Friday, 28 September 2012

Aran Jumper Upcycled

I love a good rummage through charity shops. In Texas we call them thrift stores, and there they tend to be gargantuan. Goodwill and Savers move into former grocery store sites, and it takes the endurance of a cowboy to sift through all the aisles. English charity shops are more like boutiques, and here in my town we have no fewer than eight on the high street!

Over the years I have collected a few treasures at absolute bargain prices from charity shops. I found a brand new pair of Minnetonka moccasins in Houston a couple of years ago for only three dollars. I've picked up sets of Galway and Waterford crystal glasses for just a few pounds. Young people don't need crystal - no one does for that matter, but if they cost the same as a pint glass, why not? My vintage Pendleton wool coat was my winter pride and joy until it tragically got eaten alive by moths in storage last year. I only spent eight dollars on it, and wore it for as many years.

This month's bargain buy was a hand-knitted, aran cabled jumper from the local Red Cross shop. I've been eyeing these trendy jumpers and cardis on Brick Lane in East London, where market stall holders ask at least fifteen pounds (that's about $25!) for them. I bought mine for four quid. And the money went to charity. After wearing it for a while, I'm pretty sure it's 100% wool because it smells like a sheep after riding around on my bike in the rain. Now, before I get too smug about this bargain, let me just say that I had some super ugly buttons to contend with - and replace.

The dingy white buttons on an ivory coloured wool made this cardigan look like an over-sized baby outfit. So I snipped them off right away and wore a kilt pin with it. It took a couple of weeks to decide on the button replacements. Whoever painstakingly knit this treasure included no less than 9 button holes down the front! To buy that many buttons could easily double the cost of the sweater. So in the end, I found these classic wooden toggles at 30 pence a piece, and I'm completely pleased with them. I think they look really fishermanly! It's not bound for the coast though. Olly and I are hitting the road after work today to celebrating our First Anniversary walking in the Brecon Beacons in Wales! Or, if it's too rainy and cold, we'll find a nice pub and drink hot chocolate by a fire all weekend. See you next week!

1 comment:

  1. Agh...if only it ever got cold enough here to ever need such a cozy looking sweater...I envy your weekend of hiking and fireplace sitting...have fun! Can't wait to see photos. Can't believe it has been a year since we all celebrated your wedding together. Love you all.