Last night I was thinking about how we buy yarn and don’t use it, and how we don’t buy yarn we would love to use. I’m not a therapist so I’m not going to look too deeply at motivations, but I would like to try to reframe the equation to see if we can find a happy place for buying yarn we want to use. We need a way to establish project value so we can spend our yarn money wisely.
I’m still thinking about the yarn I got for the July Sheepspot Yarn, which is now knit into the Kronborg Cowl. This was a great project for a lot of reasons. I created a scale to rate the things that stood out in my mind about the project: 1 = did not fit, 2 = an okay fit, 3 = fit fine, 4 = nearly perfect fit, 5 = perfect fit
- Project Concept: The brief was for me to figure out how to use the yarn in a relatively straight-forward project. 5
- Color of yarn: I didn’t really love the colors. 2
- The Yarn: I love the yarn itself. The fiber is really nice to work with. 5
- Stitch Pattern: I liked how the stitch pattern interacted with the stitch pattern so there was no pooling. 5
- Project Difficulty: It was an easy-to-knit project (I worked on it at least twice while also working on a martini) that I enjoyed watching unfold. 4
- Portability: It was a portable project–it went to the movies, on errands, and on a couple of other outings. 5
- Ease of Execution: I like stitch patterns that I pretty much work from my knitting. 5
- Finishing: The finishing wasn’t difficult, even though I had to figure out how to make it work. 3
- Details: I love my button collage! 5
Now consider what else I could have done with my time. I think I likely spent about 12 hours on this project. I didn’t keep track, so that is a guess, but nothing seems to take less time than that. What else could I have done with those 12 hours?
Since this was nearly the equivalent of leisure knitting, I would have read–a book or magazines, gone to a movie, or gone out for cocktails and/or dinner. Any of those things is going to cost me some money: Book $30, magazines (I have subscriptions) $5, movie $12+$4 (red vines), cocktail $12, dinner $40. If I consumed all of that in 12 hours (which seems possible!) it would total $103! Likely I wouldn’t have done all of those things, so let’s say $52.
My yarn cost $39.40. I ended up using buttons and materials that I had, but if I had to buy them I would likely spend $15. So that ends up being a wash in terms of cost/using my time. I spend time each night (unless I go out) watching TV or equivalents. I am an agreeable companion (mostly) because I am always engaged in my knitting. I won’t watch science fiction, but otherwise knitting makes me quite agreeable.
Try looking at the true value of what your knitting and yarn give you. Of course you have to use it to get the return, so perhaps that will encourage you to buy and use yarn you love! Totally worth it.