flexing my frugal muscle


Christ is Risen!  Holy Week always brings with it a sense of anticipation, akin to the week before childbirth.  Restless nesting, desultory cleaning, and haphazard food preparation fill the spaces between beautiful and long services.  It's a paradox of outer energy and inner stillness. This year the long hours of prayer seemed much shorter for me--too short! Is this how one experiences Holy Week as one ages?  We are building and building, and then--just as we are accustomed to the rhythm of prayer and services--we abruptly have no more services to attend!  It leaves one a little mournful.  (But delighted to be celebrating Pascha, all the same.)

We spent a quiet Pascha as a family.  Father G requested a traditional Greek menu: roast lamb, lemon potatoes, tzatziki, Greek salad, and koulourakia for dessert.  Yesterday, when our dear, dear Greek neighbor brought over a delicious cake for G's name day, we compared Pascha menus. They were exactly the same!  So, yes.  We were totally traditional.

One of the bizarre nesting impulses I had last week was to pull out all of my blankets-in-progress and spend some time working on them.   Rather than give me some peace of mind that I'd already completed part of them, the time I spent knitting and crocheting just gave me more stress about not having finished them.  My MBTI type is INFJ, extra-strong on the I and J.  I prefer my tasks and projects finished.  It would be nice to enjoy these blankets, too!

The first blanket is a Sunshine Day Afghan, using up all of my DK and worsted scraps.  (Here's where that frugal muscle kicks in.) There are a few sport-weight remnants, too.  The dark and light gray around those darling little puff circles is Lett Lopi, so the blanket will be very warm.  I'm aiming for a throw-sized afghan that we can use in the living room.  

I think I knit my first sock yarn square when T was a baby?  So a decade ago?  I can't even find the exact pattern I used now, but it was a free Ravelry one.  (I cast on 32 sts and double decrease in the middle every other row.) This is the project gives me the most anxiety.  Each little square is 2" x 2".  This is also supposed to be throw-sized, so it will used between 500 and 600 squares.  What.  Who even sets a task like this for themselves?!  (Apparently, I do.)  It will be worth it in the end when we have a soft blanket to cuddle under, but it's still going to be a few years!  There are some rules: yarn must be fingering weight, and must read as a solid color at a distance.  No marled yarns, no crazy variegation, so that lonely little remnant pictured above will be used in a different project.  Most of the yarn is superwash, but there are a few squares of KnitPicks Palette.  The other rule is that the little bricks need to alternate between bright and muted when sewn up.  I'm hoping the muted colors tone down the bright ones.

The yarns that don't make the cut are added to my magic knot ball, and my hideous snail blanket.  It is really an eyesore!  But it uses up every last inch of yarn, for which I pat myself on the back.

While stitching together my crochet and knit squares last week, I was shocked at the amount of yarn in the tails I snipped off.  I am appalled at fiber waste, so I sewed some fabric scraps together, stuffed them with the yarn ends, and put drops of moth-repelling essential oils on them.  I'll stow the little sachets throughout my stash and clothing drawers to keep my wool smelling fresh!  How's that for frugality!?  


  1. CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY, HE IS RISEN!! Hi Pleximama.I JUST found your blog from reading comments on another beautiful blog I follow, "Roosje". I am blessed to 'online meet' you because of the beautiful handwork posts which are my own interests, the connection with having ? lived in Greece, which I long to do because of my own Greek Orthodox (church) family, and the perpetual blessing of meeting another Orthodox Christian. Can you tell me if you have pursued your mention somewhere of lace patterns and have you learned about Lefkara lace making in ?? Cyprus , I believe? I'm so excited to have come across your wonderful blog. Looking forward to reading it! Have a beautiful and blessed Bright Week! I am Antiochian and live in wonderful W.V. (My own priests wife, one of dearest friends, is from Cyprus..thus my love of all things Greeka!)

    1. Christ is Risen! So nice to "meet" you, Mary. Cyprus is dear to our hearts--my husband has spent extensive time there and two of our sons have Cypriot godmothers. Their homes are full of beautiful handmade textiles from Cyprus, but I have yet to try anything like them. Blessed Bright Week to you!

  2. Truly He is Risen! It's true. I'm missing being in church. We also had a lamb roast, with carrots and potatoes that we brought to my mom's house for dinner. My sister and her family also came and we had a lovely Pascha.

    1. Your dinner sounds delicious. What a blessing to be able to celebrate with family!


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