Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Recent Acquisitions

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.


dreamcatcher said...

What a fantastic haul :-) It's amazing what people give away - you'd have to prise my yarn from me with a crowbar :-D Then again I just did a bit of a Spring clothes sort-out and have another bag full to go to the next charity sack that arrives. I'm sure the shops/jumble sales and what-have-you charge what they see as a fair price, after all it has all been donated to them so is all profit - and you get some great stuff at bargain prices, so everyone wins :-D

nanatoo said...

Yet again I'm amazed at charity shop finds. I always say Michelle is beating me to it but I reckon people round here just don't donate very much :(

I wouldn't worry about what you give. There are people who are loaded who don't give anything to any charity and they're the ones who should feel guilty. At least you're doing your bit. "From each according to their means to each according to their need" or something similar?

nanatoo said...

Feel well soon :)

acrylik said...

Wow, what amazing bargains you got there! Looking forward to seeing the hoodie - sounds excellent! Any luck with the accordion book in the end? Hope you're feeling much better soon.

Lindsey said...

Not only did I have fun with the accordion book, I have sold the idea to the craft group along with using up our handmade paper by making our own books. If we manage it, the credit will be all yours!