When I get the chance, I love to rummage in charity shops. Having two small children in tow is not ideal for this, so whenever we take the littles to see one or other set of grandparents I take full advantage of the opportunity to enjoy unencumbered browsing time. Fortunately, both my parents and my parents in law live in or near to towns which are ripe for my sort of second-hand hunting, as the population is elderly and fairly well-off. This tends to lead to good quality retro heaven.
My best finds while at my folks recently have been a barely worn winter coat and a number of lovely old knitting patterns. The latter often serve as inspiration, one way or another, for my designs, whether it’s an interesting stitch pattern or an old-fashioned style that I think is due for a revival.
This weekend it was a pop-up Macmillan shop that proved fruitful for knit-related goodies. However, rather than patterns, I found this fabulous workbasket. It’s a simple, foldable wooden frame covered in a groovy graphic print. It’s definitely got a ‘worn in’ look, but it still seems pretty sturdy and has useful pockets inside too.
I will continue to harbour the sweet illusion that the acquisition of this piece will mean I have just one or two projects stored neatly next to the sofa, where I will sit serenely working away with my children at my feet. In reality of course, I have multiple projects, needles, odd balls, patterns, yarn shop receipts and so on stuffed into a collection of baskets, bags and plastic mailing envelopes which form an unruly pile in the corner of our living room. Every now and again the children’s obedience regarding ‘not touching Mummy’s knitting’ breaks down and they dive in, searching for sharp things to wave around at eye level or hard-to-untangle yarn to wrap around chair legs and each other. I waste valuable knitting time rummaging around for stitch markers, the other needle or a tape measure. Sorting out my craft stuff is on my ever-growing list of summer holiday projects…we will see whether that ever progresses from being a work in progress.
This scarf was a charity shop find that attracted me because of its bright colours. I thought I might chop it up to make something, but it somehow didn’t seem suitable for that, so I thought I might wear it, but it just didn’t quite work somehow.
Then on a trip to Anthropologie I saw a beautiful scarf that was edged in bobble trim. It was out of my price range but gave me an idea. A quick trip to MacCulloch & Wallis (intimidating shop staff, great range of products- less scary to shop online!!) and I picked up this vivid blue trim.
After an evening of hand-sewing I now have another colourful wardrobe addition- it almost makes me want the weather to get cooler!