For the past few days, I’ve been wondering if I need to alter the system that I implemented to help me save up for a spinning wheel. A couple of issues have arisen, and I want to address them.

  1. I had a destash fall through, and this really upset me. Why? Because I got really excited at the prospect of earning an extra point that day and then it didn’t happen.
  2. I realized that it’s beneficial for me to make a bunch of purchases on the same day to minimize the number of days on which I don’t earn a point (for not having bought anything).

Clearly my points system isn’t working quite how I want it to. First of all, I am becoming more focused on earning points than I am on getting a wheel. Points are just a mechanism to help me save up money, but I seem to be losing sight of that. Getting $20 from destashing a skein of yarn is nice, but it’s not really making a huge difference. Also, one of my objectives in creating this points system was to allow occasional acquisitions. I want to space out my purchases because I know I’ll appreciate them the most that way.

Paradise Valley, Verdant Gryphon Bugga. It was going into the vault!
Paradise Valley, Verdant Gryphon Bugga. It was going into the vault! I had to snag it because there was only one skein left.

Stepping back even further, the reason I am saving up to buy a spinning wheel is because I think that having a wheel will make me really happy. However, I know that a spinning wheel isn’t the only purchase that could bring me joy. How much potential happiness do I want to bypass between now and June (or July) in order to get that wheel a few days sooner?

Specifically, I am talking about purchases that will make me a more educated and experienced spinner. I bought back issues of Ply Magazine this morning, and if I like them, I’m going to want a subscription. I’m also dreaming about new spindles. I adore my Greensleeves Bare Bonesie and am considering one of their more decorative spindles. I’ve also been eyeing some gorgeous support spindles, as I would love to try something really different. Then there are Bosworths, which have a fanatical following. In terms of possessions, nothing makes me happier than items that are both beautiful and functional. If I were to get a spindle made from cherry, or bloodwood, or another stunning material, I know I’d treasure it, and I’d be delighted every time I saw it, let alone used it. It’s not a purchase I would regret.

It’s time for me to remember the key reasons why I created my points system the way I did: 1) I have a ton of yarn 2) I don’t want to add much to my stash because I’m happy with what I have and yarn expenditures add up 3) I don’t want to stop buying yarn and and instead start buying everything that isn’t yarn. On the whole, it’s been working. I’ve bought only two skeins of yarn since going cold sheep, the Paradise Valley pictured above, which was a complete impulse buy, and the Sewer Gators that I debated so thoroughly . I’m very happy with them and have no desire to add to their ranks anytime soon. I’ve also bought 2 Craftsy classes on spinning and 3 issues of Ply. There might be something else too, but nothing major. Even though I can buy fiber with no penalty whatsoever, I bought the one braid that I’m currently spinning up and that’s it.

Sewer Gators, Verdant Gryphon Traveller DK. Amazing. This is the opposite side of the skein from the header image.

It was never my intention to prioritize acquiring a wheel over all other aspects of my development as a spinner. I want to keep my mind open and keep learning and growing as a spinner. Maybe I’ll fall head over heels with support spindling and decide I can take my time saving up for the wheel. I think that I’m better off buying a new spindle, or some spinning books, and waiting an extra 5 days to get my wheel, than denying myself that experience due to a desire to accumulate points as quickly as possible. With this in mind, I’m making the following revision to my point system:

  1. Each day that I don’t buy any yarn/hobby items, I earn 1 point-Unchanged
  2. I earn 1 point for every skein that I destash-Unchanged
  3. Each time I buy a skein of yarn, I lose 1.5 points-Unchanged
  4. Each time I buy a non-yarn hobby item, such as notions, I lose 0 points.

That’s right. I’m no longer penalized for purchases that aren’t yarn. However, I still don’t earn a point on those days, so that should help ensure that I’m making mindful purchases. I considered adding in a clause that penalized me for buying multiple items in one day to incentivize spacing out purchases. However, shipping costs add up, so that policy would fall apart if I’m buying multiple items from the same vendor. As long as I keep the big picture in mind and don’t get overly concerned with points, I should be okay.

20150324_175746And guess what? While I was writing this post, someone purchased two skeins that I was destashing 🙂


One thought on “Missing the Point

  1. Be careful, spindle buying can become a bit of a habit, especially if you hang around the destash boards of the Spindle Candy thread. 😉 I speak from experience. I forget how the points translate to actually saving money for the wheel but I think that focusing on setting aside a certain amount every week/month/whatever might be easier to deal with than the points, it would make you face “ok, if I buy this yarn, I cannot put this aside for the wheel” more directly.


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