Sunday, September 12, 2010

Getting ready

In anticipation of my trip to Europe and Israel, I've been on something of a spending spree.

  • Plane ticket: DC-Paris-Tel Aviv-Paris-DC ($1,400).
  • Train ticket from France to England (going there after Israel) ($150).
  • New camera (+ memory chip) because the old one lost most of its functions ($325).
  • Black short sleeve wool shirt, for layering, because I'm questing for the lightest weight travel possible (especially hard because I have to carry wedding-appropriate clothing) ($40—but actually $200, because I ended up getting a new shoulder bag, pair of pants and cork grips for my bike at the same online store).
  • Bicycle repair (new tires, tubes, brake pads) ($150—not trip related, just bad timing).
  • New travel bag/suitcase—haven't bought it yet and it seems like an extravagance but I hate my current bag, it's not terribly functional and, really, I'll do whatever I can to justify this purchase, even though it's taking me weeks to pull the trigger ($250).

I've been on a non-spending spree for several months, so this is a bit of a shock, but I have plenty of money saved, so I will be fine. But I also wonder what has gotten into me? Is it a reaction to spending less recently?? Is it eagerness to travel again? Have I lost my mind? Or is it all perfectly reasonable?

I've also started clearing out some of the junk in my closets. Not clothing this time, though that will happen soon, but my mish-mash collection of cords, earphones (4 or 5 pairs!) and small bags (not handbags—but little coin purses, etc.). It was odd—I had a pile of little bags in two places, existing happily apart. I decided to combine them. I decided to throw away the old make-up bags and such that I don't like and never use. Then I went through the cords, the old iPod speaker set-up that doesn't work with the iPhone, the old cell phones, the international adapters, the toiletries. I don't know what motivated all this. I have plenty of space, I don't need more space, I could find things, but it's very, very satisfying to know that soon, I will never have to look at any of this stuff again. And that I can find the rest of it easily since like things will all be together.

Next, I'll go through the clothing. I've been making a pile for a few months of things I never wear. I want a lot less clothing. I want to like everything in my closet and I want to have fewer choices. This will leave me with one less thing to worry about deciding. Plus, since I'm busy knitting myself new sweaters and such, I will need more room.

I recently discovered an off-road bike path near my house, and it got me back on my bike for the first time in months. That got me to take the bike in for much needed maintenance. Some of it I would and will do myself, like installing the new tires, but other bits (brakes), I'd rather someone else do. I can do it, but not well. The weather is perfect for riding and I want to get in as many miles as I can before it starts to be really cold and dark.

The knitting also goes well. I know I had that incredibly ambitious list of things to make, but I'm progressing quite nicely. I'm focused on the three things I'm making for my New Jersey family so they'll be ready by the time we're all in Israel. Maybe that's not a good idea? Maybe I should wait…but, oh well, that's the track I'm on and it seems to make sense. Here are some progress photos, taken with the new camera:

My nephew's half-finger mitts:


One is done, though the ends are hidden inside and still need weaving in. Both will also get "flip tops." Probably of a solid color—enough with the striping! But should both tops be all-green? Or should one be green and the other purple? I may have to ask my nephew.

My niece's pink and orange scarf:


Pic was actually taken with the old camera. Can you tell? I'm really pleased with how this is turning out. If she doesn't like, it I will be happy to claim it for myself. I'm sure she'll like it.

Last, the cuffs on my sister-in-laws mitts:


I'm planning for these to go to the mid-forearm, so I have a couple more inches before I start on the hand. I decided she's getting fingerless mitts, not the half-finger style. Half fingers are a pain and she said she planned to wear them inside—she gets cold while working—so a shorter, non-finger style will be more practical. She doesn't know this either, but the finishing is a lot rougher for fingers, so the non-finger style will probably look nicer too. We'll see. I am really like this yarn, which is sock yarn, and will probably buy some more of the same brand eventually. Either to makes socks with or another pair of mitts—for me this time!

Grateful for: organizational prowess.


  1. A good purge of things always makes me feel like I've accomplished something. Nice work on the knitting. I especially like all the bright colors. The kids at the shelter would love any little purses you are discarding I'm sure.

  2. be safe and by the way, congrats on the knitting. The color is sweet:0


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