Living It Up, and Settling Up

I’ve had a truly enjoyable time since last writing!

I spent it on vacation, partially staying at home making things, reading, and relaxing, and partially visiting Chincoteague and Assateague islands in Virginia — wild ponies — !!


and staying in the most charming bed and breakfast inn.


and visiting a winery on the eastern shore.


I also had a birthday! I had people over and made a nice dinner and a cake,


and we are celebrating tomorrow at work.

I would be remiss if I didn’t settle my coupon book amongst all this abundance and pleasure, though!


I purchased 20 balls of yarn for a sweater in black. I also received 10 balls of the burgundy shade as a birthday gift (now that’s a lot of new yarn all at one time!). I originally was going to use the black to knit Scollay and participate in the Scollay knit-along, but — I’m not sure it’s the right yarn for the sweater and certainly not the right yarn to use in the British yarn-centric KAL. The yarn that is local to me, or in my local yarn store added up to around $200 USD for a sweater. While I’m all for buying better and buying local, this is just too expensive for me right now. I had to weigh my desire to build my skills and wardrobe with making my own sweater with what I could afford amongst my other expenses and desires, and came up with this solution. I think I can get two sweaters from this amount of yarn.

I’m going to start with knitting a Garter Yoke cardigan with a black yoke, cuffs, and bottom edge, the rest burgundy, and see how I feel about the rest of the black yarn for Scollay after I knit with it. I did make a hat with a little over a ball of the black,


and it’s very nice — smooth and great stitch definition — but it’s not true to the vision of the original design to use this yarn. I still need to suss out how willing I am to go against that.

So after I do the math (each ball = 1.76 oz. 2 oz = 1 coupon) this purchase costs me 18 coupons if I round up. Ouch! Especially when I could thrift a sweater for zero coupons or purchase a new sweater for 5 coupons! But like I said above, this is more about skill building and creating a hand-made wardrobe than using the least amount of coupons.


Over the holidays, I received a gift of Tocca hand creams. They are quite lovely and each one smells like a different kind of heaven. I kept putting off trying the Florence one, because I have a very definite opinion on how Florence smells from my travels there (incense and iris root and bergamot and paper and oil paint and sun) and didn’t really want to smell anyone else’s Florence.

A little while ago, I finally opened my little tube, and staggered. This is not Florence, Italy, but rather a woman named Florence. She may be English but might be American, too. Yes, I think she’s American. It’s after the war, verging on the 1950s or maybe in the early 50s. She’s gardenia and tuberose with something warm underneath. Things are changing, some good, some not, and things are going to change even more drastically in the coming years. Let’s put the good part in a beautiful bottle, and put a cap on it, and try to capture the essence of it. That’s this Florence, for me.

I loved it, and had to get a bottle of the perfume. (An aside, Tocca thinks she’s Parisian! I completely disagree 😉

1 coupon.

Perfume can be like tea used to be for me, so I am glad to have only 12 toiletry coupons to play with a year!


I ran out of my Black Dragon Pearls sometime this winter. How I missed them! I found myself repeatedly wishing for more, and the craving did not dissipate. Since I’m doing so well with tea coupons this year, I got some!

They are SO GOOD. Chocolately, malty, rich. I was able to resteep my leaves an additional three very flavorful times. Because I am not purchasing any tea that catches my eye, this, like a good Earl Grey, can be one of my staple teas to enjoy at work as I stay within my tea coupons.

Rounding up, 2 coupons used.


Clothing: 15 out of 66
Soap: 7 out of 12
Tea: 25 out of 30


  1. Okay, that paragraph about Florence may be my favorite blog paragraph so far this year! I just love the way you put into words your feeling about the scent. Wonderful!

  2. I agree with KerryCan… Your imagination’s response to the sense is phenomenal!

    Sorry to hear about the yarn/Scollay-along mismatch. Coupon wise, I made a decision on knitting and coupons at the start of my rationing project. Where I used yarn grown, spun and dyed in the UK to knit my own clothes, I apply the same number of coupons as would have applied if I had purchased the item on the basis that knitting my own invariably improves the ethical and environmental credentials of the item. It was a decision I made as part of aligning the details of wartime rationing to the spirit of my environmental project. Add to that, hand knitted cardigans are slow fashion 😉

    1. I’m going to have to make a tweak for next year, too, because my goal is to sew or knit as much of my wardrobe as I can! Must think about the best way to do that.

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