Finding Inexpensive Yarn
Saving on Yarn Costs
Less Expensive Hobby and Craft Supplies
Crafting Without Spending Money
I enjoy crocheting and making homemade gifts. The problem is that the yarn I typically find is of low quality and very expensive. Does anyone have any tips for buying yarn less expensively? I am open to buying through catalogs or the Internet. Thanks!
I, too, love to crochet, and I have found all sorts of yarn at very reasonable prices. Here are some of my best deals
- Dollar stores and stores that specialize in buying up odd lots from distributors often have odds and ends of yarn. You usually can't find enough of one dye lot to make an entire monochrome afghan, but you can get plenty for hats and scarves and such. There is one particular brand that you often find called "Famous Maker Odd Lots" that is high quality acrylic yarn. You won't see dye lots or the originating manufacturer name on these skeins, and there are often small knots or weak spots in the yarn, but it's good quality yarn and works great when you don't need a lot of one color.
- Garage and estate sales often have brand new or partially done projects for sale.
- Old sweaters or other knit products from garage sales can be real gold mines for yarn. If you see a sweater at a garage sale that is a great color and a ho-hum style, you can dismantle it and use the yarn for your own projects. Your best bet is a solid color (one yarn) sweater. Carefully cut the seams using a seam ripper or small pair of scissors. Lay out the resulting pieces and look for the "top" (the last row knitted). Snip the end and slowly unravel the sweater, being careful not to pull too hard as the fibers may have started to separate in the yarn and it may want to knot. Work slowly and it will get done faster (no, really!). Wind the yarn around a chair back or a picture frame to help straighten it; it will be really kinky. If you can wet it down and let it dry while it's stretched out, that's even better, but don't sweat it if you can't. Wind it into a ball after you're done and voila! A couple of nice balls of yarn at a great price.
Here are some websites you can check out for yarn. Some of them are distributor-direct and thus cheaper than at the local store. Others have clearance pages where you can find extremely good yarn at much lower than expected prices.
Try Yard Sales
I often find brand new yarn at yard sales. Many people buy everything they need for a project and then find they never got around to it. I am nearly finished with a cable-knit sweater for my husband, and I only paid $2 for the yarn!
Herrschners has a wide selection of yarn at a reasonable price. Find their website at www.herrschners.com or call toll free at 1-800-441-0838.
Penny-Wise, Pound Foolish
As a dedicated and passionate knitter for many decades, I can only sadly say that there is no cheap source for good quality yarn. There is cheap yarn, cheaply made, cheaply marketed. Then there is the good quality stuff.
Personally I prefer using the good quality stuff because the finished product lasts longer. Over the years I have formed the habit of buying my yarn at the end of a season. Usually most yarn shops have a clearance sale and i have obtained some excellent quality yarns at 30-70% off. Of course, usually, I don't get a whole garment's worth of matching dyelots. So I have had a lot of fun over the years combining my yarns with other finds.
I have heard of people finding excellent yarns at the thrift shops and yard sales. I have never been so lucky. But I am told if one researches by calling first, one can identify where they might be yarn ahead of time. I have also heard of people finding handknit items in the thrift shop, buying it for a dollar or so, take the sweater apart and re-knit it. Again, I have never been so lucky.
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