Happiness is Fabulous Yarn*

*Or your guilty pleasure of choice.

Some of you may have noticed that there were a lot of sales last week. Usually, this does not tempt me. I have two of everything ever made by now, so banners that read “ELECTRONICS SALE” leave me cold. (“Chocolate Sale” banners could still get me, but you never see those.). But Knitpicks had a massive yarn sale that went on and on with new coupons and different deals, and Zulily had Zen Garden yarn at more than half off and that Lion Brand Jeans cotton at a great price, and then I got some Edition 3 at WEBS for 25% off and, Reader, I am broke. But my god, the yarn. I used to be that way about books, and before that about clothes, and before that . . . I don’t remember before that. But yarn has been my weakness ever since I was an undergrad art student with a weaving major. And now I am buried in it.

Tis the season to buy things to make people happy. How did you buy or make or give happiness for you or somebody else this week? Or you know, how were just happy?

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36 thoughts on “Happiness is Fabulous Yarn*

  1. I’ve been having similar feelings about sales on quilt kits. I almost purchased one yesterday that was on sale at $39, regular price $179 – but I stopped myself because I already have more than I can sew in the next 20 years, and it was basically brown. I’m just not a brown person. It’s fine as a secondary color, but shouldn’t be the focus of anything you’re trying to make beautiful. I’ve been tempted by yarn sales too, but I’ve been doing so much crochet lately that new projects are losing their appeal. I’m forcing myself to try and finish the current project, so it will be done and I can move on.

    Happy this week with my “guard cats”. When I head to bed, the two boys come with me and prop themselves against my leg. It makes rolling over a little difficult, especially with the cast. My DH said I was ready to sleep because my guard cats were in place – and that made me smile. Of course, I’m looking over at the girl kitty and she’s laying on her back, showing me her belly. She’s so cute. All the kitties make me happy.

    I went to the family reunion last night, and had a good time. No meatballs leftover either!

    I’m really looking forward to the doctor appointment tomorrow to take the cast off, and getting on with actually walking around. I can’t wait to not crawl up stairs!

    1. My kitties make me happy, too, and as the weather gets colder they somehow become more affectionate. Drawn to my warmth?

      Also happy because I’ve reread HOT TOY and SIZZLE in the last several days. I see what Jennie meant by her analysis of it, but it was still funny, and I enjoyed the whole marketing setup anyway.

  2. I was a horribly emotional person at work last week – I could not seem to pull back from the full array of snapping, sulking, complaining, growling, stonewalling, and many more I have blessedly blanked out. The good news is that I seem to be in a perfectly good mood now, with absolutely no factors in my life actually changing.

    I have more yarn than I will use in …..??? so I am not even looking, but I am getting vicarious pleasure from your purchases.

    And I wanted to continue the knitted gnome energy but instagram would NOT cooperate with me. If you can get to pinterest and want to seem my Rudolph Steiner bazaar gnome, circa mid-80’s I think this link will work:
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/195273333833763720/
    The little boots! The beard! The bag across his back with a piece of rice that is just the right size to look like a baguette! All done by hand, of course and about 3″ tall. I am happy to own him. I did draw the line at one, though!

  3. My happy is cotton fabrics. Mostly for quilting.

    At the moment, I’m on a tear to use up my Christmas stash, mostly so I can buy new prints. I’ve got a whole mess of scraps from the 1990s or thereabout, when I first started quilting, and they’re irritating me — the clutter of them, and that I’ve been making things with them for thirty years now. I’m ready for something different. So I’m making a random-blocks quilt with all of the scraps. Or as many as possible, and the rest will be made into little (18″ square, more or less) cat quilts. Pix to follow on IG (@ginjonesmysteries for anyone who doesn’t want to wait for #workingwednesdaypix).

    Plus, I’ve been falling down two rabbit holes at Instagram: #christmasquilt (singular, not plural) and #christmassewing where I see all the nifty new fabrics. I wasn’t as obsessed with getting more holiday fabric until I saw them on IG, but there’s no unseeing them.

