus pretty much assuring that I’d hurt myself with those new KP needles. Too bad, as they look awful good… not that I really need needles… maybe I’ll try just one set next time I place an order.
    PS Icarus looks lovely, and huge!

  97. I’m right there with ya girl, on #5. I’m selfishly glad to know I’m not the only one…

  98. If it helps re: the KP bags, Eva of Luxembourg has noted that they don’t have sufficient interior pockets and, if you take public transport and occasionally end up standing in the rain, the non-waterproof bags will collect water, potentially damaging knitting, supplies, cameras, etc…
    Looking forward to seeing you in lovely Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

  99. Not buying yarn would only increase my stress. Actually it would probably make me physically sick. I am absolutely positive it would make me sick. I will be checking out Sweet Sheep ASAP.
    And by the way, I concur. Public education is free, yeah right. My son needed a calculator that prices out at $103 . . . that translates to a lot of yarn

  100. My SnB is a bunch of enablers – when I got there last night, three of us had the KnitPicks catalogue. In addition to our knitting, we like a little yarn porn with our beer.
    And my dear boyfriend doesn’t understand why I yell delightedly every time another yarn catalogue comes in the mail.

  101. I totally hear you on PUBLIC school costing way too much! The last three years my son was in middle school cost us over $100 per year just for supplies because every teacher requests a separate notebook and folder. And get this, they have to be color coded! I think if the school is expecting the parents to pick up the tab for the supplies that they have no right to dictate what color they be. I was floored his first year of middle school. Thank goodness high school seems to be much less demanding. One more year and my daughter will be in middle school. Not looking forward to it.
    Icarus is absolutely gorgeous! I love the color!

  102. KnitPicks? What’s KnitPicks?
    I’d like to help you out with that yarn, I really would, but someone evil recently introduced me to their cashmere pusher, so I’m fresh out of extra budget just now.

  103. What needles are you using for the Icarus? It looks like bamboo sort of in the picture.
    I was using a pair of addis with my Misti Alpaca laceweight yarn and realized that it was like knitting with slop. So I bought a pair of Crystal Palace bamboo ones, but the yarn keeps getting caught on the join. I guess I just can’t win…

  104. First of all, the Knitpicks catalogue arrived in my house TODAY! Add to that the fact that I have been upgraded to a computer with a 20″ monitor, and temptation is coming at me from all directions. About the little tightening keys–despair not, Steph. I am knitting one of
    Cheryl Oberle’s humungous shawls on large knitpicks options, back & forth, & found that they would loosen a bit, so have a safety pin at the edge of my knitting which fits in the little hole just perfectly. But they are a huge pleasure to use, even to this bamboo lover.
    My Icarus (in handmaiden laceweight silk) is finally finished & the last bit went very quickly. You should be ready for your trip!

  105. Okay, after the clothes and school supplies, the first week my seventh grader comes home and says we are going to go on a trip to St. Louis and only 80 kids get to go and I need $240.00 for the trip and can you give me the $100.00 deposit tomorrow because the seats are reserved and I don’t want to be the only one who doesn’t get to go. I personally am thankful that I am not the second grade teacher who has to figure out where to put the 25 boxes of kleenex, 25 boxes of baby wipes, hand sanitizer and everything else that they need to make it through a year. Plus, we have to pay for textbooks in Indiana, now mind you this is a rental fee $127.00 for the second grader and i still have the seventh grader. It’s not like they keep the books.
    Just hit the Rowan rack, awwww I feel better.

  106. I am a yarn harlot disciple – just found out that layoffs may be coming at my company, and with no job opportunities in hand, all I want to do is shop for yarn… not a good plan for the budget.

  107. My little one started kindergarten at the first of the month. She goes to a year round school, so it really kind of snuck up on me and pounced on my head. Her supplies weren’t too bad and I’ve only got the one kid, so the initial strain wasn’t bad.
    ‘Cept that there’s lunch each week and pictures and such.
    Right now it’s her birthday party this weekend that’s the biggest strain. No new yarn for me this week, not even sock yarn. So sad.
    Something by name of “Icarus” makes me nervous. The phrase “crash and burn” comes to mind. Best finish it quickly (but not too quickly)!
    And, uh, don’t work on it on a plane. I’m just sayin’.

  108. I’m just thankful that your talk in Seattle on Sunday isn’t at a yarn store. After the back-to-school money hemorrage this week, I don’t think I could take it.
    Three days till the Harlot hits Seattle!!!!!

  109. I totally should have eaten my catalog. My credit card would be thanking me. > Oh well – who cares I’m getting new sock yarn and that nifty KIP chart thingie yea! Your Icarus looks fab! Can’t wait to see it all blocked out!

  110. I am tempted to scrawl across the school fundraiser order form that I will be saving any money that I would have donated to the fundraiser for the tutors and therapists my children and I will need as a result of the inappropriate amount of homework we have every night!!!!! I am having an axiety attack just thinking about eliminating yarn as a coping mechanism…..

  111. I’m not sure whether to thank you Steph, or not. I have just received my second order from Webs in the past 10 days (silk tweed was on sale!)after reading your April blog. I am a newbie to your site. Luckily, I had already discovered KnitPicks, through an “enabling” friend. Am pleased to know you also like their yarn and needles–just ordered some more of the bamboo dpn’s that are also on sale, and will consider the circs when I next need some. Maybe it’s just here, but we don’t always seem to get their catalogs when we should. Hmmm, maybe that’s a good thing, or oops, maybe spouses are hiding them! Thanks for being such an inspiration to us slower knitters!

  112. Okay, I won’t say anything about KIP bags. But have you tried KnitPicks Gloss yet? I’m an evil enabler (I am known far and wide for it), and as such I must tell you that it feels extraordinary to knit! Especially when you consider that it’s so cheap!

