View Full Version : What kind of yarn do you buy?

10-19-2007, 11:00 AM
I mean, when you look in some of the magazines, they use nothing but top quality yarn, which except for the rare time I can not afford. KnitPicks seems to be very helpful in still getting good yarn but for more affordable prices.

You could always buy top yarn but make for a really challenging project that takes a while to finish so you aren't going through the yarn so fast. You could make lots of projects but use more middle of the road yarn.

I like to buy top sock yarn but for bigger projects I buy "down". I have seen some patterns done in yarn the is cheaper but looks great and I would wear it.

So what kind of yarn buying habits do you have?


10-19-2007, 11:17 AM
Cheap yarn. In price.... I use acrylics, wool blends, cotton and knitpicks yarn when I want to splurge on something.

10-19-2007, 11:22 AM
I buy a lot of Knitpicks, with some splurges here and there. I like WEBS a lot too.

10-19-2007, 12:14 PM
i spend a LOT of time trying to find yarn substitutions for that very reason. i don't want to spend a ton of money but the feeling/softness/color is important to me. you can try looking on ebay. i like yarnbow...they have a lot of different brands at discounted prices. i don't know if you have access to ravelry yet but it's a great source to see what other people are using for specific patterns.

10-19-2007, 12:47 PM
No revelry yet but very soon. I am in the 4000 range.

I look at knitpick's for substitutions also.


10-19-2007, 12:51 PM
elann.com is another good one for inexpensive substitutes, and they also have name brands discounted at times.

10-19-2007, 02:10 PM
Cheap yarn. In price.... I use acrylics, wool blends, cotton and knitpicks yarn when I want to splurge on something.

Me too. And without any LYS, it just makes sense for me to use what's available at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or Joanns. And, it keeps me out of trouble. When I go to visit my sister, she has an AMAZING LYS that I would probably be filing bankruptcy over if I lived nearby! :oops::teehee:

Don't let the pricey yarn used in patterns get you down. I've substituted just about every single time, and as long as my gauge was right, I have yet to have any problems substituting yarn. You're still a "real" knitter, no matter what you use! :cheering:

10-19-2007, 02:24 PM
I almost always buy yarn on sale, especially if I need enough for a sweater. I can almost always find a sale. I started off using KnitPicks yarns, and still do occasionally, but I their color selection is uninspiring for me.

Webs, Elann and Handpainted yarn are all on the top of my list.


10-19-2007, 02:31 PM
You mean you can't afford the $80 a ball (50g) yarn? I know many times designers will knit in yarns that "sponsor" their design efforts. So they get to knit their item in really nice expensive yarns, which they, themselves, may not be able to afford. Companies will sometimes seek out designers to create something with their yarns and even help to get them published as a way of advertising their yarn. They have learned that people will look at their yarns and buy them if they see a pattern done in that yarn that they think is pretty more than they will if they just see skeins or balls of yarn in a regular ad.

But to answer your question, I buy down as well. I buy what I can afford and it has to be pretty and soft.

10-19-2007, 03:29 PM
I buy acrylic mostly because it's all I can afford. I do keep a look out in the car-boot sales (I suppose the American equivalent is a yard sale?) I go to in case there's any yarn. I've had some great yarn bargains that way :mrgreen:

10-19-2007, 03:54 PM
I buy mostly acrylics and synthetics since I am sensitive to wool. I aslo buy mostly on sale, single mom with a tight budget. I mostly buy what catches my eye that I can afford.
I have also bought from Jimmy Beans and from Knitpicks. I am really loving all the new fibers, I have so many more choices now.
:happydance:I just got some Maizy in that is made from corn fiber. It's going to be my second pair of socks, my first will be something like Wool Ease. I can use some blends and this is one that works for me.

10-19-2007, 04:04 PM
I buy what I can afford. I try and find less expensive substitutes for more costly yarns by working out gauge equasions. It usually turns out famously. I use a lot of acrylic yarn and some of your more "franchised" wools (Patons, Lion Wool, etc.). The only time I splurge is when I receive gift money for my birthday or Christmas. That's when I'll spend the extra dollars on some exquisite sock yarn.

Honestly, I have a five year old son, three dogs and two cats. If I spent even $50 for yarn to knit a sweater with I wouldn't wear it...ever. I'd be afraid something would get spilled on it.

