A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Living On Stash

I have not been participating in the Stashbusters KAL, nor have I been following the Got Yarn campaign Carole is graciously monitoring for the participants, as I have been too busy to keep up with Blogland, until last week, when, as many of you already know, I lost my full-time job and gratefully reduced to working only one, half-time job for a month or two.

All was good until this weekend, when my tax man called to say our returns were ready, to hold onto till the fateful day.... now, I had expected to owe some money this year, as all of the dear children were finally grown and gone, and I haven't come up with an acceptable business to allow me to claim the burros as tax deductions (although I AM working on it!). However, he determined that one of the four jobs I held in 2005 neglected to make deductions on my behalf to the State of California, and we also had done better than expected in our rental business... leading us to owe more than twice what I had anticipated! The equivalent of our March income to be exact.

Now, for some reason, I have been feeling pretty Zen about this, even though it means a readjustment of habits temporarily. I knew that my work life was going to change in one way or another at the start of 2006, and have stocked the cupboards and the yarn stash. I also have stacks of books waiting to be read. We will be living on stash in lots of ways besides my knitting for the months of March and April, and our biggest disappointment was coming to the conclusion that we would probably postpone the vacation to Sedona we had planned for mid-April, and wait till we could feel like we could spend freely while traveling.

We are considering a burro pack trip here in the low country of the Sierra foothills as an alternative... that is something we have been meaning to do anyway, but just couldn't get our schedules to match up properly. We will be watching the weather and hoping for the most temperate of spring weather just after Easter.

In the knitting department, I have been looking at my stash to determine what will get made, and whether I can turn what I have into something I want but can't buy. A good challenge, overall. I do have the yarn to make a lovely Elsebeth Lavold sleeveless top, and may start that in April, but now the weather just seems too cold. I am looking a bit at stranded designs to use with worsted weight wool, as I have a lot of leftover colors from felting projects, and enough yardage in two different neutral colors, cream and pale lavender-grey, to serve as a base for a cardi design. I also have my DH's vest to make up, and several small charity knitting projects, enough yarn set aside for two shawls, plus one in need of finishing. I have yarns in reserve for two alpaca scarves and one silk blend, but am kind of sick of scarves, and only the silk blend is likely to get turned into a spring wrap... it's snowing and raining now, but spring really is just around the corner, meaning what I would really like to be making is a nice lightweight cardi to wear into summer.

I am open to suggestions!

We have a lot of my cousin's good, grass-fed near-organic beef in the freezer, local veggies from the CSA in our area, and plenty of time to cook a bunch, as well as read all of those books. Pay a visit to Liz's Pocket Farm for more on eating locally, and stay warm and dry.


Anonymous susan said...

Have you seen Wendy's pattern for a cute little cardi (the Not So Shrunken Cardigan)?


I bought it a couple of weeks ago, but haven't had a chance to cast on yet. Your Silky Wool would be perfect.

5:09 AM  
Anonymous margene said...

Life just has a way of changing our plans. Figuring out how to make it work for us and keep our sanity can be a challenge and it sounds like you have met it head on. I have enjoyed knitting from my stash the last couple of months. It's amazing what is there waiting to be rediscovered.

8:05 AM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

How about a project that uses up 100-yard bits of yarn? 25 different yarns? I can see you in Ruana from Folk Shawls! (I can see me in it, too, but I don't have the quality stash for it yet - lolol!)
Might come in handy trekking with the burros, 'specially if the nights are a bit chill...pot of chili by the campfire (and cornbread, too!)
That tax man gets us all at some point! And usually when we least expect it...

8:15 AM  
Blogger Lynette said...

I've been eyeing my stash too and ridiculously enough, I don't want to knit anything out of it because the yarns are "too good" for any random project, LOL. What if you knit quick felted items like acessory bags or mini-purses?

Sometimes life throws you a fast ball, sometimes a curve ball, and other times a wicked breaking ball. I think the latter is what happened in your case with the tax man. Hang in there, I think you already have an excellent plan for handling the situation.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Janis said...

About getting a write-off on the burros... here's a hint from the folks who sold us our farmette, which is close to the historic C&O Canal. These folks raised llamas and they used to use the llamas to conduct "tours" along the canal. The llamas were outfitted with packs that contained a picnic lunch for the tourists. Sounds like it would have been fun - not to mention good for turning a few heads! Actually, mules would have been more historically correct as they were used to pull the canal barges.

In your area, well-trained burros would be good for a "gold-rush" pack trip!

3:26 PM  

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