It has become almost traditional to spend a portion of Father's Day at open air flea markets. Both being on Sunday, this works out pretty well. Flea markets and garage sales have both good and bad in regards to crochet.
I have purchased many many yards of yarn at flea markets and garage sales. For some reason, I can almost always find someone selling ends, skeins, or cones of acrylic. Spend $10 and get an entire box full of yarn that takes up half the trunk of the car!
It's harder to find pattern books and hooks, but not impossible. I have had the best luck finding these items at estate sales, and sometimes yard sales. It's wonderful to find a pattern book that retails at $25.95 for a dollar or two!
It always saddens me to find finished crochet projects at these sales. Someone put a lot of time and love into making it, and now it's thrown on a tarp on the ground for next to nothing. Afghans are the most prevalent for some reason, but I've also seen baby things.
Knowing that someone made that item for a reason holds me back from purchasing it for recycling. I know I would hate to see something that I made end up at a flea market or yard sale. I shudder at the thought of someone pulling out and re-skeining all of my work on something that I made, and I feel for the crafter whose work was so callously disregarded.
If you keep your eyes on the lookout for yarn, hooks, and patterns you are likely to find something. Yarn and books are usually in a box on a tarp or under a table. Hooks may be bound together by an elastic band on the table. You can get some really good deals on these items at flea markets and yard sales.