Let me tell you a little story about the needles below. These are both 60 inch circular needles, and it probably doesn’t take much more than a glance at the photo to tell that there’s a huge difference in the two. The pair on the left was purchased in 2010, when I was making a Girasole for my grandparents. I found someone on Etsy who was selling 60 inch circular needles in sizes US 4-13, and the entire bunch was only a couple more bucks than one pair, so I bought them all. The pair on the right, I just purchased a couple of weeks ago to replace those on the left, because they are such poor quality, that they were hardly usable. Why am I telling you all this?
For a few reasons. I’ll start off by saying that I’ve always prided myself on being “cheap”. Getting the most for my money – hey, I’m the kid of teachers. It’s how I was raised. However, as I’m getting older, and I’m starting to take a good look at the things I’m purchasing, I’m starting to re-think that mindset. First off, had I just purchased the single pair of needles I needed, I would have spent less, and when it came time for me to use those 60 inch needles again, I would have saved myself a lot of frustration and anger. Instead, I spent my money on things that were poor quality – but, hey, I got like 10 pairs of needles instead of just one! – and ended up wasting money, because I will never use any of those needles because they are so bad. Second, I’ve really started thinking about quality over quantity. It’s so easy to justify purchasing a bunch of yarn (or anything, really. This definitely applies to all aspects of my life!) when it’s really cheap. But is it worth it? Do I need it? Usually the answer is no. Lately, I’ve started thinking more about buying quality things that may be more expensive, yet will last me a lot longer. Now, I completely recognize that my yarn budget will probably never allow me to knit all my sweaters out of Brooklyn Tweed yarn, but I’ve come to the conclusion that instead of buying cheap yarn (because look how much you can get for the money!), I’d rather buy nicer, more quality wool that may be a little more expensive, and just buy less. It’s time for me to start putting my money where my heart is, and start buying more thoughtfully, instead of more spontaneously.
These thoughts have been floating in my head for a while, but it wasn’t until I started listening to Ashley’s new podcast, Woolful, that I really started focusing on those thoughts. If you enjoy podcasts, I definitely recommend giving Woolful a listen. And, bonus, I’ve been participating in several of her “Man on the Street” segments, where I call in and answer a fun fiber related question that she’s asked, so in a few episodes you’ll be able to hear my voice! (Side note: isn’t it fun to hear the voice of someone that you know through the Internet for the first time? You imagine it in your head when you read blogs, but it’s always neat to hear it in real life. It may surprise some of you that I do not have a Southern accent, despite being raised in the South!)
Anyway, in last week’s episode, she interviewed Karen Templer of Fringe Association, and Felicia Semple of The Craft Sessions, and for some reason that one really motivated me to get my act together. I’d discovered Felicia through Instagram a week or two prior, and loved her idea of “stash-less”, so the fact that she was on the podcast almost seemed like the universe’s way of telling me to take action.
I realize that this will be a slow process for me, since I’ve been in the “get more for your money” mindset for so long, but I’m looking forward to applying this new, more thoughtful way of spending to all aspects of my life. One thing I wanted to do this year was to get more involved in my local fiber community, and I feel like these two goals can really compliment each other.