View Full Version : Online or Local?

02-21-2011, 04:09 PM
Hi. I'm contemplating my first project...and I'm financially strapped. Are the best deals online or at local shops? Where? Thanks in advance.


02-21-2011, 04:26 PM
If you're on a budget, one of the first places you might want to look is Walmart. They've got some nice Lion brand yarns you might want to try, especially wool yarn. Wool yarn is warmer in the winter and stays warm even when wet. Joann Fabrics is another good place. I've been knitting mittens for charity this winter and love the acrylic yarns for this, Caron One Pound from Joann's. Yarn shops offer more of a variety in wool yarns. My local shop winds the skeins into center pull balls for me, too. By the time you add shipping to the cost online, it ends up more expensive unless you buy it from someplace like Knitpicks.

02-21-2011, 04:26 PM
Depends what you want, how much of it and where you're located. Most local yarn stores have bargain and closeout yarns where you can pick up a ball or 3 of nice yarn at low prices. But there are alternatives online as well.

Craft stores like Joann's, Michaels, AC Moore and Hobby Lobby have some good quality yarns as well as inexpensive but good acrylics and they usually offer coupons and weekly sales.

Jan in CA
02-21-2011, 05:29 PM
Yarnwise they are right, but there are lot of free patterns online at least.

02-21-2011, 07:00 PM
Thank you ladies!!

02-23-2011, 03:04 PM
My local yarn store is WAY WAY more expensive than buying stuff online. I bought enough yarn for a full large mens sweater from knitpicks in 100% merino wool and it cost me about $80 for 20 skeins. At my local store that would easily have been $200 or more.

02-24-2011, 04:58 AM
That's because KP makes their own line of yarn, and cuts out the middleman. Elann does that too. They're the Trader Joe's of yarn.

There are a few good yarns at the craft shops, and some not so good. I like Lion Wool-Ease and Paton's Classic Wool. Vanna 's Choice acrylic has good ratings online. Stitch Nation makes 3 good wool blends. Red Heart Soft has a good reputation, not Supersaver. Paton's Stretch Socks, a cotton-wool blend. Sugar n Creme is a good cotton worsted that I use to make belts.

02-24-2011, 09:23 AM
I buy almost all of my yarn online. I even have bought large lots on ebay for really good deals with free or very little shipping. You just have to search on the common sites, like ebay, amazon, and the specialty yarns sites. If you do it regularly, you'll start to find deals. Even with shipping, it is still significantly less than a local yarn store around my area. I will browse JoAnn's when I get the coupons via email. That's another thing...sign up online for knitpicks, joann's, elann, etc. Sometimes they will send coupons or at least let you know when a good sale is starting.

02-24-2011, 07:34 PM
I live in a major metro area, and have 4 LYS's within driving distance. But 2 carry almost exclusively high-end yarns which I can't afford, and I can't wear wool next to my skin anyway. The problem with the other 2 shops is poor color selection. If they only carry blue of Yarn X, I don't want to have to order a huge bag of green.

The internet has spoiled me by showing every imaginable color of any particular yarn. So I do a combo of local and internet. Since I order small amounts, the ones who use USPS instead of UPS are the better buy for me.

Thanks for the tip, Breezed. Going to get on Elann and KP mailing lists.

Incidentally: TheKnitter.com has FREE POSTAGE, period. No minimum order.

03-01-2011, 09:42 AM
Thanks for the tip, Breezed. Going to get on Elann and KP mailing lists.

Incidentally: TheKnitter.com has FREE POSTAGE, period. No minimum order.
I get yarn from both Knitpicks and Elann and have been pleased with both companies. Elann's shipping is quite costly, while Knitpicks is minimal and free if you order totals $50 or more. However, once you spend $500 ith Elann (yarn purchases only count) you get a $50 credit to use to purchase yarn.

03-01-2011, 10:38 AM
That's good to know. The Yarn and fiber Co (http://yarnandfiber.com/)also has free shipping and they have fairly good prices on nice yarns.

03-01-2011, 11:23 AM
WEBS is also a good option. Not only are the regular yarns cheaper but they always have a bunch of stuff that are seconds or mill ends that are perfectly fine to knit with once they are washed. Keep an eye out at Goodwill etc also. We've had some good threads here about how to reuse the yarn from a sweater.
Once you have some experience, consider knitting socks and lace. Both give you a lot of knitting mileage and satisfaction for comparatively little money.
PS. Webs is both an online store and a regular store in Northhampton MA. Its like a knitting cathedral.

03-01-2011, 03:33 PM
Yarn and Fiber--shipping is not always free:

And I usually order small quantities. But they're on my list now.

03-01-2011, 07:23 PM
They may have changed since I ordered from them a couple years ago.