There is a special holiday for everything these days: donuts, ketchup, even—I kid you not—punctuation. Today is National Splurge Day, which means, on the surface, that you should go out and treat yourself.
This started me thinking. What is a splurge, really? Is it spending blindly on stuff you don’t really need? Or could a splurge also be a thoughtful action? Ask any knitter what they splurge on, and you get a range of answers, from The Most Expensive Yarn in the World to basic stitch markers in colors that make you happy. And that seems to be the point. A splurge doesn’t have to be expensive, though it often is; a splurge is the act of buying something that is unnecessary but delightful.
Let’s start with need. Knitters need a whole lotta stuff just to knit. Needles, yarns, and notions, along with bags and bins to keep all our stuff in one place. These basic items can become a quirky canvas of self-expression or signify a deep proficiency in our craft. Needles are like a chef’s knives: if someone shows up wielding a set of Signature knitting needles, you know they are a Very Serious Knitter (or they just have a ton of cash to blow). Rosewood knitting needles can seem like an extravagance, but if you do a lot of knitting and these feel good in your hands, then they are less a splurge and more a practical—and beautiful—investment.
The Lighter Side
Most knitters I know have a playful side, and it really shows in their choice of bags and notions. Look at people’s project bags at your next knit night and you’ll understand what I mean. And just because something is useful doesn’t mean you need it. I certainly didn’t need a needle gauge shaped like an otter, but seeing it at my desk every day still makes me smile.
The truly thoughtful splurge is the one you make for others, and sometimes it has nothing to do with knitting. I don’t know why a yarn store would sell dishcloths, but I’ve seen this Swedish cellulose version at my LYS and have bought several for friends (that don’t even knit!). Likewise, a non-knitting friend of mine gave me this lovely llama dishtowel because (she said) it reminded her of me. I just hope it wasn’t because of the abundant chin hair.
My favorite example of a splurge falls into this “Just Because” category. A friend and I once looked at the above-mentioned Signature needles with longing. “My palms are sweaty just thinking about buying them,” she said. “Me too,” I replied. “I’d never spend that much on myself. Maybe as a gift.” Then we looked at one another. “Merry Christmas!” she said. “Happy Hanukkah!” I replied.
Here’s hoping you can treat yourself in some way, big or small. Allison