Afghans, Yarn, and Potential Yarn

The Savers thrift store chain often offers reward cards. You get one spot filled for each $5 spent or donation of a plastic shopping bagful of goods and when all 15 spots on the card are filled you’re rewarded with a 30% off shopping spree. Recently they offered Savers club members an even better deal! (You can join here; it’s free.) If you donated just two bags of used goods you received a coupon for a 30% discount! By combining shopping and donating DH and I were rewarded with Three 30% off Savers shopping sprees! What Fun!!! What kinds of thrifty treasures might we find??

On our first shopping spree I got this Jacob’s Ladder afghan in perfect condition, $3.50. (all prices shown show the 30% discount)

451 jacob's ladder afghan

Because fringe usually doesn’t hold up well under heavy use, I’ll probably take the time to weave in all the ends before I give it to the foster children’s program. Here’s a free Jacob’s Ladder Afghan pattern – thanks to Bev’s Country Cottage – for when you’d like to crochet a Jacob’s Ladder of your own.

My charity stash gained only this one lonely over-sized skein of light burgundy acrylic, $2.10

451 a burgundy skein

But it fared a little better on my second trip when I got two 5-ounce skeins of ‘MainStays’, a yarn that’s manufactured for WalMart. This variegated is called ‘Blue Ridge’, $2.80.

451 two skeins vrgtd blue

And two 4-ounce skeins of ‘Lambs Pride’, which is 85% wool/15% mohair, in ‘Victorian Pink.

451 Lamb's Pride

I have no particular plans for this yarn; I just thought the little touch of mohair sounded Yummy! lol, as was the price of $2.79. Maybe there’s enough there for me to weave a scarf?

I also got a cone of blue sewing thread, $2.10. Doesn’t it normally cost that much just to get a little spool?

451 blue thread

Then on my third and last spree I found an even bigger cone of thread, a whole pound of 20/2 (very fine!) PINK cotton weaving thread for $3.50.

451 PINK weaving thread on cone

I know this stuff usually sells for about $20, so this was an exceptionally good deal. Yay, Savers! Inside the cone the label says this color is ‘Azalea’, appropriate.

451 'Azalea'

I got pretty excited when I first caught sight of this very pretty and large Round Ripple Afghan!

451 afghn - 'good' half

It too was only $3.50, just like the Jacob’s Ladder! Unfortunately I’m turning it back into two and a half pounds of yarn (almost enough yarn for two weekly ripples) because, when I tried smoothing it out to take a photo for you, this is what happened!

451 afghan's upper quarter

Clearly its maker did not heed my earlier advice about checking and double checking the rate of increase when crocheting a round ripple! tsk. tsk. If they had, they would have realized very early on that something wasn’t quite right.

It’s easy enough to pretend that a circular afghan’s first few rounds lay ‘flat enough’. – I took this picture when I was almost finished unraveling, –

451 star's flattish center

But, if you can’t smooth it out completely. . .

451 star's center 'smoothed'

or if it looks like this when you fold it in half,

451 star's center folded

please stop, be honest with yourself and admit there’s a problem. It will not go away or improve simply because you ignore it. sigh.

451 afghan's upper quarter

I made only one other fibery purchase at Savers, a Lord & Taylor cabled cashmere sweater, which I hoped would fit DH. My backup plan was that if it didn’t fit I would unravel it for the thirteen ounces of luscious three-ply cashmere yarn. I figured it was a fantastic buy either way at $5.60.

451 cashmere cables

I may have felt disappointed for a split second when DH tried it on because my personal stash won’t be gaining any cashmere. The sweater fits him beautifully! You’ll just have to take my word on that. It’s July, so a little too warm to be posing for cashmere fashion photos. lol.

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13 Responses to Afghans, Yarn, and Potential Yarn

  1. another Sharon (sharonb42 says:

    great buys, sure wish we had Savers here but I checked and we don’t.

  2. Gak !!! I can’t believe you undid that round one!!!! I’m in COMPLETE SHOCK over here.

    • Hey Jill ~ I’ve taken a long time to respond to your comment, cuz. . . well, cuz I thoroughly explained why I unraveled it and I didn’t know what more to say.