10-19-2007, 04:43 PM
I love Knitpicks :) I've bought a lot of their yarn - its still good yarn, just more affordable. I've heard good things about Elann too, but I haven't tried them yet.

I'm not a big fan of acrylics, I don't like the 'scrunchy' feeling I get when I knit with them. I do tend to buy down a bit, or scour the internet for sales. You can find good deals on eBay sometimes for certain yarns.

10-19-2007, 08:42 PM
I am with Jenn-Knits. We have three children and homeschool. The pennies are pinched so tight here they scream once in a while.:wink:

Although last year for Christmas I got some money and I bought some Donegal Tweed for an aran vest I am slowly working on. So far I have the back done.


10-19-2007, 08:57 PM
So what kind of yarn buying habits do you have?

I buy all yarn. Anything I can get my hands on. I buy sock yarn even though I don't knit socks. I buy bulky hand dyed yarn even though I never make things for myself with bulky yarn. I buy naked yarn to dye even though I have dyed any in 2 years. I buy yarn that will make cables "pop" even though I've yet to complete anything with cables besides the irish hiking scarf. I buy yarn because so-and-so likes that color, and I might need to make them something some day.

I'm a yarn ho. can't help it. :shrug:

ETA: I did buy a skein of prisim yarn that was nearly 100 dollars because I *had* to have it. This was at least 3 years ago... and there it sits in a cute little 100dollar yarn ball in the back of some drawer because I don't know what the heck to do with it.

10-19-2007, 09:42 PM
It depends. There are some acrylics I won't use because I don't like how they feel in my hands when I knit with it. To me, it's not worth saving a few dollars if I can't stand to touch it. But then again, when I see some of the yarns listed in some patterns and I find out how much they cost, I'm :shock: !! I try to get the best quality I can afford. Sometimes it's at my LYS, sometimes it's at the craft store, and other times it's at Knit Picks. I have money I set aside out of every paycheck for myself, and if I want to drop a chunk of change on some yarn, I'll set the money aside for it.

I try to resist the temptation of impulse buying yarn and only buying something when I have a specific project in mind. It doesn't always work, though. For the most part, I've been pretty good. :)

10-19-2007, 10:59 PM
I buy whatever feels and looks good to me. It's not always just about the price, or the fiber. I've spent more $$ on a yarn because it simply begs to be petted, but I've also spent very little on a yarn that is soft and lovely. I've also felt some more expensive yarns (I'm thinking of a particular wool and silk blend right now) that are so awful to touch I couldn't even bear to hold the yarn long enough to purchase it. I've bought natural fibers and man-made fibers, and enjoyed using them all. Buy what you like and don't worry about whether it's "good" or not. If you like it, it IS good.

10-19-2007, 11:01 PM
I'm like Hildegard_von_Knittin i'm a yarn ho. i buy any and all yarn. i won't even have a project on mind. i just can't walk by yarn without buying it. i can't browse ebay without bidding on yarn. though i do try to restrict myself to sales. for acrylics i like caron ss. for naturals i like trying them all.

10-19-2007, 11:17 PM
When I first started knitting, the owner of my LYS tried to impress upon me the importance of knitting with ONLY the best yarn and knitting each pattern in the yarn suggested, and for some reason I believed that I could only knit with what she told me to. Well, one day I realized that I couldn't afford to give her all my money, so I started looking for substitutes. I love expensive yarn, but I don't think there's anything wrong with using acrylic or less expensive yarns. They still get the job done and can be just as beautiful. However, because I live in a small town and the LYS is pretty much the only one around, other than a very limited JoAnn's, I usually go look at things at the LYS and then drive an hour to the nearest Michael's or AC Moore to find a nice, less expensive substitute. I've also used Ebay, Jimmy Beans wool, and I've just recently discovered the wonders of KnitPicks. hehe. :wink:

10-20-2007, 10:03 AM
It's a mixture for me. I'll buy Lion brand yarn, I'll buy acryllic (I did a poncho for my niece in Red Hart soft yarn), I'll buy the lower priced nice yarns, I'll hunt for sales, and I'll stock up when I find a yarn I really really like. WEBS is a budget-saver, and I can usually find some nice stuff on Ebay, too. I buy as nice as I can afford and as seems practical.

