For the look of Relax in a worsted weight yarn, take a look at Worsted Boxy.

Stitches Per Dollar Is The New Gauge

belinda816.jpg
Dear Ann,
I saw an ad on Ravelry that tickled me for some reason. It was a photo of an exquisitely translucent lace stole, accompanied by this copy:
“BAD ECONOMY? LACE IS CHEAP.”
Now that’s telling it like it is, sistah! It makes sense: since yarn is priced by weight, the thinner it gets–the closer to laceweight– the more stitches–and hours– you can knit, for less money.
Sheer knits, ultra-fine-gauge knits, are econo-knits. Everybody: get busy on a Belinda shawl or a Cardi Cozy. Whisper-thin never looked so not cheap while being so actually cheap.
In some future, more flush time, we’ll sit on silk divans, cocooned in chunky cashmere sweaters, drinking champagne lattes and laughing about the bad old days. “Remember how diaphanous our knitting was?” “I swear, my sweaters got so thin, they were illegal in 7 states!”
What happens if times get rilly hard, and we can’t even pinch enough pennies together for a thousand yards of laceweight? The next phase: Virtual Knits. How it works: You find a pattern. Think of the most luxurious yarn you can imagine. You’re not going to buy it, so turn it up to 11! Now, making sure you follow the pattern EXACTLY, and using the correct needles (you already own them, so why not amortize the investment?), virtually knit the whole thing. Just sit there moving your needles. No more balls of yarn bouncing down the subway car! Actual yarn is SO 2007! It’s the honor system, y’all. You can’t just randomly clickety-clack, like a dang mime. You must follow the pattern, and sometimes you must even rip back your imaginary project a few imaginary rows to correct an imaginary mistake.
Hey wait a minute! Is there already an iPhone app for this? WiiKnit?
Think of the money we’ll save! And before you know it, people will be blogging about how they’ve got too many imaginary UFOs, and it’s creating imaginary clutter and collecting imaginary dust bunnies, and they are imagining their husbands bitching about the imaginary credit card bills, and they’re feeling imaginarily guilty but not really.
Or maybe not. Maybe we can just knit from stash for The Duration. Stash, when you think about it correctly, is what the accountants call a “sunk” expenditure. Translation: it’s not just cheap, it’s FREE. Knit it up.
Love,
Kay

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42 Comments

42 Comments

  1. Here ya are: Knitting with Wiimotes (still in development, it seems).
    http://www.kniittiing.com/about.html
    http://www.offworld.com/2009/01/intangibuild-training-knitting.html

  2. Funny as always Kay! Great advise….off to look through my dish cloth cotton, I have better colors in my stash than the stores! Stay cool, is it in hot in NY, Boston is steamy!

  3. Now there’s a financial analysis worthy of Merle Hazard his own self. Sweet! Time to go check my closetful of sunken treasure —

  4. Okay, I have tears running down my face as I imagine sitting on the train clacking two needles together with no yarn. Performance Art!

  5. I prefer to think of it as an “investment” or “putting a bit away for old age” rather than a sunk expenditure. I may have to consider dipping into it sooner than I thought though!

  6. Agree with all. Good work, Kay!

  7. Brenda Dayne’s CastOn episode this week is about just this notion – particularly WWII rationing of yarn and clothing materials.

  8. Sounds like someone should rewrite “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and portray the two weavers not as swindlers but victims of an upside down economy who couldn’t afford to use real yarn…

  9. Well, with two sons heading off for college, I’m glad I developed my stash to its massive proportions. I don’t have to knit virtually quite yet.

  10. Weirdly enough, but when I have trouble sleeping instead of counting sheep, I knit in my mind. I usually don’t get through too many rows before I fall asleep.

  11. I’ve been in “FREE from the stash” mode for a few months now, since The End Of Regular Employment. It’s been fun. I actually thought it would lead to me actually finishing a few more things, but apparently my stash is too… generous… for me to have reached that stage yet.

  12. Oh, so funny. So, so funny! From this day forward, I will refer to my yarn closet as the sink hole! :-)

  13. I have been knitting on my Belinda shawl since last October and it looks exactly like that picture–I had to do a double take..

  14. now we enter the twilight zone
    we come across this woman they call kay
    sitting in her polka dot chair with
    knitting needles and no yarn to be seen
    her lips move but no words are heard
    she is somewhere in the twilight zone
    emma has a lovely picture of you

  15. it’s like you have a cctv into my mind…..

  16. Hilarious. I have enough sock yarn to knit nothing but socks for the rest of the year, and into next, but I have also started a laceweight sweater. . . Justified it because it’s so cheap!

