One of my favourite indulgent habits is to visit the Antiques and Vintage section of eBay and sort the listings by Ending Soonest. There’s nothing quite like deciding whether you want a battered vanity case with only one minute twenty seconds to go (of course you do). A bit further down, with a whole forty minutes to persuade yourself that you deserve it, you might find a forgotten treasure that has slipped through everyone else’s searches and so through their fingers.
That’s how I fell in love with this vintage tapestry bag, whose red-roofed cluster of buildings reminds me of a remote Italian monastery or a Medici country retreat. I didn’t know the size, or even what was on the reverse, but I had to have those red-tiled roofs.
Happily, it turned out the back was populated by horsemen, fruit trees and some rather charming rabbits, and the bag was the perfect size for knitting needles.
I love treasure-hunting like this because it fixes the worst things about eBay: clumsy search tools and other bidders. ‘Ending Soonest’ makes it more like a higgledy-piggledy little shop whose owner really wants to close up for the day.
P.s. here’s what I’m knitting with at the moment. (Well, it is Valentine’s.)