So much stuff!

Anyone who knows me will confirm that I am no Marie Kondo. I do try to keep things moderately under control but honestly, I’m failing miserably! I can’t believe just how much stuff I have accumulated. And I’m not just talking sewing and knitting stash (though that is pretty embarrassing) – all round the house things are running wild.

How many face washes do you need? Certainly not the three opened ones that I have, and also three bottles of moisturiser – one in use and the other two obviously bought in readiness. And don’t even ask about opened hand creams. Or lipsticks.

I’ll conceded that some of the stuff waiting for action is not ‘going to go off’, and will be used in it’s turn, but I really need to start using this lot before I buy ANYTHING else! I assumed that I would be a more considered shopper now that I allegedly have more time but I clearly need to work on that skill!

Whilst cleaning, and also slight clearance, in the room that bears the worst of my fabric buying excess I did manage to make things look better – fabric folded and put away properly or bagged ready to be passed onto the art teacher that takes my scrap, patterns tidied up , and magazines tidied into their respective boxes. All looking better – but how did I convince myself I have no UFO’s? Actually they technically aren’t UFO’s as they haven’t been started. I did read a lovely term for my problem which I’m afraid I’ve forgotten – but they are basically aspirational projects that I still want to make but aren’t anywhere near being made yet. A horrifying amount of them. Oh dear.

Relaxing knitting

So, it’s agreed. I really need to stop buying yarn and fabric, also patterns, and start making up the projects I have waiting. With that in mind I gathered everything I needed (all available) to start another Purl Soho Botanical Yoke sweater. I had bought the yarn at Colourmart ages ago, the pattern had already been tested and worn here so I knew I liked it enough to repeat the experience. I started knitting whilst watching TV (loosely, as you need to concentrate at this point) and once past the first few rows I was happy I wasn’t knitting with a twist in the round so it has been nice to sit and enjoy the quiet of the project while I relax in the evening.

All was going well then? It was….

Until I visited a Scrap Store. I had been a little envious of the ‘op shops’ and ‘reverse garbage’ opportunities that seemed to be available in Australia – so many of the blogs refer to many of their ‘makes’ being from things rescued from landfill. The attitude to re-use seems to be much better there. I was confident that there wasn’t anything like that in the UK – the resale shops are called ‘charity’ shops here and don’t seem to have the same cachet that overseas equivalents have. Anyhoo, not to be put off I Googled a query and came up with Scrap Stores. I’m in the fortunate position of having several within easy reach, but my most local was the Worcester Resource Exchange. We were in that area last Saturday so I called in ‘just for a look’. Of course.

Merino felt and stretch lace

Vintage Vogue Designer Patterns

It was both fascinating and horrifying. There was stuff that you wondered if anyone would buy (only to hear people excitedly squeak when they found it!), and things you really wondered how you could justify taking them home. The Management was in the car so it wasn’t going to be easy to sneak things by him!

I was sunk when I saw the lovely bright merino wool felt – bags perhaps?, or maybe it could be used as a more exciting under collar on a tailored jacket? The stretch lace was completely unnecessary – I have a bag full of bits and pieces trawled from the Rag Market with the intention of making lingerie (another one of those aspirational projects) but I couldn’t resist. There were also lots of art supplies that I was seriously tempted by but I would have needed to find the bin marked ‘an extra day in the week’ even though I’m retired.

In another box I saw a load of used patterns, sorted by decade but just a lovely jumble to be looked through. And found four Vogue Designer Original patterns that I really liked. I swear that there were more but I didn’t just sweep them all up.

Who could have left Christian Dior – Vogue 1755, (in size 12 so I can probably make it up straight from the envelope although I haven’t done any thinking about fabrics yet), or Stan Herman 2057 – new to me but I love this dress shape, Diane Von Furstenberg 2065 – another very wearable dress, and lastly and Edith Head  1895 – I’m not entirely certain I would wear this but I do like it so it came home. Can I also say that after deducting my annual membership from what I paid this lot came to under £20. I’m afraid I will be back.

Yes, as you can see I am definitely cleaning and clearing. Just not my house. I hope to make use of all of these patterns – and a whole lot more that I have with plans attached to them! I really do need to get stuck in. I’ll be back eventually when I have something to show – but for now I’m off to knit while I calm my nerves 😉



43 Comments on “So much stuff!”

  1. ooooh where is this place? lol no no no nothing more coming in that isn’t going to be used immediately. Nope. Not a thing. Stop it!

    • Kim says:

      You must go Fairy -you’d love the place 😂
      In fairness I suspect it’s going to be like the market with some visits being a complete bust. But worth looking!

