Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Let's Shop For Wool Today, Shall We?

Today is a really good day to shop at my local Salvation Army Thrift Store. I haven't been there for a while and fall always brings out the wool clothes at thrift stores. Want to come with me? Ok!
The thrift store that we're going to today isn't my favorite one, but it is the closest one that has the largest selection of wool. It's in the nearby little "city" of Beaver Falls.
Beaver Falls isn't really the best of areas for shopping ... it's your typical slightly run down main street town with little of interest but ... it does have some really great places that make it worth the short drive. At the beginning of town, I always stop at the little fruit market. I didn't get a pic but they sell locally grown fruits and veggies and they have a nice deli with very reasonable prices on lunchmeats and cheeses. The Beaver Valley Fruit Market is where I bought the big as your head cabbage for only29 cents a lb. (made stuffed cabbage with it)

Just a few blocks up from the Fruit Market is McMahon's Harley Shop. Sorry the pic is bad .. .. I miss-aimed and didn't get the sign like I wanted. The owners here are like family to my Harley obsessed husband ... family that takes lots of money out of your pocket while giving you a hug, that is.
Yes, indeed, this Harley shop has been given a lot of our money over the years, but if you own a Harley, you know it's something that HAS to be done. The owners here are friends and are good people so if you need a $25,000 Harley, McMahon's is the place to go!
I'm going to drive right by the place that Beaver Falls is most famous for ... Orams Donuts.
Orams has as big as your face cinnamon roll donuts that are so good that just looking at them will put on 5lbs.
To save you all from weight gain, I did not take a picture of the place. .. well that and there was a big truck in front of the place and no place to park to get the picture.
Here we are parked at the Salvation Army Thrift Store. This is a picture of the tattoo/piercing place that is across the street from the Thrift Store. I detest that blue building and I'm happy to see the sign stretched across it saying that they've moved to another location.
This is the place that my dear innocent Rachel, right after she turned 18, went to get some odd location on her ears, pierced. She's has a video somewhere of the friend that was with her almost passing out while watching the piercing being done.
Thankfully, no tattoos, (that I know of) were burned into her skin but really, how dare they punch/drill holes into my daughters ears without me knowing about it! (love ya Rach and I'm glad your ears didn't fall off after you finally decided the the pain and infection weren't worth the coolness factor of having a piercing in the cartilege of your ears)

Yes, there are parking meters in front of the Thrift Store and I always put a dime in it to get 30 minutes of time because I've found out that the 15 minutes that a nickel gives you, will also give you a $1 parking ticket if you go 2 minutes passed that 15. My parking meter, however, seems to be broken and won't allow me to insert any money. We will be in permanant violation while in the Thrft Store and if I get a $1 parking ticket for this, you are my witnesses and I will fight it.

Stepping into the thrift store, the sign tells me about today's special ... yes! It's half price day for all clothing and shoes, except for white ticket. Wool skirts at half off the already low price is a real bargain!
I make an immediate right and head over to the linens and fabric rack that's against the wall. See that round table and chairs? $599.00 for that! Are you kidding me? If I pay $599.00 for anything from a thrift store, it better walk and talk, do my laundry, cook my dinner and wash my dishes.
Anyway, sometimes I find some nice wool yardage on this rack, but no luck today. They sometimes have nice old tablecloths, but no luck today with that either.
Turning the corner from the linens brings me to the rack with the bedspreads, sheets and draperies. We want to go to the end of this rack where we might find some nice wool blankets.No luck this time. There is a nice wool shaw type throw but it's way too thin to use for penny rugs. What a shame. It's only $4.99 and that color would dye nicely but it's so thin that no amount of soap and hot water will felt it enough to make it worthwhile. I looked for a tag on it to prove that it's wool, but saw none. I've done this long enough to be able to tell just by how it feels that it's wool though but darn it ... it's too thin.

Next we'll go to the rack of skirts. This store is nice because they organize all the clothes by color not size. I start at the back where the black skirts are. I really don't need plain colors of wool so I'm looking for tweeds and plaids and textures. There are lots of plain black wool skirts, but I'm passing them by today.
This skirt is a good find ... it has some texture and it's not plain black. Little flecks of white make it a nice find ... except.... you can't tell from the picture but it has too many seams in it. Usually skirts have one large panel of wool in the front and two panels of wool in the back. This one has three panels in the front and back. Each panel would only be about 10" wide, so it's just not enough wool to make it worthwhile. What a shame, but I'm passing this one up even if it would only cost $2.
I always check out the rack with the winter scarves too. Every once in a while a wonderful wool scarf can be found. No luck this time though.
Let's head over to the winter coat rack. Now, winter coats ... I don't usually buy them but if there's an exceptional white or black wool coat, I will consider buying it if the panels are large enough and if it's not too dingey looking. No luck today though and I'm glad because it's a lot of work to tear down a coat for the wool.
For a little break, I check out the wall of toys. I've found so many wonderful toys here for the grandson ... heck most of the toys we have at home for him are from thrift stores. I only buy the ones that I can wash though.
Nothing much here today, so no new toys.

The last place we will look is the men's sport coats. If I need some wonderful wool tweeds, houndstooth, plaids or just great blends of colors, this is where I find it. Jackets are difficult and time consuming to tear apart so I don't often buy them, but I always try to keep a good supply of different textures in my wool stash because they are so nice to use to add that extra textured look to the penny rug.
I didn't buy anything! I'm lucky because I really do have more than enough wool at home so lately, I just look for exceptional colors ... like fall colors or plaids. I will always buy the wool blankets, no matter what color, because I like to use them for backgrounds.
When looking at your own thrift stores, if you're not absolutely positive that it's not 100% wool, don't buy it. Look for the label! Most quality wool garments have the identifying 100% wool label. Wool blends won't felt or dye nicely.
Tomorrow, if I can, I'll show how I tear down the wool garments and how I wash/felt them.
Happy Fall Day everyone!


Christine said...

That was so much fun even if there wasn't anything worth buying. Hope you didn't get a parking fine!
Best wishes

Lisa said...

Cool! I loved the tour! Your little town is sweet! I think this was a great idea for a series! I can't wait to see the how to!
Hugs, Lisa

Anonymous said...

Since I do day-care my 80 year young friend scours four thrift stores for wool, crochet thread and anything else which could be used. After felting, the disassembling reminds me of skinning squirrels with my Dad. LOL Look forward to learning from your methods. Peggy

Anonymous said...

Thanks sew much for the fun excursion around YOUR town! I am truly agog athe the order and cleanliness in your SA store - makes me want to share your pics with the local dingy dirty shop. LOL on the table/chairs pricing - eyes rolling ever so slightly here.

Can't wait for the next installment ;0