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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Yarn Along: Unbirthday

Here is a mass of unbirthday presents. Who they're for, nobody knows! I was initially going to assign them for specific people at our unbirthday party, but then I thought I'd just put them all out on the table and see who wants what. One set is completely finished, one piece is almost finished, and one I just started. They need to be ready for November 6, when we'll have our dinner and celebration. We've all had a rough summer and fall, all of us are stressed out, homeschooling moms right now, missed celebrating all our birthdays, and a couple of us will be finished with local elections, for good or ill, so we're going to decompress, celebrate, commiserate, and eat delicious food.

I'm working on a really simple, striped cowl, that you can see above, knit at an aran gauge. It isn't a complicated or difficult pattern, the yarn was inexpensive (around $3.50 a skein), and it only requires four skeins, but just paying myself for materials and minimum wage for my time (which is $9.32/hr here in WA state, though in the past when knitting for hire I was paid closer to $20/hr), I am already at around $146.48, and I still have at least another six hours or more of knitting, plus a little time for finishing before it is completed. That puts the grand total at about $203, for a relatively small, simple, larger gauged item. Those of you who do handwork understand how much time, effort, energy, and thought go into a hand made gift, and that is not even accounting for the money used to purchase materials. I have no qualms about giving such a gift away, but always feel a little undervalued when someone puts a price on it. My late father in law talked about some $18 - 25 wool socks that were sold at his store (he worked for Keen, and they treated him and us so well) and I said that they were a bargain. I buy yarn for a pair of adult socks for that price and more. Even if they are factory made, which they are, and the materials gotten for a less, being bought in bulk, when you consider that the retail price is about three or four times the cost of the materials, work, employees' pay, overhead and so on, they really are rather inexpensive. This is why I write patterns rather than sell finished items.

Speaking of which, I still have some editing to do on Saint George, but the pattern is set to be released for sale at the end of this week. I hope you love it, favorite it, queue it, and buy it! Also, I spoke in error (typed in error?) a week ago. Though I do plan to have a new bonnet pattern posted by Thanksgiving, it is not the free pattern, that designation goes to a headband I designed for a friend's gift. There are so many designs in my head that I'm itching to get out there, but there is only so much time in a day, so I'm trying to pace myself.

There was a mention of a figure in the section on King Asa in Christ in His Saints that reminded me very much of someone I know. It's funny, because as I read it aloud, a few of my boys gave me knowing looks and said that they knew someone who fit that description extremely well. Aside from my reading there, I've finished another brain candy, happy, little murder: Moon Spinners (Seaside Knitters, Book 3) and I'm reading Northanger Abbey: (Classics hardcover) (Hardcover Classics) with The Motherhood and Jane Austen Book Club. I am ashamed to admit that, though I've read excerpts, this is the first time I've read it completely through, but I'm finding it delightful. Also, I realized a few weeks ago, that the reason the name abbey and so on appear in so many English estate names is a result of King Henry VIII stealing the Catholic Church's properties and handing them out to his nobility to ensure their support.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On

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