Sunday, June 11, 2006

Stash yarns

It never ceases to amaze me to see what other people will admit to having in their stashes. Hundreds of pounds worth of big name silk, baby goat, Japanese imports....

I was brought up to thrift, and fatally acquired jumble sale syndrome when I was 14. I started grammar school just as my older sister left it, so I was able to inherit her gymslip. I'd like to see the 12 year old nowadays who would wear something which had been worn daily by someone else for four years before they got it. However, that never occurred to me. What rankled was that, in the last year of junior school my brother had been bought a bottle green gaberdine raincoat. But boys at the grammar wore navy-blue, a fact that had eluded my parents. So this same raincoat was passed on to me. It was a boys' coat, straight and fastening the other way. I wore it for three years.

When I was 14, at a jumble sale, I lighted on a Robert Hirst school coat: bottle-green, belted and with a purse on a chain still in the pocket. It was half a crown. That is twelve and a half pence in today's money, but then it was the price of two visits to the local cinema - so I guess that's at least ten pounds in today's money. I had it cleaned and wore it every day until I left school at eighteen. Eeee, it was a different world.

But, my point is this: I always value things more highly if they have been bought as a spectacular bargain, in a charity shop or at a boot fair.

Greatest bargain to date? A sealed pack of Rowan Cork and one of Kidsilk Haze, along with the issue of Rowan magazine which had inspired their purchase, in an Oxfam shop in Penrith for ten pounds the lot.

What's your biggest bargain been?

1 comment:

ra said...

hmmm, tricky one. I love a bargain too, but tend to buy first and ask questions afterwards. I then find that I've got not quite enough of something lovely 'cos it was cheap.
I do think that the £1.00 per 100 grams stuff that I got at Stows of Sowerby a couple of weeks ago was a good deal, I'm even using some of it which has to be a good thing.

I too was brought up wearing my (two) older sisters hand me downs and didn't suffer overmuch from it. Hate chucking stuff away and will reuse anything that I can. I still have a kettle that doesn't switch itself off when it boils. I've replaced the element a couple of times which probably cost more than a new kettle would!