Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Goodwill Outlet, Not Your Average Thrift...

  So the other weekend I went to the Goodwill Outlet in downtown Seattle and bought a ton of fabric.  The inspiration for this was that I am thinking about relaunching my Etsy store (Charmingfoxstudios)  in the hopes of bringing in a little extra cash while using my free time in crafty ways.  Now that my WA teaching license has actually come in the mail ::does a happy dance:: I can look forward to having a classroom again come next school year and therefor; a salary.  In the meantime, I am still working throughout the school year and am getting ready to start an internship come May to become a licensed therapeutic riding instructor at the barn I volunteer at.  :)  I am super excited about the internship, but it means that I will have a full time nonpaying job this summer and so money will be a little tight.

For those who haven't seen a Goodwill Outlet store before, it looks mostly like this:

(Photo from a great article about the Goodwill Outlets found  Here)

   Getting back on topic...  I went to the outlet thrift specifically because I wanted to pay as little as possible for the materials and I didn't have anything too specific in mind.  I've been really excited about the upcycled crafts that I've seen on the internet and knew that I wanted to use as much recycled material as possible.  At the outlet, clothing and other such household fabrics are $1.50 per pound!  I walked out with a giant Ikea bag full of sheets, pillowcases, sweaters and some actual large pieces of fabric.  That's right, did you know the thrift sells unused fabric?  Neither did I, but it makes sense.  I also saw a few things that made me glad I was wearing work gloves while combing through the bins, such as a pair of plus size knitted panties (just because you can make something doesn't mean you should!).

   I also found a crocheted shawl in a pretty, fuzzy yarn that I thought I might try taking apart.  I've never done this before, but it seemed simple enough of an idea at the time and I've been wanting to add to my yarn stash, but haven't been willing to spend the money.  Plus, unraveling an obviously handmade shawl should be much easier then unraveling a sweater, or so I reasoned to myself.  However, I fear I may have been bested by this thing.  The yarn has this lovely fuzzy quality to it, which makes it super soft, but also gives it a tendency to weld together,so instead of simply detaching each loop as I pull, I have to continuously stop and snip little knots of the material apart from each other, which means that something that should have taken me three minutes to pull apart has taken me upwards of three hours and I'm only halfway through!  Have any of you ever run into a snag like this?  Or have any of you ever tried to unravel a sweater for the yarn (another project I hope to someday undertake)?

   Anyway, I did end up with a decent sized ball of yarn for my troubles and I've washed almost all of the fabric I bought yesterday from the thrift, so now it's onto cutting and considering.  What should I make with my new wonderful stash of fabrics?  I had intended to make a few sweater crafts from Pinterest.com and maybe a shoe bag or two from one of my pins, but what else?  Any suggestions?

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