In the past couple of months I've given away a fair number of needles and a goodly few sheep of wool. This is, of course, a Good Thing TM. I'm fairly sure,though, that the knitting goddesses are a bunch of karma freaks with wicked senses of humour.
David and Gaye have been staying with me for the last few days. Gaye goes and does grandmotherly things while David and I go op-shopping. For regular readers, no, David has not made my yarn swift and he loved his Butch Hat Mark II so much he wore it all Thursday night and much of Friday. He marvelled at the perfect shaping for his crown and diameter for his boof-head, the manly chunkiness of the yarn coupled with the smooth feel of greasy wool. We all know what pride cometh before....
Day 1 Thursday.
Meet Maree (she of the curly whirly scarf who likes a good op-shop herself ;) ) with the intention of shopping through 4 op-shops and a Cash Converters in Belconnen in 3.5 hours. I am restrained. I buy a few pattern books, a set of good 4mm needles for the swaps basket should we have a newbie or two, a set of wine glass charms (another set, yes) to turn into stitch markers, a couple of books and a spare tea strainer. Two small plastic bags, honestly. David and Maree are like people possessed and must be dragged from each shop. Maree has a flashback to the Goodies episode where a tour operator whips everyone getting everyone back onto the coach they had barely alighted. I'm sure I wasn't that bad and they did get A LOT of stuff. Clothes, books, camera equipment, jewellry. I was feeling virtuous, I was feeling superior. Not even the news that the St VdeP frequent user discount cards finish at the end of this month could bring me down. A week of decluttering my house had engendered in me a restraint that was obviously going to hold.
Day 2 Friday
David and I venture to Revolve (our rubbish tip shop). Maree is busy.
Revolve turns up several books, ten uncut sewing patterns, a couple of knitting patterns, two really good stainless steel seives that are destined to become planters for the front porch and a partial wool winder. This last is essential as I have a wool winder that needs a clamp. It is not at all easy to find the correct clamp and the Revolve find has just the thing, but it is welded in. David assures me he can drill it out. Excellent.
David's haul is good and we both could have stopped there. Perhaps we should have. But no, flushed with success, and the knowledge that everything I bought is useable and an absolute bargain at $7 the lot, I suggest a trip to the op-shops of Tuggeranong. We are being even handed in our treatment of the valleys, it is only fair having been to Belconnen, that we visit Tuggeranong.
St VdeP turns up 600g of Heirloom 4ply in soft baby colours of mauve, butter yellow, pale aqua, shell pink and white for $6. I claim it as my own. I know I have a lot of baby wool, but this is beautiful and in need of rescue by someone who will love it for itself. It can go into the 4ply stash to play quietly with the other pure fibres (sock wool, pure wool and baby ack are kept in 4ply apartheid at my house).
Any normal woman would have been happy with this and returned home sated. I am not, I can now admit, in the least bit normal. If you had harboured any hopes of me being at all sane you are about to be cruelly disabused of the notion.
On to the Salvos store. I have had some minor yarn success at this shop before and last year found a LOT of lovely tortiseshell needles there. I was not, however, at all prepared for what I would find.
Right there, by the counter, with "$1 each" marked clearly on the containers, were two large tubs of yarn on cones for knitting machines. I sank to my knees, eyes glistening, hands shaking, brow feverish. I had hit the op-shopping knitter's motherload. My breath came in shallow gasps as I began sorting with clumsy fingers. "I'll just take the wool", I vowed, "There won't be much of that" as David went in search of a trolley and a cooling cloth. It was then that the red mist descended. From a distant place I heard a voice say to the nice man who approached with caution to drag me from my supine position over the two tubs, "I'll take the lot", all the time muttering under my breath, "Mine, the precious is all mine...."
My friends, there were 30 cones. Mostly it's 1, 2, and 4ply, a little bit of 3 ply, about 150g of 8 ply and some large cones of thread. Some of the cones weigh over a kilo. Most are between 200 and 400 grams. Most of it is pure wool. I am never leaving the house again.