How much do you pay for yarn?

I am relatively new to knitting and want to make my first sweater. I found a pattern I want to use, which will use a novelty yarn i inherited for the collar and a bulky yarn for the body. i wanted to use a fuzzy yarn, like angora, and so I went to a LYS to check out what they have. The skiens run from $10-30 and generally have about 100 yds/skien. Since my pattern requires 930 yards of yarn, I’ll need about 9 skiens and spend $100 or more on a sweater which may turn out awful or Barbie sized or elephant sized. I could buy an off-the-rack sweater which i know would fit and not have stitching mistakes cheaper! When I looked online at angora, the prices were still high. I realize there are cheaper yarns – in polyester and such – but if I’m going to spend a lot of time on it, i want it to be nice.

Anyway, do y’all spend this much on yarn? Would I be crazy to spend that kind of money?

I have some Christmas presents (hats and scarves) I want to make before I start on anything for myself, so I don’t really need this yarn until after Christmas, but i like to look…

Yeah Angora is very costly. Most thing I have seen it used in/on is for accents like Santa’s beard on Christmas stockings. If you go to Knit Picks they have wool/wool blends that are reasonably priced. I live on single income so Knit Pick fits into my budget. I will spend the money for good yarn but will not spend $100 on yarn to knit just one item. For me its all about the bang for the buck.

I have knit sweaters with angora and don’t wear them often. They make me sneeze and itch from all the shedding that goes on. It’s lovely soft yarn, but I like it better as an accent rather than the whole sweater.
I spend as little as I can and shop mainly at KnitPicks and Elann.

Maybe someday I’ll be able to afford to spend that much on yarn and be brave enough to, but for now I try to keep my yarn purchases more in reason with my budget. I will spend $10-20 dollars on a single skein for a project on occasion, but not for an entire sweater.

Most people substitute the yarn called for in designer patterns for something similar, but more affordable. That can be from the LYS, an online store or even craft store acrylic.

I would think about substituting a similar gauge yarn that’s cheaper but would wear well. If the pattern turns out that you love it, it may be worth saving the money for nicer yarn and making it again. But at least you would have a learning curve under your belt and the next time you make the same pattern you’ll make less mistakes and it will be easier.

I would suggest doing what I call a “test knit” I find a pattern I like and buy the yarn in the right gauge , but cheaper, and test knit it. It helps me so I see if the pattern fits right, if i like the FO, etc. THEN I buy the expensive yarn to knit the pattern with.
I know it sounds like a lot of work to knit a whole sweter as a “test” but it really has saved me from buying yarn for a pattern that doesn’t turn out.
If you have doubts on the “test knit” please reference my blog and the “GINOURMOUS SWEATER OF ENENDING DOOM”:roflhard:

Nope, I won’t spend that amount of money on yarn. If you can afford it and want it, go for it. Right now that is simply beyond my means what with the way the economy is going. But, I’m not you - you know what your budget will stand. Just 'cause mine won’t stand that, doesn’t mean yours won’t.

It really doesn’t matter what anyone else would pay for it - it’s a decision you have to make. JMHO.

on average, a woman’(misses) medium sweater is going to require about 1000 yards to make. (some sweaters will be 900 something, some will be 1100.

Now with this in mind, shop.

there places like Knit Picks, Elans, Smileys, Webs, (and scores of other places) that you’ll be able to buy 1000 yards of yarn for as little as $10–or $30, or $50.

(and some of these same places will have yarns that will end up costing you $90, $100, $130 for a sweater!)

there are always compromizes.

sometime you can find an angora blend at $3 for a 150 yard ball. (i did) but… only in pastels… (creamy cocoa color, or pale blue, or mauve, or cream…)

or you some times you can find the color you want (Peach) but not price!

This is why so many knitters have stashes… they find a yarn they like (fibers they like, colors they like, value they like) --and buy 1000 yards or so on speculation!

Another factor to consider:

Hand knit items are custom made clothing.

and such clothing is NEVER CHEAP.

it might cost you $300 for an angora sweater… but look in Barneys, or in Bergdoff’s, or Saks, and an angora sweater is $1200–(or 4 times more!)

YOu might not usually shop Bergdoffs, or Saks, or look at the prices of the clothing feature say in the NYTImes magazine style section–or in Vogue, or other zines, … but really a hand knit sweater is still a Value item!