  113. Just checked the Sweet Sheep site and noticed that “All things Heather” is pretty well depleted! (Be careful what you wish for!)
    My 3 are all grown, graduated, and married, and I’m still happy to pay school taxes. I know someone else paid to help mine through school….so it’s only fair that I help the next crew, gratefully.

  114. I am with you on the school fees but consider what might be hidden away under the yarn: DD#2 has gone off to college now and in the cleaning she gave her room as final tribute to her family (oy), she uncovered 10 (!!) packages of college rule paper.

  115. Thank you so much for buying extra supplies! I am a high school teacher in the US and it always shocks me how many of my kids are coming from houses with no hot water or heat and are living on their own. I often supplement my classroom with stuff I have purchased as well. I don’t understand things either, we cut budgets every year, add more students to class and somehow manage to increase the number of administrators each year.

  116. I think the fees for schools are crazy – you are right this is public school and our taxes should cover it, but unfortunately is not the case.
    I have been very good (somewhat) I looked at my Knit Picks catalog last night and then immediately put it in the garbage which was picked up this morning. I am however, very tempted to purchase the full options set as I very much like them and the way they feel and the cost is a fraction of the others which I love. I’d have to give up my other interchangeable set though, so on EBay they go.

  117. Essay-writing is the key to great scholarship awards. And having done things worth writing essays about. But “mere” doing of good works is not good enough – the kid has to be a good writer, too. That’s my opinion, with 2 girls getting great scholarship moneys for college.

  118. You’re not helping, Stephanie. πŸ™‚ I’m trying to ignore all the good reviews on the Knit Picks needles and their catalog and…

  119. My kids went back to (public) school last week and I feel like that walking (now empty) wallet. Just before school started we spent a king’s ransom on pens, pencils, paper, binders and other such necessities. The day school started the middle boy (16) came home with yet more things that can not wait that cost $$$$. So much for public school being free!

  120. We have the same problem with public school being not-quite free, here in the States.
    You’ve infected me. I used to only buy enough yarn for a current project, but, since I’ve been reading your books, I now find that I have enough yarn to last me well into the next century. That’s a much more frigtening sentence than it was last time I used it, back in the ’90s.

  121. Not sure if Noah will be with me Sunday evening to see you, but he had a suggestion. If you get tired of the traveling socks, he thought you could start a traveling scarf, using a few yards of yarn from each of the cities you visit. πŸ™‚ (actually, he said a whole skein from each location until I pointed out that the scarf would become miles long very quickly) (but then it would be performance art, wouldn’t it?)

  122. Thank you, Carmen! I am one of those retired teachers who spend my own $$$ to buy books and supplies for my class. I did it because I wanted them to have what they needed (and many did not come with those supplies)! I never begrudged doing it, either, and it was well worth the energy, the effort, and the bucks to see the kids grow and glow. From a retired USA teacher….
    Now that I’ve got that off my chest…thanks for the knitting support. It’s lovely to see all the comments and projects. Quite inspiring!

  123. DOOD!!! Anything that has “Electric” or “Tequila” in the name, I am ALL OVER!! More than happy to help you out with that “All Things Heather” thing! Once my budget allows for it, that is – Christmas is coming – anyone looking for a gift for me?

  124. You are such a dear.
    I think that the real excitement about the Salt Lake trip will be us reading about your search for beer and coffee in Utah.

  125. Ok, and I wont even mention the REALLY cool KnitPicks WIP Chart Keeper either. Much cuter than the bags, if you ask me…and for $9.99 you get the magnets and a magnetic board for your charts that folds in half and snaps shut like a little book.
    Frickin’ love it. And would have to eat top-ramen for a week to be able to spring for it, because like you, I just shelled out bucu-bucks for public school. Nice.

  126. Why should you quit? It’s not drinking or smoking or doing dope. It’s relatively harmless (except to the budget, and, in my case, taking up every available nook and crannie).
    Everytime I think I should cut down on stash acquisition, I think about all the cigs that my husband buys. And I don’t have any other hobby, like golfing or bridge or shopping. So, I really don’t feel guilty and you shouldn’t either. Look how much entertainment you get out of it! That’s worth something!
    Why did you skip Dallas? My daughter and I were all set to go visit you.

  127. $100 here, $100 there…just wait until junior and senior years of high school! There’s the two rounds of the SAT and/or ACT, the AP exams (4 courses/year @ $85/course), the class ring (the twins have to work to pay for that one), the Prom ($30 tickets each, plus dress, shoes, jewelry, dinner, limo, etc)…and then…one daughter pops into my classroom on the first day of school and announces that she absolutely needs to get a job this year so she can pay for the exchange trip to Germany next spring (she’s already been once and I paid the entire $2700 for it).
    On top of that, there’s a wedding in the works for October 2007 (son & fiancee)when the twins will be seniors in high school. I swear I am never going to get a summer off (yes, I teach public school too)…likely it will be two jobs again next summer just to survive the sticker shock of next July-August…sigh

  128. You get so many comments I hope that you have time to read mine. I live in the USA and we have half a page of school supplies to buy also. It’s unbelieveable that you have to spend so much money for your children to go to public school. We don’t have to pay lab fees or lockers fees so that’s nice to know.

  129. Your Icarus is so beautiful. How fun that you get to meet Miriam in person! She is an amazing designer, knitter and all round nice person.
    And I get pains behind both eyes when I think about cutting back on knitting and knitting accessories. Then I have to take a pill, lie down and order from Knit Picks on my laptop–really quickly so my credit card will go through before they realize I’m maxed out.

