Wednesday, August 27


i had to go on a wild goose chase yet again for white subway tiles and i did not wish to go alone. i asked Our #4 if he would like to be my buddy as after all it is just him and me most of the time these days and thus i have declared us besty chums. he mentioned he really didn't think it sounded that much fun. i dangled a burrito as a carrot, i noted him waiver and then decline. nothing for it, i had to pull out the big carrots. i remarked the thrift store was in the vicinity of the wild goose chase. the carrot was taken 

it would be quite true to say, if one were to be asked by a market researcher in the street, what was my greatest accomplishments as a parent? i may say that my children grew up happy, healthy and honest. although that is all true, i do not think i would say it, for i think i would truly say one of my greatest accomplishments is instilling within all my four children the thrill of the secondhand hunt. i say instill but truth be told, it happened quite magically whilst we were busy getting on with clan life.

each one of my clan seeks a different type of secondhand treasure. now for Our #4 tis retro game consoles, games and action figures to name just a few. i will watch him, like a magpie looking for something sparkly to catch its eye. he will home in on it, he will check it over and then within moments, out comes his phone to look up the value and what he could make in his Ebay store if he chooses in the future to sell it on. if the price is right and he knows he has found a happy bargain and its on his list of 'huntdowns', then i can tell from where i am standing in my aisle of souls waiting to be rescued, his own set of angels are chorusing and his own set of secondhand gods are smiling down on him.

and thus after yet another 'subway tile' wild goose chase, a burrito (or two) for him and a salad for moi, we parked and pottled towards the thrift store feeling cheerier by the minute anticipating what treasures lay within, alongside of air conditioning. he made a bee line for his turf, me for mine...

i was not expecting any woolly waifs to find me and of course, that is always when they do. rather a lot started whispering to me, some i had to ignore because they had seen far far better days and i could not help them. others were peachy perfect in every way except we did not fit together well. so i gathered up the few that seemed to have potential and headed to the mirror. i do not have a photo of the one which passed the mirror challenge to share for he is lying flat on his back, soggy, waiting for Mr Sun to do his thing this morn. however i can assure you he is quite the odd fellow. first off he is silk and cashmere! oh i do not think i have ever had cashmere in my closet before. then he is a most lovely vomity olive green colour, which made my knees a little weak but the odd thing about him is he has no lower body. he has spectacularly long sleeves which nicely come over the wrist towards the fingers to keep the chill at bay and he has a top half which you button up but below the arm pit area he has nothing. i would not call him a bolero, for he does not come down over the chest, which i thought boleros do. however i am not a connoisseur on boleros having never really studied them, so i could be quite quite wrong. as i tried him on i came to the conclusion, over a frock he makes it appear your frock has knitted sleeves and a top bit to it. i also came to he conclusion if you had a chest at all to stick out, he would look most odd indeedy. so as i like frocks and thought a knitted top bit might look tres thrilling and i do not have a chest to bother speaking of, i concluded we were a match made in thrifty heaven.

upon going to check out, i glanced at the rails of discarded frocks and saw a knitted number sticking out. on close inspection she was not a frock at all, but a rather jolly long cardigan with a most spiffy pair of sleeves. i liked her pockets very muchly, very muchly indeedy

 originally from H&M i checked the content label (something i always do without fail) i was happy to see wool was listed. i tried her on, i asked Our #4 (who had appeared with a treasure) what he thought. he replied he thought it looked just like everything else i wore, which was the correct answer and i happily gathered up my gray dearie and body-less olive chappy to bring home.

i am thinking body-less chappy will get floral elbow patches when he has dried out, i am thinking i will show you when he is dry and patched, and i am thinking my gray dearie is quite splendid as she is and will only require a change of buttons of which i have plumped with wooden ones (way way up at the top of this big old ramble, can you see them? yes i know, tis quite a bit of scrolling to be done and i do understand your hand hurts already from scrolling all the way down here, so if you would rather not scroll, then 'scroll not' dear reader). i am thinking the plain wooden flower ones and just one handpainted wooden one, placed 2nd button down to add a subtle bling to her winter warming ways. not only daring but dandy too

