I *like* to think I’m not a big spender.
I don’t enjoy shopping. Whether it’s for clothes, food, or even books, I’m just not that into it.
However, as I’ve moved further into the knitting world, one form of shopping has become more of a pleasure than a chore.
That is: yarn shopping!
What is it about Yarn?
Yarn is so full of possibilities.
An unwound hank of yarn, twisted into a skein, sparks the imagination. Whether it’s the color or the texture, with just a little creative thinking, it can become a luxurious cabled sweater, a drapey shawl, or a cozy hat.
The thing is, I’m not talking about just any kind of yarn.
The Kind of Yarn Matters
When I first learned to crochet, I would use whatever yarn was available and affordable. Mostly, that was 100% acrylic yarn.
Acrylic yarn has its uses and I don’t want to knock it. But when we were living in Montreal, I joined a Stitch n’ Bitch knitting group.
Through the Stitch n’ Bitch ladies, I succumbed to the love of fine yarns.
Merino, silk, alpaca, mohair, cashmere, donegal tweed, yak, camel…
Once you knit with these (or a combination of any of them!), you’re done. It’s really hard to go back once you get used to the feeling of these yarns in your hands.
How Temptation Arose
You guys know I knit a lot. I really like it. As I’ve written here before, it’s a big part of my mental health regime.
I usually buy yarn with a specific project in mind. It’s true that I don’t always end up knitting what I had planned with the yarn, but that’s beside the point.
It’s not like the yarn is going to go to waste! But it’s true that I have accumulated a healthy stash of nice yarns.
While we were on vacation, I finished my “dotted rays” shawl by Stephen West. Foolishly, I had not considered the possibility that I would actually finish it, and failed to plan for another travel project.
What to do??
At home, I have patterns. At home, I have yarns for those patterns.
Unwisely, I made my way to the internet, where luxurious yarns are readily available for purchase.
Any yarn I ordered online would not be available to me until I got home!
And yet, I ordered it.
Hence, my guilt.
Why I Feel Guilty
Partially, it’s the the fact that I already had plenty of yarn.
But it’s also an insidious phenomenon that many people (especially women) suffer from: namely, feeling guilty for spending money on something that is purely for pleasure.
It’s ironic: so much of what is marketed to us involves pleasure. Food that tastes good, amazing vacation destinations for travel, etc.
But when you think about it, most of what is marketed to women as “pleasure products” are self-care products like soaps, shampoos, spas, manicures, makeup…
All things to make ourselves look more appealing to others (read: men).
When women choose to spend money on anything that isn’t for our families, or to make us more attractive to the men in our lives, we are taught to be ashamed.
We can even feel guilty for purchasing books, for goodness sake!
Swallow the Guilt
Unless you are spending money you cannot afford to, I say: swallow the guilt.
We need to get over it. As long as our spending isn’t irresponsible, why should we feel any guilt on the score?
Okay, so admittedly I probably should not have made the purchase I did. I didn’t need the yarn, it wasn’t cheap, and I had other projects ready.
But I will not beat myself up for giving into temptation and indulging in an impulse purchase.
(Really! I won’t! Or at least I’ll try not to…)
What Are Your Impulse Purchases Like?
What do you spend money on and then feel slightly guilty about later? What are your indulgences?
I want to know I’m not alone!