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Old 04-10-2007, 01:24 PM   #1
luv2knit
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Expensive Yarns Vs. Affordable Yarns
This question has probably been addressed a hundred times already, but I just have to ask it again. I started knitting over a year ago and most of the yarn I started with was from the chain craft store, usually buying lion brand or something that was on sale. I have purchased yarn from a few LYS but never anything too exotic or pricey. I did recently purchase from discountedbrandnameyarns.com, haven't gotten my order yet, but wanted to try out a couple of yarns (bella brand and bamboo type yarn). I also took a look at yarn.com recently and looked over their selection. I also have looked at the yarn magazine and through the online websites to see the variety of yarn that is out there.

So here is my question, why spend twice as much on yarn (or more) that ends up costing you around $50 to $100 to make something when you can go get yarn at Micheal's or JoAnn's for a lot less. How much better quality is the yarn that is so much more expensive? And do you always use high quality yarn for everything you knit? I would like to be brave enough to try something like Noro or the like, but I am not sure I am convinced yet.
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:33 PM   #2
CateKnits
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Quote:
So here is my question, why spend twice as much on yarn (or more) that ends up costing you around $50 to $100 to make something when you can go get yarn at Micheal's or JoAnn's for a lot less. How much better quality is the yarn that is so much more expensive?
You'll know if you try it. Some of it is that much better and some of it isn't. You really have to try it for yourself to decide.
It depends on what I'm making whether I'll use "expensive" yarn or not. If it's something like mittens that I think are going to take a lot of abuse, I'll use a cheaper, sturdier yarn.
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:35 PM   #3
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as a fellow new knitter....
knitting isn't about saving money all the time- it is also about the craft, enjoying the process, and having a treasure when you finish.

While my limit is about $12/ skein- those more expensive yarns are a dream to work with. gentle on the hands, lovely to work up, lovely drape/ feel/ fit. a sensory experience during the process.

inexpensive yarns for me are great for learning new techniques, trying out a pattern, or making a gift for someone who has no idea how intensive or expensive hand knitting can be. While it isn't hard, it does take significant amounts of time, and if someone just doesn't get it, they aren't worth it.

Inexpensive yarns are also good for washable baby stuff, fast knitted scarves, things you want to wash frequently, etc. Lion brand cotton is great for discloths.

And some patterns only work with the right yarns- you might not like the results if you use a very different yarn than what the pattern is written for.

Anyways- just my opinion. I love the bamboo- hope you have fun with it!! I have a bunch waiting to be made into summer tops.
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:41 PM   #4
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Yes, this topic comes up pretty regularly here. It is the same as buying your clothes at Target or buying them at Nordstrom. You may really want the Nordstrom quality, or you may feel that the quality doesn't justify the price (or you may get shoddy quality from Nordstrom and be really mad!) Or you may feel that if you shop carefully you can get good bargains at Nordstrom and good quality at Target.

Basically, the counter argument to what you are saying is "why put all that effort into something with crappy yarn?" Price doesn't = quality, but there are many pricey yarns are really nice to knit with.

I went through a serious yarn snob phase where I wouldn't touch Michaels/JoAnn yarn. Then I got sick and tired of making $100+ sweaters that I am too fat to look good in and need a lot of special care, so I started to make more things out of bargain yarns. Now I use both types depending on what I am making. I use the good stuff for apparel and the bargain stuff for blankets and heavy-use items.

To answer your question: There are absolutely expensive yarns out there that are worth every penny and you will be in heaven every stitch. However, if your budget is really tight, the stress of having paid so much can outweigh the joy. I don't think I can physically explain why they are nicer. It really comes down to personal preference.
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:44 PM   #5
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I can't answer your question fully, but will offer my experiences. I started knitting six months ago and used big box craft store yarn exclusively mainly because I didn't know any better, and I"m a starving student, and I have no LYS within a comfortable driving distance. Also, I was practicing my knitting...don't want to mess up a high-quality yarn with the tripe I was putting out.


I am still putting out tripe (my giganto bag comes to mind), but I've made a few online orders and found some really nice yarn that wasn't too expensive. Handpaintedyarn.com has some really nice stuff that nearly equals mmmmmMalabrigo in softness. It also comes in a ton of different colors and is usually less than $6.20 for about 150 yards. Some of the yarns in the craft stores were about 10 dollars and they were acrylic, not 100% wool!

Also found some Noro online and found some in a LYS in Arizona (my new home next month). I've bought some 182 and some 195 and will make a couple of Booga bags, as it is my current obsession.

Anyway, there it is. It is possible to find nice yarns that don't cost alot.


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Old 04-10-2007, 02:27 PM   #6
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Previous posters have made some really good points here, so I'll try not to go over the same ground too much.

Bottom line, I think you can make beautiful things with just about any yarn and plenty of attention.

I made my mom a scarf out of some inexpensive yarn because she fell in love with the color & the feel. Nothing else would do, not even the stuff which was twice as expensive. She wears it every chance she gets, and I just hope she doesn't get heatstroke this summer.

But then there are the times when you fall in love with the most expensive thing in the LYS. I've got a scarf I made out of $40 of Noro Kochoran. It's lush and fuzzy, and I've never regretted it.

I knit as a way to relax (when I'm not dropping stitches), as a way to be creative, as a way to make things for the people I love. Lord help me, one day soon I'm going to start on a pair of hockey socks for my DH (think long legwarmers, in sportweight yarn).

Buy yarn you like to work with. Experiment. Create. It's a wonderful thing altogether!
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Old 04-10-2007, 02:38 PM   #7
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I think yarn is a bit like wine....... it takes education and experience to truly appreciate a fine yarn.

There are lots of perfectly acceptable craft store yarns out there; lionbrand and redheart don't make garbage. It is servicable yarn and a great product to use to learn with, make childrens clothing or a variety of ofther uses.

But all it takes is making one item out of a "fine yarn", my first exposure to fine yarn was with Schaefer yarn, to KNOW the difference. Like wine sometimes you can go with the less expensive brands but there are definately occasions which call for higher end.
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Old 04-10-2007, 02:48 PM   #8
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I usually buy inexpensive because I REALLY don't feel like being single again after all these years!
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Old 04-10-2007, 02:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by debinoz
I usually buy inexpensive because I REALLY don't feel like being single again after all these years!


It's easier if you're the one balancing the books!
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Old 04-10-2007, 02:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by debinoz
I usually buy inexpensive because I REALLY don't feel like being single again after all these years!




Ive been knitting since late last year, and I bought a crap load of Red Heart to learn on, and I ended up giving alot of it to my daughter for her fingerweaving habit.

Lately, Ive tried to branch out from what is on sale at Hobby Lobby, to retail priced "luxury" yarn. And by that I mean....I bought 6 skiens of WotA...and 2 of Dancing for socks. That was my FIRST ever online buying experience.

And Im still braving up to start with the WoTa.
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