Want good yarn but don’t want to pay big bucks? Check out these sites, where you can buy fantastic yarn online for great prices
Do you wish you could buy more of the “good stuff” yarns (i.e., more natural fibers like wool) but balk at the increased costs?
I understand this completely, because I’ve felt this way myself. I’ll never forget the first time I entered a local yarn shop. Not a craft store, but an honest-to-goodness, just-for-knitters-and-crocheters yarn shop.
The first thing I remember was the scent. Yarn shops just smell different! I actually picked up a couple of skeins and inhaled deeply just because it smelled so heavenly. (My husband thought I was so weird.)
Yarn Shop Sticker Shock
That was fun, but then I made the mistake of taking an innocent peek at a price tag. I do believe the phrase “sticker shock” was coined by a witness to the kind of expression my facial muscles made.
They want how much for this yarn? For ONE HANK??
Sadly, I placed the hank back onto the shelf. I picked up another. And another, and another, desperately seeking a hank or skein that didn’t make me feel like I’d have to hide my purchase from my husband.
I don’t remember what I bought that day. I probably wouldn’t have bought anything at all had I not felt guilty about going into this small local business, touching and even smelling their wares, without buying something. But at some point I think I found the cheapest yarn I could find (that I actually wanted) and bought it.
Most knitters, I imagine, who become truly serious about their hobby have probably felt this way about yarn shops. The yarns are quality, no question about it. And while we know that you often get what you pay for, it can be devastatingly difficult to justify paying that kind of money on something you don’t technically need.
The Easiest Way to Save Money on Good Yarn?
That’s the question many of us get to. Is there any way to buy good yarn without feeling like you’re draining your checking account?
Sadly, unless a yarn shop is having a sale, it’s unlikely you can save much money shopping in person. The easiest way to do it is to buy yarn online.
Below, I have listed several online yarn shops with outstanding prices that I’ve discovered. These have been recommended either by other knitters to me or else by Ravelry knitters in some of the frugal groups I like to peek into from time to time. They’re also organized by country/continent to help the many knitters out there who aren’t in the U.S.
This post makes a great reference!
This is a great post to save for later! Save it to your Pinterest board or bookmark it so you can come back to it whenever you’re ready to shop for yarn.
1. Spend Less on Yarn in the US
*These are affiliate links. If you make purchases after clicking one of these links, I may make a small commission. For more information, please see my Disclosure Policy.
I discovered this shop (based in Illinois) when I sought alpaca sock yarn. Its prices are reasonable, it ships all over the world, and if you live in the US, shipping is free! All yarn sold includes complementary ball winding, which is a huge time-saver.
It has a terrific collection of needles, too, including my two favorite circular brands, Chiaogoo and Knitters Pride.
2. Saving Money in the European Union
I was alerted to this site by a reader named Laurie. I’ll let her describe the site herself:
“[It] is based in Turkey. They have luxurious, high quality yarn of all types and colors. The prices are shocking, like $1.99 a skein for alpaca, cashmere or silk!! The variety is totally mind boggling. The shipping costs are no more expensive than local yarn sites.
“One way they keep their prices low is you have to buy by the bag of yarn. So you might have to buy a multiple of 4 or a multiple of 6 skeins– you can’t just buy one. But that hasn’t been an issue for me. It’s the same as buying a bit extra in the store so you don’t run out.
“I’m making a shawl for my sister-in-law of cashmere/silk/alpaca and I love feeling it in my lap as I work on it. I’m going to miss it when it’s finished! But I think it was something like $30 (including shipping) for the 600 grams I bought to make the 3-foot by 6-foot shawl. Finally, inexpensive gorgeous yarn!”
First, I adore the name, which just screams “Danish.” (As well it should, since it’s based in Copenhagen, Denmark! The prices are strong, for both its yarn and its needles.
Reader Melinda had this to say about the store: “Really good prices and free shipping over $100 spent. My neighbor and I buy together to get the free shipping. The yarns I’ve purchased so far are from Turkey, Serbia and India. The yarns have a really nice ‘feel’ to them. The colors are vibrant. They carry wool, acrylic, etc. yarns.”
3. Nab Great Yarn for Less in the UK
Note: the following yarn shop is an affiliate link. This means that if you make a purchase after clicking, I may receive a commission. You will pay nothing extra. Thank you for supporting Knitting for Charity!
This online shop is a tremendous option for British knitters (and others as well, as it too ships throughout most of the world). You’ll find many beautiful yarns at terrific prices, as well as top-quality needles, hooks, and notions.
They also offer many free patterns, as well as bundles that will allow you to save up to 25% on yarn.
This British shop ships all over the world. It has a terrific yarn search tool, whereby you can search by color, fiber content, weight, and so on.
Or, if you don’t really know what you want and would rather just browse, you can do that too. This shop is able to offer yarn quite inexpensively because it acquires closeouts and mill ends from luxury yarn manufacturers.
This UK-based shop also ships all over the world (quite inexpensively, too!). It also offers free shipping for any order over 30 pounds. Readers Elyse and Lynda both recommend this shop.
4. Aussies, Get Your Inexpensive Yarn Here
Bendigo Woolen Mills offers free shipping on Australian orders over 50 dollars. I also love that their yarns come in 100 and 200-gram balls, as well as cones of 500g and up!
5. Great Places to Buy Yarn Online–No Matter Where You Live
Obviously this isn’t an online yarn shop. But, it’s a terrific way to get yarn at great prices or even to swap. You can look at the current listings of Destash posts, or you can even post your own In Search Of (ISO) if you’re looking for a specific yarn.
Just be sure to follow the rules of the group (posted in the “Guidelines and Rules” link at the top of the page) and have fun shopping and/or posting!
DROPS happens to be not only one of my favorite sources for free patterns, but also a great source of quality yarn. They carry their own yarn and needles lines, and the prices are incredible.
One Final Resource for Inexpensive Yarn
Finally, if you’re looking to buy yarn online, I highly recommend this excellent blog post: Ninja Shopping, Yarn Edition. You’ll find some fantastic tips on ways to save money shopping for yarn online. You won’t regret it!
(If you get a weird error message when clicking on the link in the paragraph above, try searching Google or Bing directly for “Ninja Shopping, Yarn Edition.” The post should pop right up.)
So if you’re looking to score some good yarn at great prices, check out these sites to buy yarn online. What you’ll lose in yarn shop scents, you’ll gain in yarn shop cents!