The kids and I have been playing in the basement recently. Daniel has rediscovered his love for playing in large cardboard boxes, and Anya rides around on a ride-on rocket (that she's nearly too big for) and sets up tea parties for herself and her toy puppy. Sometimes we play camping; yesterday Daniel convinced me to set up our small tent (from before we had kids and actually went camping) so they could play in it. We plan to have the basement finished this coming fall and winter. We've worked out the financing and booked a contractor, and we have a pretty good idea what we want things to look like when it's done. It's going to be a pretty big job, actually, with more than half the cost going towards updating and replacing our nearly-60-year-old plumbing, a 30+ year-old furnace and ductwork, a 15-year-old water heater and old fiberglass insulation that is hanging out of the wall in unattractive fuzzy chunks.

Now we just have to wait a few months for the contractor to be ready to start (we're in line after a few other projects). I'm anxious to have this done, but truthfully, we need these few months to get the basement cleaned out to make room for the work to be done. It doesn't hurt to have a little more time to save up some more money, either.

There's also the thing about my yarn stash being stored down in the basement, and it takes up a significant amount of space. The accumulation was not intentional, I swear. It just sort of happened. There is absolutely no way I can use it up in the next six months, but I should try and make a good dent. Knitting lots and not buying any more yarn is a good way to start, and I'm doing pretty well with that (for the most part). Last year I sold a bunch on craigslist, and that felt pretty good. But there is still too much, and some of this yarn has go to go. In fact, I've been meaning to do a giveaway on this blog for quite a while now, but suddenly it's just so hard to part with any of it. Every time I pick up a skein or a bag of yarn I bought long ago, I remember what I was going to make with it, or I remember why I liked it so much in the first place, and I think "I can't get rid of this! Not yet! Because maybe this is what I'll want to knit with tomorrow, or next week, or..." and then back it goes into its plastic tub or lined basket.

I have to start somewhere, though, so I'm going to start here. I have 10 skeins of this:

Elle Elite DK
50/50 wool cotton blend, machine-washable
125 yards per skein
5.5 spi on size 6 needles
color: off-white (pretty accurate in the photo, I think)

I know I won't use it. The Elite DK is really nice yarn (I know because I used it in white to make a Whirligig Shrug for my niece) The color isn't right for me, and what's more, I have more of it in white (which I will use...eventually...for this sweater). I know I could probably try and sell this and get a little cash for it, but the truth is, I got it on clearance online a while ago, so I'm not losing that much, and besides, this way is more fun.

I'll do a random drawing (in other words, ask Stu to pick a number). All you have to do is leave a comment answering the following questions:

1) What is one impulse buying decision - yarn or otherwise - you've made in the last 6 months that you regret? (And if you really truly haven't made any regretful impulse buying decisions, you are either a liar or a saint.)
2) What is one thing you know you should get rid of, but can't?
3) What's the last good meal you cooked and ate?

Just so you know, the first two questions are to make me feel better about myself, and the last one is just because I like to talk about cooking.

You've got until Wednesday, June 9 to leave a comment. I'll announce a winner in the evening, so be sure to comment by 8:00pm CDT.

On an unrelated note, here's a quick progress shot of the red top-down tee:

I think it's pretty close to done, but I haven't measured in a while. I hope to do an FO post for it later in the week.


Mrs. Allroro said…
Tell stu any number but 1, because I'm not a knitter or a crocheter. I just wanted to say I love the Mary Jane sweater and the t-shirt looks great! And since you asked, last night we made homemade fajitas with guacamole and pico de gallo, all from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. Everything was homemade and wonderful except the tortillas (which weren't so bad, just not homemade). (Speaking of, I may have to try some of your bread recipes soon, and I just remembered you also have a recipe for tortillas, right? on rous?)
Dee said…
1) What is one impulse buying decision - yarn or otherwise - you've made in the last 6 months that you regret?
Hmm this is tough, but I would have to say a pair of sandals that I got a few months ago.

2) What is one thing you know you should get rid of, but can't?
I really should throw out some of the junk I have from HS.

3) What's the last good meal you cooked and ate?
I am not a cook but I roasted fresh asparagus from my mom's garden with some garlic and olive oil a few weeks ago. It was delicious!
Jess said…
1)I've purchased a number of books recently that I haven't even really begun to read. I'm a librarian and can almost always get books I need that way so I usually try to refrain the book buying to books I know I'll read multiple times or reference items for knitting. Bookstores have just been my weakness lately, even more so than the yarn store. I paid for that when we moved last month!

