Sunday, August 23, 2009

Nifty Thrifty

Well, true to my word I am trying to buy less and lower on the environmental totem pole, i.e. second hand when possible. So yesterday my friend Anita and I went to the local Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop. You know some days you go in and find nothing much, the next time you luck out. Yesterday was my luck out day.

Since my dear daughter-in-law is a guru of the knitting world - her new book even made the The New Yorker Book Blog - I figure it's time for me to learn to knit at least enough to make a dishcloth. I have some trouble with repetitive hand movements, as in after a little while I lose all coordination, so I expect this "learning to knit" to be a slow and somewhat laborious process. But I was able to buy three skeins of light-weight cotton yarn (50 cent each) in two colours of blue and white. Then I got knitting needles for 25 cents. So if I completely mess it up I haven't spent too much, the cat has a ball of yarn to play with, and the knitting needles will make good plant stakes in the garden.

I've been wanting to make myself a couple of new hippari tops, as they are so handy to wear as a second layer in three of the four seasons. In the fabric bins I found three different light cotton fabrics in colours I love. I could have combed the fabric stores for days and not done so well. Five metres of cotton fabric $3.50. So now I can make my hippari. The hippari is a short kimono-style top traditionally worn by Japanese farm workers. I bought this Folkwear pattern back in the 70s and have used, used and reused it, making every garment included numerous times. The pattern is printed on heavy paper, instead of flimsy tissue, so it's lasted 30+ years. Everyone in the family has worn at least one garment from this collection, as all of the garments are very comfy and extremely useful.

I will hand sew these as I gave my (new) sewing machine to a young woman with a family. I still have a hippari I made by hand in 1979 that I can't bear to part with, even though the hem seams are worn right through.

Next I found a lovely little square wooden box for Tony to store electrical gadgets in, and a 1960s Italian made food grinder, still with the instruction book and three blades. I want to dry shredded potatoes for hash browns and soups, as I use lots of them in cooking and grating them by hand is extremely tiresome!

The crowning glory of this mad shopping spree was a cheery old-fashioned apron covered with daisies. Anita and I agreed that we never saw our mothers in the kitchen or garden without an apron. This very practical garment has disappeared from our wardrobes, but the one I bought is so wonderful I may cut a pattern from it and make a second one.

An apron at my waist makes no sense for me, I get everything I am cutting up or cooking on my tops. So this one goes over your top, has a single button in the back, two large pockets, comes down to hip level and has ties that hold it together at the back. Fifty cents. Honestly. What is not to love about a thrift store?

After all that I came home and filled the dehydrator with tomatoes, celery and green peppers. For recipes which call for stewed tomatoes! All in all a highly satisfying day!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That apron sounds great. I still have a single apron that a friend from NM made for me. Seems I only wear it at Christmas as it's got Christmas designs embroidered around the front.

Love the kitty litter idea too...wish that was an option here. We go through a bunch with the herd of kitties :( Everytime I scoop, I think $$ down the drain. Got to be a better way.

Love ya!