Sunday, October 5, 2014

SABLE…I Think I Have It!

I noticed an ad on Craigslist for an estate sale the other day that mentioned yarn among the items available. If you’re a knitter or crocheter, you know what that means – I had to go! Judy and I went to a couple of sales first that listed an earlier opening time. The first was a huge stockpile of years of accumulation, with the kind of prices we love. Fifty cents. A quarter. I know she found some stuff there but I don’t even remember what it was because I was intent on my own pile! Ended up with a vintage Vera tablecloth

Vera yellow tableclothVera table cloth

and some fabric

Hand printed silk fabricSilk fabric hand printedCrysanthemum fabric

and five rolls of old wallpaper, which I’m hoping will resell.

vintage wallpaper  boxvintage Cinderella wallpaerCinderella feeds the geeseCinderella flees

Then we were off to the estate sale. The house was quite large and I kept poking my head into rooms that held anything but yarn. Like a collection of at least 40 pairs of Birkenstocks. Priced at $30 each, so no thanks. I kept looking and finally found the room full of fabric, with the closet full of yarn. Several ladies were choosing fabric pieces (lots of quilters around here) but no one was looking at the yarn, so I dove in. I expected any minute for other knitters to show up but no one did.

All the yarn was done up in ziplock bags that had been stapled shut – a bit frustrating since choosing yarn is a tactile experience. But unlike the Birks and most other items in the house, the yarn prices were pretty reasonable. (If you’ve ever been in a yarn store you know how shockingly expensive it can be.) So I picked out a bag, then another, and another. Judy caught up with me and I made her hold some bags, then I went and found a box to corral everything. In all I spent about $20 just on yarn, which is a lot of money for a fifty cent lady! But I came home with over $200 in yarn. And I had so much fun sorting and petting it when I got it home that…yes, I went back the next day!

Well, it was half price day. I fully expected the yarn to be wiped out, but there was still quite a bit of good stuff. So I grabbed another box and started putting yarn in it.

Had a bit of a moment when another shopper started pulling yarn out of my box. I said those were mine, I’d already selected them. My goodness, the look she gave me! Talk about a face that would curdle milk. I was surprised, because most folks around here would just say oh sorry, let’s see what’s left in the closet. Hmmm, maybe she’s related to one of the guys from last week who were getting into a fight over something at a yard sale. She definitely looked ready to take a swing at me, but fortunately backed off.

You have to be careful around knitters though. We often carry sharp pointed objects and we know how to use them!

So another $14 in yarn came home with me, at least $300 worth. It makes quite a pile.

Stash o' yarnYarn stash

There are wonderful colors and textures

yarn colorspretty yarn

and I may love the single ball of floofy bunny angora yarn best of all.

angora yarn     curl of angora yarn

Knitters often use an acronym – SABLE – to describe their stockpile of yarn: Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy. Clearly the lady whose estate was being sold had achieved it, and I think I’m getting there too. When I first got back into knitting (because I visited an alpaca farm and bought one skein of sock yarn) I determined that I would buy no more yarn than would fit into my vintage train case. And then it was the train case and a zippered bag I happened to have. And since yarn is squishy I was holding the line there…until now. But it’s such fun to see all this beautiful yarn, and so satisfying to think of a project and grab the yarn from your stash and go with it. And I just ran across the idea on someone’s blog to display balls of beautiful yarn around the house. Which brings me to my other purchase from Saturday morning.

He’s bigger than the crystal water buffalo, but was just as alluring. As soon as I saw this kingfisher on his bowl he had to be mine.

Kingfisher bowlkingfisher potceramic kingfisher

He’ll look great with flowers growing in the pot, I thought. But now I think he’ll look great with some lovely balls of yarn heaped in his bowl.

yarn textures


  1. The yarn is lovely, and the Cinderella wallpaper is a once-in-a-lifetime find. Good digging!

    1. Thanks! Maybe I was a terrier in my last life?

  2. What a find! The good stuff! I am so jealous, Sharon! Have fun. I know exactly what you mean about the full senses experience of yarn shopping or browsing.

  3. wonderful yarns and table cloth! will have to send you a photo of a wonderful 50's vintage tablecloth I got a couple of weeks ago for about $1. it was filthy and stained, but cleaned up super just the way you told me to do it with that soaking stuff I cannot remember the name to right now. going to use it for a party this weekend!

    1. Oxyclean or some such - I always get the grocery store brand. So glad it cleaned up. Long soaking is the secret! Send me the pics, you KNOW I want to see it!

  4. That wallpaper is to-die-for! What a great find.
    I've just begun (at 50) to crochet and am keeping my yarn purchases to the project I am working on... we'll see how long that lasts! Great haul, thanks for sharing.

    1. Isn't it fun to learn a new skill? But good luck on limiting your yarn purchases! I said the same thing when I bought that first skein to make a pair of socks. Who knew it was gateway yarn? ;o)

  5. Great buys. You know my favorite is the tablecloth.


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

Pin It button on image hover