  130. You have two #3 points listed above. (Maybe you knit two together?)
    But I love you nonetheless.

  131. Thanks for the public school rant. Not only is it all the supplies and fees for everything that they want to do, but it is also all the baggies, paper towel, soap, napkins, tissues, and everything else that needs to be “donated”. Don’t get me wrong, I totally sympathize with the teachers. I know they do not have a budget or anything to work with, and that they still buy loads of things with their own personal finances. That is a shame they have to do that, and I donate all I can afford (read: before it pinches in on my yarn $$) because it is not fair to anyone for the classroom to be without it. It just seems to cost more and more every year.
    Thanks for the needle info too-now I know what I want for Christmas.;-)

  132. Dude, you know where this is heading, don’t you? A little slap-upside with the TSF button. Yup, we rant, we stand in the kitchen with an open, bleeding wallet for the whole month of September, we stare with longing at yarnpr0n and magazines and STILL …. we have it so good.
    Me? I’m going stash diving. I’m going to pet everything, dream big thoughts, and choose something to do with what I have, so I can hold on to that all-too-elusive feeling of being fortunate instead of caving in to the desire to shreik that this month always provokes.
    Peace out, friend. Deep breaths.

  133. With respect to school supplies and fees, I am in agreement with many of the comments. Here in Contra Costa County, CA, the local newspaper solicits donations of new backpacks and school supplies and, of course, money. The Junior League, a young women’s charitable organizaton, and other volunteers collect the donations and pack up the backpacks. They do about 3,000 every year. That doesn’t cover the school fees, but it sure helps needy kids.

  134. I love the colors of Icarus! I am so ready for autumn! πŸ™‚
    Just wanted to let you know that I just finished to read “Knitting Rules” and I made my Branching Out scarf the Middle Ground way! I was not sure it would work for lace but I was right at the middle section of my scarf so I decided to go for it!
    Wanna see? Click HERE
    You are such a source of inspiration to me and I feel like I know you now that I have read 2 of your books. I can so relate to many of the situations you were in! As most of knitters I guess… LOL
    I hav enever had my yarn stolen by a squirrel though but I looked for a whole day for a double pointed needles that was holding my hair and I had forgotten about it…
    If I may ask, do you plan to come back to Portland, Maine soon? I missed you last time… I didn’t know in time…
    Isabelle aka Tricotine

  135. The wallet hurts, I know. But it is just like knitting. If you want to knit, you gotta pony up the bucks for yarn. Sometimes yarn costs a lot for the nice stuff, just like graphing calculators (the addi turbos of the academic world).
    Three ways to save yourself some money in the future:
    1. Stop by the office supply store from time to time and get notebooks from the Clearance section. I think the evil stores actually mark up notebook and binder prices near Back To School time. The day I discovered a fantastic Clearance Section was the day I finally stopped spending $7 on crappy notebooks.
    2. Threaten the girls with terrible things if they lose Graphing Calculators. They will be subjected to ugly binders, old backpacks, and having to use crap yarn to do math. Their cessation of Harlot Supplied lip gloss and hair bands will be the least of their woes.
    3. Leave some novelty yarn pages of the Knit Picks catalog for the cat to use as a scratching post. And before you eat it, make sure the ink is soy based and non-toxic, yeah?
    Thinking of school as free, IMO, is kinda counterintuitive. School requires a lot of effort from the students and parents. Effort and time are very valuable and costly things. Even if the supplies were free (which I agree, textbooks in good condition, office supplies, and silly locker fees should be included in taxes) the effort is still costly. Be proud that the girls give school their all and learn lots. After all, what’s more agonizing, buying expensive supplies or sitting through all those holiday school plays with clueless parents?

  136. I love the shawl. Those are great sunrise colours.
    I no longer share the pain of back to school shopping. My DD is 27 but oh, back in the day though… I used to just about throw up when I would see the list of needed items plus the fees.
    I have circled the Options in the KP cataloug and requested a gift cert. for my birthday in the amt. of 100.00. I keep leaving the cataloug out with pages circled (big black marker) and other subtle hints. Ok, maybe Not so subtle.

  137. Resistance is futile…
    Just got the supplies list for my 7th grader, now that all the sales are just about over and there is nothing left. Don’t get me started…
    This supply shopping trip will end with trips to my favorite Thrift Stores where I will proceed to buy $10 – $20 worth of sweaters to frog and knit into something else more useful. Nothing more theraputic than tearing something apart, etc etc etc…
    As a single Mom, it’s the best I can do…I can only drool at the KnitPicks catalogue right now and dream…

  138. Steph, move to Australia. Knitpicks won’t send anything here. Boo Hoo! Porlbem solved – lots of lusting and drooling and anything I want has to go via a friend who has to repackage it (cos sending 500g of box = lots of excess airmail charges) and I have to pay them by paypal, etc, etc.

  139. Oh, you can also rip out empty pages from used notebooks to re-use as binder paper. Just cut off the shreddy edges with a craft knife if necessary. I found reams of paper in old notebooks that I could easily re-use as binder paper.

  140. Well, I was going to comment on the whole ‘isn’t this stuff supposed to be covered by our tax dollars/donations to the parish’ riff — but you all have pretty much covered it! So — Stephanie? You don’t smoke, use illegal substances, binge on junk food or drink. *reconsiders last item on list* Much. So — I think a little indulgence on the yarn side is permitted. And Rams? Yes, it probably can be deducted, at least in part.

  141. Ironically, all I have to pay for is tuition. For some reason I don’t have any textbooks to buy this year and I don’t have any extra school supplies to buy. So I’m buying back-2-skool yarn.

  142. Icarus is looking lovely sure hope you have it done for your trip . Those KP needles look very tempting ( I’ll leave it for a Christmas gift) TWitch twitch- that’s my head twitching at the thought of going on a yarn and needle diet. Must go take Tai Chi lessons

  143. Hey- you want to see how much money I fork out every September? I am an Ontario public school TEACHER-and well, I am still buying textbooks, so more kids have them! On to other news- have you checked out this little Ontario on line shop ? Go see. Ya know ya wanna.

