Monday, January 5, 2009

Recycling My Way

04jan09 recycled yarnFour thrift store sweaters = ~$10. That's a lot yarn for ten bucks!

1. Gray cotton/cashmere (60/40) shrug
2. Beige linen/cotton (55/45) women's 1X sweater
3. Peachy/orange sweater (acrylic/cotton/wool/nylon/mohair/spandex)
4. Red/orange sweater (acrylic/wool/something)

The last two will become a shawl -- just need another yarn to separate the colors a little.

We've had quite the adventures attempting to thrift over my vacation. We thought it would be fun to map out any of the thrift stores within a reasonable driving distance and hit a particular area each time. Day 1 was pretty good; I already wrote about that. While we were out that day, I noticed signs on at least one shop's door about a New Year's Day sale, so I figured that meant other thrift stores would be open. That day, we drove all over Ann Arbor, where I found that I never want to make that drive alone (convoluted much?), but nothing else because every store was closed (if it existed).

Day 3 we had a little more luck. Only because we found an unlisted store on our way to another one that didn't exist anymore. I found sweaters 2 & 3 in the list above; and, at the one store on our list that was open, John found a practically new vacuum designed for homes with pets for $9. A $3.99 belt later, and it works like a charm. (It's a current model and retails for $199.) That was it for our adventures.

On Saturday, I met up with Anita, halfway between our homes to catch up, and hit a couple of thrift stores while we were at it. Store #1: I’ve joked before about pricers in some of these places being on crack, but this place gave me sticker shock! The first thing I saw was a sleeveless sweater for $8. I checked a few more, and they were just as insane. It sucked the will of digging through the rack right out of me! I asked Anita if she knew the Value World that wasn’t too far away, and she did. She also knew of another store near it, so we headed there first.

It was the weirdest thrift store I think I’ve ever been in. They had a big “half off everything” sign in the window...except that it’s half off everything all the time. So they price everything for twice what they want and people think they’re getting a deal. I did manage to find a couple of things I wanted: a bread box (I’m getting tired of keeping the bread in the fridge, but Maggie has recently decided that bread is the best thing ever) for $1.50 (real price); a really nice wooden bowl, priced too high, really, but I collect them and liked the shape; and a pumpkin carving book.

We got to the register, and there was quite a delay. I was really annoyed at first, but ended up being so relieved because I glanced around and spotted a display on the counter selling calendars. I flipped it over, and there was the address of the charity I used to work for, with their new name. They apparently have branched out and added new stores, but with different names, to their enterprise. I asked the clerk if this was the company that owned the store, and they said yes. I said, “Oh, no. I don’t give them any of my money.” And walked out. (Anita hadn’t found anything.)

At our third and final stop, I did finally find a couple of things! Another sweater to unravel (#4); a nice small, green platter and a tablecloth with an acorn print that Anita spotted for me, which may remain a tablecloth, but may also be turned into throw pillows.

All in all, a mixed bag of experiences.


Anonymous said...

How do you know a sweater would be good to do this with? Where do you get the yarn-winder-thingy?

Melissa said...

I'm going to answer this in a new post, because it's a good question!