    1. I’ve been going through my stash (Krissie is getting a ton of yarn) and whenever I find a lone skein or a bunch of end pieces, I start an Inner Lights shawl (my new go-to along with Secret Paths). I have four going now.

      1. I’m trying not to have any scraps left over from major projects (the equivalent of lone skeins). When I finish a big quilt, I take all the left-overs and make them into simple lap quilts (if the scraps are big enough) or else kitty quilts for my cats to shed on. But I still have about twenty years of scraps from when I didn’t do that.

  4. My happy right now seems to be insulated cups. I have more than I’ll need for a really long time, but I love how they keep ice icy and coffee…not icy. Fabric makes me happy, too, but I’m avoiding it because I have nowhere to put anymore.

  5. A new wool shop has opened in town, so I thought of you. Lots of tempting greens – I could do with a green jumper. But I’m resisting. I gave up the little knitting I did some years ago, because it made my hands cramp. Plus, it’s expensive in materials and time, and then I don’t always love the result.

    I’m recovering from the election result, which is depressing and alarming. Went for a drink with a friend on Friday night, and had a good photography meeting yesterday. I’ve also had my new glass back door installed today, which has transformed the kitchen. It’ll take me a while to get used to the extra light – I keep thinking I’ve left the door open.

  6. My happy was buying goodies to put in a bag for our yearly gift exchange game at next Saturday’s Yule dinner party at my house. It’s always tricky to try and find something that will make almost anyone happy to get it (this year we have eleven, including men and women and two kids, one a 12 year old boy and one a 13 year old girl) but luckily we have a new member at my cooperative shop who has a farm. I got a cute little bear full of honey, a small jug of maple syrup, some bright red beeswax votives, homemade honey candies, and then added a pottery ornament with a cat on it and some chocolate. All handmade, all local, all from my shop. That made me happy. Mind you, I don’t get to keep it, but still…

    For myself, I indulged in my favorite chocolate (NOT, alas, on sale). It comes from Ontario, and the shipping alone makes it fairly prohibitive, but I found out earlier in the year that the friend of an author pal (Anne Bishop) lives two blocks away from the store. So the friend was kind enough to buy it and send it to me, and I just sent her some money through Paypal (which will actually do the currency conversion for you). I spent way too much money on it, but it is my reward for making it through the tough busy season when I’m not feeling well, and every evening I allow myself to have two pieces. I’m a terrible chocolate snob, and having this amazing good stuff was worth every penny I spent on it.

    1. Okay, you can’t say all that about chocolate without the name. It’s chocolate for goodness sake!;)

      My hubby, too, is a chocolate snob. Actually collects wrappers from the good ones like it’s an art project, l0l.

  7. You were a WEAVING major??!
    So, do you have a loom in your attic? Or somewhere?
    I love knowing what people studied. So, nosy questions, which you should ignore, of course, if that seems best.

    1. I dragged an eight harness Macomber with me through everything and then gave it to a local high school when I moved after my divorce. The thing was huge. And beautiful. Maple wood. It’s a craft you basically need another room for if you’re going to go with a floor loom. I still have a couple of table looms that I haven’t used. Crochet is just easier to deal with.

      1. A guy I knew used a dilapidated outbuilding on his property to build a huge loom for his wife. He planned to move it into a bedroom in their house and surprise her. Once it was done he suddenly realized it would never fit through any doors. So he renovated the outbuilding and surprised her with a loom and a studio.

  8. I’m done teaching until January with a long list of things I will do better/differently next session. It was a rewarding but bumpy ride this time. Most of the holiday preparation madness is done and I’m just looking forward to that mellow time after Christmas and before New Year.

  9. My happy is still books. I can usually resist the craft stuff (I have to work on my backlog there).

    My happy today is not going anywhere and leaving the tv off.

  10. My happy this weekend was sleep. Glorious, sleep-through-everything sleep, the kind that you aren’t quite sure where you are when you wake up because you slept so hard. The kind I almost never have anymore, and for which I am more and more grateful.

    My other happy is that all the books I bought during Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend sales are showing up. If I’m going to live in the flight path of the airport and have to listen to planes coming in for landing all night long, I’d better have something good getting flown in on them! And now I have something fun to do when I can’t sleep because of all the planes overhead.

