It Pays to Have a Clever Wife

During the years I’ve been posting to this blog, I’ve periodically mentioned my wife, Kathleen.  Always in a favorable way, I might add.

One thing I’ve referred to, but apparently never really talked that much about is Kathleen’s knitting and crocheting, although the May 15 post talks about a swap she made for something she’d crocheted.

I’m really proud of her skills, although she insists it’s just a matter of following the directions. And knowing how to count. Having to count on fancier projects occasionally makes her uninterruptible.

Although she did some crocheting in her youth, Kathleen got away from doing any for a number of years. Only since we’ve been married–we’ll celebrate our thirteenth anniversary in November–has she gotten back to crocheting and added knitting to her skills. Crocheting is by far her favorite, though; knitting gets to be a bit too tedious at times, not to mention harder on the hands and wrists.

Those are very good things to occupy herself with while sitting around in the evening while I write and the two of us periodically play Words with Friends. And  during those slow times at work that would drag on endlessly without something to keep her busy.

I’ve mentioned previously the wide variety of things she’s crocheted: everything from washcloths to bedspreads.

But what I want to focus on today is those special things she’s made for me. One of the first things was a phone pouch to wear on my belt. It looked great, but was hard to get the phone in and out of, and it eventually needed replacing with something sturdier–something made of leather.

The next two projects were vests made from multi-colored yarns:

othervest     bluevest

She also made me a burgundy sweater that proved so useful I eventually asked for a navy one:

burgandysweater     navysweater

And keeping up with those cold weather needs, she made a matching hat and muffler.


She made a pair of socks–yes, I selected the yarn, as I’ve done for all of the projects for me–with the understanding that if I didn’t like them she’d wear them. So she tentatively made them short. I’ve decided I really do like them, so she’ll lengthen them for me sometime between now and cold weather. These are definitely NOT summertime socks.


She just finished an afghan for me. I asked her to use rainbow colors, and she was happy to comply. However, because she has been using leftover yarn (a number of people have given her their leftovers, sometimes numerous skeins), she warned me that the colors wouldn’t be consistent throughout.


Although the stripes still keep alternating in the ROY G BIV (red-orange-yellow green blue-indigo-violet, if you never learned about ROY in school) pattern, each set of rainbow stripes may not be identical to the one before.

As if I mind! I’m colorblind. I still SEE the colors. I just might not be sure what they are except for the ROY G BIV consistency.

The things Kathleen makes for me are worth far more than the cost of the yarn. Love may not be measured in hours, but if it were, I would be wealthy beyond Donald Trump’s ability to count!

Thank you, Sweetie!

Does your spouse, significant other, or another family member have a special skill that benefits you personally? How about sharing in a comment?

NOTE: Various people have complained  about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.


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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,

A Most Excellent Swap

IMG_20160509_162719003   Ray's Afghan

IMG_20160320_093340395   IMG_20160320_093354064-2   IMG_20160320_093431136   IMG_20160320_093413973

My wife, Kathleen, has spent much of her spare time the past few years crocheting and knitting. Mostly crocheting, though. She’s made washcloths and place mats; hats, shawls, and ponchos (both adult and kid sizes); afghans and bed coverings (she chooses not to call them bed spreads). And no telling what else.

I couldn’t count the number of baby blankets she’s made as gifts for family and friends. She made a little girl’s dress for one of our church staff member’s daughters. She made an afghan as a wedding present for some very special friends and another as a housewarming gift. On and on the list goes.

She made two vests and a beautiful heavy wool sweater for me, and she’s making another one now. I’m not sure it’ll be finished before cold weather finally yields to warmer weather, but I’m looking forward to it.

Sometimes Kathleen makes something just for the fun of making it, and if someone sees a picture of it and wants to buy it, she sells it. She periodically accepts a request to work her magic for pay. Her products might sound expensive–the bigger products are worth anywhere from $200-400 and possibly more–but that’s at an hourly rate of only $4.00 plus the cost of materials. No wonder the kind of afghan I used to take for granted might average $175-200.

Ray Melton is a member of our church, and he is a woodworking wonder. I’m not at all sure what’s involved in the projects he creates, but I can tell you that a set of salt and pepper grinders–in this case they’re just a fraction of an inch under a foot in height–has the same value as Kathleen’s afghans.

Kathleen had been wanting a set of Ray’s salt and pepper grinders for ages, but that didn’t fit in the family budget. Not even the birthday or Christmas budget.

But it turned out that Ray had been admiring Kathleen’s work on Facebook. I don’t know which of them made the original suggestion, but Ray agreed to make a salt and pepper grinder set especially for Kathleen in exchange for an afghan she would make to his specifications. One request was to have “Ray’s” put on it in big enough letters that no one else in his family would dare to use it.

Isn’t that kind of bartering a great way for two people to get what they want with each person paying only for the materials used?

One Sunday morning recently when both projects were complete, Ray and Kathleen took the finished products to church and made the exchange in our Sunday school classroom. The top row of pictures are of the completed works. The second row are of the exchange being made.

Have you ever bartered with someone for something–maybe something you couldn’t afford otherwise? How about leaving a comment?


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I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,