Thursday, October 11, 2007

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.--Charles Dickens

It's all about money, this entry.

Micawber, that charming ne'er-do-well, memorably portrayed by W.C. Fields in the original 1935 movie version of David Copperfield, could well be my favorite Dickens character.

The Micawber Principle. One that we all try to live by, I suppose. Hence the following topic.

The World's Most Ridiculously Over-Priced Knitting Kit
Yeah, I found it. And it's not some chi-chi designer sweater kit, either.

It's the Let's Dish dishcloth kit, which I discovered while wolfing down my dinner tonight. In the latest Patternworks catalog. One needs reading material while eating, at least I do.

Here's what you get for $24.00 plus shipping:
  • Sufficient linen yarn to make one 9"x9" cloth, in either grape or red, crocheted in a simple circle OR (drumroll) knitted in an Old Shale stitch. Instructions included.

  • One bar of "organic" soap
Gang. What's wrong with this price? First of all, you can buy a skein of 270-yard Euroflax Linen for $20 in a variety of colors, not a mere two. I would hazard a guess and say that you'd get three of these dishcloths from one skein.

"Organic" soap? Shit, my supermarket sells that kind of stuff for a couple of bucks. Cheap scented soap, anyway. Maybe not "organic," but who the fuck will know?

The stitch patterns? Available EVERYWHERE. For free. Somewhere, in one of your knitting books, you can find Old Shale, Feather and Fan, or the many variations on that shell pattern. Look in any of the free pattern collections on the internet and you'll find one of them. Google is your friend, after all.

Rip-off alert. I need say more?

If I ever am reduced to giving handknit dishcloths as "housewarming or bridal shower gifts" (quotes are from the catalog), I beg Joe to come to my house with an Uzi and put us all out of my misery.

Open Mic Thursday
Well, you knew it was coming. I've made my stand on this topic. Now it's your turn. So, sharpen your Crayolas and tawk amongst yourselves, as I would say. (Yep, I do say "cawfee" and "tawk")

Our new Open Mic Thursday avatar. I'm a little verklempt now.

You design your own garments/accessories, you write about knitting, you could teach a knitting technique to others. You are offered the opportunity to have your work published or the chance to teach in the knitting spotlight. However, you are offered only the opportunity, without financial reimbursement, with the rationale being that you are getting "exposure."

Do you accept those terms? If not, does it matter how much you are paid? A token sum or market value?

Go for it, kids.

Fire Sale
Sadly, I have come to the conclusion that I must sell my loom, for reasons that I really can't go into at the moment. Yeah, something's brewing. When and if it happens, you know I'll write about it.

So, if you live within driving distance of Wharton, NJ and want to buy the following for $2500, email me and we'll talk. I'm giving my readers first refusal, and then the Ravelry hoodlums.

Here's the package:

  • Schacht 8-shaft Mighty Wolf floor loom
  • Loom bench with one side pocket
  • Schacht warping board
  • Raddle
  • Stroller wheels
  • 10- and 12-dent reeds
  • Two boat shuttles
  • Swedish bobbin winder
  • All of my weaving books--I have to make a list but I have a few
  • All of my Handwoven magazines (probably 10 or so)
  • Two boxes of coned yarn, mostly pearl cotton, some shetland
  • A Halcyon gamp kit

The loom is completely heddled, so you wouldn't have to assemble it. It folds up to about 18", even with work on it. And I've barely used it, so it's in primo condition. The price is firm. Non-negotiable. So whoever makes the first firm offer wins.

Give We Must
I just want to give Ravelry another plug. As much as I am not a bandwagon kinda person, this is a remarkable achievement by Casey the Code Monkey and Jess. If you haven't yet gotten onto the beta site, they're letting more and more people in. But they are doing this gratis, everyone. Until they start getting some advertising up there, they depend on the kindness of strangers. We who use the site for free.

So, if you are a Ravelry beta user, how about going to the Donations page and droppin' a dime on these two. I will do so on Friday, when I get paid. Because being an IT person, I know what kind of work goes into an endeavor like this. Frankly, it runs better than some of the software for which I've written manuals. A great deal of planning, thought, and coding has gone into it. Let's give them our support. Put yer money where yer mouth is, in other words.

Calendar Girl
Well, it would seem that in general, most of us think it's a waste of paper. I will say, though, that I was incorrect in saying that the calendar is comprised of stitch patterns. It is not. It contains actual garments, scarves, dolls, hats, and other ephemera, both knitted and crocheted.

Somehow, that almost makes the whole Ripley's Believe It Or Not solicitation worse. As I said in the comments, I don't believe she was being at all malicious. Just clueless. And because I don't suffer fools gladly, I did what I did. I've hopefully educated her now.

My nonknitting friends, with the exception of my goofy sister, the self-proclaimed Scrap Curmudgeon, who persists in giving me knitted fuglies, never would even think of buying me that calendar as a gift. I must agree with Michelene's POV. Gimme a gift certificate. Or maybe some earrings. I'll pass on the Glenlivet, though, since I don't drink these days.

Perhaps my nonknitting friends know me all too well. I will say that they are just as rare and handy as my knitting friends, absolutely.

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