Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Pinch a nickel and knit!

My DD used to think I was NUTS-she had a fresh new baby girl, and I was sending mega-boxes of kid's clothing 3 and 4 sizes too big. Five minutes later, after the kid grew 2 sizes, and DD was scrambling to find something to put on the darling, my shopping genius (and I am a bargain goddess) made sense-the baby had all these wonderful clothes, and she didn't spend a cent!

But there's a steady rumbling in the back of my brain...it dawned on me this afternoon when I was obsessing about the size of my stash (are we like men in that respect…whose is bigger?LOL) when the truth reared its ugly head. Like during the Depression, and thru the war years, suddenly it is cheaper to make clothes than it is to buy them. SERIOUSLY cheaper. It’s not that the yarn is inexpensive, or that we expect to bill .45 per hour for our time (we sit on our butts and watch TV anyhow)... it’s the added cost that's outrageous.

Case in point-a little girl’s sweater; here’s
one from a popular store. It’s a middle of the road store, not a discounter, but not Saks either. It is NOT on sale. (I could theoretically by something from this store at full price.) This darling sweater is an acrylic cotton blend and costs 34.00. Plus, and this is the kicker, GAS. The nearest Gap is 30 miles away, one way. The national average for a gallon of gas is 2.99 a gallon, 4.04 is the top price (in Hawaii) and 2.28 in Greenville SC (is that a typo on MSN or do I need to move?) I would have to add my transportation cost in to the price of the sweater (plus lunch, or parking, depending on which mall I visted.) Yowza!

Better to knit it and quit obsessing about the size of my stash. Yarn, needles, USM/ISM/Bond and skill will save me a lot of money at Christmas. Pinch a nickel til the buffalo farts; suddenly, knitting is economical!


Anonymous said...

It sounds good, but I'm not sure I can use the excuse. I don't have any acrylic cotton blends in my stash :) Just 3 sweaters worth of Colinette!! (yes it was bought at MUCH less than US retail)

junior_goddess said...


is 118.00 and would be fabulous in Katrina at 2.69 a skein. I think you might need...oh, 7 skeins? I can't find a sweater in a Colinette style yarn yet, too early in the season.

Bri McStan said...

I totally agree with the cost analysis. Please add postage to the list, if you order off the internet. My favorite thing to do is go around all my stores or brands and look at what it's in to knock it off in color, pattern, or what have you. Children's clothes seem to be worse than adult stuff, especially quality knits. I have no shame in my baragain game.

And yes, that Greenville SC gas price is probably accurate. Clemson's nearby and that's where we're trying to go next.


Daryl said...

I like this idea. Particularly since I am trying to wean myself of the concept that I should drive all over the place to buy things that are "on sale" and forget the time and gas money it costs. It has taken me three years to break myself of the concept that taking time of work (for which I am paid by the hour) to save 1.40 on some craft item when it is on sale and the gas money is not really saving any money. Still can't break myself of trying to figure out how to justify a trip to Webs to buy yarn on sale rather than having it shipped...Daryl

Amy QOY said...

RE: Gas prices in Greenville,SC
It's a typo Bets, or either I'm not looking hard enough! (Sorry to disappoint Bri, but I don't think its that cheap in Tigertown either.)
But I would love for you to move here!