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Blog: Pam's Pennypinching With STYLE

Pam's recounting of how her ancestrally thrifty habits have helped her in modern life in ways none of her foremothers could have imagined!


Showing 4 posts from February 2014 for this blog.
Dirty Knitting
Friday, February 21, 2014

For the past few days I have been knitting up a storm & have almost finished a stole/shawl made out of my yarn stash.  That's one way I save on yarn costs by collecting yarn from sales & thrift shops in bits & pieces and them putting the yarns together to make scarves or shawls.  I have made it faster by using TWO strands of regular worsted weight yarn (& sometimes THREE with a specialty yarn such as a mohair) to create a tweedy effect.  I put it on size 11 needles - casting on 50 stitches. Then I change the combination of yarn every 3 to 4 rows (at the end of the row). 

As I said, this creates a tweedy effect - in rows. And I am adding just a bit of fun fur along the beginning and ending edges just for a bit of flare. (I didn't have enough fun fur to do more than that & I mixed the fun fur with a strand of worsted weight, and a strand of a light novelty yarn.) 

There is not fixed formula - you mix and match yarns as you will and according to what you have in your yarn stash.  I found out that I wound up following a loose pattern of alternating yarn colors - & as I get closer to the end, I am trying to reproduce the pattern at the beginning of the shawl with more accuracy.

And that's it! Quick & VERY easy technically with a satisfying artistic effect. (I use the knit stitch throughout  as I think it has more of a hand-knitted effect.)  It is also very forgiving of errors. I did a blue one before I started this one with a white/green/purple mix and I could go back and make knots where I found holes or dropped stitches somehow - & the effect is so "dirty" - so craftily messy - that it doesn't really show or matter. (That one was an experiment and was done on larger needles with 100 stitches across, which was almost too wide for the needles, but I jammed the yarn on there & continued.)  But then these are really all experiments of a sort - which is what makes them interesting.

The lesson is that even with knitting you can use your own creativity.  And of course, it makes all those balls of yarn go together in a  version of a rag rug - but with more chic. I love the shawls that come out of it.  And in California weather shawls are perfect for cool evenings.  I wear them by themselves, or draped over a jacket for when it's chillier.  So that's it - what I call  "dirty" knitting.  I am looking for an excuse to wear my NEXT new shawl - & there's still stuff in the stash for another one or more!

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Extreme Cheapskates & Me
Thursday, February 13, 2014

Checked out the TV program EXTREME CHEAPSKATES the other night. What antics! the woman who peed in a jar & put it on her compost heap & wanted her boy friend to do the same (he wouldn't) - Or the man who re-used dental floss (as well as paper towels....) It doesn'[t fit in with my philosophy.  I read Town & Country & muse at the jewels & the socialites.  My idea is to get more luxury & fun & fashion into my life on my extremely limited budget. That runs into contradiction like wearing old $.99 jeans & an old sweat shirt while at the computer at home - but having a nice cobalt vintage ultrasuede jacket to wear to a recent gathering (with an African brass necklace I bought at a farmer's swap meet for $10 - & a shawl I knitted just recently from my yarn stash. )

My confidence was boosted & from the contacts at the gathering I now am a book reviewer for the 3 TOMATOES website! (That means free BOOKS - a savings for a voracious reader!)

So I sort of understand re-using things - but one wants to do it with FLARE. And reusing dental floss or scamming samples from an ice cream vendor, thereby embarrassing his mate - just doesn't cut it.  I want to surprise my hubby with an invite to the stylish SKYBAR at the Mondrian Hotel in L.A. where I can work off some of my chic hunger (on the cheap - for the price of a drink & the parking!)

Fun. I want fun. Like the recent movie date to see THE MONUMENTS MEN (a great movie) on the gift card I won at a drawing - with a dinner of meatballs at the nice IKEA restaurant across the street. (Parking was free.) Or watching old obscure Joan Crawford movies which I recorded digitally in the middle on the night on our new digital video system installed free by Time Warner Cable (And after some work on the phone by hubby we got a free tablet from their offer, too - which I adore for my professional emails.)

Ok, my apartment in Little Armenia is rent-controlled - but we can afford a boat that way! (And the boat was used to begin with....) It's a great getaway.  A few weeks away due to crummy weather & activities has made me long for it.  There was a book years ago called CHEAP CHIC & that's what I shoot for.  And on some days like the day I wore the cobalt jacket - I do just that!

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Window shopping
Friday, February 07, 2014

It's fun to window shop on the net between tasks - I saw a Louis Vuitton wallet like mine on Tradsey.com for almost $200 - mine is slightly worn & I got it for a few dollars at a Pasadena Salvation army! Have to confess that that coated finish is killer.  Wears like iron.

Also like onekingslane.com - give you a sense of the pulse of the collectibles market - although not for any BARGAINS.  Again, I saw a pinch chrome ashtray like mine, which I bought cheap there for $100+! I  bought it because it remind3ed me of my childhood, when everyone smoked....

Can recommend thredup.com. as a thrifty place to get gently used clothes. I bought a pair of maryjane athletic shoes for $20 - when they are $100+ new & the quality was excellent.

Just saying....

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miscellany
Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Thought I would just muse on my frugalities recently....doing my "dirty" knitting which means I use multiple yarns, mostly worsted weight doubled to make tweedy effect & I switch out with coordinating color combinations.  To keep the yard on the needles when I put my knitting down , I use old plastic wine corks!  Working on one of my shawls - I have a whole collection of them - so good to wear in S. Calif. Maybe I can finish it for a meeting I have to go to this weekend....The dirty knitting is great for using up the odds & ends in a yarn stash - economical! 

Enjoying the new tablet we got thru Tame Warner cable for signing up with their bundled service.  It's so FAST.  Found an agenda type case with a zipper that hubby had picked up - he loves cases - & it just fits the tablet, with a pocket for the power cord - so voila! You can be thrifty even with computer accessories.....(for my phone, I picked up a stylus for 99 cents at the 99 CENT STORE! So frugal living goes on -

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pamphyila (Contact)
L.A., CA USA
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