I’ve been thinking about giving a sales clerk at Sal’s one of my ripple afghans for her baby who’s expected to arrive in a few more weeks. This is the first one I’ve made using fingering weight baby yarns.
I wasn’t sure how to present it to her since we’d be at the store while she’s working. I decided not to use any gift-wrap; instead I just tied it with a simple satin ribbon and put it in a plastic bag.
It was rather awkward approaching her, because the place was busy, it being Friday, and several people were at the check-out counter, but I didn’t want to start shopping while carrying this bag. (Last thing I wanted was for someone to suspect me of shoplifting!) I stood at the back of the check-out area and waited for a pause in the action, then I quickly handed it to her saying, “You know I make blankets for foster kids with all the yarn I buy here. Well, I couldn’t very well give blankets to all those kids and not give a blanket to your baby too!”
I asked if she knew about a local program that has baby and children’s clothing available for a donation. She had heard of it, but didn’t know that the program was still going on. She seemed uncomfortable with the idea, so I offered to go for her. She got a big smile on her face and said “You’d do that for me?” I told her I had the time and could go right then, and asked what she needed. She said, “Everything! I have nothing, really!” I had overheard a similar comment the last time I was there, so I was able to act relatively unsurprised. (This baby’s coming in three weeks!)
Before I left, I looked through a box of children’s books that had just been brought out. I got these five hard-covered books, which I’ll be donating to the DCF office, for 50¢ each. They like to have toys and books available to offer the children who spend time waiting there.
On my way out I noticed a box labeled 99¢ each, filled with three and four-ounce skeins of yarn, sitting by the door. That’s more than I normally spend, but I rarely come across pure (not rusty) oranges, so I grabbed one skein. Seeing everyone at the counter was busy again, I just tossed it into a jumble of hangers behind the counter and hoped it would still be there when I got back!
The baby clothes were all neatly sorted in laundry baskets labeled by size and gender, making it easy for me to find what I needed. The manager and I chatted while I made my picks and she hung up more clothes. I have no idea how long I was there, but I gathered a nice assortment of clothing in sizes from 0 to 6 months. Depending on the birth weight of her baby, she’ll have things to use over at least a few months. I was also offered Playtex baby bottles, but I didn’t know if that was something she would be interested in.
Back to Sal’s, “Thank you, Thank you, and Yes!”, and she did want the bottles. I paid for my orange yarn and turned to go. Right behind where I had stood was a box, sitting on a chair, filled to the brim with packages of sewing trims! This box made the one I bought on Tuesday look tiny! I flipped through a few of the packages and ended up dumping about a third of them into a shopping cart so I could get a better idea of what was there: ooooh! rick-rack, quite a bit of lace seam tape, and more bias tape! I couldn’t find a price written anywhere on the box’s cardboard flaps and they said 5/$1. That seemed ridiculously high compared to $5 for the box of some 70 packages I gotten here only a few days before! I immediately thought, oh well, the decision’s been made for me. As I started refilling the box I heard the clerk ask the store’s manager how much it would be for the entire box. They were all curious what I would do with so much trim and I told them about making pillowcases for the foster kids. As soon as he heard that the trim would be used on a charity project, he said, “For such a good cause, $5.”!!
I thanked him and turned to pick up the box I had just put back. That’s when I noticed another box, down on the floor. I told the clerk, “Just a minute, there’s more yarn.”
Only one of the skeins had a price sticker. It was a bulky weight yarn, originally priced $7.99, now $1.99, but I wasn’t interested in that. Then they told me 99¢ for large and 49¢ for small on the rest, which were mostly Fun Fur and partial skeins, and I came home with these:
There’s a 49¢ ball of Rowan Felted Tweed, color 154 Bittersweet, and a 49¢ ball of Regia Stretch Color sock yarn. The four acrylic yarns are for charity crocheting. A four-ounce skein of dark orange and an eight-ounce skein of rose were 99¢ each. Three-ounce skeins of light orange and goldenrod were 49¢ each.
Grand Total: $11.50
What a thrifty day! I made one more round trip for the baby bottles, and it wasn’t until I got home that I realized that in all the excitement I forgot to leave a donation for the baby clothing or the baby bottles! That gives me a reason to go back soon and have another treasure hunt.