      Sorry that you disagree with my decision, but I guess we simply can’t expect to agree about Everything! lol.

      If you should ever buy a very pretty afghan that turns out to be ripply you’ll get to be the one who decides whether to give it as a gift anyway. . .

      or not. 🙂

  3. Karen says:

    You were lucky to find the Mainstays yarn–WalMart discontinued it a few years back. It is (was?) a nice yarn. Wish I knew who made it for them.

    • I don’t recall ever having seen the Mainstays label before – Guess that shows just how much attention I pay the yarn department at WalMart! lol.

      Yeah, the yarn’s quite soft. It would be interesting to know the manufacturer, but all they tell us is ‘Made in USA.’

  4. Melissa says:

    I would be in absolute thrifty heaven if any of the shops here carried yarn. I’ve found one bag for $6 since moving here three years ago! Where are all the yarnies?? So yes, I mail order a lot and I do find some wonderful sweaters to unravel so I’m pleased! 😉 I often wonder if I’m hitting the wrong times, or days or what…but honestly, I’ve visited all the area thrift shops several times a year since being here and nothing! It’s just so weird! You’d think there would be something every now and then, but not. My next plan is to try to visit a couple estate sales. I just like the hunt to be honest. It’s more fun to find yarn out in the wild than in retail stores!

    • Only one bag of yarn in 3 years!?! I can’t imagine. I’ve been completely spoiled by how easy it is for me to find thrifty yarn around here. Several of my other readers also live in ‘dry’ areas. I wonder if finding out how many knitters per million are in each state would tell us anything. And the average $$$ they spend per year on yarn.

      I had an Ah-Ha! moment while reading your blurb about shopgoodwill – if all the yarn they receive that’s worth anything gets sold on-line, it’s no wonder that the GoodWill store near us never has any ‘good’ yarn and never more than one or two skeins at a time of even the most mediocre stuff.

      Best of luck hunting yarn. . . I heartily agree, finding it in the wild is Much More Fun! 😀

    • Karen says:

      I very rarely find yarn at the local thrifts either, although I visit them all several times a month. Salvation Army–nothing. Good Will–nothing. Savers–occasionally, and even then it’s usually odds and ends in plastic bags that are overpriced. I think the Yarn Fairy is only watching over Linda 🙂 !

      • I see those same sort of overpriced bags of odds and ends at Savers and try very hard not to laugh out loud. . . sometimes I fail and other shoppers look at me strangely. The pricing ‘logic’ escapes me!!

        I would be happy to share my Yarn Fairy’s special powers with you, Karen! lol. 🙂

      • I may not have a yarn fairy, but boy do I have a “potential yarn” fairy. I cleaned up at a charity shop here. It’s the Catholic Charities and the day I went in all sweaters were 5/$2. I bought ten. I just couldn’t believe I was getting cashmere and organic cotton, WHOLE sweaters for .40 I was so excited. There is a craft section in this store, but it’s locked up and the lady who runs it is apparently not in good health so you never know when it will be open. It kill me to go past and just peek in the crack and see all the craft stuff. I wonder if there’s yarn in there!

        I replied to an ad on Craigslist once about “lots of yarn” and was sad that it was all Homespun. I don’t care for that yarn much at all and it seems most knitters are in hiding or something 😉 That’s okay. I have an evil plan to turn anyone I meet into a knitter (or hooker…the crafty kind, not the Pretty Woman kind!)

      • 40 cents each for ‘gourmet’ sweaters, WOW, that’s Wonderful!! Were you able to keep from giggling with glee?

        I could easily do the 40 cents a piece part with a local thrift’s bag deal – fill a plastic grocery bag with clothing for $4.00 – but I’ve Never found more than a couple high quality sweaters at a time there. Paying 40 cents a piece for men’s shirts I’ll turn into quilts is a good deal, but not a Fantastic Deal like yours! lol.

        Oh, a charity shop with enough craft materials to need their own special section!?! I’d be tempted to call every now and then to ask whether it was open. 🙂

        ‘Homespun’, eh?. I’ve been given several skeins of the stuff over the last few years. I keep hoping for a burst of inspiration. Maybe I can weave a blanket out of it??

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