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Knitting on the Cheap

January 28, 2010

Many of us are feeling pinched in this long economic downturn, some more than others.  Whether we are experiencing job losses, pay cuts, furlough days or simply the endless stretching of a dollar, we’ve all had to cut costs in some way or another.  As many of us yarn lovers realize, knitting can be extremely expensive.  Go to your local knitting shop and walk around.  Look at the price tags and take a deep breath.  I recently visited a place who didn’t even bother pricing their ware.  It’s not a place I will be going to again!

There are many different levels of tackling the economics of knitting.  However, before I delve into these ideas, I do want to announce that I fully support LYS!  Local Yarn Shops are centers of creativity, socialization, and entrepeneuralism at it’s best.  I deeply wish my pockets were bigger so that I could support them more.  More and more shops are feeling the pinch and as with many businesses now adays are sadly closing down.  My dream is to open a knitting/book/coffee/tea shop which is not likely to ever come to fruition.

  1. Make friends with your local yarn shop.  Join clubs, discount programs, and search that clearance bin.  Let them know that you aren’t financially able to buy that handpainted silk.  Most will gladly work with you and point you in the less expensive direction.  Look for sales.  Remember, the owners are people just like you.
  2. Get the Sunday paper.  Cut out coupons for Michaels, Jo-Ann’s, A.C. Moore (if you still have them, I don’t).  Check the clearance bin.  Did I mention that I have a bins stuffed with .50/1.00 yarns for scarves that I’ve sold/donated.
  3. Go on e-bay, ravelry, and other online sites.  Bid or join groups that trade their stash.  I have a set of cheap circulars from Ebay that cost $10.00 for size 0-15.  They break easily, but they do the job.  Sigh. 
  4. For the truly desperate who need to knit to stay sane.  Unravel!  Yes, unravel old sweaters, go to thrift stores and pull out that knit sweater.  Remember, you can knit anything- even plastic bags.  For how-to go to http://www.cocoknits.com/info/tutorials/plasticbagknit.html
  5. Visit your library for patterns.  Many have a huge supply of knitting and crocheting books.  Also, search online and of course- join ravelry.  It’s a great source ideas, patterns, and community.  Think facebook for knitters/crocheting.

Remember, you are not alone.  We love what we do and that fantastic alpaca blend will be there when things turn around.  The most important advice is to make friends with fellow yarnies and always be creative.

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