I have a problem.

I’ve mentioned previously that I have been buying a lot of patterns lately. It’s weird, because I used to be all about the freebies, but now, half my Ravelry library is stuff I’ve bought within the past few months. There are a couple of physical books that I found at Tuesday Morning (I consider my copy of Sock Innovation to be one of my best TM finds), but mostly, it’s digital: Kindle books and Rav downloads.

I think the problem is twofold: boredom, and money. There are times when I can’t knit, but I can browse Ravelry. And one of the greatest things about Rav is how interconnected everything is. You can see an interesting project in someone’s avatar, click through to their profile, and see (and queue) some of the awesome stuff they’ve made. I have made good use of the “wish list” function of the queue, but sometimes I see something and think “I must have that now.” Even though I have hundreds of other things to knit.

Thing is, I have a “knitting allowance.” Every payday, I have $15 transferred into a checking account that’s only for my crafting, and I use it for yarn, needles, notions, patterns, etc. (Originally the intent was to save up for a pair of Darn Pretties, but it’s looking like that’s gonna have to come out of my tax refund.) But I don’t keep track of what’s in it, I just buy until I get a Paypal error message.

Seems like every purchase I’ve made lately, I’ve made thinking “this won’t go through,” and then it has. I realize this is not an altogether horrible position to be in (although we’re not talking about a ton of money here – it can’t be more than $30 a month), but it’s led me to some altogether unnecessary purchases.

Like, I now have a digital copy of Lace One-Skein Wonders. It’s nice, I suppose, although not really something I need. I don’t have a lot of laceweight yarn, and I already have plenty of free patterns on my flash drive to use up that which I do have. But it was $2.50, so why not? (Actually, there’s a perfectly cromulent reason why not: Kindle books are kind of a pain to knit from. It’s doable, but it’s not as easy as opening up a PDF.) In addition, I have three other e-books that I didn’t buy because I really wanted one of the patterns, but because they were there, and they were cheap.

I also have four magazines from the Interweave sale. When you amortize the cost over the number of items in them that I already liked and wanted to knit, it works out to be pretty cheap on a per-pattern basis. But still, I spent $7 on patterns when I had somewhere around 1500 free patterns to knit.

And then there’s the at least half a dozen Ravelry downloads, that I bought for no reason other than “OMG that’s so neat!” (Linesx3 by Jeannie Cartmel, or Lena Fedotova’s Bargello Blanket) or “I’ve wanted that forever and now it’s on sale!” (Hunter Hammersen’s Xanthophyll or How Come That Blood by Adam Kaczynski) to “I would like to show appreciation and support to this person” (Tuxedo by Cassandra Dominick, or The Architect of Rivendell by Varina Jones, which is both toe-up and has patterned toes, two of my favorite attributes in sock patterns). Thus far, I have managed to avoid the temptation to buy Arietta, but I suspect it’s only a matter of time.

What’s really irritating, though, is that I now own a copy of the Beekeeper Quilt, which I never really had any interest in in the first place.

It’s a neat pattern, don’t get me wrong. I just never really saw myself needing or wanting to make one. I do have plenty of sock yarn scraps, but the idea of piecing together that many little motifs just makes me cold. The idea of making that many tiny little yarn pillows just gives me a headache. And I only bought it because I saw someone else’s, thought “wow, that’s amazing!” and clicked the Buy It Now button, not really expecting it to clear.

But now that I’ve paid for it, I almost feel like I have to use it. I probably will make some puffs, and eventually I’ll sew them together (although probably more securely than the method used in the pattern, to avoid gaps), and at the end, I’ll probably put it on my couch or my bed, stand back, and ask myself “so what, exactly, was I thinking?”

First things first, though: I’m unlinking that debit card from my Paypal. Instant gratification can take a backseat for a while. It’s just too damned easy, and just because it’s digital doesn’t mean it’s not hoarding.

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