In case anyone hadn't noticed, the economy went to a small town in southeastern Michigan (Hell, population 266) and decided to stay for an extended visit. Things are tough for a lot of people right now: the financial system is tottering, jobs are getting scarce, and neighborhoods are becoming ghost towns in some communities as banks foreclose and people walk away from money pits they can no longer afford. At Christmas dinner last night, the topic of "hard times" came up once again, and my long-time friend, Betsy (she of the great attic emptying adventure) noted that it seems that every two generations, something really bad happens (war, recession/depression) because people forget. There may be some truth to that: my parents were born in the Depression (Dad in 1931, Mom in 1933), and I picked their brains, and later my grandmother's brain, about what life was like during the Depression. They got through it through hard work, frugality, and being creative; their "tricks and tips" can make getting through these Hard Times a little easier. While the Big Bad Wolf (an iconic figure during the Great Depression) isn't quite at the door, he keeps sniffing around, and I want to keep him away.
One way to make things a little easier for us to is reduce the discretionary spending. "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without," was a popular chant during the 1930s and early 1940s, and tracking all those pennies means more of them stay in my pocket. However, my hobby/passion/avocation for all things fiber is one of the few things that I really hate to give up. Fortunately (?) I'm currently sitting on a huge stash: at least 6 fleeces, boxes of other fiber, and boxes of millspun fibers of varied types. There's so much that I really don't have any room left for any more fiber. So what's a girl to do when things don't fit? Go on a diet.
For 2009, I'm going on a "low fiber" diet. This means that I don't get to buy any more millspun yarns until I make a good-sized dent in what is already stashed away. This means that I don't get to buy any more rovings, fleeces, or batts until at least some of what I have is combed, carded, and/or spun. This means I finish the projects I've started and dropped, or I frog them and use the yarn for something else. The fiber has got to go! This is stash-busting on a serious scale, so I have to get serious about it.
The list of projects is long and varied, including:
- an afghan for my mother
- two sweaters for Stephen
- two sweaters for myself
- an Irish hiking scarf
- 6 prs of socks
- a "Canadian Cloud" scarf
- hats, scarves and gloves for my niece and nephew
- gifts for friends