  144. about 2:
    There is a guy in BC who is suing the public system for just such a reason. He successfully sued his school district and is now working on the provincial one.
    No word yet on how the court case is going.
    (an online canadian yarn store that takes paypal? ooooo my bank account is going to suffer…)

  145. I once read this quote: “It will be a great day when schools have all the money they need and the military has to hold a bake sale!”

  146. OOOOH! I’m SO glad you brought up Icarus, Steph!!! Thanks to your influence I’m working on that particular one myself (in a raspberry Madil Kid Seta Mohair–I do love the colors of YOUR Icarus, but they don’t match my skin tone… People would be constantly asking me when I got the flu and they are sure glad I’m better.) I keep scrolling back to your pictures of it, because its just so darn beautiful. I was wondering yesterday when we could see a pic of the finished product, so I can print it and hold it forth for inspiration.
    You may be interested to know that I also made your Pea Pod Baby set that you were talking about (I think you’re right–the power should scare you!) in Berroco’s Lullaby in that color, and I have it hanging here in the Yarn Shop where I work and its a very popular piece.
    Hurry! Hurry! Finish!! Finish!! Rah, Rah, GOOOOOOOOOOO Steph!!!

  147. My daughter just started sixth grade. SIXTH grade. Her options for electives were band, orchestra, chorus, and a foreign language (foreign language was filled up, and she really shouldn’t sing). After spending $250 in supplies, clothes, backpack, etc, we were informed by the school that she had 5 days to bring in a violin for orchestra and a list of books and accessories. 5 DAYS to come up with another $150 on top of what we had already spent for her basic items. Not to mention the $250 we spent for the boy for clothes, shoes, and supplies. He went into 4th grade. Come to find out all of the supplies go into a COMMUNAL POOL. So if little Bobby decides that he is going to chuck all of his supplies into a pond on a daily basis, the rest of us are paying for his supplies for the rest of the year. Just wait till I get the inevitable letter in December asking for extra supplies to be sent in. I’ll explode, I swear it.
    Anyways. Have fun in SLC! (my hometown!) Don’t believe what anyone tells you about the beer, either. I have 2 words for you, “Squatters Brewery”.

  148. I can’t remember if I read it or dreamed it, that KnitPicks needles appeared to be smaller than most needles…ie. 2.5 was more like 3mm. That’s ok as long as you check your needle gauge first. Again…I could be wrong, but check on a needle gauge before you go too far…j

  149. Rams – I think she might be able to get away with a bit of a deduction being self-employed (% of how much of the house is used for business purposes), but I’d have to dig up my accounting textbooks to doublecheck (I work with money all day now, not peoples’ taxes).
    I was fortunate enough to go to school in the 80s, when the list of things to buy seemed much less expensive (and smaller) – the thought of the expense now is a bit frightening, and makes me glad I don’t have kids! Donating to a school definitely sounds like a good idea.

  150. I feel your financial pain. I teach at a private school and I probably put out as much of my personal funds to buy stuff for my studentsl, but it’s ok, we all know how much private school teachers make! We had to cancel vacation this year to pay for boring car repairs – a vacation that included stops to several yarn stores along the way. So, I did the only thing I could to satisfy the yarn itch, I bought insanely expensive hand spun yarn to knit my husband a hat for his birthday. I mean the guy needed a b-day gift, right? If it just so happened to be incredibly luxurious to work with am I to blame. My point: there’s always some “reasonable” excuse to buy more yarn!

  151. I learned pretty fast how much high school costs when my son started last year. Every day I had to fork out more $$ for something, a gym T-shirt, TTC card, class supply fees on top of the usual paper. pens etc. Then he didn’t bring a twenty one day and it was picture day. No problem, I thought, we never buy those pics anyway. Well it turns out that said photo was also for his student card . Consequently, he went the whole year without a student card.
    At least you have 3 girls so there is the hand-me-down option.

  152. Dear Steph,
    In Texas we are also under the gun to buy all kinds of supplies for our children when they attend public school. The problem I have with it is we are buying things like “paper towels – 2 rolls” and “kleenex – 1 box” and putting them in a heap in the corner. Even manila paper! (Wasn’t that the cheap stuff with big hunks of wood still in it that they managed to supply us?) No thank you. When my child has a cold, I’ll send Kleenex! OR, alternatively, why not mass purchase these supplies (certainly lots cheaper) and THEN sell them to the kids? (Oh, of course, this is a PUBLIC school, so we must keep up the APPEARANCE of not requiring parents to pay for anything, which means we cannot purchanse them cheaply, we send you to Wal-Mart where you can buy them for twice the price!)
    I’ll meet you here for coffe and bitterness tomorrow morning! πŸ™‚

  153. Feeling your pain with the school supplies. My boys (2) are both in private school (for many good reasons) — how many public systems are there out there with MAJOR bumper-sticker campaigns against the school board and the superintendant??? Not only did the trip to Staples at 5pm on Sunday of the tax-free weekend cost us $270, but I STILL haven’t spent on the uniforms they currently need/want (middle school son wants all new shirts, and the 15 year-old 10th grader has gone from a size 30 waist (hip???) to a 32 this summer) Oh, well, at least they still CAN get by until I get all this done, they’ve already been back to school since the 17th of Aug!
    Of course that did NOT stop me from ordering the Options set from Knit Picks — not in yet, glad to hear they are worth it!!, already eyeing one of those afghan kits for a throw for MY room — that red/green will look LOVERLY on our winter spread on the bed. How (indeed) to budget all this???
    Love your books and Love your knitted stuff! I am SO inspired to Knit, knit, knit!!

  154. Oh, I’m so not going to tell you how nice the needle keeper is or the KIP bags either……really, I’ll keep quiet. OH, and then there is the pattern holder that fits conveniently into even the smallest bag…I’ll not tell you about that either. I could even show them to you when you come to Portland Oregon…but then, maybe you’d like beer instead of looking at my bags….Okay, you can call me evil Carolyn, I would understand….