  2. Still jealous 😁 We’re inundated in Bexhill with Charity shops but when it comes to buying fabric I struggle. We have two stores but it’s mainly fabric for crafting, not dressmaking and buying online isn’t my favourite as I like to see and touch what I’m buying. Luckily I have plenty of patterns to work my way through!

  3. Realale says:

    I had that Diane Von Furstenberg pattern when it came out. I remember making it up and loving it. Can’t remember what happened to the dress or the pattern but as soon as I saw it I knew I’d had it and made it. I can’t go near that Worcester place – much too dangerous!!!

    • Kim says:

      I really like it too. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it but I hope to make some use of all the patterns.
      Come with me if you want a visit – we can rein each other in 😉.

  4. Ann Webber says:

    My grandmother used to reknit items from discarded wooden jumpers, hats, cardigans, etc that she purloined from the council tip (in the days when you could pick over other people’s rubbish). She preferred substance over style and I remember a reknitted vest she made me. Two squares sewn at the shoulders with plaited woollen ties on each side. When she ran out of one length of wool, she would pick up another of any colour and continue no matter where in the row she was up to. Ax

  5. sew2pro says:

    Ha, your first two paragraphs are just what might have come out of my own head. Why do we keep buying stuff?! It becomes a burden because I cannot make myself throw away anything that might come in useful one day. And then cleaning around the clutter becomes such a chore. Minimalist we’re not.

    I’m going to search up Scrap Store – thanks for the tip.

    That Botanical Yoke sweater is amazing! Worth learning to knit just for the dream of being able to attempt it some day.

    • Kim says:

      I think most people are guilty of over buying. I really need to get better at making and following a list.
      The Botanical yoke sweater is much easier than it looks – and I hear that your knitting is coming on well 😀. You could do this.

  6. Haha! I always walk into our charity shops with no intention to buy and walk out with sewing notions (an invisible zipper with a 65 cent original price tag!) and old bags that I can rip the zippers off of. It’s terrible, but I can’t stop!

  7. I recently cleaned and organized and found 16 bottles/ tubes/ containers of lotion… Who needs that much lotion? Sigh!! I bet that wool would make some great purses! 😀

  8. Sew Ruthie says:

    I am nearish to both Sheffield and Sutton In Ashfield Scrapstores so that be an interesting trip one day. It would be better to donate though I suspect…. as I too have much stuff.

    • Kim says:

      I imagine I could donate a fair amount too. It would be worth checking out both to see which would suit you best – I believe they all charge a ‘membership fee’ but it seems to vary quite a lot.

  9. tialys says:

    I feel your pain. We will never be able to move house – I feel sure no one removal company would have enough vans.

  10. Fadanista says:

    Well I’m pleased you’ve found a fabulous recycling place. Perhaps you should do what I do – one thing comes in and three things go out. It mostly works well for me but I don’t seem to do it with fabric!!

    • Kim says:

      That’s a great idea. I’m doing something similar with books (definitely more out than in) but craft supplies could be harder to police 😀.

  11. Mike Eaton says:

    Ah the dreaded IMCU – “It might come in Useful” the stuff that you save because, well, it’s an IMCU! Have you ever noticed that with an IMCU that has been saved for “ages” the moment you get rid of it and it disappears in the garbage truck, as the truck goes around the corner you find that you have a use for that IMCU you’ve just lost and when you go to get a new one it either costs the earth or you can’t find one! Well that’s my excuse for being a hoarder and not getting rid of stuff – to often! I might add that when the day to clean up comes along by the time you’ve gone through most of it you turn to the pile of stuff that is going . . . . . you then carefully go through it just in case and finally get rid of the two items that actually get into the go pile!

  12. Sewniptuck says:

    I have a confession to make, I soooo wanted to knit the ‘botanical’ but felt my yarn wasn’t up to the task. So I cast on, after swatching of course, the Purl Soho twisted rib pullover. Buuuut, I just could not get the stitch count correct after ripping back 7 times so gave up in disgust!
    The buying thing is a problem, but currently I’m packing up my fabrics to move house and lo… there is definitely less there than I arrived with – yay! It’s such a good feeling! Sorry Kim, is that called gloating? ;Q

    • Kim says:

      Getting the gauge right on any pattern can be challenging – especially if you change from the recommended yarn (and that Purl Soho yarn was expensive so I’m sure it’s often changed). After ripping back that often I don’t blame you for giving up!
      Yes, that probably is gloating but since you are lovely I will forgive you. Good luck with the move 😃.

