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Tips for knitting on a budget - how to save money on yarn and supplies

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Hey there, fellow knitters! Are you ready to dive into the world of budget-friendly knitting? Knitting can be an incredibly rewarding and satisfying hobby, but let's be real - it can also be expensive. But fear not! With a few tips and tricks, you can knit on a budget and still create beautiful projects.

Multicolored yarn in a basket.

First of all, let's talk about yarn. Yarn is oftent the most expensive purchases in a knitting project, but there are ways to save money without sacrificing quality. Look for sales and discounts at your local yarn store, or shop online for deals on discontinued or overstocked yarns. You can even keep an eye on the yarn/craft section at your local thrift store -- if you're lucky you can snag some beautiful yarn for just a couple of dollars! Below is a snapshot from my local thrift store on a mediocre day -- I've found baskets and big bags of quality yarn in the past!

You can also consider unraveling old sweaters or projects that you don't love to reuse the yarn - I’ll make a post in the future about how to find the perfect sweaters to recycle (not every sweater can be frogged!).

Another way to save money on knitting is to be mindful of the tools and accessories you use. You might be tempted to purchase those really cheap needles that you can find in a bulk pack on Amazon – but, I promise you, you’ll regret your purchase (I’m speaking from experience!). 

If you have a very small budget, I highly recommend asking friends and family that knit to borrow needles and supplies (knitters always have extra needles around the house!), and you can occasionally find needles and supplies at thrift stores and second hand shops.

In all honesty, the best decision I ever made to make my needles affordable was purchasing interchangeable needles. 

For years, I avoided purchasing a set of interchangeable needles because they were expensive, but without a set, I felt like I was always purchasing a new set of needles every time I embarked on a new project. Eventually I had a whole pile of straight needles, DPNs, and circular needles of random lengths – most of which were plastic needles, or had cords that were always kinked (and not the good kind of kinky! jk!). 

I finally did the math on how much all those needles cost me, and I learned how to knit using a magic loop (no more DPNs for me!) and caved and purchased my first set of interchangeables. It was game changing! 


I originally purchased the Clover Takumi Combo Interchangeable Circular Knitting Needles

They are on the cheaper end of quality needles, and lasted me a full decade of hard use and abuse! They finally started falling apart, and I saved up and a set of Chiagoo needles, and I’ve never looked back. I will probably never need to purchase another set of needles again! I’m in love!

When it comes to stitch markers, cable needles, and other small tools, consider making your own or finding budget-friendly alternatives. 

Loops of waste yarn make perfect stitch markers, paper clips make perfect cable needles, a rectangle of cardboard can make a pom pom, your knees or a friends hands make a perfect yarn swift, and I always have a pair of nail clippers to trim yarn ends (and the random hangnail!). 

There is no need to purchase fancy stitch markers, pom pom makers, or a yarn swift unless you want to (although they are a fun splurge!).

But perhaps the biggest money saver when it comes to knitting is choosing the right projects. Instead of diving into complex patterns that require multiple skeins of expensive yarn, opt for simple projects that use only a few basic stitches. Dishcloths, scarves, and hats are all great options for budget-friendly knitting.

And don't forget about the power of patterns! There are countless free knitting patterns available online, from beginner-friendly to advanced. You can also check out books from the library or borrow them from a friend instead of buying them outright. If you are using free patterns, please recognize that designers still spend oodles and oodles of time creating their patterns, so I recommend giving them a shoutout on social media or anything you can do to support their small business! 

I currently have two patterns available for free on Ravelry, my Deep Freeze Beanie, and my Cali Coast Scrunchie.

Girl wearing blue and yellow beanie.

Lastly, don't forget about the joy of knitting with friends. Organize a knitting group or join an existing one to share ideas, tips, and even yarn. Not only is it a great way to connect with others, but it can also save you money by pooling resources and sharing knowledge.

In the end, knitting on a budget is all about being resourceful, creative, and mindful. With a little planning and a lot of determination, you can create beautiful projects without breaking the bank. Happy knitting!

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