  155. No kids here, but I want to thank you for thinking of other children. I briefly taught at an inner city school and we doled out pencils and paper, but didn’t have much else to give them. I could go on and on about education in the US (can’t speak of Canada)… When I did my 3-year stint in corporate hell I was instantly branded a commie wacko when I blew up one day when someone asked me why I had voted against new sports stadiums (which got built anyway). I gave them a 20 minute rant about the state of the city’s schools!

  156. my new strategy for accomodating yarn purchases at the same time i have to purchase school supplies (for four children, no less) has turned out to be really fabulous, and actually, i owe you thanks stephanie for sending me the right direction on this one!
    the strategy–i calmly approached child #2 (sort of like a drug pusher) “honey, mommy has a great science fair project for you. it’s about dyeing yarn.” he did not seem interested, but when he learned i had already outlined a proposal he immediately jumped on board. i then approached dh “honey, i have teddy’s science fair project mapped out for him. i’ll do all the work with him. all you have to do is pay.” last year, the dh pair god knows how much money for electrical circuitry AND had to do all the work with Teddy. He jumped at the chance. Immediate yarn budget. They haven’t realized yet that the skeins and skeins i’m going to buy are going to be a good bit more than the few strands we will be dyeing in the lab. i love it when a plan comes together!

  157. The pain of Number 5 is behind my left eye, not the right. After several very stressful hours at work today, I took the edge off by looking at the Artfibers sight. We all have our ways of managing stress. Knitters aren’t going around killing people, so I think it is healthy to procure what stays within your budget.
    About budgets… bah! I hatses them and I don’t yet have children to feed. I agree with you on the public schools. I went through calculus without a graphing calculator because my family could barely afford the other supplies. Something should be done here in the U.S. (ahem, stopping the war for instance, ahem) but I digress…

  158. By the way, going to Artfibers in San Francisco this weekend if you need/want anything… πŸ™‚

  159. Tearing it up and eating it won’t work: they have a website.
    I have four in public paid-for-with-my-tax-dollars school and one in state college. I spent a small fortune outfitting them with recently redefined school supplies. Such as tennis balls for homeroom so the teacher can slit them open and put them on the feet of the chairs to keep them from squeaking against the floors when the children leave their seats. Tennis balls!! The tissues and Purell were more than enough to annoy me then I saw Tennis balls. No problem, I’ll feed the family macaroni and cheese so I can find the money for Tennis Balls.
    I got my American Express bill today right on top of the new Knit Picks catalog. Guess which one I opened first?

  160. I’ve been having a crappy week. I bought Fleece Artist, to make a gift for a friend. I *immediately* felt better. Don’t buy school supplies for poor kids, knit them something instead. πŸ™‚

  161. I am a teacher at a school in which a lot of the kids can’t afford the supplies. I bought a bunch of stuff myself. I threw the receipts into my tax file and have no idea how much I spent. I don’t want to know until tax time!
    And since I don’t get paid until Sept. 29 I will not have been able to buy yarn for two whole months. And my favorite yarn store is less than two miles from the school! October cannot get here fast enough.

  162. Steph,
    I don’t know about Canada but in the U.S., any child whose family makes below a certain amount has access to free (or reduced) lunches and fees. Any child on free lunch does not have to pay textbook fees.

  163. 1. Icarus is gorgeous.
    2. The cost of education these days is excruciating. I have friends in college at my job who have kids, husbands, wives, mortgages, student loans, bills, and hardly enough cash for textbooks. Me, I forewent college all together and gave up a full-paid ride (even extra cash in grants for year-to-year expenses) because I didn’t have a car or a job when I graduated high school. That scholarship expired, and I’m not yet old enough to be eligible as an independent student. I’m bitter.
    3. Yarn is smart entertainment. Yarn costs a lot less than a movie with popcorn and soda. Yarn sales are even better. Someone somewhere needs a hat or gloves or a mini-scarf out of that skein of microfiber that was $1.50 on clearance at Wal-Mart, and finances should be the last thing stopping you at that point.
    4. I love the gray of that gansey. I love it like I love sunshine and white puffy clouds and the name Bartleby. It gets me giddy, I love it so much. (And that can’t be healthy.)

  164. I’m with you on the school stuff, although we don’t have locker fees or school card fees (although I’m sure that will be coming). We do have metal detectors, which is really fun. Or at least the secondary schools have metal detectors; they figure a 1st grader won’t have a gun, at least in these parts. Little do they know. πŸ™
    Is your school anything like ours, the 3″ of paperwork that MUST be filled out for your child, each year? I’m so tempted to just write NOTHING CHANGED FROM 2005/2006 SCHOOL YEAR, but I’m sure they would frown upon that.
    And the pain behind my eye is caused by the fact that last year, when I was caught in a weak moment (I’m sure it was a weak moment, I don’t remember it being a drunken moment, or a semi-inebriated or even slightly tipsy moment), I said “Yes, I’ll do the fundraising next year…”.
    WTF was I thinking???
    (Ps – the shawl is lovely. Now that you have bestowed your sock karma on me, maybe you can spare a little lace karma. I’ve suddenly become much enamoured of lace yarn and want more. And although I admire it all while it’s still skeins, I’d really like to admire some that’s a WIP or a FO…you know, that I actually can claim.)

