15 Ways Thrifty Knitters Save Money On Yarn


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This post won’t show just knitters how to save money on yarn but of course those who crochet too. I couldn’t fit both in the title and since I love to knit and can barely crochet, I decided to go with thrifty knitters.

15 ways thrifty knitters save money on yarn

My addiction to knitting started with the pregnancy of my second child. I developed a condition that caused me to need to have my feet elevated most of the day ( I will spare you the details as to the condition).

I don’t like siting for long periods of time and it was driving me a bit crazy. My mom was visiting and decided to teach me to knit. We started with a dishcloth, and let me tell you it was a long, long road before I knitted one that was at all square.

Once I got the hang of it though, I was hooked. Knitting gives my fidgeting hands something to do. I knit while my husband drives. I knit while waiting for events to start. I knit while watching TV. I have even been known to knit while waiting in line at the drive thru window.

10 Ways Thrifty Knitters Save Money On Yarn

1. Freecycle

A friend of mine once got a huge tote full of yarn for zero money spent off of  the website Freecycle. Granted some of the yarn wasn’t usable due to it being tangled or not of great quality but some of it was, and the usable yarn was well worth the drive to pick it up.

If you live in a big center where Freecycle is active you might want to keep an eye out for yarn.

2.  eBay

You can find yarn in lots on eBay for great deals.

3. Craigslist

I did a search of my local Craigslist and was surprise at how much yarn was listed for sale. These are mostly “lot” deals meaning the seller has a bunch of different types of yarn they are selling for a take it all for …….price.

4. Facebook Buy & Sell Groups

I couldn’t see any yarn currently listed for sale on my local Facebook buy & sell groups but, my guess is if I am seeing yarn available to buy on Craigslist and eBay people will also list it for sale on Facebook.

5. Estate Sales & Yard Sales

When a loved one who was a knitter passes away often there is no one who wants the yarn stash and so it ends up at an estate sale.

Other times someone gets ambitious and decides they are going to learn to knit this year and so they buy half a dozen balls of yarn thinking they will make a blanket as their first project only to get several rows in and decide knitting isn’t for them. When this happens they sell it for .50 cents a ball at their next yard sale and those who knit treasure the find.

6. Purchase It On Sale

Yarn goes on sale frequently at craft store like Micheals, Hobby Lobby and Joann . Sign up to receive their emails and mailedflyers so that you are notified of current sales. Also don’t forget to look for sales at department stores that are not craft exclusive but do sell yarn and do put it on sale from time to time like Meijer.

7. Use A Coupon

When you join the email clubs of all the stores mentioned above you will start receiving coupons that you can use on yarn. This is how I buy a lot of the yarn I use for my dishcloths.

8. Take Apart Sweaters

Here is a good article that explains how to take apart an old sweater so that you can reuse the yarn in a new project.

9. Make Your Own Yarn By Repurposing Items You No Longer Use

I have knitted dishcloths from t-shirt yarn before. Although I didn’t find that they made very good dishcloths I did find that they made excellent floor cleaning cloths. I have seen others knit t-shirt yarn into floor mats .

You can also make yarn out of plastic bags (it is called plarn)  that you can crochet into an easily cleanable beach bag or shopping bag.

Fabric can be made into yarn and then  knitted or crocheted  into various different items too. If you have sheets you don’t use that are like new, fabric yarn would be a great way to put them to use.

10. Clearance

Non knitters might have a hard time believing this but yarn is actually seasonal. There are spring colors, fall colors and winter colors. I often find yarn marked down to as much as 75% off and sometimes even 90% off. Search end caps and clearance aisle.

11. Search For Yarn In Discount & Dollar Stores

I have found name brand yarn for $1 a skein at my local dollar store before. Big Lots gets in yarn from time to time. I have seen yarn in close out stores as well. Keep your eye out where ever you shop.

12.  Use A Discount Gift Card

If you purchase your yarn at a retail store like Joann or Michaels you might want to check out cardpool for a discounted gift card before you shop. This can save you an additional 5 to 10 percent or more on your purchases.

13. Sell Enough Of Your Work To Pay For Your Habit

I have done this for years. Each year I set up an album on Facebook and sell my dishcloths to my friends. I don’t sell them for high prices, just enough to keep me in yarn for the next year, no profit made as I give away more than I sell.

This means I can knit all year long and not have it effect our family budget.

14. Find Small Projects To Use Up Your Odds & Ends

I love using the ends of my cotton yarn to make little round scrubbies. Search Pinterest for projects like mug cozies, ear warmers, boot cuffs, cell phone holders, and you will get lots of ideas for small projects that can make sure you get every penny possible out of your ball of yarn. I pin the ones I find to my All Things Yarn Pinterest Board.

15. Join Point Programs & Cash Out For Amazon Cards To Buy Yarn

Amazon often has great deals on yarn and  yarn supplies.  You can earn gift cards to spend on your purchases at Amazon through various point programs. Here are a few of my favorites

Bonus tip: Not often but every once and a while Zulily a daily deal site will run discounted deals on yarn from unique yarn companies.

Thrifty Knitters and those of you who crotchet have I left out any ways to save on yarn?

Ways to save money on craft supplies as well as craft lessons (button)Check out my posts on how to save money on all types of  crafts supplies and lessons.

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  1. Good tips! I don’t knit (I wish I did), but I have friends who do. I will be sharing this with them, thanks!

  2. Wow, these are some great tips! I am going to go check out Craigslist. I love crocheting (my great-great aunt who is 90 just taught me last year!) and I would love to learn to knit. I taught myself to do one knit stitch as a child, and I never figured anything else out!

    • Victoria says:

      I too only know one stitch well. I can pearl but I haven’t in ages so it would take me a while to figure it out again. YouTube is a great place to go for tutorials for learning new stitches.

