Would it be stereotyping to say that knitters love to buy yarn? Put a couple of knitters together in a room, and within minutes they're reaching into baskets, sacks, and purses, pulling out skeins and balls and swatches, and jabbering about where they bought which yarn and how much it cost.
Knitters, especially tricksy hobbit-like knitters, love luxury, but are also hyper-aware of how much money they spend on yarn. Stash-guilt. So we love a bargain.
Some ways to find cheap yarn:
- Sale bins at your local yarn store. Sometimes you'll find real gems there.
- Ravelry stashes. Many Ravelry members are selling or trading from their stash online, often for very reasonable prices. To look for yarn for sale, click on the yarn you want, then on stashes, then change the status to Will Trade or Sell.
- Elann. Elann carries several of their own label, but they also bring in brand-name yarns, like Rowan, Sublime, Berroco, Mirasol, Tahki. Their prices are always great, but they have full bag sales. For example, the Sierra Aran that I used for the England Ave and Sweet Oak Cardigans was only $22 for 10 balls. (I know, crazy right?) A great way to find out about deals from Elann is to get on their newsletter list. Read more about Elann yarns.
- KnitPicks. KnitPicks yarn is a great way to experiment with color and fiber without breaking the bank. Knit Picks only sells their own label, and has a great selection that includes any weight you need, in hundreds of colors. For example, Fifth Street Jacket is done in KnitPicks Gloss DK, a luxurious merino/silk blend. And they also have great sales. Check out an informal review of some Knit Picks yarns.
And there are other sources too, please share your experience if you know of a source of cheap —I mean affordable— yarn.
That being said, though, don't forget to treat yourself to luxuries now and then. If you don't want to shell out for 12 balls of some luxury yarn, try something small, like a cowl or fingerless mitts. The Botanical Cowl is done in a hand dyed, 100% silk from Sweatermaker Yarns, and it's like having a piece of jewelry. And, when you pick up a skein or two of hand dyed or hand spun, you're supporting a fellow tricksy craftperson.
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