  165. Talk about budget…I’ve already spent $400 on school this semester and it’s the SECOND DAY. But I guess it’s college, so it’s “different.” I foolishly went into the LYS today to pick up some needles and they had their new shipment of Koigu all layed out to be stocked and I almost died. It’s really hard to not justify a massive yarn purchase when it’s Koigu and it’s just sitting there all tempting and in a bag already…

  166. 3 – Not to worry. In the yarn version of the Slashdot effect, you have effectively pretty much dusted their shop clean. You apparently sent a horde of frantic knitters ISO that lovely stuff. So, until they recover from what is understandably a shock, and are probably still wondering to themselves “where the frick did all these orders come from in one day?!” you are safe from the Sweet Sheep shop. Now, this is a truly subtle way of not only protecting your own bank account but enabling other knitters. Nice yarn, BTW.
    As it happens, I’m on a yarn diet – which is why I went looking. I went looking for a lost mitten kit the other day, and discovered that ummmm, the stash blanket chest was full, the secondary stash was full and ummmm, we had overflow in the office area. So, given that I have enough yarn to knit for a year without actually making a dent in that, I put myself on a yarn diet. And bought roving, obviously! What, do you think I’m stupid!? But, OTOH, I still don’t know where I put my copy of Knitting the New Classics….so there might still be stash hidden elsewhere with that.

  167. I have to laugh, because for the last week or so, I’ve been poring over the KnitPicks catalog every breakfast…and, er, lunch…and, um, dinner… πŸ˜‰

  168. Groan. I have to get up at the crack of dawn, so why do I insist on reading ALL the comments? (It’s 2:20 a.m..) I am not at school nor do I have children.
    Even worse, I’ll be too tired to knit before I start working!
    Wanted to say that perhaps people couild look to Knitters Without Borders before (and after) they look at their next catalogue. (But that comment might be just because I am cranky due to lack of sleep.)

  169. Oh my. Icarus looks like…like… Like a luxuriant grove of graceful trees with their leaves exploding in vivid fall colors, climbing an undulating hill somewhere in Middle Earth– *kof* Sorry; suppressed writerly outburst, there. Looking *gorgeous*, Stephanie! As re the rest – well, at least the U.S. isn’t alone about being screwed up re schools. And I’ve never even had any kids to pay for, but gadzooks, it’s obscene. Although I went to parochial school for the first 9 years – I remember buying books and uniforms and oy, gevalt. But at that, I was lucky; my brother had to get a part-time job at 13 to help out with his tuition. So I can at least empathize with everyone! Bureaucrats. Bah.
    But a funny – Sweet Sheep now has a note to ‘Friends of the Yarn Harlot’ on their home page, thanking everyone, with a sign-up for email notification about when the Heathers will be back in stock. LOL! Ya done good, Stephanie. Sure those needles aren’t magic wands?

  170. My son just started kindergarten and I’m being hit with all kinds of fees, etc. Of course, I live in America and my president is a complete idiot! Sorry… mini-rant! Have to go buy some yarn to make myself well again…

  171. I, too, have found The Sweet Sheep! I set my account up already and am waiting til after school starts so I have some money to spend! I haven’t succumbed to ordering from Knitpicks — yet, but I do have a wishlist there. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.

  172. Sorry, Stephanie, but Knit Picks are evil and you shouldn`t order anything from them. Do you know they won`t ship outwith of the USA and Canada and the N. American continent????? (And forces overseas.) It`s not fair, not civilized, not …well, it`s not nice.
    And I want some of their stuff, and because I live in a totally uncivilised part of the world with (apparently) a crap and unreliable postal service (The Royal Mail, FGS) they won`t post to me. Boycott them!!!

  173. Hey, Stephanie, when I had boye interchangeable needles, back before I realized what a good needle could do, I kept all my parts in a zip lock, in my knitting bag, or in with part of my stash…that way, all the pieces were together.

  174. Oh my gosh…I have been drooling over the KIPer bags. I thought I had convinced myself that I only need the medium size bag and the purse organizer and that I can wait until Christmas and let somebody else spend the money to get it for me. But I can’t quiet the little voice in my head that keeps saying “I want the whole set and I want it NOW!!” So good luck with the budget problems. I feel your pain.

  175. I once tried that not-managing-personal-stress-with-the-purchase-of-yarn strategy. Then I got a mailer from one of my local kitchen shops announcing a 30% sale. About seven seconds later, I had a new lefse rolling pin. Margene is right: even if you try swearing off yarn, the yarn gods will find a way to get you.
    In the meantime, I wish you a speedy end to the budget crunch, a happy first day of school to your girls, and an excellent tour. (I will definitely see you at Knit Out!)

  176. General question here… Have you, Stephanie, or anyone tried the Knit Picks “Wool of the Andes” worsted yarn? I love to felt, but I’m on an incredibly tight budget and whenever “KP” is mentioned, my knitting teacher (and yarn shop owner) purses her lips and gets this awful expression of distaste on her face. Does the Andes knit well? Felt well? Any opinions would be greatly appreciated and thanks!

  177. I know exactly how you feel when it comes to knitpicks! I want to order so much from them! Sometimes I go to the website, fill up the shopping cart and then just close the page before I can finish the order…it’s a little satisfying. *sigh* Maybe this check I’ll have some spare change to actually complete an order…

  178. Here’s some back to school irony — after a total of eight years at home with children (5 years of “little” kids followed by 3 years of homeschooling) my kids are headed off to public school and its never ending costs.
    I thought one small positive of our our PS experiment would be more time to knit and sew, but it will all have to come from the stash. While the fees/supplies weren’t too bad for us at K and 3rd grade, we didn’t even own things like backpacks and lunch bags to reuse from previous years. And of course, our homeschooling leftovers were never the right kind as indicated on THE LIST.
    What’s getting me is the cost of the milk at lunch! $.45 for a carton is double what a “serving” costs from a gallon. So now I’ll be investing in some kind of wide-mouth thermos I can really wash.

