30 November 2007

PayDay! and 'tis it the season?

Well, today marks that ever cherished holiday in the annals of Brouhaha - PAYDAY!

(I should note that PayDay occurs twice a month, luckily for me. The Ides Payday is my preferred holiday, as the End of Month PayDay is immediately followed by that most dreaded of dates in the Brouhaha calendar - Rent Day - that day when I'm forced to write out a four-figure (eek!!) cheque and give it to the dreaded LANDLORD).
This typically means, if you have followed this blog for any length of time, that tomorrow you will be expecting a big post with about 50 photos of the yarn I am about to acquire today. Well, I have news for you. There will be no yarn purchases today.

I imagine that you think I am deluding myself... and that in fact a little skein of Handmaiden will manage to leap into my hands as I pass Knitomatic this evening - or that I will be scooting over to Romni over the lunch hour. However, I have tremendous willpower. I even managed to quit smoking for three months once! And if I can do that, I can do... well, just about anything but quit smoking again, apparently.

But what is the real reason I'm not buying any yarn today? you ask.

Well - there are a couple of reasons.

First, I came across this in the stash, which I have been avoiding looking at:Rowan Calmer, purchased for making the diabolical Morrigan by Jenna Wilson in the No Sheep for You pattern book.

This is my progress to date on the Morrigan:

2 inches into the first sleeve, back in August. That's it. Then it went into the back of one of my stash shoeboxes, never to see the light of day again.

And, I've finally come to terms with the fact that I will likely never knit this pattern. It's not in the cards for the next few years, at any rate. I love the way the finished pattern looks, but frankly I do not enjoy the level of cable knitting involved, so there seems little point. If I were to try to do it, this would just be setting an unpleasurable and tedious challenge for myself. In my blog post in August about this, I wrote that I thought knitting it would be "fun, in the masochistic sense of the word, to knit." I have no idea what I meant by this at the time, as I don't really think masochism is fun. So, I'm packing it in. Life is too damned short.
(I am just type A enough that I could not actually convince myself of this logic until it dawned on me that Jenna Wilson, another lawyer - and a higher-falutin' one than my legal aid self, I should imagine! - did not even knit this pattern although she designed it. Someone please do correct me if I'm wrong about this! Anyway, if she didn't, then why do I feel obligated to? Hmm...)

So - while saluting Wannietta, who knit the original photographed for the pattern, and Laura, who is the only person I'm aware of to actually have completed it besides Wannietta, I will have to content myself with admiring their efforts. I note that on Ravelry there are only those two finished Morrigans and a few more in progress - most, like mine, hibernating.

So, all this to say that I've decided to use the Calmer to knit this instead:

The Jess Gansey, which is featured in Interweave Knits, Winter 2007 - pattern is available for free through Knitting Today!! Similar idea to Morrigan, but far less daunting.

Which means that effectively I already have new "luxury" yarn available to me... which, in turn, means that I don't have to buy any today.

(Does my logic make sense to anyone else but me? I really doubt it.)

Where was I again? Oh yes.

Second, I just bought Handmaiden and Fleece Artist earlier in the week.

Third, I'm leaving for vacation in 2 1/2 weeks' time and will not be doing much knitting while away.

Fourth, ... agh!!! I'm going to stop rationalising now - and I'm just not going to the yarn store today, damnit!

I must confess that I will be heading over to Chapters after lunch to hunt for some books - and I am not undertaking to refrain from buying a pattern book or two if I see anything interesting!!

On my way to work this morning, I thought I'd splurge on a little treat for the co-workers - it is one of my long-standing PayDay traditions to buy some food treat to share with others on the time-honoured principle that coming to work shouldn't be a drag all the time.

(What is this photo doing here? you ask? It was what came up in my first attempt to import John Cleese, above, from my desktop. I cannot for the life of me remember what I used this picture for - probably some joke on the coworkers. However, Panoramix was always my favourite, so I'll just leave it here)
Well, given that it's nearly December, it is increasingly difficult to avoid tripping over monster-sized over-priced snack displays nearly everywhere you turn! At Timothy's coffee shop this morning, for example, a huge table had materialised right next to the entrance containing all sorts of treats such as chocolate covered cranberries and espresso beans, fancy teamug sets, gadgets for making coffee - etc. Nothing for less than $15, mind you. I could barely get to the front to order a coffee! At least Tim Horton's doesn't subject one to this type of display (I guess they make enough money...).

I then stopped at the new local food mart, Fresh & Wild(ly Expensive) where I drop in to get bagels most days. The bagels are about the only affordable thing in this joint. I'm told they spent $40,000 on a sound system - for a mini grocery mart?! You can sit and watch four plasma TVs while waiting to order a coffee, that sort of thing.

I guess this is why you have to pay $15 for a tin of hot chocolate.

That's right - $15.00. But it's the Barefoot Contessa's Sinful Hot Chocolate Mix, mind you:
Here's the blurb:

Rich and smooth, chocolaty and so sinfully delicious. Nothing is better on a blustery cold day than a steaming cup of hot chocolate. This mix is incredible, made from only the finest chocolate. Just add milk!
Oh - does the $15 include a litre of milk too?

Let's have a look at the ingredients:

  • sugar
  • dutched cocoa powder
  • coffee powder
  • vanilla
  • salt
  • Hmm - no gold dust? Amazing. I reckon $15 could get me at least 5 kilos of sugar or cocoa powder, about 10 kilos of salt, 1 1/2 kilos of nescafe... and how much does vanilla cost, anyway? With this, I could have enough hot chocolate for me and all my friends for the rest of our natural lives.

    Or, for $15, I could make this one and probably still have money left over from the $15 for a mickey of Frangelico to slip into it...

    I'll pass on the cocoa powder. For that price, I wouldn't buy it unless the Barefoot Contessa threw in a catered dinner on top of it.

    Other delights at Fresh and Wild:
  • christmas fruitcake: 6" diameter (approx. 5 kilo weight from what I could tell!) = $20
  • paella mix (rice and a packet of spices - just add shrimp and chicken!) = $14.00
  • cookie mix in a mason jar: $14.00 for 24 cookies approx (for that, I think they should throw in a self-cleaning mixing bowl and baking tin, frankly).
  • What did I end up buying? Some oatmeal cookies. $5 for the package, but they're tasty, anyway, and I didn't have to bake them.

    Happy Friday! And, you'll be glad to know that today marks the wedding anniversary of Lucy and Desi.

    They eloped. How romantic is that? Too bad the marriage didn't last.