But, before I get to that, I've made a decision about BMFA's Rockin Sock Club for next year.
Even though I really loved the fun of getting surprises every couple of months, the yarn was scrumptious, and I would someday like to attempt most of the patterns, I'm not going to re-up next year. Like I mentioned, for the same price, I can get more yarn, and choose the patterns that I really like and will definitely make.
(plus, there's the fact that lately I'm using sock yarn to make everything but socks, so the patterns right now are somewhat of a waste of money).
I'll miss the surprise factor with the yarn choices, for sure. This year, I really loved each kit, but for different reasons. The last two offerings were what I would consider within my normal color preferences, while the first three weren't necessarily what I'd pick out for myself. Strangely enough, the only one I think I'd have picked off the shelf at first sight is Goody Goody. I'm not a pastel-wearer, but I just love it. The shaded solid offerings were a way of pushing me out of my comfort zone - I love knitting with really wacky colors; solids don't keep my attention. Out of the three, I think the violet choice is my favourite - I love really intense dark-bright purple.
But, enough about the club. I've been given a certain yarn budget for my Christmas presents, and I was originally going to spend it on (a LOT of) Socks that Rock. Then, I thought maybe I'd spend part of it on a slightly more economical yarn to make myself the sweater I've been needing for ages.
Yesterday, I was bad, and made an impulsive decision. I'm not sure it was a smart one, considering I theoretically have the ability to borrow these things when I need them.
I ordered a swift and a ball winder.
I visited my LYS last weekend, on my never ending quest for the perfect buttons for the February Baby Sweater for Niece v1.0. I also bought yarn for my best friend, who's showing an interest in taking up knitting; her husband is taking a course this winter, and she needs a new hobby for the evenings when he has to study. She's getting two skeins of Cascade 220 and some bamboo straingts, but I couldn't in good conscience send her skeins to wind by hand when she's never dealt with yarn before. The LYS has a swift/winder and everyone there has always said we could use them at any point, so I took them up on it so I could send A. some nice, neat yarn cakes without spending an hour or so of my precious evening time on winding (it's tough with a baby around!).
I didn't fully appreciate that you can wind an entire skein of yarn in about 75 seconds. Holy crap, it was fun.
I've been thinking about getting a swift/winder for a while now, but I always figured that I'd rather spend my money on yarn. I realized that I have more yarn now than I can knit up in a year, considering how babies eat up your free time (and I wouldn't trade him for all the knitting time in the world). And, yes, I could always go to the yarn store, but now that I'm back working, the opportunities to get there are fewer, and I don't want to spend our family time on Saturdays trekking there and back. Having the equipment at home is a nice way to balance - the hours I'd normally spend on winding, with Hubby helping, we now both have free again. I think it might even be a nudge to knit more.
I didn't do too much research on the best place to buy from price-wise, since most places seemed to be approximately the same. I ordered from KnitPicks, and I'm hoping they'll arrive before we leave for Christmas vacation; I'll keep you posted on how good the free shipping option is.
(Is it sad how excited I am about this?)