In the last Stash Less post I wrote about how I thought I had found the key - and it was true. Having the budget meant that there was opportunity cost in everything I purchased. Having the making list meant that I knew what I really wanted to make and could be more focused with less buzzzzzz about all the ideas floating around in my head and on the interweb. Having the list of triggers meant that I had something against which I could review all potential purchases. All of these things have made a big big difference to my thinking. But we still have a way to go…..
We are now nearly five months into the process and I've learnt a lot. One thing I've learnt is that the whole thing is hard. Another is that I really need to practice new habits.
But in the last week, for some as-yet-unknown reason I've had a little blip. I've practiced my little heart out over the last week. And well, I've also fallen off the wagon.
More about my fall in a minute. But first let's look at where we were at.
A review of the spending so far.
$5 - Knitting needle gauge
$10 - Knitting pattern Flet (gee it's pretty) (gee it's as-yet unused)
$39 - Cotton and needles
$24 - Cotton and pattern tracing stuff
$10 - Knitting pattern Keel (on the needles)
$52 - Kate Davies new book Yokes (with postage) (again as yet unused)
$67 - Liberty in one of my all time favourite patterns
$54 - Fabric for kids Christmas stockings and cotton
$1.50 - Zip for star cushion
$88 - Wool for the boy's birthday jumper (swatted and ready to go)
Grand total until the fall was $350
The great thing about having this list and reviewing it is that I can see that for the most part I am on the right track. The only thing that I really was off base with was probably the pattern Flet and Yokes. Everything else is either being used or will be used soonish.
This makes me happy!
A little pre-fall information
Before we go into what I did, I think it's really important to note that in the moment I've managed to justify all of it. I have been masterful in my reasoning and my rationale. It's been really interesting to look back on - now that the moment has passed - I'm really quite admiring of how I justified it.
In addition to the falling-of-wagonness you will hear about in a moment, I also spent a good thirty minutes with $90 worth, of (super pretty) wool in a shopping cart, uhmming and ahhhing about whether I should hit the go button. I shouldn't. And I didn't. But I wanted to. A combination of FOMA and wanting to own the pretty. Wanting the thrill of the purchase. An hour after walking away I felt really good. I don't need wool. At the rate I am ripping things out, I have enough yarn to last me at least two years of solid knitting.
So what happened. I spent $219 in the last week. And $127 of that was on totally unnecessary stuff that doesn't follow the rules.
Exhibit A. I spent $77 on new season Nani Iro. It will arrive by mail sometime soon. I did cleverly avoid an old habit of only buying a little bit to make the purchasing less "bad". I purchased enough for a dress. I do have quite a stack of dress fabric - which I showed you in this post. I forgot momentarily that...
And so it is.
Exhibit B. Another purchase that fell into the same category was the 1m of new Cotton and Steel Mustangs I purchased to make the top shown in the photo at the top of the post. I purchased it because I know my kid would love it - but she does have more clothes that she will ever wear out. I can't decide if I care about this one or not. It wasn't FOMA or any of the other reasons. It was joy for the kid.
Exhibit C. My third and final totally frivolous non-rule-following purchase was that I purchased 1m of another Cotton and Steel Grey Cross fabric. Again it was super pretty. But the reason for purchasing it meant that I came up with a new trigger - "Just in case" purchasing. Hmm. I justified it by saying that I didn't have the right fabric for part of the boys quilt and needed the grey "just in case". I didn't need the grey. At all.
The final two things were necessary for the making list. $82 for batting for boys quilt and some baby quilts and $8 on cotton. Totally fine.
So all in all - I spent 4.5 months worth of budget in a week. And 2.5 months of that spending was unnecessary and just because I wasn't paying enough attention and really being conscious about why I am doing Stash Less. I'm chalking it up to a learning experience.
Where does that leave us?
Spending to date since October 1st. About $570.
What is really annoying about it is that even as I am writing about it I'm still justifying it in my head - "Beautiful Nani Iro that you love is only released once a year (or so)". "Your little girl will totally LOVE the mustangs dress and how fun to be able to do that for her". "The crosses will come in handy". But you know what…..I know, and you know, that none of it was necessary. All of it was excessive. And while I don't want to waste time feeling bad about it, it was a good reminder that I can be very clever at tricking myself when I want to be.
I'm feeling just a little frustrated with the whole idea, with the budget, with the process and with myself. That said, I am also really happy I thought it up, really happy I'm doing it, and really happy I'm learning things. But frustrated none the less.
Some successes - small but important
Just so we don't totally finish on a bum note. I wanted to tell you about some successes I'm having. Over the weekend I cut into some Nani Iro I've been hoarding and made the beautiful Alice from Tessuti you see above. And I made a Grainline Hemlock with some cotton that wasn't expensive but that I was holding on to (hoarding) onto "just in case". Feeling totally chuffed with myself for making two things I will wear all the time, and two things that I needed. And two things that I would have previously have had a hard time actually cutting.
I'd love an update if any of you are working on your own stashes. What you've learned? And if you've had frustrations or setbacks I'd love to hear them too. Setbacks are where it is at today.
In solidarity and wagon-fallingoffedness.
PS. I have now made a Stash Less page that includes all the posts to date in this series.