Tuesday, August 26

a woolly victim ...

hurrah hooray! i have found my first thrift store woolly victim. in my little beady mind's eye i have quite the picture of what woolly fellows i would like to find, and since having this picture, it is of course typical the racks of despair are indeedy most despairing and thus any woolly fellows worthy of consideration are rather rare.

last week though i happened upon one woolly fellow, he was rather large, rather grolly green and had rather lovely bell sleeves that ballooned out and i noted would be most perfect for hiding a cotton hankie or two in, when drippy nose temps are upon us. it was a tad tricky to try the fellow on for i was nursing my right arm and the fabby vintage floral bit of ink recently placed upon it. 

being an open wound at the time i was not letting any man, any dog or any woolly fellow near it till it was healed. that is because i am all grown up and take things like this with a great deal of responsibility rather than a pinch of salt.

so i did a half try on and i came to the conclusion the oversize-ness of it was rather splendid, the wooden buttons rather perfect and the flared, almost swing jacket shape with the gigantic bell sleeves rather appealing.

i took my first woolly victim of the coming season home with me, gave him a bath and whilst he air-dried we began to ponder... 

we pondered pockets, kangaroo type perhaps. 
we pondered elbow patches, floral fabric ones perhaps. 
we pondered clusters of flowers, various different coloured popcorn ones perhaps. 
we pondered large appliqued vintage lace, across the shoulder chesty area perhaps. 
yes we pondered each thing individually till our little heads hurt
 and that is where we are up to, just a lot of pondering and no clue with what to settle with or where to begin. 

after all this pondering i am beginning to wonder if my cunning plan to rescue woolly wonders from the rails of neglect, to bling, may end up causing me an awful lot of pondering, a big handful of procrastination and quite possibly a pile of victims, when spring rolls around, still waiting patiently for me and my blinging ways to get going

Friday, August 22

a chunky monkey of a yarn ...

one thing that is tres tricky about working in the peachiest yarn shop in the northwest is every time you go to work some lovely new yarn whispers your name. thus by the time you pick up your monthly paycheck the chances of you actually having any change leftover is rather unlikely. this my man predicted before i even started my spiffy 'out of the shed' job last november. he is quite wise it would appear to the ways of his wife.

yesterday when i was pottling on in to work, several new yarns starting talking to me before i had even popped my basket down, signed in and plonked my natty name badge upon my handmade frock. i am sure i am not alone amongst yarny folks when i more often than not am stopped in my tracks by a yarn and then have to do a lot of thinking about what i will actually do with it, rather than find a project first and then go on a yarn hunt. hence i have a stash of one skein wonders mocking me from behind lace covered glass doors in my atelier of sorts.

and so it came to be a chunky monkey of a yarn called Optic shouted the loudest. 
i pondered him for a while and then i took him off the shelf and did what everyone who comes into a yarn shop does, i did the feel test, the 'can you and i live in close proximity forever' test. he past the test with flying colours and so now i was on dangerous grounds, for he was a softie, he was a chunky lad and he was not my usual sort, therefore i was attracted to his slightly rebellious ways with an ink pen. i could not tell how he would knit up. i asked the dearies i work with what they thought. we were all a little mystified to whether his charms would look peachy or pants. we went searching online, we came up blank. so there was nothing to be done but to take a leap of faith that this chunky monkey funky yarn of a chappy, had what it took to make a 'lemon peasy' scarf for chilly days look peachy and not in the least bit pants.

last night i cast on and in a matter of moments (being on size 15 pins) i could see not only how quickly a knit he would be but also really truly what a jolly nice fellow he is turning out to be with his ink splodges, creamy goodness and the odd rainbow 'hundreds and thousands' sprinkled in there for good measure