Thrifty Knitting

I love yarn and I love shopping, but seeing as I’m not working at the moment, I’m on a serious budget. I also might already have a decent amount of yarn. But every once in a while, the thrill of the hunt hits, and I just can’t help myself! A few days ago we took a quick trip to the GWBTP*. I haven’t gone in a while because it involves a lot of bending and reaching, and those have been difficult for me for a while now. But, the wifey agreed to be my “arms” so we did a short trip.

It’s hit or miss there usually. This time was more hit than miss, and before we knew it we had two carts full of stuff (don’t worry, Mom, we pared it down to less than one–and it was cheap). I don’t often find yarn there and, when I do, it’s almost always cheaper stuff that I don’t feel the need to bring home. This time I found a Ziploc bag with some yarn in it, but only one ball made it into the cart. There was a pair of short US10 Brittany wooden needles that came along for the ride, too. I also picked up a pair of unused makeup bags that I thought would make nice project bags. It wasn’t till I got them home that I realized the yarn and bags coordinated:

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I’ve been wanting a couple of new dishcloths lately, so I’ll use that kitchen cotton to start whipping some up!

I keep hearing good things about Cat Bordhi’s book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters.

Image from amazon.com

So, we stopped by the library the other day and I checked to see if they had it. They didn’t, and neither did any other libraries in the state of Maryland (at least on that network). I arranged for it to be ordered on interlibrary loan, and it’s on its way! If it ends up being the solid resource I’m expecting it to be, I’ll pick up a used copy on amazon. They did have a copy of New Directions in Sock Knitting by Ann Budd, so I checked that out:

Image from amazon.com

The last time my mom was in town, we took a quick weekend trip to my home town. On the way back, we popped into a few different thrift stores, just for fun. We didn’t find much that day, but I did stop to snap a picture of these plates I saw:

There were a few of each design. I thought it was interesting that there were a bunch of plates with spinning wheels on them. I hope a spinner found them and bought them!

I actually bought yarn for a project the other day. Remember I posted about going to my LYS’s “yarn tasting” happy hour recently? Well, all the yarns they had available for “tasting” were 10% off. Our friend (and our daughter’s nanny) has a new niece who hasn’t had an easy road of it, health-wise. I wanted to knit something for her and her mom chose a small blanket. I looked for a while for the right yarn for it, but had a hard time finding something just right that was also reasonably priced. I wanted it to be machine washable and dryable, but not to be 100% synthetic. I looked through a ton of different options online but wasn’t quite sold on any of them. Well, my LYS had some Kraemer Tatamy Tweed DK up for tasting and I gave it a try. It’s a 45% cotton/55% acrylic blend that’s completely washable. It feels soft and has a little shine to it, but it also has just the right amount of subtle tweedy texture. I bought four skeins for a total of about 1000 yards. It should be enough to make this free blanket pattern on ravelry:

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It’s the Baby Shane Blanket pattern by Tanis Lavallee (image taken from the ravelry pattern page). I have two skeins of neutral grey and one each of pink and lavender, so I’ll do two grey/pink triangles and two grey/lavender triangles. I think it will look really nice!

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While I would love nothing more than to buy some squishy soft madelinetosh or malabrigo superwash and make a beautiful blanket out of that, it’s just not in the cards right now. So, I’m doing the best with what I’ve got, and am very happy with how it’s working out. I might add this project to my Ravellenic Games plan. Think I can knit a thousand yards of blanket in a couple of weeks?

How’s your knitting going, thrifty or otherwise? Made any splurges lately?

*Goodwill by the pound, or Goodwill Outlet for those not in the know. It’s a thrift store where everything is priced by the pound instead of individually. There’s a ton of great stuff to be found but you’ve got to be willing to dig through bins of stuff to find it.

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9 comments

  1. Carol · July 30, 2016

    I love the yarn you found for the baby blanket. It will be perfect for that pattern, and I totally think you can do that during the Ravellenic Games!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • alexand knits · July 31, 2016

      Thanks! I suppose we’ll find out! I decided just now I’m officially joining in. So, see you around team knit equals joy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Paula @ Spin a Yarn · July 30, 2016

    Those sock books sound quite interesting! I recently received three more books from my knitting group friends (seems like they are all tired of socks and appreciate my interest) that I haven’t delved into deeply as of yet. I’ll let you know how they are! I love the yarn you picked up and that is a super cute baby blanket! I put it in my queue for the next baby.

    As far as splurged lately? I’m supposed to be on a yarn diet; however after feeling Miss Babs Yowza recently at my knitting group, I bought two skeins of it. Oops, I did it again! OMG…I love them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • alexand knits · July 31, 2016

      That’s cool that your knitting group gave you some sock books! Knitters are so awesome about passing things on like that. I’d love to hear how they are!

      I didn’t buy anything at MDSW. If I had, though, it would have been Miss Babs. That was the first (and so far only) time I got to see her yarn in person, and it was lovely. The colorways were so intense and the yarn was really, really soft. One of these days…Do you have any plans for yours?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paula @ Spin a Yarn · July 31, 2016

        Oh my…they are like yarn babies…so soft and cuddly. I purchased two different colorways; Morticia and Beachglass. I think I might use Morticia for a Hitchhiker. I’ve been wanting to make that pattern for forever and I think it might look good in the colorway. I haven’t decided on the Beachglass as of yet; however maybe a shawlette or shawl with a contrasting color. There are so many options and I’m dying to cast on! Not until I get further on my socks though. I have another pair that I want to knit (not sure of the pattern yet; maybe another Smooth Operator) for my best friends 40th birthday. I need to finish this pair before I cast on again for socks.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Paula @ Spin a Yarn · July 31, 2016

    BTW, the sock books that were gifted to me are 2-at-a-time socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes (spiral bound with a hard cover); the little box of Socks by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrot (individual laminated cards in a box with a magnetic closure); and The Joy of Sox by Linda Kopp (spiral bound with a hard cover). They all look so interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Katherine @ fiberandsustenance · August 1, 2016

    Ohh, I love your idea for the baby blanket — I think that’s going to be just beautiful! Do report back on how the books go! My university’s library sometimes has a few knitting books .. I should definitely take more advantage of that!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Stefanie · August 1, 2016

    How cool to find yarny goods at Goodwill. Our Goodwill here is okay; it’d probably be better up in the city.

    Liked by 1 person

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