Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Greedy Consumerism


Usually when a blog starts with this kind of title, it's about someone else. Unfortunately, this one is about me.

When is Enough Enough?
I own a rather large collection of knit-related things. The collection includes, yarns, needles, knitting machines, books, patterns, magazines, software, CD's, notions and project bags. And yet, whenever someone recommends a new book, or a blog reader asks me to preview a new product for free, or I find a yarn that I must have, I will never hesitate in adding it to my collection.

For me, it's more about when will the joy of having and using these things run out.

Thaddeus, in one of his tri-weekly visits to the local flea market found this for me and paid a mere $5.



It's an unused ball winder that would typically sell for about $25.

Even though I already own two perfectly good ball winders, I was thrilled that he found this great deal. I figure I could just donate it as a gift to the next Men's Knitting Retreat or some other good cause.

Current Knitting
I have continued on with the front of the pullover vest, and made decent progress for mid-week knitting...especially given how busy I've been with work.



I've finished about 5 inches so far. Depending on how much I get done over the next couple of days will determine whether I can actually finish this garment by the weekend.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Thanks all for the nice words about my sewing experiment. In addition to your comments and recommendations for good sewing tip web sites, I got a few e-mails with supportive advice.

Admiring Friend Kathy writes, "Is there anything (besides the purported flower arranging) that you haven't just picked up and become reasonably good at?"

There are a lot of things I'm not naturally good at. I suck at sports, I can't play music on any instrument known to mankind, and even when I put my mind to learning to fly, it took me a lot longer than many folks that had a natural aptitude for it. I also took a course in American Sign Language and was so bad I gave it up after one course. But honestly, I think that if you put your mind and some effort to almost anything, you can get reasonably good at it.

8 comments:

Sean said...

I like that Thaddeus!

I just bought an electric ball winder em...um...for the shop. Yeah, that's it. Nancy's Knit Knacks makes an incredible one! Heavy duty. It'll be a useful tool for the shop!

Emma in France said...

I meant to comment on the last post but got distracted.

I think that perhaps you were suffering from the feeling that I know I get when I try to make something in a different craft, when it just feels easier to stick to the craft I know I'm good at or even when I try to pick instead of throw when knitting. It's hard to push yourself through the early stages all over again.

Although I haven't used it personally, I know there's a shirt book by David Coffin that is supposed to be excellent. I also found the posters at alt.sewing very, very helpful a few years ago, there definitely a couple of male posters there at the time.

Perhaps you could make your own kilt next and show off those infamous legs? Either that or a pair of trousers so that you could wear a complete outfit that you had made yourself. I think it would be a cool challenge.

Sewing for one's self is definitely about getting the right fit. Just like knitting really.

C Meir said...

When the guilt overtakes you, do the right thing, give it all to me...

Carol M

Teresa said...

Hi Joe,

Thanks so much for posting pictures of you very first sewing project. I think it turned out wonderfully and I'm sure Thaddeus was more than proud to wear it. It appears you have a real knack for sewing, as well as knitting.

P.S. the Ichida lace project is just stunning. I usually knit sweaters and am not a lace knitter at all (I prefer to crochet lace) but I have enjoyed the opportunity to see the fruits of your labor. You are one talented gentleman.

sean said...

5 bucks for a wool winder. what a steal. i'm glad you shared some things that you're not so hot at. i was beginning to think you were good at everything. not that there's anything wrong with that! :-)

still admiring Kathy said...

Ah sorry, Joe, hen, as admiring as I am, I don't agree with the idea that you can do things you put your mind too.
I have (had) four brothers who made me play baseball and soccer and tennis.
I cannot catch or throw for beans.
I am the only person in my family who can't play the piano.
Or any of the other things they play, including even the horrid ocarina.
And I suck at typing.

But I do like your self-deprecating attitude.

admiring admiring blah blah said...

Feh. Ptooey.
Typing skill again.
That would, of course, be "put your mind to".

Cara said...

sorry I missed your last post on sewing ... I think starting with Simplicity is a good choice, Simplicity and McCall's patterns are pretty straight-forward. And a mens woven shirt is fairly simple. You did a very nice job, but I am sure that years of knitting garments helps with understanding sewn garment construction. I think it's funny you think sewing might be too much work, since a reasonably fast sewer can put together a dress in an afternoon but I haven't yet seen a knitter who can do that. I sewed a great deal for years (including my silk wedding dress), but now knitting has taken over where sewing used to reign.

Still, I agree that if you put your mind to it and invest the time, you can become accomplished at almost anything -- I teach wheel-throwing (pottery) and have seen tha first-hand. Although pottery (like knitting, and sewing) looks very easy, it is more work than it appears, yet with time and attention it does become easy.

Will you try sewing some manly tote / knitting project bags next?