out on loan

Neither a borrower nor a lender be;

For loan oft loses both itself and friend,

And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

Polonius, in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

and so said my father, often, ‘tho no scholar of Shakespeare he.

After he and Daphne finally paid off their modest mortgage he revised it to “there’s no better feeling than waking up in the morning knowing you don’t owe anything to anyone.”

That was the old way, to save up for something  you wanted or put it on lay-by until you’d paid it off.

As a teenager I used to buy my yarn ball by ball on layaway at the wool shop in town. You had three months to pick it up. It meant that I could afford to knit with lovely quality wool and I learned to finish my projects in a timely fashion! Thank you, Ballantynes of Christchurch.

In case anyone wants to take advantage of it, (some have already, even a customer in the USA) I instituted this policy on South Seas Knitting. You can pay as you knit.

Knitting needles are like books when it comes to borrowing and lending. Best not to. A few months ago I started making a list of needles I’d lent to friends, but the problem with a list is that I forget where I wrote it.
A set of long, thin metal circulars were missing last week, just when I needed them for a crucial stage in the finishing of my new cardigan. I’d lent them out and taken note . . . . . . somewhere. Thankfully, the borrower remembered.
They arrived back shortly thereafter, accompanied by these lovely yellow roses.

If you’d like to make a doily for your vase of flowers, there’s no better book than Mary Thomas’s Book of Knitting Patterns. She covers doilies of all shapes, plain and lace. You can make them in any yarn, on any size needle, and the possibilities for expressing your creativity are endless. Best of all, you can use bits and bobs from your stash.
My doily is made with hemp, on 4mm needles.

5 Responses to “out on loan”

  1. jody mellenthin Says:

    I love your blog. And I agree with your wonderful policy of not being a lender or a borrower! It’s death on friendships! I also had a glorious yarn shop in the beginning that allowed the knitters to buy one skein at a time – alas, they went out of business!!!! We didn’t have cashmere then. I’d love to have some of yours, but I’m afraid that the postage would be monumental!

  2. Leslie Says:

    I hope Rebecca doesn’t read this post, I have about 3 pairs of her circs at the moment…

  3. Wheezy Says:

    Sometimes people take advantage of our better nature. My local yarn shop also lays away yarn. My Mum did the same thing many years ago. I remember shopping with her at Muntus in Rotherham, although I remember most of the yarn was all on one wall and behind a counter. How times change. Isn’t it good to get up close and personal with your yarn?! It’s very rare that I lend books out and I can’t remember ever lending needles. I’d be sat on the front step, waiting for them coming back……. Loved this post, thank you. :-)

  4. LauraRose Says:

    I often lend things (though nothing very very precious) and then in about a week I completely forget that I ever leant it, then later I might remember I leant it but not to whom, so then I completely forget the whole event since there’s nothing I can do about it. Hence, it’s always a pleasant surprise– almost like getting a present– when some friend or other says, “Oh, here’s the ___ you loaned me.”

  5. Emma Says:

    Mel – as we have all told you before – you are a natural at this blog stuff. I say – first we take Manhattan and then we take the world!

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