  17. Hey, if there are air bands who do real (well OK, “real”) competitions complete with sound checks and broken guitar strings, why not air knitting? What I want to know is–how can you be sure you’re getting gauge…?

  18. I love the “Turn it up to 11″. Have you been watching reruns of Spinal Tap?
    My problem is that I use this logic to justify the purchase of ever more laceweight.

  19. Julia cracked me up. You know you’re getting gauge when the “sweater” fits!

  20. You’re just dreaming of your laceweight denim. Somehow the whole thing reminds me of convincing my New England Puritan husband that “slothfulness” as manifested by sitting on the couch watching movies and/or knitting was ACTUALLY just increasing the ROI.

  21. Just wanted to point out that, much like gold, yarn did not lose its value in the Recent Economic Downturn. 401ks, stocks – how much of their worth was lost last October? And your yarn and fiber? Still there, still knitable, still the same yardage.
    Hell, much more of this kinda talk and I’ll be out in the backard burying my cashmere for a “rainy day”!

  22. LOL I love it. The Belinda is the best value per inch in town. Always saw you guys as cutting edge and I thought of the Peaches and Cream stuff as the cheap present catagory. Mason-Dixon is the best.

  23. Lovely to meet you on the street today!
    I felt a bit like a stalker so thought I’d stop being a blog lurker, at least. Hope to run into you again one of these days.

  24. uh Kay – has anyone ever told you that you have a very STRANGE sense of humor?

  25. A full, head back braying laugh.
    Hubby: Okay, what?
    E: Nothing, it’s a knitting thing.
    Hubby: Oh, Okay, never mind.

  26. hi:)
    what is the yarn name & color & what is the pattern, please?
    thanx
    peace&blessings
    mary~

  27. I’m worried about you. Not getting enough sleep? ;-)
    But I did have a continuous loop dream the other night where I knit the same freaking edging on a lace scarf all night long, so I kinda get it.

  28. Do you realize you posted that on the Feast of the Assumption? Inspired.

  29. Sing it sister. I always did claim my stash would be there for me in the Bad Times. I am working out of stash now on 6 baby quilts and 3 or 4 baby sweaters (no, not simultaneously, serially.) But. The youngsters are still propagating — how bad could Times be?
    (All I can say is, for everyone’s sake, I hope the Hard Times do not outlast my stash!) Hey, let’s make sure during the Hard Times that we do stuff that will give us proud and joyful memories when the Good Times come again — giving, helping, sharing, connecting. Knit on.

  30. ive got enough sock yarn for 120 pairs of socks *without* resorting to creative combinations of walnut-sized balls of leftovers. good thing i like to knit socks, and my whole family are constantly begging for more! gotta finish my witch hat though. halloween’s right around the corner.

  31. HIlarious- of course the end of credit cards does mean you should knit all the yarn you bought with it… now to just get laid off so I can get started:)

  32. Stitches per Dollar…I LOVE that!!! This is definitely going to come in handy!!

  33. Stitches per Dollar…I LOVE that!!! This is definitely going to come in handy!!

  34. Virtual knitting…I never would have thought of it. I thought when the money and stash ran low, I was supposed to go to the thrift shop, buy a wool sweater, and unravel it for the yarn….

  35. Shall I begin writing “virtual” comments?
    LoveDiane

  36. Diaphanous……….inspired!

  37. “…randomly clickity clack, like a dang mime” that made me laugh out loud. thank you.

  38. Woohoo! Preach it!

  39. LOL. I have fears that I will BE that person in the nursing home someday…. knitting into the air.
    XO

  40. I remember learning about sunk costs in my first microeconomics class (taken years AFTER I’d become a knitter), and shopping at Rhinebeck took on a whole new meaning from that day forward. After I spend the money on yarn, it’s never on the balance sheet again!

  41. I forgot to mention that the bang for the buck of lace is why i first tried it a few years ago, when I discovered that sweaters are just way too expensive to be my mainstay. And, now it turns out that I love knitting lace, or lace knitting or whatever the hell it is that I do to put holes in the knitting.
    I thought i’d also become a sock knitter for similar reasons (before socks became the incredible craze that they are), but alas, that is just not meant to be. no matter how i tried.
    in case my last post here was only in my head like the knitting of the future, I should repeat that I LOVE your blog entry. Absolutely love it!

  42. Crap! I just had to frog 3 rows…and do you know how hard it is to pick up virtual stitches???
    Anyone for a knit-a-long? ;-)