  179. Not only was I paying for my high school crap, (three decades ago) but also paid for college and grad school. Yes I also owned a house in a particular “interesting neighborhood” One of less than 10 white folks, my neighbors were african american and everyone got along just fine. But the local school around the corner needed pens, pencils, as everyone was below income levels nationally. There are lots of folks who are working poor. Our city, state and government has forgotten those who work really hard and need so much.
    While shopping just buy an extra set of pencils, those working poor will appreciate it now.
    Stephanie, Glad made huge bags that will carry large projects in them do you have them in Canada? If not I would be happy to sent some to you. LMK (Let me know)

  180. I rant every year about the school supplies. I rant when I get the list at the end of the year for the following year and rant yet again when we get the school information and they have not made any adjustments to it. I sent a letter to the principal last year that “they” (i.e., teachers and principal) need to seriously look at that list. For instance, last year my daughter NEEDED four packages of lined 3×5 index cards. We still have three packages left over from last year. Last year, the 6th, 7th and 8th grade students NEEDED a three ring ZIPPERED binder. This year they decided they didn’t LIKE the binders so don’t bring them back, instead, they have to have folders (with prongs) for every subject.
    My DH teaches first grade at a Catholic elementary school in a rather poor area. His list to the parents was two pencils and a box of tissues. They also have to have a backpack. He made a point of telling them NOT to bring anything else. Why? Because he provides them. No kids are embarrassed because they don’t have them. No kids are embarrassed because they are bringing in the crayons or markers or folders that were their siblings before them. So, besides buying school supplies for just our children, we buy them for the rest of the kids too. He is always looking for a great buy (like last year when a Staples opened in our community they had great buys and we stocked up on many, many boxes of crayons, markers, paper . . . it was a lovely thing).
    So we are always especially grateful to those parents who send in extra stuff and also to those organizations who provide school supplies for these kids. Our home parish always gives us their used crayons at the end of every school year which go in a community box in his classroom the following year.
    As to why the boxes of tissues, he has four boxes open in his room at any given time. He teaches 1st grade. He works with walking germ factories. He is always telling them to use a tissue, wash their hands, do not wipe their noses on their fingers/sleeves/arm. Usually by the end of September, he is into his first major cold and generally ends up with bronchitis or pneumonia before Christmas (of course, being a man, he waits until January to go to the doctor!).
    Sorry about this . . . I didn’t mean to rant so much!

  181. Dana,
    I’ve felted with Wool of the Andes. It works great.
    Have fun.
    My kids take juice boxes to school because the price of milk is outrageous plus at my DD’s school, the milk is often spoiled. I only buy the boxes that are 100% juice and they have milk with breakfast and dinner.
    Mary Lynn

  182. That’s why I have a raging headache over my right eye! Not enough yarn aquisition. I’m sure there’s a corner of my house that could squeeze in a few more balls. And I thought Advil would take care of things. She-e-e-sh!

  183. I completely agree about the school fees thing. I’d rather pay more taxes than hear about families struggling to pay fees. And to avoid the “whines for cash” my kids’ school does every year. That’s where they just ask parents to make a direct donation of $100 per kid instead of doing fundraisers (which they end up doing anyway). Our elementary school raises close to 40k a year and the school down the street does not–what the hell is fair about that?

  184. Interesting thing about the pain behind your right eye… My best friend was telling me (she’s a massage therapist plus other junk) that it has to do with stomach issues. So Stress =’s Shopping AND Not Shopping =’s Stomach Stress =’s Pain in YOUR EYE …. let’s see…. I think you must keep shopping to save your health. ;P
    As if you really need help rationalizing it! But hey, I’m here to help. =)*)

  185. On top of school supplies for all 4 of my public school kids and helping my college daughter with the portion of her tuition not covered by her student loans and scholarships, I have to pay tuition for my kindergartener! My 6 older kids all went to public k-garten (3 part day in CA and AK and 3 full day in NY) for just the cost of crayons and a nap mat, but here in CO I get to buy the crayons and the nap mat and still pay my taxes and kindergarten public school tuition! Sheesh. Hide the KnitPicks catalog and the Webs emails ’cause that’s not in the budget this month!

  186. I hear you on resenting having to pay for public school. We have a big list of supplies to get, plus $20 per kid. This despite the fact that the PTA gives each teacher $250 extra for supplies. Here in CA, lottery got approved b/c they made a huge deal about the money going to the schools, “so everyone wins”. You know how much the schools get in lottery money? 73c per day per kid. Big whoop.

  187. How is it that public school costs so much? It is crazy! I have had my yarn funds cut off, that will give you a twitch and a half! Just knowing I can buy any makes me antsy, and makes we want to go buy some just in case.
    Incarus is looking great!

  188. Steph, I’m planning to go spend my nonexistant spare $ on yarn as I write–don’t even THINK about suggesting this is a waste of money…

  189. You go right ahead and rant as loudly as possible. When my girls were little and it was just the 3 of us, we were the dis-advantaged family and boy did those costs add up, and the financial pain was felt through out the year. I have ranted for years to the embarassment of many, but darn it, people need to know that our public education is no longer free, and that those who have extra money get more than those who don’t! Sorry – see how easily I get going!!
    Anyway now that the girls are older and basically done with school and we are better off, we fill a knapsack with basic school supplies and give it to Child and Youth Friendly Ottawa Back to School campaign for disadvantaged kids. We all put in some money and the girls fill the sack with as much as they can. It at least makes me feel better that we are looking out for others who are facing even greater burdens in education than we did.
    Keep ranting Stephanie – your voice is loud and clear and a great reminder to our social conscience that we must be ever vigulant to ensure our kids all get the best education they deserve, and not just the education they can afford.