2)I have an entire collection of random and generally useless stuff that my great-grandmother sent me in the last years of her life. Some of them should have gone to my mother or grandmother so I've been carting them from one apartment to the next for five years.

3)For Memorial Day, I made a raspberry vinaigrette that was delicious and put it over a huge salad with homemade croutons. Delicious.

Good luck with your remodel and de-stashing!
LizzieK8 said…
1) What is one impulse buying decision - yarn or otherwise - you've made in the last 6 months that you regret? (And if you really truly haven't made any regretful impulse buying decisions, you are either a liar or a saint.)

I'm not a liar, so I must be a saint. I don't impulse buy. My income is so limited I don't have the choice to not watch every single penny. Other wise I wouldn't be able to save for more yarn!

2) What is one thing you know you should get rid of, but can't?
Five bins of acrylic yarn.... It's always there JIC I can't afford nice stuff!

3) What's the last good meal you cooked and ate?

I cook at least 6 nights a week...So the best most recent was pork loin chops, couscous and broccoli. However I love my daily breakfast of steel cut oats with nuts and raisins! Yummmmmy!
ikkinlala said…
1) A cookie at the farmer's market that didn't taste as good as it looked? I'm neither a liar nor a saint, but I am kind of isolated as far as shopping goes so there aren't really a lot of things to trigger impulse purchases.

2) The t-shirts I've been wearing since high school. There's nothing really wrong with them... except that they're threadbare and have holes. Don't worry, I only wear them at home.

3) Last night I made a cheese souffle and a green salad - simple, but tasty.
EVA SB said…
1) I have regreted many purchases in my life - impulse or not - but now I am neither a liar nor a saint just broke.
There is a certain satisfaction living on a strict budget and knitting from my stash (ie not 'buyers's regret') but there is a limit to the attractions of a frugal lifestyle.

2) Until recently I had a lot of junk yarn but I finally got rid of it.
Now I should get rid of all my soft-toys (mine not my children's) but I haven't the heart.

3) I cook most evenings. Last night I did stir fry. Chicken in a sesame sweet & sour sauce with lots of thinly sliced veg and noodles.[@]gmail[.]com
1. I bought a t-shirt for myself a few weeks back. I regret buying it because I know I won't wear it. I look too fat in it!

2. I would like to get rid of all those pairs of jeans which I used to wear before I got pregnant. I know I can never get back to my pre-pregnant shape, but I just can't giveaway these jeans because I love them.

3. Meal? hmmm... I made paav bhaji the other day and we all enjoyed it. It's an Indian dish, BTW.

Now about the yarn, it's gorgeous! I love the color too. Are you sure you want to give it away? :)
Anonymous said…
Hmm. No saint here, but such a yarn hog the previous six months that I swore off (cold turkey) from buying any more the past six months. Bought some running shoes that don't fit well.

I should get rid of the shoeboxes of recipes I clipped for 40 years and never use anymore because I can find such good ones on the internet.

Last good meal. . . hmmm. Tonight's was light. It was hot today so I made blueberry/walnut/flax muffins and a fruit salad. Does that count?

I'm so impressed that you're paring down. I need to do that to my house and my hips. :)
Jessi said…
1) I bought a metric ton of cotton yarn for a project that I now think I may never do, but I don't regret it because my love of cotton yarn has recently been renewed. A couple of weeks ago, I was wandering Wal-Mart and I found these cute little totes that were on clearance and picked up about seven of them. You could use them for anything, but I was thinking about gift baskets, which I LOVE making, but I always have a hard time finding something good to put the stuff in. When I got to the checkout, I discovered I had lost my debit card and walked out without anything in a blue panic. Since then, I've actually regretted NOT impulse buying those things at least twice.
2) Clothes. I have a bunch of clothes that I haven't been able to wear since I had kids and I can't get rid of them because I love them and I MAY lose weight one day.
3) I made tacos last night. Which isn't exciting, but it's about my favorite thing on Earth. Except not cooking tacos and still getting to eat them. That's my real favorite.
gay said…
i've been too busy and missed this wonderful giveaway! i'll answer the ??? anyway just for fun! i bought a bright orange impulse purse a few days ago. i returned it because it was too expensive and it had no pockets on the outside for my keys and my phone. i have a pair of teal blue frye boots that are a bit too big and i can't part with them because they are too cool! i made grilled portabello mushroom sandwiches with feta cheese the other day and they were yummy!

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