Our thanks this month to guest blogger, Kathy Blumenstock. Kathy currently writes Animal Planet’s “The Mole” blog http://blogs.discovery.com/the_mole. A career journalist, she has been a reporter and writer for The Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, NBC News and Entertainment Tonight. Kathy also contributes feature stories to Knitchmagazine.com and Knit ‘N Style magazine.
Don’t you love getting a bargain, a real steal of a deal? You feel so smug at your savings. Of course, some bargains come with a hidden cost: the tiny tear in the designer skirt’s hem, the missing part on the treadmill. Then you’re at the mercy of someone who might sympathize. Sympathy is nice, but results are better.
My bargain was a huge bag of pure alpaca yarn, once sinfully expensive but now el cheapo from a store whose doors were closing. My find would make at least two gorgeous projects that I began knitting immediately. And hit a snag. Every skein of yarn was labeled 110 yards. But clearly every one was well under that. Something had shorted out in the production chain. I emailed the manufacturer without much hope for help. “That yarn is discontinued,” wrote a helpful lady named Diane. “I’ll see if I can find a few skeins. But we stopped making it last year.” So much for my smart bargain. I’d have to downsize my knitting plans big time.
Until the package arrived. Inside were 20 skeins of the discontinued. Another 20 in two other colors. And a note from Diane: “We were able to find the last of this yarn from two of our vendors,” she wrote. “We hope the enclosed will earn your loyalty.” There was no invoice, no request for any payment. My dubious bargain was a gold mine for me. And for them: that yarn company is still my favorite.
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