The Second Hand Score

You’ve got a fantastic project in mind and most of the materials to finish it, but there’s that one elusive colour. You only need a bit. Maybe a little more texture, but those luxury art yarns, while perfect for your piece, are a little pricey for your liking. You only need a few yards, after all.

Second hand store to the rescue.

I’ve discovered some of my best supplies in bags and bins. These fabulous finds once belonged to someone else and, for some reason or another, never got used. Maybe tossing through shelves of old, smelly yarn isn’t your favourite passtime. Maybe it is. Whether you enjoy it or not, don’t overestimate the power of a great find. All of the items shown here are second hand. In many cases, I’ve paid less than a dollar for them. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve completed a project to date that was finished using entirely newly purchased supplies.

second hand yarn
All fibre shown here was purchased second hand.

If you really hit the jackpot, you may hit the store in time to score an old lady’s stash that her relatives didn’t know what to do with when they moved her into a home. (If you’re really lucky, you’ll know that old lady and she’ll give you her stash before it ever gets to the store.)

Other great places to find those missing bits and pieces may include:

  • local guild jumble sales (usually for members only)
  • garage sales
  • grandma’s attic
  • mom’s storage unit
  • a friend’s fibre stash
  • the box you packed 10 years ago and forgot you had

The only thing to keep in mind if you’re buying second hand goods is to check for damage or wear. I’ve had a few duds that had been affected by time or, worse, bugs. If there’s a smell that you find too bothersome, you can always skein it, wash it, and wind it back into a ball before using it. Otherwise, a good wash of the final piece is sufficient.

Happy hunting!


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