      • Sewniptuck says:

        It was the short rows, I managed to get gauge. I just couldn’t work out why I managed to get the right count on one raglan but not the next. Pity because the twisted rib stitch is a bloody beauty! X

  13. Siobhan S says:

    It’s funny you say that about op shops in Australia, because I’m the opposite – from Aus but a bit envious of the advanced recycling and reuse programs you have in the UK! I was under the impression a lot of reusable waste goes to landfill here when it would be recycled in the UK. Anyway, I’m glad you found some secondhand bargains you really liked.

    • Kim says:

      How odd – I felt that Australia was doing better than UK . Particularly when I see newspaper reports of separated recyclable material being put into landfill. I think we all have improving to do to stop behaving as though there is a spare planet to move to eventually.

      • Mike Eaton says:

        I think we all have to up our recycling etc. World wide! I think the main problem is that whilst many would recycle and the rest of it once they get into the habit, the work is left to the local council who being strapped for cash (or so they say) will only recycle anything that they can make a profit on. I’m sure we’ve all seen the plastic bottle banks that want you to recycle the bottles, but not the tops? – different kind of plastic apparently! Crazy!!

  14. sewruth says:

    I’ve just had a Sewing Day with a few new friends. We had a swap/donate table with patterns and fabric. I’ve come home with more than I went with…….

  15. fabrickated says:

    I love the idea of a complete clear out, and I have started to move all my patterns and fabric across to the new house, which is causing me to look at it all afresh. But I do find it hard to give it away, and like you if I see vintage patterns anywhere I feel an obligation to save them from destruction. I love your Botanicals, and I can’t wait to see the new one. It really is a spectacular pattern.

    • Kim says:

      A house move will really focus the mind with regards to clearing the decks. I agree that it’s hard to pass a good vintage pattern by – my rule is only to add one’s I’m likely to use.
      The jumper is coming along fairly well but may be interrupted by a project for The Management. I’m happy about that as it will be my first use of the EZ knitting book. All we need is to settle the colours and buy the yarn – then there’s a deadline!

      • Mike Eaton says:

        ah the dreaded deadline – bad enough when working but once you get into the Pensioner thing they are awful . . . . . . . the sudden panic when you realise it’s TOMORROW and you’ve got about a quarter done – panic! I think we all know that one, some better than others!

  16. I have grand plans of eliminating my fabric stash but I have no idea how this will happen in practice. Also, I don’t know how anyone could resist vintage vogue designer patterns, it would require heroic skills!!

    • Kim says:

      Quite right! I often dream of using all of my stash (as does The Management – it would clear a lot of space!) but as yet without success. Maybe I’ll find something suitable for my new vintage patterns?

  17. Anne W says:

    I love the Resource Centre, thankfully it’s far enough away for me to have to make a special trip to get there! I got a clutch of lovely vintage patterns the last time I visited. But it does mean I only use my membership once a year, so it’s not that cheap! There’s a Scrap Store in Birmingham now too, you need to make an appointment to go, but I imagine it works along the same lines as the one in Worcester.
    Good luck with reducing your “stuff”! 🙂

  18. Oh my life….there’s one near me!!!!! I’m steering clear. I’m nearly to the bottom of the yarn stash (current mice project excluded, but that’s gift knitting so doesn’t count…not sure why!).

    The fabric and pattern stashes are another issue. I’m trying really hard not to buy either at the moment, but February sees me making a detour into sewing dance wear, and not just for the kids.

    I am, however, determined, to have made up most, if not all, of the stash yarn before Yarndale this year, and fabric by the year end.

    We shall ignore the patterns and books for now! 😉

    • Kim says:

      Well done you! I’m trying to think of just projects using what I already have for now to clear some space.
      Enjoy making the dance wear.

  19. mrsmole says:

    Love you sense of balance, Kim…you clean out your sewing room in time to make room for more unique treasures to fill it back up. Not all charity/thrift shops are equal! I read recycling blogs and oh my…they seem to have the most gorgeous discarded designer goodies for $2 but there is nothing like that in my neighborhood. Most of stuff I see looks like it has been worn by homeless folks and given back to the shops to be sold again. Your botanical sweater is gorgeous in red…I covet it…but look forward to a another color version. After cleaning your sewing room, Lord knows you need some calm quiet time to knit and meditate and plan your next adventure!

    • Kim says:

      I really need to learn the definition of ‘clearing out’. At least there isn’t any more than before.
      I agree, so many people get astonishing buys in charity shops but my experience is closer to yours. Maybe I just need to look more closely, or more often.
      The sweater is coming along (fairly slowly, but growing) but Minot doing much else at the moment. No sewing mojo at all 😞. At least it keeps the sewing room tidy!

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