10-20-2007, 10:17 AM
Because like the rest of my family, I am allergic to wool, I always buy acrylic for myself. But I will work with wool blends for other people, especially if it's a small item so that it doesn't create a lot of fabric which will then be under my fore-arms and wrists as I work with it. There are a lot of good acrylics out now-- especially if you have a well stocked Joanns or AC Moore (the Michael's around here have very limited supplies of yarn and needles). But here's my way of getting around my tendancy to be a yarn ho, albeit one on a limited budget-- I get small quantities and make hats and scarves out of them for other people. I get to play with beautiful things, not spend a lot for them, and feel okay about it because they are gifts. :woot:

10-20-2007, 03:17 PM
I use the yarn specified in the pattern if I have it in my stash, or if I have some extra money, I will buy it on the internet. But, most of the time I use a reasonable substitution.

10-20-2007, 04:44 PM
I am not a yarn snob. I will buy anything. Course that could be because I have yet to see any really good quality yarn in person and I will not spend that much money on yarn through the internet when I have no idea if I will like the feel of the yarn.

Plus I've only been knitting for a year. Before that I crocheted about 30 years now. And for that I always used acrylic yarn since I mostly made afghans. Heck, I didn't even know there were so many great yarns out there and so expensive too.

So far I haven't found a LYS yet where I can go see the yarns and feel them. I've just been buying my yarn at Michael's, AC Moore and Joann's.


10-21-2007, 09:47 AM
I like to order online. Joanns has lots of sales online so I just stock up on yarn and stash the yarn at my workplace. :)

10-21-2007, 09:54 AM

10-21-2007, 10:26 AM
lol mason! :roflhard::roflhard:

10-21-2007, 10:56 AM
I also like KnitPicks, Webs and Elann. Although I can't wear wool on my body, I can wear it on my feet! So for sock yarn, though I love Lorna's Laces and Colinette Jitterbug, I usually buy KnitPicks. The local Michael's, Hobby Loby, etc. have some good buys for the nicer acrylics. Our LYS has a bargain area in the back corner and great sales so if I am wanting, er, needing a higher priced yarn, I go there when the sale is on.

10-21-2007, 11:42 AM
Most of the stuff in my stash I got on sale. Except the sock yarn, I guess. In the last few months my desire to buy every yarn I see has waned and I'm realizing I have enough yarn for many projects. So now if I feel the urge to buy yarn, I buy small amounts but expensive. I don't want to increase my stash anymore with sweater quantities of yarn, and I don't need any more sweater-sized projects anyway. But sometimes I still want to buy yarn. So if I'm going to buy, why fill up the tiny bit of space I have with cheap yarn I won't really enjoy working with anyway? So adding a skein or two of pricey beautiful yarn is how I'm getting my kicks these days. But I still don't generally get it unless it's on sale. :)

10-21-2007, 11:57 AM
For larger projects, I have to stick with inexpensive acrylics, some of which I like very much. My larger projects are pretty much crocheted items.

For smaller, I like the higher end yarns. I never intended to, but I dabbled in them and now I'm just in love. :heart:

10-21-2007, 11:59 AM
It depends on what I'm making. I'm making a gift scarf for my mom, so I went with Cashmerino. It's more expensive than acrylic, but it's cheaper than the cashmere that was called for, and for a gift (and a relatively small amount of yarn) it wasn't so bad.

I'm not sure what I'll do when I start making sweaters. 9 skeins of this, 12 skeins of that...yikes.

10-21-2007, 12:12 PM
I'm so glad that I got on this site.....I've looked around at Knitpicks before, but only for specific yarns. After reading all these posts about them, I decided to go back and check em out again. O.M.G. They've got some really nice, yummy yarn that's CHEAPPPP!!! Anyone used their $1.99 wool for felting? Just wondering how it felts.

10-21-2007, 12:26 PM
I have only been knitting for about 1 year so far and I use anything that I like. Sometimes it's acrylics and sometimes a little more high end. But I have to feel it before I buy it. Because if it feels rough to my hands I won't knit with it. There have been some really expensive natural yarns that I have felt and immediately put it back because it felt soooo scratchy.

But I do have plans to make a Celtic scarf for me (work on it after Christmas..for next year) and I am going to be buying some nice yarn for that. I really want some cashmere!!!

