I found a pair of thick, hand-knit wool socks, and I adopted them for a quarter.
Boy, was I glad I had a quarter on me that day because my wallet was very empty otherwise.
I have no idea who knit them, but I was so excited to add them to my collection where they will be loved, worn, and washed in a way that will not felt them further (I can tell they've seen some love already). I doubt I will ever know who knit them, and that makes me sad. I want the knitter to know they have found a good sock drawer. They are a bit big for me in the toe, but otherwise they fit perfectly. They have already served me faithfully as I trekked through the 1+ foot of snow that fell to ring in the New Year.
Part of me was astonished I got them for so cheap. A quarter! The price of a gumball. Less than the cost of a stamp. All the money for yarn and all that time to knit them given away for chump change. Part of me really isn't surprised at all, because I wouldn't expect anybody other than a knitter (or someone who knows a knitter who gives them lots of hand-knit socks) to recognize the telltale signs of the hand-knit technique and what that means. It makes me feel like I belong to a secret society or something.