Monday, October 5, 2009

If it's got cake in the name, it must be good!

I'm truly drowning in yarn euphoria. Seriously. I hang out in the Ravelry forums, and someone shows off a yarn they've added to their stash, and I'm immediately wondering if I can get some for me. Luckily, my self-control is holding out and I'm sticking to my budget, but wow... I'm loving what's out there. And I feel like congratulating anyone who finds something truly beautiful.

You know what's even better? I've found a second way to enjoy my yarn - winding yarn cakes. Yep... was there ever a better term? It says "yarn", it says "cake"... seriously, I can barely hold back my enthusiasm for it. And, since I bought my nostepinne, I've been able to wind my own. Well, one so far, but it was so cool and so much fun, I may just have to wind all the hanks I've got in my basket!


The one on the right is a yarn cake I bought in Ketchikan, Alaska, during the last docking of our trip. It's Artyarn, from a company called Evilla, in Estonia. The one in the middle is a ball of Kauni, Effektgarn, from Norway, and just LOOK at those colours! Both of those are fingering weight. And the one on the left is the yarn cake I wound from the Rabbit Ridge Sock yarn I bought in Juneau. Not bad for the first time, eh?

The nice thing about yarn cakes, for those who have not yet encountered them, is that they sit nice and flat, while the yarn can be drawn out from the middle. And, you can see any colours that are coming up, without having to guess!

And, not only that, but the Evilla looks something like a yarn burger, too...


... although, probably not that tasty.

Anyway, my restraint has been paying off. My budget is still intact, and I can pay my bills and put some money away, too. I'm quite happy to go and dig through my basket in the evenings, looking at each ball, hank, and skein, and dreaming about all the lovely things I could make from each. I don't need any more right now.

You know, one thing that I've been noticing about myself as I get older, is that too much "stuff" just stresses me out. I mean, I can get pretty feverish when I think about things that are in my possession that I haven't planned for - extra clothes, extra food, extra paper... I don't know why. I think I'm just afraid of things spoiling or getting lost, or just crowding me out. I think it's sort of a form of reverse-hoarding - I must clear out. I won't even go into all the extra jewelry supplies I have left over from my former jewelry business that I want to clear out somehow.

This is the reason that I don't buy in bulk, and I can't shop in places like Costco or any of those "club" warehouses. The surplus stresses me out. I can't handle all that stuff in my space. And sometimes, it actually offends me how much surplus we've got in this country, especially when I think of how little other people have.

Years ago, when I lived in the UK, I watched one of those Comic Relief programs, where celebs went to third world countries to help them get fresh water wells and buildings. There was this old man, who made his living making things out of old oil drums - pots and pans and the like. He lived in a little building, which I hesitate to call a shack, simply because it was quite strong, but very small. One of the volunteers, who was a designer for Changing Rooms, offered to pave his dirt floor for him. The old man was thrilled, and asked him to wait while he moved all this stuff out. And, 20 minutes later, he had. The volunteer said, "You know, we decorate people's living rooms all the time, and it usually takes us a couple of hours to move everything out. And look - there's all the possessions this man has in the world, right there." A hammer. A saw. A blanket. A hammock. A few pots and pieces. But they are his. And that's all he needs.

Now, I know I'm putting my self-righteous hat on right now, and the size of my stash might beg to differ. Really, I know that I could give away almost everything I own and still be ok. What I'm getting at is that, while I might benefit from purchases and have lots of nice things and lots of conveniences as a result, nothing bad can happen if I don't buy something. All that will happen is that I won't be responsible for another thing on this planet, and I'll have more money to travel, to save for the future, to retire someday. And then, when I do buy something, I can truly be thankful for it, and enjoy it all the more.

Especially if it has the word "cake" in it.

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