Okay. This may be too rough for you, but I like murdering sweaters. Especially evil sweaters that are trapping beautiful yarn in an ugly shape or pattern.
For example, I found one terrifying 80’s sweater — cropped, mock turtleneck, hideous stitch pattern — at a Goodwill near my house, and it was holding hostage a ton of absolutely gorgeous white 8-ply baby alpaca yarn. Sweater? Hideous. Yarn? Gorgeous.
This may be obvious, but you can get a full sweater’s worth of yarn for the cost of one Goodwill sweater (or for free, if you already own the sweater).
I have a weakness for old sewing machines, in particular Singers, because they are incredibly well made and there’s a lot of historical information available about them.
It’s amazing how many of them are floating around at antique markets, thrift stores, town dumps, and in people’s attics. Some of them are in practically mint condition and just need a little cleaning and oiling, but others are pretty worn or broken. Each one of them is part of a history lesson that touches on industrial manufacturing, mass marketing, and gender roles in such an interesting way.