  3. The best thing someone can do to save money on yarn is to shop at their local family-owned store. Money spent in the community STAYS in the community! Best of all, they frequently hold classes and workshop–and are located from one end of the state to the other. What’s easy isn’t always right. Support local stores and build your community!

  4. This is great advice for us crocheters, too! Thank you.

  5. I am currently shopping my stash. I’m making washcloths for Christmas gifts, using yarn that I bought years ago! I spent a lot of money on that yarn, and I previously wouldn’t have made something so utilitarian out of such “nice” yarn, but the washcloths are turning out so pretty, I’m glad I have the yarn to use!

  6. The best deals I have found were at guild/swap meets and on Ravelry. Sometimes folks just want to get rid of their stash that they will give it away at the end of the event.

  7. As with any “bargain,” you have to be careful. Some yarn is cheap because that’s what it is…cheap. I never buy unlabeled yarn that I don’t know the content, because you won’t know how to care for it, and you risk knitting something that will be washed incorrectly and ruined. Some acrylic yarns will never look right knitted in garments as they don’t drape well, but are just fine for dishcloths and other items that don’t depend on holding their shape. If you are just going to experiment, anything will do, but if you want to do a lot of knitting, take some time to investigate and know what you are getting.

    I also belong to a couple of yarn “destashing” sites on Facebook. There are a wide variety of things posted there, from high end yarns sold for a few dollars off to great deals – sometimes from retailers looking to get rid of inventory.

    • Victoria says:

      Thanks for the tips especially the “destashing” sites on Facebook. I have not heard of those before.

  8. Black Friday! I always go to Michael’s and Joann on Black Friday and load up on yarn! It’s really the only time I buy yarn haha

  9. Just because styles change doesn’t mean that you give up on a finished design. I made a vest years ago that ended in a fad design, so I recently repurposed the yarn into a new two-tone sweater by combining it with a complementary color. I also let friends and family know I was okay with gift cards and yarn as gifts. I learn what dyes they like for future projects and they feel like it’s a great gift pick. My daughter recently gave me a few skeins I would have not imagined she would like, but are very beautiful. This is much better than a box of chocolates I don’t need. Thirdly, join a crafting group. The one I attend is supposed to be a knitting club, but we have crocheters, needle pointers, and quilters as well. This is a great place to learn and yarn swap.

  10. Good tips. Also, I’ve learned some stores will match sales. Michaels has a sale, but yarn is picked over – AC Moore will match the price. The sidewalk sale downtown always has our LYS putting out older (expensive) yarns for a couple dollars. I buy dishcloth cotton at Walmart on cones (MUCH cheaper), then wind off some to trade with a friend who does the same. I also shop a lot online. Knitters Warehouse has good prices; Little Knits has really, really good sales – just get on their email list. I just ordered 21 skeins of name brand sock yarn at 65% off retail, free shipping, no tax.

  11. Thank you for sharing these money saving tips. I’m going to try a few today.

  12. Another great place it http://www.smileysyarns.com/shop/ I wish I lived in Manhattan when they have a sale in their brick and mortar store but the on-line store is great. I have been buying yarn from them for years and I have never been disappointed. They sell brand name yarns for 50-75% off. The only requirement is to spend a minimum of $50, Shipping is $12.95 no matter how much you buy. I am a yarn-aholic and I am not in recovery nor do I plan to be. I love yarn. Check it out! PS I don’t receive any remuneration for this recommendation (if I did I would just more yarn).

  13. barbara mariottini says:

    i f you have a college or a school near you go to there art department and ask them for there unused yarn and supplies

  14. Rachel Tatner says:

    Thrift stores are a good source for someone’s destashing.

    Also, Yarnparadise.com it’s in Turkey and the prices set are unbelievably low, but the shipping is very high. However, when your work out the total price, it’s still a very good deal. I’ve ordered from them a couple of times and never had problems with shipping. They also will have mixed lots deals and very good sales around November and December.

  15. Great ideas! I’ve done most of them but my favorite is taking apart already made items (by the way, your link for how to do that is no longer available). I’ve gone beyond sweaters, though. I do a lot of scrappy-look items and fiber art projects with high-end yarn but my budget doesn’t support my passion. I go to thrift stores and get sweaters but I also find hand knit our crocheted scarves, shawls, baby clothes, etc. It’s amazing how much fabulous yarn ends up in thrift stores. My best find was a scarf made from silk sari yarn blended with a luscious yarn I didn’t try to identify. I spent $4 for it and the silk sari yarn was worth $25. I have no doubt the other was between $5 and$15. That was quite a deal. Good hunting.

  16. Great ideas, I also only buy yarns in sales and will recycle knitted items to knit again. Charity shops are also good sources even if you have to u do an item.

    • Victoria says:

      I have yet to try and recycle the yarn from an item of clothing yet. It sounds like several commenters have had great luck with it though so now I really want to try it.

  17. Thrift stores! Just yesterday I bought two balls of yarn for $0.99. One of those balls said “100% silk made in Italy” on the label. I’ve also gotten $60 of boutique yarn from a thrift shop for $4. It’s definitely hit or miss but amazing when you can find a good deal.

  18. Anne Cartwright says:

    My house is one huge yarn stash that I must use up so I must not buy yarn, I must not buy yarn, I must not … oooooh yarn!!! Been recycling yarn for over 50 years by unravelling unused jumpers. Lots of blankets coming up, I think. So glad we don’t have Michael’s in the UK … I couldn’t resist lol.

    • Yes. I always say I am going to use up all my yarn before I buy more but the closet I can come to actually doing that is about 1/2 a dozen balls of yarn then I start to panic. I mean what if I am not in the mood to knit any of those six colors?

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