  190. Stephanie. ok i love the numbering.. and i’m hoping that you will get the shawl finished.. it looks stunning i would never have thought to do it in that color!! love it.. i agree with you about the extra costs of school supplies.. i spend over 60$ for kori’s stuff when we got here and there really wasn’t any room for stretching in our budget since we had just moved.. ugh.. and i think it was a wonderful thing that you did giving them extra for those that can’t afford it! I too need to eat all of the knitting paraphinalia magazines that grace my mail box.. eeek.. haha.. hugs and have a wonderful weekend.. us USA’s have monday off.. Labor day.. the irony was that it was Kori’s due date and she was 10 days late.. haha.. hugs karola

  191. Ah, another Canadian here doing her own handdyed yarns…in case you haven’t stumbled across me yet…LOL And in Sweet Sheep’s neighbourhood too…LOL

  192. I would LOVE to know where you got that yarn your knitting the lace shawl with. Colour too!!PLEASE!!

  193. I would LOVE to know where you got that yarn your knitting the lace shawl with. Colour too!!PLEASE!!

  194. I’m at the point in Chart 4 of Icarus where I’m almost ready to quit. My eyes are squinty and red. I don’t want to know how many stitches are on the needles. Why in the world did you count them Harlot?
    Then Dang! I followed the link to see what Miriam is up to. I’m a lavender farmer and I was harvesting Hidcote this morning.
    I may have to torture my poor eyes again because she has a new shawl called Hidcote Garden.

  195. If it makes you feel better:
    I hate my KIP bag. Ugly, clunky, and not worth the $14.99 that I paid for it. I’m just happy I didn’t buy the whole set (also if you don’t get the purse organizer then the little fastener thingers are just stupid)
    An unbent paper clip works just as well (maybe better) as the little dowacky they give you to tighten your needle. I’ll lose the dowacky but can almost always find a paperclip.

  196. I vote for managing stress by procuring more yarn and needles.
    I quit smoking years ago, and whenever I think I spend too much on yarn, I ask myself how much I would have spent so far this year on cigarettes. At current prices, with a pack-a-day habit, I would spend about $1200 a year on smokes.
    Stunning, eh?
    Knitting is better for me, makes me smell better, and doesn’t stink up my yarn.
    Of course, this does not mean, under any circumstances, that you should give up Screech.

  197. In re: Addi Turbo needles. The Skacel people were at the Seattle knitters guild last month, and heard exactly that feedback: “we love your needles, just wish the points were pointier.” They now have a pointier prototype they plan to show to the guild at the next (I believe) meeting.
    Something else for us so spend money on!

  198. I totally empathize. I recently switched careers. After working in companies forever I became a school teacher. Talk about a dent in your fiber budget. It’s surreal this is. And I still went to Stitches and I have a retreat coming up and two fiber fests to attend and it’s just not possible to go and not spend money.
    So I’m just going to go.

  199. P.S. And can I just mention how much money I’ve had to dish out as a teacher! I’m sure I’ll have spent several hundred dollars by the end of my first year.

  200. We are going through much the same crunch, Chez Yarnpirate. Believe me, I weep bitter tears over my budget, right along with you. It is painful. Though it must be confessed that my oldest teenager with the experimental hair has decided to make a social statement about our bourgeois American values by spending as little money as possible, shopping from thrift stores and recycling as much as she can from last year. I am enthusiastically supporting that. Yay rebellion! Down with the status quo! Off wit’ they haids! Cake or death!
    I’m still on ladders and stockinette with Icarus. It is going on forever. *sigh* Yours looks great to me.

  201. Thank goodness Katie was not at the Portland show tonight (where I was). I was the black cloud of labor and delivery today and our section rate was dismal. Here’s to vaginal deliveries for all tomorrow (raises delicious Portland microbrew…after all, the gauntlet has been thrown down, says Harlot).

  202. I suppose no one is reading the comments to this post anymore (and even Steph is away), but I have to say that some of these comments just burn me up. Tell me, what is a better investment in your family and your community than the education of your own kids and today’s youth? I know, Steph, that you said that your province has a surplus, so I can understand your rant, but here in Calif. there is definitely no budget surplus. Remember Prop. 13 that cut property taxes?? Property taxes ARE lower, but the schools are hurting. Where is it written that ALL public education should be free, every aspect of it, supplies included? And even if it SHOULD be, well, we seem to keep electing politicians based on their promises to cut taxes, and then we act surprised that the schools are suffering and have to charge fees and ask for donated supplies. When I staff the phone banks and ask people to vote for a bond measure to repair way outdated (and unsafe) school infrastructure or to donate money so we can have a music program and computers and up-to-date books in the school library, either they say, “anything for the schools” and I want to hug them, or they whine to me about the cost and I have to remind them that it’s good for their property values and for the community. And you knitters — if you have to give up adding to your stash or buying new needles for your HOBBY in order to buy school supplies, sorry, but I have no sympathy for any whining on that account. Education is not free. Period.

  203. I bought 2 of each size (0-3)of the new Knitpicks circular needles and was so thrilled with them that my sweet husband of 37 years bought me the entire set of Knitpicks Options, plus extra tips in sizes 4-7 — he really pays attention to what I’m doing, evidently — and the complete set of KIPer bags as well, for my birthday this month. But, being the thoughtful mate of a crazed knitter, he got them a month early so I wouldn’t have to wait!! Just gotta love that man πŸ˜€
    We’ve been done with the ‘getting the kids off to school’ thing for a number of years and can now afford the above!!
    I’m delighted that Knitpicks now has a washable wool in worsted weight. My DH has very sentitive feet, due to diabetes, and can’t wear socks made of thinner yarn. I gladly handwash the wool/alpaca socks that I knit for him, but am also looking forward to making some worsted weight socks that I can throw in the washer!

  204. yeah i just heard how much my daughter hates school this morning. grade 8 spent over 160 bucks on supplies for her then received notice from school saying she needs 103 dollars for more shite. i’m seriously looking into homeschooling for her happiness. As to yarn jonesing and junkie behaviour, went to Kitchener fair on Saturday and fell in love with the quivit from manitoba. Tried hard to figure out how to get it purchased but sadly had to leave empty handed. Still feeling the withdrawal symptoms and waxing all poetic about the stuff.

  205. I can’t be bothered with anything these days, but shrug. I just don’t have anything to say recently. I haven’t gotten much done recently. Nothing seems worth thinking about.

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