Lightening Strikes Twice, Or A Compelling Argument in Favor of Exercise

Several years ago I lost about 25 pounds.  It took a long time and regular exercise has helped me keep most of it off.  When inclement weather or early darkness prevent me from running outdoors, I use the treadmill at a very inexpensive yet perfectly adequate gym in my neighborhood.  By anyone’s calculation, the monthly fee is less than I was paying in gas to drive to and from my old workout spot.

But that’s not the point of this story.

A few months ago, a thrift store opened up in the strip mall where the gym is located.  After a recent workout, I decided to pop in and see if I could find a humorous gift to bring to a Yankee Swap party.  The search was a bust, but as I was leaving I took note of the very clean and organized book section.  I’m a sucker for books and, until my recent foray  into the de-accumulation phase of life, I had a house full of them.

So I paused to check out the selection in the craft section and what to my wondering eyes did appear:


Yup, a hardcover copy of  EZ‘s Knitting Workshop.  Well, I already own a copy but I decided to buy it anyway and pass it along to a deserving friend.  While I waited in line to check out, I opened the cover and nearly fainted:


Signed and dated by The Master herself.

I hurriedly paid and dashed home to investigate further.

In the back of the book, I found a receipt from the Wooly West (when it was a bricks and mortar LYS) and a purple flier announcing that EZ would be in Salt Lake City “on October 8th and 9th to conduct 2 workshops.”  The receipt is dated October 8, 1985 and shows that a customer named Carlotta purchased the workshop and a copy of the book for $10.00.  Provenance!


I should be content, right?  Wrong.  I became obsessed with the possibility that more knitting gems were finding their way to the shelves of the thrift store.  So I did what any knitter in my position would do.  I went to the gym — a lot.  And I found other lovely pretties, but nothing else by EZ.




When I confessed my antics to the owner of my LYS, her son, and my favorite student, they confirmed what I knew in my heart.  Lightening doesn’t strike twice.  I was wasting my time, even if I was getting plenty of exercise. I believe the words “setting yourself up for disappointment” were uttered by someone.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, guess what paperback I found yesterday:



Lightening does strike twice.


See you at the gym tomorrow!!

31 Responses to “Lightening Strikes Twice, Or A Compelling Argument in Favor of Exercise”

  1. Cheryl S. on 02 Jan 2013 at 9:50 pm

    You sure have great luck at thrift stores!

  2. Jennifer on 03 Jan 2013 at 3:44 am

    What a fabulous story! Congratulations! Keep up the good work.

  3. Carole on 03 Jan 2013 at 5:04 am

    That’s awesome! And great motivation for getting yourself to the gym, too.

  4. Leo on 03 Jan 2013 at 7:59 am

    Congrats on rocking the gym and great finds! That is amazing.

    Now if you will excuse me, I have some bookstores to go stalk.

  5. Sarah H on 03 Jan 2013 at 8:06 am

    Fun! Please keep an eye out for an Arch Book (religious Golden Books) called Donkey Daniel. It is part of our holiday tradition…except I have 2 children and only 1 book. :-)

    Great find for you!

  6. margene on 03 Jan 2013 at 9:10 am

    You have the best of luck when it comes to finding great treasures. Maybe I should drive to your gym instead of mine.

  7. gale (she shoots sheep shots) on 03 Jan 2013 at 10:11 am

    I love everything about this post. Optimism and faith pay off! And you get extra motivation for the gym. This can only be a good omen for the new year!

  8. Donna on 03 Jan 2013 at 11:17 am

    I actually went “Ooh!” when I saw your photos – this is an awesome story.

  9. mrspao on 03 Jan 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Wow and well done to you for getting fit along the way.

  10. Lauren on 03 Jan 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Wow, great find and great story!! Lucky you :)

  11. Laurie on 03 Jan 2013 at 7:36 pm

    That is SO funny! I am envious.

  12. Janell on 04 Jan 2013 at 7:56 am

    This is unbelievable! Congrats!

  13. marylou on 04 Jan 2013 at 8:46 am

    Congrats! I found an autographed copy of Knitters Almanac from the same year at a used book store. I wonder if the original owners are dying off?