10-21-2007, 12:36 PM
Ok...I feel kind of stupid. I have a hard time with yarn substitutions and gauge, so I tend to buy what the pattern recommends. I don't have a tremendous amount of time to knit, and I usually only have one project OTN, so I feel justified in buying the yarn. Plus, I pick patterns based on what the picture looks like. If I try to substitute, then I'm disappointed because my project doesn't look like the picture.

I guess I'm not very creative, I guess. I always liked to stay inside the lines when I colored. That should have been a sign, eh? :teehee:

10-21-2007, 01:14 PM
I never buy what the pattern recomends. I am dirt poor,lol. I do have some more pricey yarn, but because it is pricey, it just sits in my stash, I wont use it! It cost too much to use. I do however go to the local lys for sock yarn, because I dont like acrylic for socks, except for the slipper socks, then I use red heart. My local lys is always having bag sales, and alot of times I can get $100 orth of yarn, for like $40, then I will buy it like that. But in general, I do not buy any yarn that costs over $8 a skein, and that includes yarns at Joannes or AC Moore.

10-21-2007, 02:40 PM
I don't have a LYS, except for a store with lots of acrylic yarn.I don't think there is one store in Israel that sells decent yarn. Knitting is not popular here. So i buy only online, from ebay or other places, like WEBS. I have a few pattern books from Rowan and Debbie Bliss, so i always find a sale on their yarns, because the substitute will cost almost the same. And i can't have KnitPicks.
For instance, i'm waiting for a package of Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4-ply - a bag of 10 for 25$ with FREE WORLDWIDE shipping. I think it's worth it. I don't have a lot of money, but i'd rather buy some yarn than an extra pair of shoes. And even if my sweater cost 100$, i think it's worth the natural fiber, uniqueness and the hard work put into it. For others i knit with acrylic, if i know that they are not hand-knit-aware, so they won't have the washing problems.

10-21-2007, 03:04 PM
I used to do groceries in the town of Listowel, Ontario... the Bernat/Patons/Lily and a whole host of other brands Factory was in Listowel.

I knit with whatever, watching now for how it feels.

My main requirement is super wash.

And up until recently, spending $5 was to make for an expensive knitting project. Lately I've bumped that up to $20.

But when you can buy yarn at whole sale prices...

my DD sweater, with Bernat Alpaca... $0.34 of yarn.

You're all welcome to stop by for a visit! I'm about 1 hour away from the factory now ;)

10-21-2007, 04:29 PM
I love :inlove: this thread!! It is almost like taking a look at other people's baskets of yarn :rofl: and get an idea of what they have in there :teehee:
Well, I started using Red Heart when I first learned to knit. I had no idea what acrylic was :roflhard: Later I started exploring the wool-ease yarns by Lion Brand, the Patons Classic Wool and nicer and softer acrylics. Being a grad student I am always in a budget. So, the only sock yarn I have ever use is Magic Stripes, by Lion Brand too. As you can see I do not visit my LYS ever. That's right, I have only been there once, like 2 or 3 years ago. I did not feel comfortable in there. I don't know, it was like a dark, small place where the employee did not seem very nice. I ended up buying a pair of bamboo needles, but no yarn. I have always bought my yarn at Joanns, Hanckok Fabrics and even at Walmart. When knitting for others I have always used nicer acrylics because my family and friends might not appreciate a more expensive yarn, and won't take care of washing it by hand.
In the near future, though, I hope I will start buying online, trying to get nicer cottons (not the Lili one or the Sugar and Cream one :doh:) and nicer merino wools.
I dream of buying a few skeins of cashmere one day.... to knit something for myself of course!! I deserve it, darn it! :mrgreen:

10-21-2007, 04:35 PM
I'm so glad that I got on this site.....I've looked around at Knitpicks before, but only for specific yarns. After reading all these posts about them, I decided to go back and check em out again. O.M.G. They've got some really nice, yummy yarn that's CHEAPPPP!!! Anyone used their $1.99 wool for felting? Just wondering how it felts.
I am using WOTA for my fiber trend clogs. I can beat the price. It felts well and when I was knitting it up it was not as harsh as I thought it would be. I was afraid at that price that it would be rough and it isn't. I also got some of there andean silk that I will use for some wraps and it is really really soft and yummy.