Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Knitting is an affordable hobby

You know how sometimes we look at our yarn stash and panic that we spent too much?  Okay, maybe that doesn't happen to you, but maybe a friend or family member might suggest it should. Or imply that there just IS too much of it.  Well, after a couple of days of reading through interior design blogs I realized just how cost effective knitting really is.

For example, if you are tired of your bathroom taps and decide to upgrade to a nicer fixture, even if it's a low-priced or on-sale one, it will probably cost twice the price of a hand-dyed skein of sock yarn.

Want a fancy chandelier?  Even a cut-price budget one will cost the same as eight skeins of yarn.  How much yarn do you need for a hand-knit custom sweater?  I know somebody who lost weight specifically to be able to need less yarn for a sweater, but let's say eight.  Fancy chandelier versus sweater you can wow people with for years, on top of all the hours of pleasure you had knitting it, under the bare bulb that took the place of your unpurchased chandelier.

The thing is, I'm learning that for some people, interior decorating is the same obsessive (did I say that?) hobby that yarny things are for us.  Trends in decorating exist, and they can't unless people are fueling them by buying enough of whatever is 'new'.  Not because their cabinet hardware all suddenly shriveled up and fell off, but because they want a fresh look in the kitchen.

(best not to think about how much yarn a really nice set of cabinet hardware would get you.)

Discovering that made me think of all sorts of other hobbies that cost a lot.

Race car driving, for example.

Or just collecting cars.  Do you know how much model cars will set you back?

Okay, I got the white one out of a sale bin quite justifiably, to go on my soon-to-exist white-trimmed living room's coffee table, and the green one is just a $2 Matchbox (I never, ever pass up the chance to buy a model Citroen DS in any size or colour) but still.  The serious ones are not cheap.

And hey: model train layouts.  The gear for that costs WAY more than yarn and needles, and you can't squeeze it into a space bag and hide it under the sofa either.  Probably you can sneak a $300 engine into the freezer as a friend of mine once did with yarn she didn't want her husband to know about right away (it didn't work, he went in for ice cream) but you might do damage to the motor.

Landscape painting.  For which, as everyone knows, you must eventually pay for an artist's loft with skylight.  Because obviously the same logic that applies to knitters in love with yarn - whereby you slowly work yourself backward until you have a spinning wheel and a large supply of untreated wool from the sheep grazing in your purchased-for-the-purpose country home, and dye pots, and then looms, the quicker to work through all the vast amount of yarn you've accumulated - must also apply to painters.

Baking.  I mean technically baking is just some groceries, but it's a pretty insidious hobby from what I've seen.  One that leads to a collection of cake plates and expensive exotic ingredients and marble kneading boards and very deluxe ovens and at least an extra chest freezer, or else the cost of parties to entice people in to eat all you've made.

Fashion.  Obviously it's the worst when it's a couture habit, but even vintage clothes and accessories will set you back and devour your storage space.

Although, purses kind of create storage space, soo... well, okay.  In other news, I should probably use this purse instead of just posing it in a cabinet, huh?  It's so cute for summer.

And don't even get me started about computer gaming.

(mainly because I know nothing about it.  but technology tends to be expensive and quickly replaced by the next great must-have thing, doesn't it?)

You get my point I'm sure.  The next time somebody, or even the little voice in your head, suggests that you might have a problem with yarn?  Remember it could be so much worse.  And you could be stuck buying factory-made sweaters to boot.


Mimi said...

I've just had this same conversation---knitting is a bargain! I live in a rural area, with motorcross racing down the road from us in one direction (that requires motorhomes for camping for the weekend) and in the other direction is an airstrip for fly-ins. About 600 planes fly in a few times a year. And the spouses often drive the big RVs in for the weekend. I am never feeling guilty about a $25 skein of yarn again.

Mary Keenan said...

Omigosh, yeah... we should never feel guilty, especially looking at all of that all the time :^)

Su said...

I do worry sometimes that some people's stash is so big, that it wouldn't be covered by household insurance should anything terrible happen.

Mary Keenan said...

That is an excellent point, Su - I hadn't thought of that, and of course, the first thing I did think of when I read it is WOW, yarn store in your own home! Which would be amazing but scary. I am now hoping that the space equivalent between the value of a massive yarn stash and, say, three pairs of diamond earrings would take be as far as you could go without living in a very, very large home. But the other thing that occurs to me is that the something terrible could be moths, and with a really big stash, you wouldn't know till you'd lost a ton of your investment!