I’ve gotten the feeling from listening to my readers that the thrift store yarn pickings in my area are better than the national average. Some of you have told me that you never find yarn, that it’s overpriced or that the yarn you do see is simply nasty mildewed stained yuck. All these tales made me curious of what I’d find if I went further afield, so when the opportunity recently arose I grabbed a ride with DH to Framingham, Massachusetts, about an hour north of us. On-line I’d found a Savers store just a few minutes from his destination.
At first I thought the store didn’t have a crafts/yarn display, because things were laid out a little differently than what I’m used to. But then a Savers employee (associate?) pointed it out to me, straight across the store on the opposite wall. When he said he remembered having seen some yarn the previous week, I wasn’t expecting much. Notice the ‘Needlepoint” sign above the display.
Not very attractive, but I’m not so easily put off. I was thorough, looking at each bag hanging on the wall and handling every item in the wire bins below.
I try to leave a display looking at least as good as when I arrived, if not better. I’m handling every piece anyway and it’s simply easier to keep track of what I’ve already seen if I organize as I go.
Although there’s actually less yarn after my rummage, it looks like more, doesn’t it?
There were no full skeins of RHSS or any easily recognized fine wools, mostly vintage and unlabeled yarns, but there were still some good deals. I think the best, price-wise, of the yarns I wasn’t interested in buying, were a bag with two new balls of Fun Fur for 99¢ and two $1.99 bags that each held a full skein of Lion Brand Homespun (reg. retail $6.50) along with a couple partial skeins of other acrylics. Those would probably been marked $1.99 and $2.99, respectively, at my Savers.
Here’s the yarn that I did buy: Bag One – three partial skeins of acrylic weighing fifteen ounces, the equivalent of two skeins of RHSS, for $1.99 and Bag Two – five ounces of Burgundy RHSS for 50¢. Certainly not enough to qualify as a haul, but that’s okay. I only need to replace twenty-four ounces per week to maintain my charity stash and you already know that I sometimes come home with much more than that! It all averages out over time.
I ‘m very happy about my fabric finds from just across the aisle. Yes, only two pieces, but what fantastic prices on such wonderful material! This two yard floral piece was only 99¢. I’m not sure of its fiber content, a blend of some kind I think. Possibly it’s hand-dyed. See how the back is the very same color as the front?
That’s very different from the tiger print, which is almost white on the back, obviously machine-printed. It says Cranston Print Works 100% cotton on its edge, a name I recognize as a very nice quality quilt fabric. I got three yards for $1.99.
Unfortunately we were there on a Monday, so no Senior discount (20% on Tues.). At the checkout I assumed they’d want to scan our member card, just like they do at grocery stores, but the clerk told me it wasn’t necessary; there were no member deals that day. However, she did mention that members could get 30% off purchases from several departments (including bed & bath = yarn & fabric) on Thursday, the 24th, by showing their card.
Ah-HA!! A light bulb moment… I suddenly understood why I’ve never done particularly well at Savers’ 50% off holiday sales, which are open to all shoppers, not just members. The next one, on Memorial Day, the 28th, will come just four days after the members’ 30% sale! I would think that a store’s inventory will always be depleted during a 50% sale because of the hordes of members buying at the preceding 30% event. But no sour grapes as I’m a member now too. Besides, this is all part of the fun of the hunt for free-range yarn!*
Next time we’ll see how things went at my local Savers’ 30% sale.
*Free-range Yarn: Yarn that’s been allowed to roam outside the confines of normal yarn outlets (local yarn stores and big box craft stores).