  11. I am feeling pretty good right now. All the gifts that had to be mailed are on their way. All the gifts that stay local are ready to give. All that I have left to do is get my Christmas cards done, bake cookies, and figure out my Christmas Day meal. Tomorrow night I have to bake the cookies for my workplace cookie exchange. I wasn’t sure I’d get this much done by now, so am feeling pleased.

  12. I am having an unreasonable amount of happiness just from hearing about other people’s stash. And it’s cheaper and takes up no extra space.
    Maybe eventually I’ll manage to use up some of my own. Goddess knows I need clothes.

  13. Since I don’t knit, I went to my favorite thrift store and bought 3 cashmere sweaters and 2 pairs of black jeans. The sweaters weren’t all that cheap, but at least the volunteer in my favorite room saved me from buying one that had a hole in it. And the jeans, which I have been trying to find for months, don’t even need to be shortened.

    The odd thing was that of the 4 sweaters I had originally planned to buy, each was a different size. The XL is a little roomy, but otherwise they all seemed the same. I wonder if the sizing is any more uniform on men’s clothing?

    1. I bought a black cashmere sweater with a tiny hole in the shoulder for a dollar years ago. I embroidered a (black) spider over the hole, with red bead eyes.

  14. I also made the employees at my friend Dave’s stores happy by dropping off some candy. Since I am not baking this year, I decided a box of Brandy Beans might remind the tired and overworked that I haven’t forgotten them. Thank You, Trader Joe for carrying affordable treats!

  15. My current collection is free but messy: bits of stuff I find on my walks, because anything can go into a collage, right?

    So yesterday, happiness was an ancient smashed bottle cap.

  16. One of the few things (as I smugly congratulate myself on limiting mindless consumerism) I bought on a Black Friday deal was a cookie sheet. I have been baking regularly for more than a decade, but somehow it always seemed so impractical to buy a cookie sheet — it’s so single-use, so difficult to justify when you share a kitchen with someone else, even if the someone else rarely cooks or bakes.

    I’ve baked thousands of cookies on roasting pans instead, and now can mostly restrain myself from trying to whip the parchment paper off before the cookies have 100% set, because if I give in to the desire to get them off the pan so I can bake another set, inevitably some cookies break going over the rim of the pan.

    But I restrain myself no more, now that I own a cookie sheet!

    So far it has given joy to two breastfeeding mothers (chocolate chip oatmeal lactation cookies); the older sons and husband of one mother (chocolate chip oatmeal cookies without brewers’ yeast or flaxseed meal); people who came to my friend’s game night (snickerdoodles) and my small group of officemates (the rest of the snickerdoodles, and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies).

    I’m hosting book club to read Jessica Mitford’s “Hons and Rebels” in a few months and already planning what to serve for a lunch-equivalent afternoon tea. The cookie sheet might get to serve up more happiness in the form of savory scones.

    1. A good cookie sheet can do so many things, I’m surprised you survived without one this long. I think I have six, not counting the quarter size one. Congratulations!

  17. I wrote the homily for our solstice celebration, The Cursing of the Darkness, where in we both light candles and curse the darkness, followed by Chinese Food, primarily dumplings, scallion pancakes and hot and sour soup.

    I also bought yarn at Webs (except I walked there) and started a hat for the younger daughter.

  18. I have been depressed as fuck this week, but going to Dickens Fair and Victorian Christmas (events in NorCal) really helped to perk me up, at least for the weekend.

  19. My happy is the companionship my husband and I are enjoying while he recuperates from shoulder surgery. It’s magical. We just hang out together. Maybe the difference for us is that he has always been the boss and the mover: always drives, always jumps to do things, always expects to be kowtowed to. But now that he is acutely aware of pain, lack of sleep, and inability to do almost anything (especially buy Christmas presents), he appreciates what I do for him. And we’re keeping up a Crusie-type banter. Nothing is serious, no nasty cracks, just roll-your-eyes silliness. Happy times.

  20. I found my cross stitching! It’s been AWOL for 8-10 years. I bought new needles and a new hoop. And my daughter is expressing interest in learning how to do it.

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