Thursday, May 25, 2006

Going . . . Going . . . Gone!

Thursday morning is a rush for the newspaper to scout the auctions for the weekend. Not many choices this weekend, but one of our favorite auctioneers has a sale at the fairgrounds on Saturday. I always hope for sewing and knitting things.

A couple years ago, DH was driving and I commented that I dreamed I bought knitting needles at the sale we were to attend. He just gave me the customary husband grump. After parking, as we walked into the building, I was rubbing my hands together and I said, "I just can't wait to see my knitting needles". His response was, "Get ready to be disappointed, because there is nothing in the sale bill." We always like to arrive a little early to look things over. I was at one table, and he at another, when he turned to get my attention, giving me a very disgusted look. Sure enough, it was a box with scrap yarns, and lots of knitting needles. When the sale started, I asked one of the ring men to bring the box up for bids when possible. I opened at $2 and was the successful bidder. I found a chair in the back of the room, and started looking through the items in the box. This lady had been a knitter after my own heart. She understood the value of caring for her tools because she restored each pair of needles or circular needle to its original packaging. When I got to the bottom of the box, I told my husband, "There are four circular needles around here somewhere, because I found the packages in the bottom of the box." I went back to the tables, and started rooting around in the boxes on the floor. Bingo! Another box with scrap yarns contained the missing needles. Another $2, and they came home, too. I admit to having an extraordinary collection of knitting needles, but when I teach someone to knit, I always give them as complete a run of needles and notions as I can put together. I think it is an encouragement to keep trying.

Eight weeks ago, my DH and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. We're rather low key people when it comes to celebrations . . . so, we went to an auction. Always scouting the tables, and corners, I found a box with several pairs of good scissors (Wiss, some Fiskar snips, and 8" Gingher shears in a box), knitting needles, a tatting shuttle . . . wonderful stuff. I vowed to take it home, and subsequently did for $25.

Before they started selling on that side of the room, I continued wandering around the tables looking in the boxes. There was a box with some plastic candy molds, and two little wall shelves designed for thimbles. I picked those up and looked at them, and underneath were lots of plastic and aluminum advertising thimbles. I pushed them around in the bottom of the box, and sure enough, one thimble caught my eye. I picked it up and examined it. One of the two auctioneers was nearby and I rushed over to him handing him my find. I told him, "You need to sell this separately. It will bring more money that way." He just took it, and said, "Yeah, we'll sell it." He handed it to his ring man, Jim, who displayed it on his uplifted pinkie, and the auctioneer on duty announced, "We have a thimble, and I'd like to have $5". Needless to say, I threw up my hand . . . I practice throwing up my hand now and then, just to keep my quickness. His efforts at any additional bids were for naught . . . and I brought home a 14-karat gold 1880's Simon Brother's ten-panel thimble. It even fits perfectly! What a cool anniversary gift!

Clearly, we are regular auction attendees, and we have made many friends at auctions. You learn what is the favorite purchase of others who attend regularly, and you might comment, "there's a box over there under that table." My friend, Sandra, loves aprons. If she misses a sale where we find aprons, we try to gather them for her. She gets the cutest little grin when you give them to her. I was chatting with her at a sale, when another auction acquaintance walked up to join us. Sandra told me to show him what I bought. When I started digging in my sewing box, he commented, "I might have known it would be something for sewing." This fellow has a prominent position at Purdue University and is an auction bum infrequently. All I could think was, how strange that he remembers what I buy with all the responsibilities he has in his job! Can't wait to see him again . . . found an old piece of sheet music, the title of which touches a place in his heart . . . "Why, oh, Why, oh, did I leave Wyoming?"


dot said...

Great story. I like auctions but don't go often as my husband does not enjoy that kind of stuff. Good find and very honest person. Thanks for sharing.

Laura said...

Linda, you definately need to tell the story of the Marguerite sewing machine!

Dawn said...

Your stories are so funny. That thimble is a wonderful find! I don't think I have an eye to find the gem in the garbage!

But someday I'm buying one of your featherweight finds!