Thursday, 8 January 2009

Crafting: How to save money I - Buying Yarn

I do love crafting as a hobby, but at times it can be very expensive. I like to have a rough budget on what I spend (with the exception of food though), but I've been very naughty when it comes to buying yarn, fabrics, etc. So I thought it would be good idea to get some advice on how to save money but not comprise on the quality of the end product. Please let me know if any of you crafty bloggers have a blog post or any advice on this subject.

I have got some advice already and will list my top 10 below. The first one is buying yarn. I must refer to this excellent blog post by Moo Cow Knits, this is more about which yarn to buy, but gives excellent tips on alternative 'cheaper' yarns. I have used the Robin SuperChunky yarn mentioned in the post and the quality is quite good. You could also put the knitted garment in the washing machine at 30 degrees (celcius). Other tips I have picked up from others and from experience are:

  1. Wait till the John Lewis/Liberty/Peter Jones sale. They usually have two; one after Christmas and another during the summer. Put the dates in your diary, decide on your knitting projects and then stock up. Yarns are often discounted to 50% of the price.

  2. This one is quite obvious but go to a local charity shop. My friend, Delene, goes to one in Wimbledon and always come back with beautiful yarns which are new and/or in very good conditions.

  3. Bought a jumper in the sale and then hated it, or it does not fit and nobody wants it. Unwind it and make something else.

  4. Do you know anyone who is having a spring clean and want to get rid of some yarn that they bought, but never used? Ask whether you could have them. I kept on hinting to my friend Alex on how I love knitting etc, so when he was having a clean out he gave me some left over yarn, needles and some great knitting pattern books.

  5. Go to the local habberdasheries. They often sell good quality yarn, sometimes, in bulk, at a good price. I go to the Wimbledon Sewing Centre Craft Store which is not in Wimbedon, but between Balham and Tooting.

  6. On holiday? Spot some nice and good quality yarn? Good price. Have a project in mind? Buy it!

  7. I find that craft shows are a bit hit and miss with regards to yarn, but Kyoko and I found some wonderful Norweigen yarn at the Knitting and Stitching Show.

  8. I'm not sure about Ebay as I don't really buy much yarn from the internet (I like to touch and feel the yarn before I buy), but according to some bloggers, it is a great place to buy good quality yarn at a good price.

  9. This may not be a good thing to say and it may horrify most dedicated knitters, but 'buy as you knit', decide on your projects, write a shopping list and stick to it.

  10. If you know how to and have the right tools, spin and/or dye your own yarn.

I don't think I will be able to follow all these advice, but I guess 5 out of 10 is not bad....Hee! Hee! Hee! Again, please let me know if anyone have anymore tips on buying good quality yarn for a good price....I'm always up for a bargain.


Sarah said...

Happy new year and just think how much cheaper than some hobbies crafting is - all that time involved and a finished product at the end of it :o)

Hannah said...

Thanks for the info - I sent my hubby to the John lewis sale for me as I was too poorly to go myself. I'm getting quite a stash now! :)

Rachael Rabbit said...

I love Cascade's EcoWool - it comes in the most enormous hanks and it is great value. I'm not sure if you can get it in the UK though - certainly worth a search for though. I tend to discover a yarn in a store and then search for bargain prices of the same yarn on the internet.

Anonymous said...

The Liberty/John Lewis sales are fab, worth waiting for if the yarn is expensive. Peter Jones had lots of Debbie Bliss yarns in the sale today.

Kyoko said...

Hello! You are totally an accountant! :D Thank you for such a great yarn purchasing advice. It is very thorough. Knitting is an expensive hobby and I often struggle. When I went to the Rowan workshop in Yorkshire, they had LOADS of discontinued yarn for sale (£1 ea). Can you believe it? I bought like 15 yarn called Polar (loved it so much - used to be about £7 per ball).