Wednesday, 13 April 2016

OCD Hoarder?

Like many of my friends, I watch the programme 'Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners' with a mixture of fascination and horror - at one end of the spectrum, people who live in real filth and squalor, and at the other, folk who are terrified by the thought of a germ.
Most of us are somewhere in the middle - we neither leave half opened food packets in our kitchen for years at a time, nor do we lick our toilet seats to prove they are clean. I was appalled to read recently of an increase in breathing problems, and impaired lung development among babies and children of obsessively hygienic mothers, who are forced to live in an atmosphere of chlorine bleach fumes.
But the other week, one person declared herself to be an "Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder" - and I wondered if that is what I am. I do keep many things believing them to be useful - and sometimes is a number of months years, before their purpose is discovered. 
Tapestry wools - In my twenties, I did a few of those Penelope Kits [they were 21st birthday gifts] and I kept the leftover wools. Then a friend died, and her niece passed on a bag of wools and a floor-standing frame. Another lady gave me a biscuit tin stuffed with wools. Down the years I have used some of them for different projects, but still have yards of soft, coloured skeins. Last week I found a good use for them- and did a proper tidy up of my stash. A friend picked up a long neglected project, and found herself short of a few colours. It was lovely to sort out what I had, and send her some skeins which are possible matches for what she needs. I hope it will save her some money as she finishes her project.

Here are the yarns lined up against the card of shades she needed.
And here is the tangle of wools which I have now tidied away into my Sanderson print bag. There were lots of skeins of embroidery cotton in the melĂ©e - so I put those in a separate roll. 

That came from a lady in Leicestershire - an ex missionary called Margaret. By strange coincidence, her husband was a college with my Dad in the 1940s. I don't know if she made the green linen roll herself - but it is a good memory of a hardworking and diligent woman.

My other big sort out was my 'baby and toddler dress patterns'. I suspect these will get some use pretty soon.

I made the little pink sailor dress for Liz in a cute green striped cotton, with a white collar piped in green. I was given some beautiful stretch terry fabric, and actually made her some babygros with it.

I bought all four of the Pebble Mill At One patterns - and both Steph and Liz had jackets, trousers, skirts and pinafores from the set.
Bob was a student and our income was minuscule - but I enjoyed producing pretty clothes from all sorts of scraps.  I am not making Rosie any babygros though - they are relatively inexpensive to buy now, and I found the work involved in construction was quite complex. 
Yes I am a hoarder, and some of this wool dates back 40 years [DMC sclaim it is mothproof, and colourfast - and so it is] and the patterns are over 30 years old - but they are still useful. I am glad I did not throw them away. 
Marie Kondo's question is "Do these things bring you joy?" my answer "Yes, over and over again! and joy to friends and family too" So I am keeping them a while longer.


  1. I too watch this programme - now finished for the current series - with equal amounts of fascination and horror, but half way through we always learn there is a root cause of both the person who lives in squalor and the person who is obsessively cleaning all the time - there has been a trauma in both their lives. I'm actually more fascinated not by those who have let things slide to such an extent their homes are filthy, but those who are obsessively cleaning to the exclusion of most other things, including making their families feel happy in their homes or with them in a relationship. How awful to be so driven to clean all the time.
    Margaret P

  2. I am so grateful that you had kept the tapestry wool, as now I can continue , and hopefully finish, my cushion!

  3. Marie Kondo can get lost!!! Like you, these things are happy for me!!:

    1. I agree with you Kezzie. As a recovered hoarder I find the idea of thanking things for their service and stuff like that terrifying. I find it exceptionally hard to part with things at the best of times, it's been hard to avoid her words for the past however long but I hope mentions of her teachings start to lessen soon.

  4. How wonderful that you kept those things which will be useful again. Because you kept the wool, you can help your friend find the wool she needs. Because you kept the patterns, you can make little outfits for Rosie that you used to make for her mother!


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