First, let me tell you how it used to work: I see yarn, I buy yarn; I see patterns, I buy patterns. Very simple. Very expensive.

And then we got a house. And a mortgage. And joined finances...

Here's how it works now:

Every month (except when I don't have a job, which is now), we get a bit of "mad money" which we can use for anything we want. What do I want? Yarn! Patterns! And now, Fiber! Spinning Wheel! And dyes!

Ahem, getting sidetracked.

The mad money goes into our personal Budgets, from which we justify personal unnecessary expenses (though I think it's harsh to call yarn unnecessary). We also have a "gifts budget", sort of. That is, we buy gifts for certain occasions, like New Year's, birthdays, thank you's, that kind of thing. (Why yes, it's just like you!) Except, because I often knit gifts, and we would have bought gifts, and gifts I knit came from yarn out of my mad money -- breathe -- when I complete gifts, I get reimbursed and get to add back money to my Budget.

It's an interesting arrangement. I don't buy yarn for "ideas" anymore... err, not so much. I try to knit from stash. I end up knitting many more gifts than I would have. Don't get me wrong -- I don't make gifts for "financial/yarn gain" only, it's just another incentive. And apparently, it's a pretty good one when it comes to finishing gifts on time. Because there's always something else I want. And I can't have it unless I finish something, more specifically, a gift. Or when the new month rolls around. (I also make gifts "just because" that don't get reimbursed. And I do a lot of "just because" knitting to try a yarn or pattern.)

It also means I don't buy many books, and hardly any CDs or DVDs. And with holiday knits, I get a bit more to spend!

All this to explain what came in the mail this week, and how precious it is to me right now! I will be slim on the Budget for a while... but it's a good thing. It's tough with so many sales going on (must. resist. sale.) but I'll do my best.

Paradise Fibers superwash merino Paradise Fibers Space-dyed BFL yarn

From Rachel at Paradise Fibers: 8 oz of lovely handpainted superwash merino in Winter Solstice, and space-dyed blue faced leicester yarn in Herb Garden and Bordeaux from their bargains page. I also ordered the handpainted roving color card. My first superwash roving, most likely to become socks!

Blue Ridge Silk Works alpaca Blue Ridge Silk Works alpaca

From Christina at Blue Ridge Silk Works: handdyed alpaca in Pasha and Las Vegas (14 oz total). Hmm, colors look familiar? Reds and Blue/Greens, my weaknesses!

Both were friendly and quick to ship!