Last Friday, August 12th, Knit Picks warehouse in Columbus had warehouse sale. They’ve been doing the Connecting Threads fabric warehouse sale for years now and this year they decided to include the yarn they’ve had piling up from Knit Picks. Here’s the email that was sent out to Ohio folks. I wasn’t sure I’d go, not really knowing what to expect, but after some discussion at knit group, 4 of us decided to take a car up and check it out.
Between the time we decided to go and the day of the sale, I checked the Knit Picks Lovers group and saw a thread about the warehouse sale. Looked like there were quite a few people coming in from other states. Some were planning on coming from much further then we were (roughly 2 hours away). I was a little worried that the place would be crowded, but figured it wouldn’t be too bad based on the responses there. In that thread someone who works for Knit Picks said that the yarn would be returns, things missing ball bands, and discontinued yarns or colorways.
The sale started at 1 pm. Karen, Lani, Mary and I got there at 1:05 pm. By the time we parked and got inside the warehouse at maybe 1:10 pm, the place completely packed and a bit chaotic. I found out after getting home and checking the Knit Picks thread again that they started with 18 boxes, side by side in two lines, on the floor, that were most of the way filled. By the time we arrived, there were half the amount of boxes and tons of people bent over them trying to dig through and see what there was.
I can’t stay bent over for really any length of time without my back hurting, so after a few minutes of seeing nothing but boxes of mostly tangled messes, I gave up on the idea of getting any yarn. I’m really not kidding when I say that every box that was left looked pretty much like this when I tried to see what was left.
Right as I gave up on the yarn, I found that they also had books for sale at very deeply discounted prices: $1 for soft cover, $3 for hard cover. I quickly changed my game plan from finding a place to sit away from the crowd, to looking through the books they had. They were all books that they weren’t able to sell for one reason or another – torn or bent pages, torn or bent covers, missing book jackets, etc. In no time, I had a pile of books that have been on my wishlist for a while and some books I hadn’t heard of, but looked interesting.
After I was done looking through the books, I managed to find Karen and we got in what we thought was a line. Not long after being in what we and others thought was the line, we found it had started splitting off in a totally different direction. I asked the person in front of us what was going on after some people near us left and found out the line ordeal. She said to just stay here and we would merge with the line. I did and thankfully it all worked out because we’d been standing there for 20 minutes and I may have completely abandoned buying anything if I’d had to go to the back of the now VERY long line. I think we stood in line for well over an hour and shopped for a total of 20 minutes. Here was the scene as we were getting closer to the check out table.
*See those boxes that the piles of fabric are sitting on? Yarn was in boxes the same size, just on the floor with holes cut in the tops.
From what was put out by Knit Picks and what was in the thread, I had a bit of a different idea of what would be there, how things would be organized (ie not on the floor in boxes, considering all the fabric was at knee to waist level), and the amount of people that would be there. I will admit that I’ve not been to a whole lot of warehouse sales in my life and apparently I have not been to any “true” mob type warehouse sales. I suppose the closest I’ve come is Kohl’s on Black Friday and while the lines were long, it was still nothing as crazy as this. I’d compare it to The Fold’s booth at Rhinebeck or MDSW (if you’ve experienced that), except with a lot of tangled yarn and everything in a few boxes on the floor. Now, I didn’t expect top-of-the-line, straight-off-the-warehouse-shelf type stuff, but I expected more than a tangled mess of yarn with a huge mass of people bent over and surrounding boxes on the floor that were difficult to dig through. The saving grace for me was the books, which I was lucky enough to get to before they were gone and that didn’t take long!
After I got home, I found out that they had announced to the people waiting in line that there wasn’t “that much yarn” and that the people that were closest to the front of the line waiting for the warehouse sale to start had the best/biggest scores. Full bags of yarn, knitting bags, more popular knitting books, and anything else that was likely gone before we even got out of the car. I do wish we could have been there earlier, but I had to work, so it didn’t happen. Then again I don’t think any of us expected the amount of people that ended up being there! From reading the thread later it seems a number of people were very happy with their deals, others were upset, and others just tried to make lemon-aid out of lemons. I would have abandoned my purchases and left had I not come with 3 other people. In fact my friends all scored some decent yarn findings when people abandoned their purchases and left! The sale ran from 1 pm to 6 pm, but I’m sure anyone that arrived after 2 pm didn’t find much in way of yarn or knitting books.
It wasn’t all bad, though. I scored some great deals on books and I’m thankful for that. I’m also thankful that it wasn’t a hot day and it was relatively cool in the warehouse once you were out of the crush of people. Would I go again? Eh… I don’t know. I’d say probably not. I have quite a bit of yarn already and considering the 4 hour round trip drive, I don’t think yarn at $10/lb is worth it to me unless I know what will be available. I think because this is the first time Knit Picks joined the Connecting Threads warehouse sale the staff really didn’t know what to expect in terms of how many people would show up or from how far away they’d drive for the promise of yarn at $10/lb and when hundreds of people arrived and waited in line, they were overwhelmed. I’m sure they learned some valuable lessons from this experience!
Now… on to the books I scored. I came home with: Victorian Lace Today, Knitting Nature, Vogue Knitting The Ultimate Sock Book, Favorite Socks, Romantic Hand Knits, Selbuvotter, Knitted Tams, Lace Style, Country Weekend Knits, Arctic Lace, Twisted Stitch Knitting, and The Great American Afghan.
Now for the giveaway!
I picked up two copies of Selbuvotter. I don’t really know why other then I thought it’d be a good idea. Obviously, I don’t really NEED two copies of this book, so I’m going to give one copy away to someone. It does have a little damage to the bottom of the spine and there’s an “X” on the back (all the books were sold this way), but it’s in good shape otherwise and has no missing pages from what I can tell.
If you’d like to win a copy of this book, leave a comment on this post (be sure to leave your email address) by midnight eastern time in the US on Wednesday, August 24, 2011, letting me know you’d like to be entered in the drawing. On Thursday, August 25, 2011, I will use the random number generator to pick a winner and will announce it on the blog. Good luck! 🙂