Can you believe I found this at an estate sale?
La Maya and I were doing some recreational estate-saling the other day when we came across this throw at an otherwise unexceptional site.
Said she: “This looks hand-made.”
“Couldn’t be,” said I. “There’s another one over there, across the room, just like it. They must be convincing machine-made replicas from China.”
About then, along comes the lady who’s running the sale.
“The owner,” says she, “sits in front of the television and knits these as a hobby. She says it’s her ‘therapy.’ She just keeps making them, and she wants to get rid of them. She’s selling them for what the materials cost.” The price was $35.
On closer inspection, you could tell that $35 really was about her cost. The wool is very nice—extremely soft and warm. The throw above doesn’t appear to have been blocked, but it would be easy enough to do that yourself with a flat piece, and probably wouldn’t cost much to have it done professionally. The work is very nice…
There were four of them scattered around the house. I wish I’d bought more than one now, to give one as a gift. My mother used to knit and crochet—she was very good at it. And while buying the yarn was a lot cheaper than buying a hand-knit sweater at a shop, for sure good wool costs something.
At any rate, it’s going to be wonderful next winter, when the inside of the house gets chilly. I can’t wait to curl up on the sofa under it.
You, Too, Can Score This Loot!
Estate sales generally are better than yard sales. They happen when someone dies, moves, or just decides to clear out a lifetime’s collection of stuff that’s too good to give away for free. These days, foreclosures make for an ongoing bonanza. You can prospect online at this site: just click on your state and then your city for a list of upcoming sales. Estate sales are conducted by professionals who are in the business of organizing housefuls of junk and pricing the goods to sell. Often these outfits will post photos, so you get a good feel for whether a sale has anything to offer that interests you.
Just now I’m looking at one that pictures a practically new front-loading washer & dryer set, a high-end stainless-steel dishwasher, and a stainless-steel bottom-freezer fridge with French-style doors. These people are also selling what looks like an antique love seat upholstered in pristine gold brocade fabric, if that’s your taste.
Many of the dealers maintain e-mail lists. If you find a dealer that consistently has good sales and good prices, ask to be included on their list—they will send you notices of upcoming sales, often with photos. There’s an outfit here, for example, called Angels in the Attic. They must be somewhat selective about what jobs they’ll take on, because almost all their sales have at least some interesting items, and their prices are generally very reasonable.
Try it. You’ll like it!