3528E1B4-C4CA-4466-BB0A-5CB181D6BBD0had to drive up island today to drop off birds and pick up eggs, and I went early to make time for a visit with my SIL who lives up that way. We had a great day secondhand store shopping and lunching in busy downtown Duncan, and to cap it all off, we both enjoyed a successful hunt!

Secondhand shopping demands an entirely different attitude than regular shopping. You can’t make a detailed list and expect to stick to it. Instead, you take pot luck! Our attitude is always something along the lines of “…sure would be nice to find a (desired item) today…”, and we brief each other at the start, because in among the jumble of other peoples’ discarded possessions, four eyes are much better than two. More often than not we fail to find what we seek, but when we succeed, victory is sweet. And often we find stuff we had no idea we needed, until we laid eyes on it. (This can be a problem, restraint is key.)

Secondhand shopping is both virtuous and rewarding. Where else can you reduce, reuse and recycle, support local charities, save your pocketbook and have an enjoyable time with friends, all while rejecting the consumer-driven economy that urges us to buy more and more brand new items, discarding repairable, gently worn or slightly out of style old ones that are often of better quality?

Today, SIL was hunting for a fondue set. Her partner, who is a good cook, had asked her to keep an eye out for one. Success would mean a pleased partner plus yummy fondue, so she was motivated! At the fourth and last store we hit, eureka – in the form of a brand new aluminum fondue set, still gleaming in its factory wrapping, for $10. Score!


I was hunting for a nice little wood bowl, to make myself a yarn bowl. I’ve been knitting socks this winter, and whenever I split a skein into two, winding each half into a one-sock ball, I spend a fair bit of time chasing the bloody things.

No matter where in my lap I place them, as I tug my line to knit they tend to escape, jumping from my lap (banzai ball!), then hiding under my chair or rolling behind the side table, both scenarios that demand I set my knitting aside and get up to shift furniture and retrieve them.

I knew a yarn bowl would solve my problem, and I also knew I didn’t want to pay the ridiculous $30 or $40 for the nice wooden ones I had seen. I saw no reason why I couldn’t repurpose an old wood bowl.  Also at store number four (my lucky number I might add) I discovered a sweet little hand -turned BC yew wood bowl for the princely sum of $3. Score!

I am lucky that my SIL has a talented brother, and when I got home and shared my vision he was eager to help. Off he bustled to his shop, bowl in hand, to wield his coping saw and press his drill into service.

An hour later…voila, my new one-of-a-kind yew-nique yarn bowl. ❤️ And it even says “Jo”.