Tuesday, 28 September 2010


DH and I are making a big financial commitment in the next couple of weeks, so we will be doing our best to focus on thrift and the need to avoid spending wherever we can in the coming months. Our mantra is 'Y.O.T' which stands for 'year of thrift' - and which if uttered at the right moment, can help us to make the right decisions about what to do that day; what to cook; and what to eat. Decisions which - when added up - help to turn the saved pennies into saved pounds.

I often use YOT to help me resist yarn. I dont *need* to buy anything where there is soooo much in my stash.

There is something addictive about saving money; it's a bit like going on a diet and seeing the inches/pounds drop off. The success of it is satisfying. To this end, I thought I would write down some of my/our thrifty living tips (not only for your benefit, but for me too - in case I forget!)
  • The Thrifty Cookbook by Kate Colquhoun is full of recipes and ideas for making the most of ordinary ingredients and using up leftovers. The banana cake recipe is particularly good...
  • Use the library! (good for cookbooks; childrens books and travel/guide books)
  • Shampoo - I've discovered recently that I can wash my hair very well with about one quarter of the amount I used to use. Not so much less is more, but less is enough. Not only does it mean we need to buy shampoo less often, but the waste water will be less nasty...
  • Washing - with two small (and quite messy) children in the house, our washing basket is never, ever empty. If clothes are fairly presentable, then they go back on the child (or adult!) the next day rather than in the washing basket. Its really easy to whip things off and 'give them a quick wash' but if you think about it changing children's outfits after two days rather than every day will cut the weekly washing pile in half!
  • The Green Kitchen (Richard Ehrlich) is another worthwhile read if you are trying to reduce your costs. Top tips from this book include: always cook with a lid on your pan; turn off your oven 5-10 mins before you have finished cooking - the residual heat will finish things off for you; when cooking pasta - add the pasta to the hot water and bring to the boil. Then put on a lid and turn off the heat. The hot water will cook the pasta perfectly.

What's your favourite thrifty tip?

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Back to the airwaves...

I'm trying to get back to blogging a lot more. I like it. I like reading blogs, and I like writing too.

I've got an FO to blog, but the camera cable is missing (I suspect it's in DH's work bag) so I can't post any pictures for the moment.

Anyway, what I really wanted to say is this. I'm very sad about the UK Knit Camp situation - I would have like to have gone. As we are in Edinburgh, a short trip to Stirling for a day or two was definitely on my agenda, but our summer holidays got in the way, and I decided in the end that it was not possible to combine the two. However, given all the fallout about the event (and I won't comment on that seeing as I wasnae there), I'm really sad because it effectively puts the kibosh on this becoming a regular UK event. That's a great shame in my view.

FO: Husband socks

The husband socks are finished, finally. They have taken an absolute age. I cast them on in June, and finished them in September. Admittedly one or two other things got in the way (e.g. Sam's birthday socks), and there was the small matter of sock one being rather too small, so sock two was made to the correct dimensions and sock one duly ripped and reknitted to match. And then, there was just life to get in the way. I have to say that with two small children and one almost full-time job, my time for anything other than housework seems to be exceedingly small.... so I take my hat (and socks) off to those women who manage to do it and blog about it too!

Here they are (for what it's worth)

Pattern: Thuja (Knitty)
Yarn: Regia
Mods: only to change no of stitches required
Time taken: June - September 2010

To celebrate the conclusion of the husband socks, I cast on yesterday lunch time for a pair of twisted socks (Knitty) using some Plymouth Co. Happy Feet yarn that I was given a couple of years ago. I'm not wild about the colourway, but it's only a pair of socks...

And, after hearing that an old friend had an elective c-section booked in for the 16 September, I went back to the Freddy (Kim Hargreaves Rowan Junior) that was on the needles and started turning the crank. Last night front and back were both completed, and today I'll get going on the teeny tiny sleeves. It'll be ready in a few days, by which time I hope we'll have had confirmation of the new arrival...