  14. Deb in PA on 05 Jan 2013 at 3:50 pm

    That is so cool!

    Next up would be Barbara Walker books.

    Good hunting!

  15. Manise on 06 Jan 2013 at 7:07 am

    Holy crap! Good for you in your very exciting EZ finds and the extras found within.

  16. Vicki on 07 Jan 2013 at 11:56 am

    I have a signed Knitting Workshop, also; a 1985 hardcover, I think, and I’ve no idea where it came from!! It’s fun to find those old treasures. ;)

  17. Cindy in un-Happy Valley on 10 Jan 2013 at 3:46 pm

    I have a copy of the Mary Thomas book. I use it all the time. Funny. I never thought of it as an antique.

  18. sharon on 11 Jan 2013 at 2:37 pm

    congrats on your find, that is so cool!

  19. Heather on 25 Jan 2013 at 1:17 pm

    That is AWESOME, Susan!

  20. Deepa on 25 Jan 2013 at 5:43 pm

    That is unbelievable luck! I am SO jealous. Makes me want to move to your neck of the woods (January in MN is so horrid anyway).

    If I were you I’d buy some lottery tickets. You’re definitely having a lucky streak!

  21. Joal Broun on 27 Jan 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Wow! I bought my copy of that book at a second hand bookstore in N.C. No signature. Great Find.

  22. Michelle on 29 Jan 2013 at 6:31 am

    Oh my! What an awesome find. Reading this reminded me of my favorite PBS show, Antiques Roadshow. Have you seen it? It’s fantastic! People bring in their “treasures” and “junk” to have it appraised. Sometimes things are worth a fortune and sometimes not….but always, always, always things are worth more when they have some back-up paperwork. I think it’s too soon for EZ books and signatures to be of great monetary value but someday you never know! Keep that receipt and flyer with that book, it could add value to your auction price ;)

  23. Silverilix on 10 Feb 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Awesome!!! You are a lucky gal.

  24. Kathode Ray Tube on 02 Apr 2013 at 8:37 am

    This story makes me want to go trolling around at all the local thrift shops! But I love that your exercise routine brought you to these two special finds! Win-Win! Next up — the original Principles of Knitting?

  25. Marjory on 09 Apr 2013 at 1:29 am

    Just loved the story of the knitting books. What a joy to discover any history and preserve it. Congratulations

  26. Carolyn Buttram on 19 Apr 2013 at 8:51 am

    I am howling, with joy, for you and an up-turned nose to the “setting yourself up for disappointment,” nay sayer! It is that pessimistic attitiude that keeps those folks from opening their opptimistic eyes. (Gosh, I hope I spelled those correctly!) You go, girl … knit on and keep calm. Thank you for the howl of the day (-:

    Knit-faced (aka Carolyn B.)

  27. Mija on 26 Apr 2013 at 5:29 pm

    I never find anything cool like that!! Really lucky and awesome!!

  28. glenda crinch on 10 May 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Wonderful story, working out can be so much fun….congratulations from one treasure hunter/obsessive thrift store hound/knitter/occasional fitness fan. I too have a thrift store across the street from gym, but have disciplined my self to work out first.

  29. cynthia on 02 Jun 2013 at 9:53 pm

    I would love to be your new Bestie.

    Just moved for the summer, and left my beloved library at home, because hubby needed the room in the car for his work-gear. Sacrifices must be made when making a cross country trip.

    Call me!


  30. Erika on 19 Jun 2013 at 3:59 pm

    That’s bananas! The only thing I ever find at thrift shops is framed paint-by-number paintings and tattered paperbacks that smell like a damp basement.

  31. Ann Allen-Ryan on 22 Jun 2013 at 11:31 am

    I just purchased your wonderful Forest Canopy shawl pattern to use with a DK weight yarn that I purchased from White Barn Farm Sheep & Wool — locally sourced. I later met the dear sheep from whence it came. Oh…that is not our subject. I proceeded to explore your blog and found this charming entry and it reminded me of my own Elizabeth Zimmerman book experience. At a block party I saw and grabbed a pristine copy of her “Knitting without Tears” (1971). I think it is a reprint because it is large format, but I love it. Alas, no signature inside, but a treasure on my shelf.