Friday, February 06, 2009

The Economy of Knitting

Stash Yarn: Socks for N on the left and for R on the right

I regularly count my blessings these days. Every week I hear of another neighbor, friend, or relative who has been furloughed or laid off. My husband's employment seems secure so far (can you hear me knocking on wood?) but we're not taking any chances. Meals are simple and at home, movies are Netflix, and trips are more local and to see family. I don't feel deprived because I'm not. I live a solidly upper middle-class life, send my children to a private school, and have the luxury to be a stay-at-home mom.

However, my habits have changed. I have been knitting primarily from the stash for almost a year now and with the exception of a few special projects, this will remain my modus operandi.

My plan for 2009 was to be more mindful of my projects in an attempt to find balance; now I see that this mindfulness, intention, and restraint has the additional reward of being financially responsible. Don't get me wrong, I still knit boutique yarns - the experience is so pleasurable and I do want to support small-scale producers - but I no longer have room for impulse purchases.

Today I have a few projects in the works: some socks for my eldest daughter and finishing a border on a "Blessingway Blanket" (more details on this soon!). Both are projects that are inexpensive and are quite fun.

Also, this week I taught some girls in one of our struggling city schools to knit. It is such an honor to see the joy of a child making something. Something real. Tangible. It's just magic. And for the cost of some needles and leftover yarn, I can spread a feeling of empowerment and pride. Sharing my resources. Supporting my community. A veritable redistribution of wealth ...

5 comments:

tiennie said...

I feel the same way. Simple meals, netflix movies, knitting from stash. We are fine and I'd like to stay that way.

Bridget said...

Hear! Hear!

So many people just don't realize how lucky they are - it sounds sappy, but it's absolutely true.

And it's nice to see someone write about it in a non-whiny way.

Suzanne said...

Don't forget the library! talk about deep stash--movies, cds (for adults and the kids) and many many books. With the online catalog you can order your gear at home (at 11:30 at night seems to be my fave time) and get it whenever--they just email us.

We canceled our Netflix 2 years ago when we realized that the library had a better (and more current) DVD collection. I have library cards for Chesterfield, Henrico and City of R but Chesterfield is the fastest (though Henrico has an Interweave subscription! And City of R has EZ!)

Enough library propaganda. Enjoy! I'm planning a trip later today....

Mo said...

Can't wait to hear about/see the Blessingway Blanket! Sounds lovely.

Angela said...

I feel like this economy is encouraging people to interact with each other more rather than simply buying stuff. I've made a pledge to teach someone to knit in an effort to get more people to be crafty and therefore stimulate the economy.

www.pledgebank.com/teachknitting
www.knitluck.com