You might remember around this time last year, when I was lamenting my lack of a non-fugly jacket. Seriously, I've got only the one, and it's been with me since the mid-nineties. Added to that amount of fug, all the rigors and trauma of being worn for nigh on 15 years by someone who, shall we say, does not treat her clothings gently. In short, I have one jacket, and it makes me look like a hobo (this is not to offend actual homeless people, to whom said jacket will soon be donated).
So a few months back, I order the Madeline jacket pattern from White Lies Designs. It's good looking, but I had no bulky yarn with which to knit it, and the back, quite frankly, is ugly. So, I stashed it, and promptly forgot it existed.
Enter present day. One of my co-workers asked if I'd knit him a pair of knee-high tabi socks (the ones with the split between the big toe and the rest). I restrained my laughter, and quoted him an honest price. He then suggested a craft exchange, since he sews. What luck! For the price of two pairs of Opal grey sock yarn, I'll be getting a nice, wool coat! And since I am the Queen of Thrift (when I want to be), I found good wool for only $8 a yard, in a lovely charcoal grey. This brings our materials prices to a rough equilibrium at $30-40 per person, isn't that wonderful? Plus I've recently learned how to knit both socks at once on DPNs, so I can avoid the dreaded kneehigh version of second sock syndrome.
Of course, there are complications. For example, while ordering yarn for Lady Eleanor (which I still intent to make one day, when I can figure out how to make the back not look all ugly), I picked up a bunch of olive and rose yarn. Well, as it turns out, it's not maybe the best for Lady E, but will work perfectly as the madeline jacket! Of course, the back as written for the madeline jacket is still fugly, so Zimmerman to the rescue! EZ's Knitter's Almanac recently came into our library (yes, the book ordering has been going well), so I subbed out fugly-back for EZ's pretty lace Pi Shawl. So far I've used one ball of yarn and the shawl/jacket is 22" across. It's half the diameter it needs to be before I add in the sleeves, but I have no idea what that means percentage-wise.
So, I did pick up a little new yarn. I know, I know! Hartur's Challenge. But the yarn, it was for a craft exchange! My friend who does the skeletal jewelry is making me a set of snake-spine bracelets (really quite lovely, I'll have to post pictures) in exchange for a scarf, and she wanted a black scarf, and I didn't have any black yarn, so you see I had to buy some. What's that? The skein of spice-orange alpaca I bought with it?
Well, I didn't want it to be lonely on the ride home, that's all. Besides, I could use a hat myself.