I suppose I should explain why I have so much luck with charity shops, agoraphobic as I am. While occasionally I might travel to other parts of Dundee in search of treasure, most of the time there is no need.
Firstly, there are two permanent charity shops within easy reach. Secondly, there is the revolving charity shop, which is a shop used by many different charities in rotation, usually two weeks at a time. Each new opening has all new stock, usually starting off cheaply because they are over-stocked, and usually finishing off even more cheaply because they don't want to have to take the stuff away and store until their next turn.
Thirdly, there is the Boys Brigade sale, which I call the jumble sale for nostalgia's sake. They take over a church hall about 3 minutes walk away for four weeks every May. They get fresh deliveries of good every day pretty much.
Most of the volunteers staffing these places put little value on wool, patterns & needles, especially as the wool is bulky and there is the perception that few people knit these days and would want these items. My appearance also gives me an advantage - I look younger than I am, and therefore it is often assumed I am a student and poor, so I get things a bit cheaper. Also, because the staff put little value on these things, they seem to believe that they are taking advantage of me somehow, whereas I'm sure I'm taking advantage of them.
I had a stressful appointment this morning. My way home is past the church hall and I needed comfort. I found some yarn (about 150g) they didn't have last week (yoink!), four Agatha Christie novels I don't have (yoink!), a Boris Starling novel which looked intriguing (yoink!) and a selection of knitting needles of which I selected 5.5mm 40cm circulars, 5mm 80 cm circulars, 6.5mm 40 cmm circulars and two pairs of 25cm needles in 6.5mm and 7mm. This haul cost £2, and I felt immensely comforted.
Last week I spent £3 at the jumble sale and got about 1kg of DK & 4ply (mostly Sirdar Country Style), two cross-stitch books with kits, a couple of novels, a pair of silver coloured heart earrings and a silver coloured heart charm. I could see that the ladies were worried that they were over-charging me. The silver hearts are going to be cannabalised into a crochet wallhanging I have in progress, the kits will be flower show entries, and some of the yarn is already most of another Flower Show entry.
A little voice keeps suggesting I should be feeling guilty about getting so much for so little, but I never haggle in these places. I ask a price, they tell me a price, I pay it. No guilt required, I have decided.
On the pins, I have a dog hoodie which will be a Flower Show entry. I have used Sirdar Country Style in black & red (from the jumble sale). The hoodie is mainly black with the belly done in red & black stripes. I'm going to Swiss darn a skull & crossbones on the back in red. I did toy with the idea of intarsia for the skull but it was going to be actual work calculating where to put it. Urgh! More labour saving to just knit the damn thing and Swiss darn the motif, which I actually enjoy doing.
Pictures very soon, honest.