The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

On Dieting

Rabbitch is going on a stash diet, brave little lapin that she is. And, given that I adore Rabbitch’s blog and, further, given that I suspect I would be quite fond of Rabbitch herself were I ever to meet her (which leads one to want to support her efforts) and (perhaps more to the point) given that I could start knitting today and produce a slipcover for New Jersey without purchasing any supplies whatsoever (except chocolate and gummi bears), it is my decision to follow her into the yarnless void by doing the same. (Yes, I’m shaking a bit as I write this….don’t worry. I’ll go stick my head in the stash closet and inhale some wool fumes when I’m done here…I’ll be fine.)

Rabbitch proposes to be on this diet for 9 months and, while I admire this show of self control, I am nothing if not a realist. I will be on my own stash diet from January 1, 2007 until June 17, 2007. ( June 17 is my 42nd birthday, for those who are wondering, and I feel certain that I will need to self-medicate on that day with as much wool as possible. And alpaca. And llama. And maybe sparkly little stitch markers.) It should be noted that I am exercising great courage in actually TELLING you the correct date. I was quite tempted to just say I was going on the wool wagon and then, once fallen from it, claim earnestly that the fast just happened to be over. However, you seem to be an intelligent bunch, unlikely to believe that I would go to all this trouble for what would, in such circumstances, become a one day fast…so I figured I’d better tell the truth. At least I’ll have lots of people to point and laugh when I fall off the wagon.

During this time of great self-denial, I will forbid myself the purchase of any sock yarn whatsoever. This is really quite logical, given that the amount of sock yarn currently languishing in my stash would only make sense if I had 12 sockless children or was married to a centipede (neither of these are true…but the centipede thing sometimes seems as if it might be, given the 47,024 Mr. K shoes lurking in the entryway, waiting to grab my feet as I pass. But I digress.). I will have to purchase the yarn to make the two sweaters currently promised to my MIL and SIL (I don’t have what they want in my stash, unbelievable as that is—it’s really hard to imagine that anything yarnish at all could fail to be in there, but the truth is that they both want something washable and I’m pretty famous for purchasing stuff that has to be handwashed gently in April rainwater on a Thursday night by a full moon while whispering lullabies softly in Gaelic) but I will not try to convince anyone that I need three different colors and weights of yarn to produce one beige cardigan.

I suppose I should allow myself 2 or 3 “mulligans”, if you will—the wool equivalent of the dieter allowing herself a fun-sized candy bar once in awhile because it beats eating a one pound slab of chocolate in a fit of deprivation induced craving. So yes, I may purchase yarn up to 3 times in the next 6 months. Each time, however, may only consist of one type of yarn—enough for one project only. And I must know exactly what project I’m using it for. (Sheesh, I’m tough.)

I know myself well—too well, at the moment. I recognize that certain excuses will naturally come to my lips and, gullible fool that I am, I will tend to fall for it. The following will not be allowable excuses:

“I’ll never see a bargain like this again!” (The very fact that I’ve used this one more than once suggests a certain….logical fallacy, shall we say?)
“It’s such a heavenly color!” (And I probably have at least two different weights of yarn in more or less the same color. Nice try.)
“But it’s on closeout!” (Because they couldn’t sell it, Dimwit. The fact that no other knitters were willing to shell out cash for this stuff is not a recommendation.)
“It’s going to be discontinued!” (Yes, which means that if I purchase it, I will likely make something with it and find myself precisely 6 yards short. No dice.)
“Nothing in my stash is right for this project.” (There is not a project in the universe—besides the aforementioned cardigans for MIL and SIL—that cannot be knitted with something from that stash. There are not 12 projects combined that cannot be knitted from that stash. If there really is a pattern whose needs cannot be met from my existing stash, it very probably shouldn’t be knitted.)
“But this would make such a beautiful shawl!” (My current shawl project has been languishing in my knitting bag ever since I finally realized the demoralizing effect of an ever widening triangle. Who am I kidding? Like I’m really going to turn out 14 shawls all of a sudden? With the attention span of a demented clown? Please.)
“I need to celebrate—I just got 3 more A’s and got into nursing school!” (Okay, I can’t come up with a response for that one. I’m buying a cartload if that happens and screw the diet.)

You fine folks are my witnesses. If you see me in the yarn store, you have my permission to guide me firmly towards the door. But don’t show me what you’re buying and definitely don’t let me pet it. And forgive me if I knock you down trying to get back into the store. It’s this diet, you see. I’m really not myself.

p.s. It’s 12/26/06. I will have you note that I have exactly 5 ½ days of unrestricted fiber acquisition. You may want to stay off the roads during this somewhat dangerous time.


  • At 12:48 PM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Oh yes, indeed, 'and a good time was had by all'
    ahhh hah, that's a very important date to file away....Rabbitch's BD is the same day as my bro's.
    Hey, Gift yarn doesn't count either, ya know? I'm talking about the stuff that YOU find in YOUR mail box.
    Actually you could've gone the whole 9 months...given yourself your birthday as an exemption...hey, people are doing that all over the we write...just saying.
    Now get out there and get yourself the veritable buttload of enhancement for your stash!
    Happy Hunting and Gathering!

  • At 4:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think I'm with you on this. My birthday is on the 23rd of June and perhaps when you're ready to break your 'fast', you can return to Lawrence. :)

  • At 9:45 PM, Anonymous Jill said…

    I think you should now be expecting a large box of yarn on your birthday.

    I'm planning a SEX trip before the first. I don't know when it will happen, but it will. I don't think I can bear to knit on crappy acrylic for nine months.

    On the plus side, I didn't realize the end daye was September, rather than a full year. That just about made my day.

  • At 9:39 AM, Blogger Charity said…

    You are a brave, brave lady! I've been considering much the same thing, however I know that as soon as I post this, I will feel compelled to buy yarn. In fact... isn't there a year end sale on at the LYS right now? Gotta go, I, um, think someones at my door....

  • At 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Surprised to see you joining this knit from your stash-a-thon, but think its a great idea, especially if your stash is as big as you say it is! I'd really like have a look! If I get stuck on my yarn diet I know who to call!


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