Am having an episode of yarnlust – actually I think it’s just displaced shopping lust in general, because I can’t easily get to the stores while they’re open and when I do they don’t have just exactly what I want. Of course part of this is that I’m trained to want North American brands and products, but it’s also true that there are simply fewer things available here. I miss being able to see something, decide I want it, and easily find a place that carries it and will ship it to me for a reasonable cost. Here, I can get things from the US shipped if I’m willing to pay humongous customs fees for any package over some amount I haven’t nailed down yet (but it seems to be $50 or so – shipping costs count as well, so maybe a little higher total). There are a few things I can’t get at all, because I can’t find anyone who carries them who ships over here. Here’s what I want and it doesn’t seem too unreasonable to me:
— Silver and goldfilled wire, silver spacers and necklace clasps (I haven’t been able to find a bead store here that carries precious metal)
— A pair of mary-jane shoes, not dainty thing but ones that can fit over and show off hand-knitted socks (REI has a few pair and would ship; the problem is there’s a particular style I want enough to pay customs fees for, and since they don’t carry that style (they do have other styles in that brand) it doesn’t seem worthwhile to pay the fees for second-best. I broke down and bought a pair of mary-jane Crocs, which will work well with the socks but are probably too casual for work).
— Tops for work that aren’t too warm or too cool and that aren’t plain button-downs or jersey T-shirts, of which I have plenty. Oh – and that are washable and don’t need ironing. I have sweaters in this category for winter, but not much to provide variety in summer. (Of course they sell these here, though I’m not sure if they have much that doesn’t need ironing; I just haven’t found anything I like. Also, I might need to dress up a bit more in the Taiwan office, so it’s probably better to wait and see what conditions are like there.)
— Yarn. Some laceweight, so when I finish the current shawl I can start another when I’m ready, and enough for a few more pair of socks. (This I can get: Get Knitted has an excellent suggestion and since they’re in the UK (hence in the EU) there are no customs fees. I’m just not comfortable enough with lace knitting to choose a yarn without handling, and also all the colors they have that I like in laceweight yarns seem to be berry reds and dusty blues. Way too much stuff I knit it is in those colors and I need to branch out. As for the sock yarn, they have great stuff; it’s just a little hard to face up to the prices when I’m used to US prices.)
Also, even the stuff I can get (the yarn) I probably shouldn’t buy this month; I can’t use my US credit card until I receive the new one, and my Dutch card has a fairly low limit – still plenty high for normal purposes, but since we have a two-week trip coming up it’s probably smarter not to charge it up now.
Sigh. None of this is stuff I desperately need. Not even the yarn – I have at least enough for 3 more pair of socks, not counting the ones in progress. You know how some people are always trying to pare down and get away from material possessions? Apparently I’m not one of them. (Especially in the areas of clothing, shoes, books, yarn, and beads.) Also, maybe I’m trying to distract myself a bit: if I fill the house with stuff, maybe it will be less obvious when Rudder’s not here.
LATER NOTE: I solved the yarn craving, anyhow – I ordered one skein each of laceweight and sock sock from someone who’s trying to get a business established, donates a portion of profits to charity, and not incidentally does beautiful hand-dying. I may be a fluffy-headed materialist but at least this way I’m a useful one.