A No Shopping Year? Could I Do It? Could You?

Ask any knitter and they’ll admit they have more yarn than they can use. The stash, as it’s called, comes in handy for last minute projects that require small amounts of yarn or can be made with combinations of yarn weights and colors.

In my stash, I have leftovers from sweaters and vests in case I need to make repairs or lengthen a sleeve or hem. I have yarn I’ve bought when a local store went out of business. And I have yarn I’ve bought from stores online. And therein lies my problem.

The Internet has made me addicted to yarn shopping. While knitting is a wonderful hobby, overbuying yarn isn’t. I’ve kidded around with friends that I need a support group, or a 12-step program. When there’s an ad for yarn on sale, or a free shipping offer, or a pattern or favorite yarn brand I can’t resist, they got me good. For example, I fell in love with a poncho pattern and bought yarn to make several, listing in my head all the people who I’d shower with gifts. The same for a child’s hat pattern. My problem is that I’ll make one, or even two, then get bored and move on to another project. Or buy something else.

In the scheme of life, these aren’t extravagant purchases and my yarn supply isn’t taking over the entire square footage of my house. I can justify that I purge now and then, either by donating yarn to charities or giving bundles to friends.

But what about everything else?

Ann Patchett’s article in today’s New York Times, “My Year of No Shopping, resonated. How much more do most of us need?

There are great excuses to shop. A little retail therapy. Gifts for grandchildren. Just to browse. Yet reasons to live with less are environmental. We shop; we discard. We fill landfills with fabrics and other materials that don’t biodegrade and contribute to global warming and pollution.

A no shopping year? Could I do it? I doubt it. But I can unsubscribe to emails from retailers to avoid succumbing to discounts. I can limit my Internet browsing to things I only need. I can promise to not buy more yarn.

What about you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
This entry was posted in commentary, Education, environment, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to A No Shopping Year? Could I Do It? Could You?

  1. I think you are lucky to have something you enjoy so much; I would never try to eliminate the joy of buying yarn. Have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mercyn620 says:

    I could do it, probably. But I find browsing and window shopping (in real stores) a fun and even relaxing activity and rarely buy stuff. Have too much – and downsized twice!

    Like

  3. So, I told Roy that I am going to do it. He laughed but I am serious. I want to rethink and give away things I don’t need or want. I let you know how it’s going.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I could easily give lots away. But think I’d end up replacing.

    Like

  5. I just found a bag of wool…I bet it has moths by now 😦

    Like

  6. M+N says:

    Loved the Ann Patchett piece! Too much stuff. Too many things. As we purge in preparation for moving, the amount of stuff we have makes me want to never shop again. One of my daughters knits and we have inherited part of her yarn stash. That ‘stuff’ makes me smile thinking of her knitting projects.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good luck with the move! When we moved to Summit 11 years ago, I thought I had gotten rid of things.. but you wouldn’t know it now. The house is packed and whatever was tossed has been replaced.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s