There is a new yarn store in my town. The yarns are beautiful. However, I feel intimidated. I have always bought yarn at Michael’s or Walmart because that is what has been available to me. I buy yarns that are pretty and I do not much care about fibre content. I have also joined a knitting group on facebook called Knit Stars and it seems that everyone is all about fibres and dying and alpaca or silk yarn. I want to hang out with these people, but frankly, I am just feeling cheap and like I don’t belong because I can’t afford to pay $35 for one skein of yarn… I like Bernat and Patons and Loops and Threads… I just feel like (less?) because I can’t afford to knit with the expensive stuff, and I feel like I am being shamed for it (even though that is probably more imagined perception than real)
I’ve been knitting for a few years now and I’ve never, ever paid $35 for a single ball or skein of yarn. My view is that those who can and want to spend that much are welcome to do so but I don’t need to. I do enjoy using natural fiber yarns but I find them online for much less. One of my favorite sites that I can’t visit because I will buy more yarn I don’t need is Little Knits. I’m not suggesting you go spend money there but thought they’re worth a mention. Knit what you want with the yarn you use and don’t let anyone mess with your enjoyment of knitting. When you can venture into trying other yarns and you want to then is the time to consider your options.
I stumbled across this site about eleven years ago. My grandson had chosen some Super Saver yarn at Walmart for a sweater. I was a crocheter but had learned how to knit and purl. The yarn wasn’t crocheting so the multi-colors looked good and I had to try knitting. By the time I’d finished the sweater, with a heck of a lot of help and encouragement here, I was beginning to consider myself a knitter. Had I said, that yarn’s not good enough, I wouldn’t be knitting today.
I recently got pictures of my great granddaughter born last November wearing the stranded colorwork hat I made her using Lion Brand Wool Ease. Her mamas were very pleased with it.
I knit on a budget and not ashamed to say so.
I enjoy knitting as a hobby, many of my other hobbies I used to do or would like to do I just can’t do due to health reasons so knitting is my substitute and to me I enjoy the process and figuring stuff out and that it takes my mind off other things. The (budget) price tag on the yarn does not diminish any of that enjoyment.
If you’re in any group that’s making you feel bad in any way then I think it’s time to question if it’s really the group for you. It doesn’t really matter whether other people intend to make you feel bad or not, it’s how you feel that matters.
I only buy yarns online. Downside is you don’t get to feel the texture before buying but I don’t mind so much. I look at budget yarns and sale yarns.
I do mind what fibres I use but that’s about my personal attempt to reduce the amount of plastic I buy or use so I’m avoiding acrylic yarn unless it’s recycled… (and yes there are all sorts of other environmental problems with other yarn types and dyes too. I know I am not saving the planet). I’ve used budget cotton and been very happy with it, I’ve bought sale yarn and been happy with that too.
Even my needles are low budget sets. Every sweater I make I have to mend my needles, I actually find it quite amusing and I won’t buy new until I absolutely have to!
The site I shop on has this beautiful yarn on sale, silk, mohair and cashmere blend, well doesn’t that sound posh!!! The price is reduced from £30 per 50g ball to £8 per ball. A massive reduction which is really tempting. I haven’t bought any though because I haven’t found a pattern to go with it and frankly even at £8 per ball that’s waaaaaaay more expensive than anything I’ve bought before. Price comparison with £1.60 per 50g ball, for cotton which I’ve made several tops with it looks lovely. Now I’m looking at cotton at 75p per 50g ball!
Recently I saw an article about ways to cut back on the cost of living (cost of living crisis here in the UK) and it listed knit your own clothes as a way to save money. I laughed at that naive notion. Even with budget yarn a hand made sweater is many times the price I could pay in a shop. If my ONLY goal was to clothe myself and my child I wouldn’t knit. Mass manufactured hats, scarves, gloves, socks, sweaters and blankets are way way cheaper than the yarn needed to make any of them.
Maybe look out for sale yarns if you want to try something different without the big price tag. Or decide to be happy and confident with what you normally use.
Don’t let anyone stop you enjoying your knitting x
You knit beautifully and have posted photos of lovely projects over the years. You can be proud of all of these whatever yarn they were worked with.
As I understand it Knit Stars brings together a terrific faculty of knitting designers and experts to teach classes at all levels in order to improve your knitting. If you’re getting useful tips and techniques from them that’s all to the good. Knitters can go off on discussions of favorite yarns and someprices can be stratospheric. That’s fine but not your preference. If you can learn from the discussions, fine; if not, just let it go.
Be confident in your abilities, your interest in improving and learning, and don’t worry about fitting in. It’s good to stand out!
I kind of identify with this. I’m a Michaels and Hobby lobby shopper but also order online from Amazon and Joann’s. I’m all for a good sale on yarn. I knit for enjoyment. There is a local yarn store here also. They are very nice & helpful but when looking at their yarn it’s very pricey. So I tend to purchase accessories there. They have a weekly knit together for a nominal fee but I have yet to do that. I think there is an element of intimidation (on my part). I think I’m not good enough. Getting help via videos has the element of anonymity. I know I need to interact with others more so I’m working towards this direction maybe after school starts again since I care for my granddaughter. But the long & the short is we put these limitations on ourselves, most likely not by others to us.
SO agree with all that’s been said on the topic of the knitting itself being more important than spending a fortune on yarn; one way to get exotic yarn is to go to thrift shops and find garments that you can unravel and wash and re-knit with - not so great for something large where you might not have enough, but great for socks, hats, scarves etc. Just a thought. I buy everything on line because I live in Hong Kong where there are very few yarn shops. I veer from super extravagant (not often!) to super cheapo, but as others have said, I try and think green so avoid acrylic if possible, also because I really hate the feel of it. I’d rather knit something little with good yarn than something big with yarn I don’t like working with and don’t like wearing, or wishing on others. Thank goodness for babies!! I totally recommend Stephen West’s (yes, I know, many of you must be bored with my SW obsession!!) Pengweeno baby jacket for using up all sorts of odds and ends, and it doesn’t in the least matter if you run out of anything; have a look at the many versions on Ravelry, if interested. SW is really good at mixing and matching and making do, alongside his super-glamorous stuff. His workshop on the Penguono (the adult version) and Pengweeno jackets is a masterclass in use of colour, mixing of different yarns, using up of odds and ends; it’s one of the best lessons in color mixing and in stash-busting I’ve ever seen, and as an ‘artist’ anyway, I have looked at lots of color-theory stuff. The $30 that online course costs is less than the cost of one fancy skein, and will fill you with enthusiasm for the non-fancy skeins and ends-of-skeins that you don’t quite know what to do with! So I’ve slightly gone off topic, but not really, if you think about it: here is a top designer telling you how to use up stash, mix and match, combine something exotic with something absolutely not. It’s all about creativity and inventiveness, improvisation, but with tools to teach you how to improvise and how to love it.
I knit mostly with acrylic, then some cotton, and occasionally wool-ease.
Wool seems incredibly costly and high maintenance to me. Maybe it is just my man brain that thinks I should be able to toss my knitting in a regular washer cycle and not worry.
I just think it keeps my life simpler.
Do what you want and enjoy.
Not just man brain. I wouldn’t choose a garment I have to hand wash or faff about with reshaping every time it’s washed either. I don’t mind setting the machine to shorter or gentler but it needs to go in there.
That said… apparently there is wool which has this ability too! Never used it myself but was browsing some recently.
You just reminded me of the time mum converted one of my dad’s wool jumpers to a child sized garment, no re-knitting required!