Saturday, 8 December 2012

Super Stash Find: It's a Funny Old World

There was recent discussion on Ravelry about charity shops not having knitting needles on display as the health & safety folk reckon that knitting needles constitute dangerous weapons (seriously, the elbows of pensioners rummaging through the stalls at a jumble sale could constitute dangerous weapons - what on earth are they putting in Wiltshire Farm Foods these days?) The discussion then turned to charity shops not stocking knitting patterns anymore because they're not 'revenue earners'; so I chipped in agreeing that only a couple of chazza shops that I go to actually sell patterns and that you rarely see the old stuff these days, only patterns for 80s mohair jumpers and kids' funky fur cardies. I could almost imagine other Ravellers nodding their heads sagely, reminiscing about the days when charity shops used to have folder upon folder of knitting patterns spanning the decades - even the 30s and 40s if you were lucky!

Later that day on the way to visit the parents, I stopped off at a town to buy some groceries and saw a charity shop that I hardly ever visited. I had a quick 'Shall I/Shan't I?' moment as I was in a hurry and finally decided to nip in for a quickie. The shop had a craft section with lots of stuff piled up haphazardly, which I rummaged through and found a taped up plastic bag containing some sort of flowery material which was folded up with the pattern on the inside. As it was priced at £2.60 I thought it was worth a punt and crikey, I had my money's worth and more. When I got to the parents and opened it out, I found five long lengths of this gorgeous large 50s/60s poppy print...what more could a girl ask for!

After I had found the material, I noticed that the charity shop had a tray full of knitting patterns. I sorted through the dross and came across not only two Vogue Knitting magazines for the 50s, but also some great patterns! How odd considering that only a few hours earlier I was whinging on Ravelry about not finding such patterns!

And to top it off, at the very bottom of the pile I found the sewing patterns - mostly 80s stuff, but also these lovely sewing gems. I love the 70s tops, they look great although I would seriously have to take up some intensive Olympic-style working out to be able to wear one of these! (Abs? What are those?)

So, it just goes to show that great things turn up when and where you least expect them. And the lesson of the day? Don't walk by those chazza shops that:

Aren't on your usual bargain hunting territory;
You think won't have anything good in them:
You don't have time to look into;
Looks dirty and tatty (these are the best ones - believe me!!);
Else you might miss out on a super find!

Over and out.


  1. IRYPT - great finds.
    Love from Mum

  2. What a haul - amazing! Funny how we find the most fantastic things when we least expect them!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  3. Ooh great finds! I agree, have found great stuff quite a few times in shops that are 9 times out of 10 rubbish. And the messier the shop the better!

  4. Having been mown down by little old lady who appeared out of nowhere at a jumble sale once and I was the last in the queue to go in I agree. Knitting needles as a dangerous weapon, I worked in a craft shop we had knitting needles slotted into holes on a card hanging in the shop any one could go along and whip one out and start attacking people!
    Seems charity shops don't sell much anymore, and what they do sell you might as well go and buy new I have noticed. Some do not even sell childrens clothes! Yes I have found the ones that look tatty and dirty are the best too. Bring back the "proper" charity shops that what |I say!
    Julie xxxxxxxxxx

    1. Thanks for your lovely long comment Julie.

      That's really odd though, not selling childrens clothes :-/ I've brought some lovely clothes for Monkeychild from them and would have thought that such items would be a good 'money earner'. Also, I would have thought that some families in very financially tightened circumstances rely on charity shop clothes for their children.

  5. Gorgeous fabric! Well done you, now what are you going to make out of it??

    1. I'm not too sure yet, Miss M. There's not enough of a drop to make curtains, but I could make a long cushion cover out of it for a window seat - otherwise I've got plenty for cushions and a large shoulder bag.

  6. OOh lovely fabric and patterns... yep charity shops round here are getting really pricey and sadly I fear a lot of the real treasure goes straight to rags... I agree it's the little jampacked dusty ones that I love the best! I was allowed to rummage in the fabris pile outback in one yesterday...

  7. VK, I never ever walk past a charity shop without going in. Unfortunately, though, those dusty, crusty and musty ones are few and far between. The poppy fabric is an absolute stunner. Any plans for it? xx

  8. I'm with Lou, I never walk past a chazza, you just never know! that fabric is sensational and I love that tie-fronted sewing pattern. It would be perfect over a slinky maxi if you weren't feeling like baring all! xxx

  9. Love the Poppy fabric, well done on a great stash of finds. I try very hard never to walk past ANY Charity shop (smile) - although I am banned this month as I have managed to clear the sitting room of stock to make way for the Xmas tree! Lizzie

  10. I have just found your blog which I love, both my mum and sister are fab knitters, unfortunately I did not inherit the knitting gene but still love all things vintage - looking forward to keeping up with your blog - Christine (otherwise Ivy Rose vintage homewares)

  11. Wow awesome finds! Must admit most of the charity shops in my town have knitting patterns but hardly any have needles... most of them are usually filled with old people though, maybe they're the ideal customers for knitting patterns! (and me of course ;))


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