We visit charity shops quite often. Wetherby has ten charity shops that I know about and there may possibly be another one. Often when we go, I’m on the lookout for knitting yarn. I don’t need any as my wife will confirm, but if it’s a bargain, then I’m up for it. Trouble is, yarn does not seem to be very cheap in these type of shops. Most have some, but it is usually small amounts of left-overs and you never know what type it is (unless you’re a real expert). You can usually tell if its wool or acrylic, but without the band, I wouldn’t know if it was Aran or Double Knit. So although I look, I rarely buy any.
A couple of weeks ago, I was in one of the really popular shops and noticed that there was a bag of yarn that had five new balls and a couple of end scrap balls. It was very reasonably priced especially for the amount at £3.50. I was tempted, really tempted and had almost decided when I felt a tap on the shoulder. I stood up and turned round, thinking it was my wife. Turned out to be a rather well dressed lady who was holding one of those long women’s cardigans that were fashionable some years ago. She smiled and asked if the yarn I was looking at was for me. I told her it was, but I wasn’t sure if to buy it. She handed me the cardigan and told me that this was a better buy. I was about to say that I didn’t want a cardigan, when she pre-emptied my thoughts. “You can get this cardigan for only £3.99. It has about 10 times the wool you have there, and there is a wash-care label still inside!” she said. She then explained how she never bought wool in charity shops and only every bought made-up woollen clothes which she would unpick (I think the term is frogging) and re-use.
It sounds a brilliant idea, but I’m not sure if I could ever “rip back” or “frog” such a large piece of clothing.
For a few months now, I’ve been scouring the local charity shops in search of a yarn bowl. I have wanted one for a while, but am reluctant to pay £30 to £40 pounds for a new one. I’ll probably end up making my own using “air drying” clay, but thought if I could pick one up for between £5 and £10 it would be much easier.
Now, to come to the point. I rarely if ever buy yarn from charity shops, as it is often quite pricey for what you get. You never really know what you are buying unless they still have the wrappers. However, last week I found a bundle that had five 100g balls, with their wrappers. It was a nice ivory colour and was reasonably priced at only £3.50. I was tempted when I received a tap on the shoulder. I turned and there was a lady with a large cardigan in her hands. It was the same colour as the yarn I was looking and was priced the same.
“Never buy loose wool,” she said. “If you buy this cardi’ and pull it all out, you’ll have at least four times the wool. It’s what I always do.” I had to admit it, I had never thought of it before and it did make sense. So that’s what I look for now. What I would do if I did find something in the type and colour I wanted, I couldn’t say. Could I really buy something and pull it all out? It’s hard to say.
My attempt to increase my skill level with double pointed needles (DPNs) has been somewhat thwarted today. I have been knitting a beanie hat on circular needles with the full knowledge that I would eventually have to revert to DPNs as the number of stitches decreased. It was to be an important learning curve as I’ve never quite cracked the skill. Today was a large set back in that attempt, and this is what happened.
It became apparent, that I would soon need to add in a new ball of yarn. Like I had been told, I decided that the beginning of round 1 of the 8 round pattern was the place to start. New ball joined and tails woven in as I went along, when I noticed Disaster number 1. I had somehow made an error in the pattern. I traced it back to about 12 stitches from the start of the round. Not to worry, I’ll take it back. I was just about to start when the phone went. Disaster number 2 came as I stood up. My foot caught in some loose yarn and it pulled about 20 stitches off the needle. Shouldn’t be a problem I thought and dropped the lot on the floor, so as not to make things worse. I answered the phone as quickly as I could and went back to my knitting. Disaster number 3 reared its ugly head as I bent to pick the work up. I accidentally stepped on the needle and it snapped (bamboo needles) and more stitches fell off only this time unravelling parts of the last three rounds.
The broken needle is in the bin, the yarn rewound and back in the stash cupboard and the pattern moved to “Try again” folder on my computer.
Mrs H is going to be devastated when she notices. She hates it when I pull any knitting out.