Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Buttons, Leaflets, Yarn, and Men Selling Crafting Supplies

My mom, stepdad, and I occasionally like to go to the Long Beach Outdoor Antique Market that happens every third Sunday of the month.  It is kind of like a swap meet, except there are a lot more things that are genuinely old. Yesterday it was just my mom and I out in the sunny day looking for our version of a great find.

One booth had a selection of old dilapidated tools in every size and shape imaginable. Another had a collection of various salt shakers ranging from the 40's to the 60's. One of my mom's favorite sellers is a booth where anything on the table to $5. Walking down the center aisle we come to a booth that sells nothing but prints from books, back when most things were illustrated. The farther back into the sale you go the newer things get until by the end some of the booths look straight out of the swap meet.

Many of the booths are a hodgepodge of things and of course there are those people trying to trick and deceive. One sign said "Fat quarters. Civil War. $8." We took a feel of the fabric and knew instantly they were modern fabrics. The sign doesn't say they actually are from the Civil War, but the implication is there. Tricky aren't they?

My mom loves dolls. She loves buying them, selling them, but most of all, repairing them. She is usually hunting for doll related things and I hunt for knitting related items. On this day we found a large sink sized basin full of buttons. "Fill a box for $3. Two boxes for $5." Score! A set of new buttons alone is usually at or more than $3, and many of these buttons were fun vintage styles. We spent quite some time having fun riffling through their bin picking out buttons. I picked out some sets I might be able to use for sweaters and my mom picked out the teeny tiny ones to use for dolls.

My collection. I love the navy blue/white ones. 
They would look so cute on a little sailor sweater!

Of course what I'm usually looking for is vintage yarn or needles. I've gotten lucky a couple of times at thrift stores, and on a previous visit to the Outdoor Antique Market I found a few balls of Knit Picks. Yesterday I spotted a small bin on the ground with knitting needles poking out. The bin contained a decent stack of vintage pattern books, mostly for crochet doilies, some vintage circular knitting needles, and a few balls of vintage 100% virgin wool sock yarn.

Using a technique I learned from watching too many episodes of American Pickers I picked out a set of the circular knitting needles, the navy blue sock yarn, and a couple of the leaflets. This is called bundling, and means that you get things for cheaper than they would otherwise have been. The seller gave me the lot for $3. I was all ready to practice bargaining and then he gave me such a low price!

I chose a leaflet from the early 60's called Bernat Raglans and a Doilies booklet from 1956. When I showed my mom the Raglans leaflet she said, "Don't tell me, um, 62?" She was one year off, 1961. One of the raglans is made of mohair and she told me about how she and her friends all had to have one of those sweaters when she was in middle school. These kinds of things are great for inspiration and I have a feeling my little collection of vintage leaflets will keep growing.

Raglan sweater 1961.

Doily from 1956. Gotta love the drawing!

I am very excited about the yarn. A lot of vintage yarn is acrylic, because it was the cool new thing when they started making it. Finding vintage yarn that is 100% wool is a real treasure. Not only that, the yarn is soft and the two balls means there will be enough for a pair of socks.

These kinds of days, where the sun is brilliant and the sky turns a richer blue, the days I get to spend with my mom, these are the days to remember.

No comments: