parity parcels

for most of my adult life, the australian dollar has, in terms of international purchasing, been worth significantly less than its face value. i remember the whole ‘floating’ thing, and our colonial currency being worth about 30 pence and 65 US cents, on average. not anymore. since the whole GFC thing, the australian dollar has steadily improved, so that its now well past parity with the US dollar. i make no apologies for being happy about this, i know its not good news for everyone, but for too long we have been at the mercy of the protected american market, and our retailers have been able to profiteer with severely inflated prices. not any more.

i have no qualms about buying overseas, although i will support particular stores here where i can. i wont be supporting the australian publishing industry as much as i used to, thats for sure. since my visit to america where i paid no more than $15 for new release paperbacks that i would pay $32 for here, i have been in revolt. i know there are all sorts of reasons why they say they charge more here, some are valid, but i think ive paid my dues. i’ve spent many thousands of dollars locally stocking my book shelves over the years, but as my reading tastes have changed, so have my purchasing practices.

for example, here are my bookshelves. they’re sorted by ‘genre’ loosely, as in history and politics, contemporary fiction and classics.

the biggest bookshelf  (the one in the middle) is the contemporary fiction, and thats the one im adding to most now. i like to go back to the classics every so often, but to be honest, there’s usually too many long words, and im just not up to it anymore. also, ive kind of read them all. these days im looking for stuff thats a whole lot lighter. still well written, but im not such a snob about the content. trashy vampire novels are great, as are those wonderful swedish crime books:

and just last week i succumbed to the latest craze and ordered the ‘songs of fire and ice’ (game of thrones) series:

this is coming to tv, and i always like to read the books first. this box set cost me $19 on amazon, and i paid extra for expedited shipping. even so, the box arrived on my door step for $35. one single volume of this series would cost at least $22 in an actual book store here. im not good with maths, but i do know value when i see it!

i have also indulged in a little bit of yarny parity-parceling. with fellow local SnB partners in crime, a large order was placed to jimmy beans. we had to wait a bit for some things to come in from suppliers, but when they did, the box was here almost overnight.

oh so much yarn. i focused mostly on the madeline tosh, i wanted more of the sock because its just so lovely, and i opted for ‘thunderstorm’ and ‘byzantine’

the byzantine is a lot deeper coloured than it shows here, rusty red shot through with magenta. mmm. i also wanted enough merino light to make an austin hoodie, and my preferred colour was ‘ink’, but they didnt have any in stock, so i opted for ‘stovepipe’ and JBs was kind enough to let me know that one skein of the six was considerably lighter than the others and did i want to order more in. i figured if they were ordering more in, i might as well get my preferred colour, so asked for 6 ink instead, and im pretty sure that was the right decision!

it is an amazingly dark blue, like its been left soaking in a bucket of indigo. in the merino light, there are shots of brilliant blue through it.

amazzing. im having trouble not casting on with it now. but i have a self-imposed knitting deadline. i have to go to melbourne in two weeks for a few days, for work. i hear its kind of cold down there now! i really need a new black cardigan to take, so i thought i should just work on greenfield, but it became obvious yesterday that it still wouldnt be done in time. im just going to have to bite the bullet and buy one in the meantime. but i do think i can finish a new shawl, so i have transferred all attention to the stripe study shawl. i even bought it to work today and am going to have a proper lunch hour not at my desk!

its amazing how quickly things grow when you work on them more!

i am looking forward to having something striking and modern looking to wear to my important meetings, and im looking forward to having a whole lot more madeline tosh draped around my person this year.

i guess i should stop buying stuff and just knit it, right?

k xx

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About DrK

researcher, knitter, dog lover View all posts by DrK

15 responses to “parity parcels

  • RoseRed

    I LOVE the stripe study shawl, looks fantastic, as does that ink madtosh. Yum! How good is parity, hey? I am thinking about a second webs order myself, heh heh!

  • Bells

    god the stripe study is looking amazing. Yes, work til your fingers bleed to finish it!

    i’ve been doing some parity shopping too – mainly patterns on etsy for sewing. It seems like a great opportunity to lap them up!

    I always enjoy gazing at your bookshelves. I think you’ve given a lot to the Aus book industry, for sure!

  • justthreadtwiddling

    The global economy is quite confusing sometimes. I’m just glad that things work out for everybody at some point. i confess until recently I hadn’t thought about prices anywhere than in my own neighborhood. Even here the price is different from area to area.

  • gidgetknits

    Important meetings in Melbourne, for example? And I agree about the dollar. I do have sympathy, but when I saw the prices in the grocery stores in the States… I mean, seriously? As for books, when you consider that some authors, who publish prolifically overseas, can’t get Australian publishers… It’s an international world now!

  • missfee

    wow love the shawl – great colours

    That parcel!!!!!!!! wool wool wool wool
    parity rocks

    and the Mankell books are the best

  • Ailsa

    Just had a bookclub idea, but it’s all about me.

    Stripe study looks amazing, I wish I was your work lackey. All those weekends away..

  • Jan

    I haven’t bought yarn from OS for quite a while, but don’t mention Rav. patterns or books. Win some, lose some and it’s good to be winning for a change. That shawl looks fantastic.

  • donna lee

    I am so fortunate. Most of the yarn I buy is from here (the US) so conversion of currency isn’t a real problem. Things are going up in price due to the rise in oil prices which as we all know (or are told ad infinitum) will raise shipping costs which are passed on to us. I love amazon.com. I mourn the closing of bookstores but I have to blame myself as well.

  • Sarah

    Both knitting and buying are good activities in my book 🙂

  • Emma

    That yarn haul! Ink is a stunning colourway… you’re making me think about doing some parity plus shopping myself.

    Your stripe study shawl is looking so so good.

  • 1funkyknitwit

    The SS shawl is coming along beautifully and all that yarn – gorgeous colours !

  • LynS

    I’m so torn about the whole parity question – especially when I see the impact on university finances. From time to time it is an excuse to buy yarn, but my book buying is always so much a matter of instantaneous need and gratification that I’m still (foolishly) buying locally – though the convenience of the Bookshop of Doom significantly saves on costs.

    Love the shawl and envy you the madtosh ‘Ink’.

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