Budget knitting with luxury yarn is not impossible
If you’re on a budget, does it mean you can’t knit with luxury yarn? Absolutely not! You don’t have to deprive yourself of luxury yarn just because you need to watch your wallet.
The following are some of the many ways from around the Internet I’ve rounded up to help you knit with luxury yarns — such as those made with mohair, cashmere, high-quality merino wool, baby alpaca, and similar fibers — without blowing your yarn budget.
Knit with Luxury Yarns for Less
1. Stretch with Affordable Yarn Lion Brand Yarns recently sent a series of tweets that offered a terrific idea. “Combining a luxury yarn with a less expensive fiber is a great way to get added value in your knitting. You’ll use less of the expensive yarn and bring down the total cost of your project. Always work a swatch before you begin to make sure you feel comfortable combining the yarns.”
Some ways you can combine luxury yarn with more affordable yarn include alternating in stripes; using the luxury yarn for one part of the project and the more affordable yarn for other parts; and holding the luxury and affordable yarns together to make one thicker yarn. Again, be sure to swatch before you start to make sure that the two yarns both feel good and look good together.
2. Knit Accessories For just one skein of luxury yarn, you can often create one simple, beautiful accessory. A beanie usually doesn’t require much yarn; neither does a small pair of fingerless mitts. If you have a friend or relative expecting a baby, you could knit a baby hat and have enough left over for a pair of matching booties.
3. Knit One Enormous Project You’ll need a lot of yarn initially, yes. However, if you choose your project carefully – a sweater or an afghan works nicely for this; just be sure it’s a pattern you’ll love — you’ll have your hands full of knitting for a long time in the future. Thus, you won’t need to buy more yarn for a while!
4. Knit Socks Believe it or not, a pair of socks can often take as long as a sweater or an afghan. Why? Because, although socks are small, their stitches are also small. That means you need to knit a lot of stitches to complete even one pair of socks. And the great thing about sock yarn is that you usually need no more than two balls (and sometimes only one, depending on the yardage) in order to make a complete pair of socks.
5. Check out Sale and Clearance Items Local yarn shops and online yarn stores frequently have sales and clearances, and you can use these to pick up yarn you might not ordinarily be able to purchase. Just be careful to restrict yourself only to sale and clearance items — avoid the temptation to look at the out-of-budget sections!
6. Keep Your Eyes Peeled Luxury yarn can be found in many unexpected places, including thrift shops, yard/garage sales, flea markets, classified ads, estate sales… any place you might ordinarily find bargains, you could very well find some luxury yarn at ridiculous (in a good way) prices. So keep your eyes open whenever you’re bargain-hunting!
(And if you’re at an estate or yard sale, be sure to ask if there’s any yarn or knitting supplies available! Sometimes sellers don’t bother bringing them out for sale because they don’t believe the interest will be there.)
Keeping a frugal budget doesn’t have to mean forgoing luxury yarn, so be on the lookout for these opportunities!