Posts Tagged ‘ yard sale ’

Flower scrounging

One of my favorite parts of both the Master Gardener plant sale and the Ravenswood Manor yard sale is scrounging plants. Like find what’s $1 or $2 and bringing it home.

Last year it was like cactus paddles and catmint.

This year it’s chamomile and tansy and winecup¬†and autumn clematis from the master gardeners.

Yard sale: pattern style

Sorting patterns again. Trying to get rid of the ones that will never fit me, I will never wear. And I’m at the point of, “Make me an offer”. Our house search is going terribly, so I don’t know why I’m so nuts lately about clearing stuff out. But there you have it. I am.

Like these skirts:

pattern-McCall's 8424




Pattern-McCall's 8901

But wait, there’s more…

knitting madness

Now that we’re settled into new digs and I have established a one-in, one-out policy, I can pop into the thrifts again. And two of my favorite thrift stores are near my south suburban job. At one in Markham, I scored a big bag of knitting and crochet needles.

Number 19s

I don’t typically spend a whole $4.50 on one item, shopping the sale items even at the thrift store, but the giant size 17 and 19 knitting needles alone made the purchase worthwhile.

New knitting needles from Salvy - $4.50's worth

Also included were extra long 8s and 9s, shortie 8s and 9s in plastic (better for flying), a slew of smaller crochet hooks, and some giant sewing needles good for weaving in ends.

new crochet hooks

Knitting collection now

Original knitting stash came from an amazing yard sale in Haddon Township, N.J., while shopping with my mom and sister-in-law and baby niece. I think that was another $4.50 purchase, which included some giant orange plastic needles and a tapestry case.

My knitting is getting braver. I was only able before to do knit and purl in straight lines. But then this tutorial got me thinking about wavier lines, too. Like most of you, I have stashes of yarn and fabric that wants using – I mean, I acquired this stuff because I wanted to make fabulous things. So let the making continue.

More to come on the fans and feathers pattern results, including a teeny adjustment to make the texture more uniform on both sides (i.e., make my mistakes less noticeable).

I’m dreaming of a very feathery Christmas.

Governor’s yard sale

We used to call the neighborhood garage sale annual extravaganza in Chicago’s Ravenswood Manor the Governor’s Yard Sale because Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich lives there and when first elected, socialized and pitched a table of goods to hawk. Now that he’s generally hated for doing *nothing* on the taxpayer’s dime except hand over jobs and $$$ to campaign contributors (allegedly), he’s nowhere to be seen. But the name stuck in my mind because they’re some of the loveliest homes in Chicago and there’s good stuff to be bought. Totally a solid mix of junk for cheap and antiques for relatively cheap.

I was pretty restrained this year. With all the recent fuss of intended nuptials, I’m feeling a little full of stuff and over-crafted — or at least over committed to the crafts I’ve already started. But a few wonderful bargains could not be resisted.

yard sale dishes

Four dishes printed like fancy cheeses in a round cheese sort of box $1.

Packet of holy cards, mostly feat. O.L. Miss Manners tome (heart her!) for $2. Vintage knitting pattern catalog (free to a good home).

yard sale

Necklace kit containing 55 freshwater pearls and the hardware to put it together for $.50.

Packages of lovely stationery with scalloped or torn edges, glossy or matte paper, white or rosewood or heart-printed, 6 for $5, and a box of pint-sized Mason jars I’ve been wanting for the dried spices from the bulk bins or the garden, and the hot sauce the Mister likes to make once the pepper plants do their thing.

yard sale fatima

Portrait in needlepoint of Our Lady of Fatima I’ll use to make a present for my friend and fellow lover of Our Lady, Kelly B.

And this smocked apron, hand sewn by a grandma of the woman who sold it to me for $1. The hand work that went into the tiny tucks and rick-rack edging make me dizzy, since it’s not a ball gown – it’s a utilitarian apron.

yard sale apron pocket

How lucky am I to live in the 21st century where crafting is a choice, not a means of survival?

Same lady had a sewing chair for sale – a low cushioned chair with a flip up seat that reveals storage space for mending and darning bits. I left it there since I’ve already dragged home 7 or 8 chairs, and then the Mister always asks, “Why do you want that?” and “Where will it go?” I want it because the ottoman I sit on at my desk (upholstered from a nightstand) isn’t comfortable at all. Might have to knock on the lady’s door and see if she’ll sell it a week later.

See, I totally come from scavenger stock, and some of my earliest memories with my mother’s grandmother involve touring and throwing yard sales with her. The best part of these sales is purging junk from the house that other people can and still will use.

If you come away with a few $$$, it’s even more fun.


I hail from total scavenger stock. My mother’s father survived the Depression and never got over it. My Pop could stash some stuff away. The TV we used to have (until it conked out) came from my Pop’s house in the Villas, NJ, from his TV room. And by TV room, I mean a side room in the house that had six Ts in it. My Mister and I plugged ’em in until we found one that worked. I think we ended up with TV#4. My mother’s mother’s mother (got it?) lived at Yard Sales and was a sort of yard sale shark, buying cheap and marking up at her own monthly garage sale. But Pop kept me equipped in sewing stuff – better scissors, boxes of buttons and even a serger. Ditto for Mom-mom Sarnese, only her supplies were more like sparkly pins and giant beads. Love them both, though I think they didn’t like each other.

Saturday night, I found myself grabbing empty OB bottles off the table at Korean BBQ so my Mister can use them for the beer he’s been making all winter. And all week, I’ve been walking off with cartons of discarded cigar boxes – beautiful wooden boxes from the Dominican Republic with real hinges and all – from the cigar shop on the corner. Guess the lads are cleaning house or something.

boxes boxes

Some will be shared with lady friends, some will stash supplies around the house in a manner a tad nicer than shoe boxes.