You can compromise… you can buy simpler yarns (10% angora Vs 50% angora) --or buy a color that is not your first choice… or buy a cone, (use half, and sell the other half) and still end up with a wonderful garment.

I will pay about $20-$40 to spend a couple month’s labor making a sweater.

I will not take part in the fleecing of fiber arts because they’re labeled crafters.

For me, it depends on what I’m making. If I really want to use a more expensive yarn for a project, I’ll save up the money for it (it killer to wait sometimes, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do)

Most of the time I’ll find a subsitute yarn that will work for the pattern I want to make - with kids and pets - I’m always looking for something that is washable (my husband thinks everything is washable so washable yarn a must or I have to hide the item)

If I have to have the yarn, but can’t afford the high price, I will then find a smaller project to make - I still get the yarn, but I didn’t kill the budget.

It has to be up to you… if you find a yarn you like - go online to see what other companies are charging - I’ve found some companies are several dollars apart for the same item - several dollars mutiplied by 10 or more does make a big difference.

Good luck… happy knitting.

Thanks! Some great website suggestions; while I did not find angora , I did find others that might work for much cheaper! :slight_smile:

I’ll let you know when I finally make that sweater.

At most I buy chep yarn I’ll spened about $20-$40.

The most I have spent is 7 dollars a skein. I usually spend less than that, I guess on avg. 4 dollars a skein.

I usually buy acrylic, blends, bamboo, wool, and cotton.

I don’t like angora just because when I wear it I get little fuzzies all in my face, esp if it goes on over the head. I spend the rest of my time picking out animal hairs from the angora out of my eyelashes and even when I get it all off, it still feels like it is there.

I also am very frugal and buy a lot of my yarn at Hobby Lobby ( the brands I like) when it is on sale, and often use their coupons.

If I need something special for a project I will go to my LYS and splurge a little more, but for baby stuff, I use the Caron Simply Soft, or some other baby yarn. For booties and hats I usually do use acrylic. If I am knitting for someone in a colder climate I will buy Wool-Ease.

I don’t typically spend alot of money because I am not a terrific knitter… YET. The most expensive purchase I made was on Magic Ball at $30/hank x 2 hanks. It was an impulse buy… and although beautiful, I think it was too expensive for my skill level. I think that if I was alot more skilled, I’d buy expensive yarns for special items. I still wouldn’t buy expensive yarn for everyday knitting. You can buy some really nice natural fiber yarns pretty inexpensively.

the most I have spent was last week when I spent almost $80.00 for enough yarn to make a hat, scarf, and mittens. Normally I won’t spend this much for something that’s this small of a project but it is going to be a Xmas gift for my 15 yr old step daughter and I wanted it to be nice mature gift.

I am addicted to fine yarn and don’t mind paying big bucks. I keep an eagle eye out for sales, buy on ebay and browse the internet almost daily for the best deals.

I am currently trying to get enough “Schaefer Laurel” to make a pullover. The yarn is $37.00 a skein and I will need 5 skeins. Luckily it is a varigated yarn so I can use different dyelots. I have 4 skeins and am just waiting for that LAST skein to pop up on sale somewhere.

But when I was just starting I used alot of acrylic, which you can get at Joanns or Michaels or other similar places.

Yup im another cheap n chearful kinda gal as well :teehee: .

Last yarn i bought (which was last week an impluse buy as i descovered a new LYS) was €2.50 per 50g. I bought 3 with a toy in mind. it was on sale from €7 a skein. for a small project i dont mind spending €20 max but jumpers etc its €3 a skein tops. I am on a budget.
I also re use yarn when i can. I mainly knit for my son and as he grows out of everything faster than he can get good wear out of it it gets ripped out and re used once or even twice. Even really cheap acrylic (i mean ێ for 200 grams kinda price) was very re useable. I rarley knit for adults so prehaps a little different.

Even if money was no object i wouldnt pay that much on yarn, i’d go for a blend, you get the best of all worlds that way


I will spend more on yarn for a sweater that I will knit, than I would spend on a sweater at a store.

The most important thing before buying yarn is gauge. You need to look for a similar gauge and texture in order for your sweater to look like it is intended.

What pattern do you have in mind? Perhaps with some more specifics, posters can help you find a yarn in your budget. is my favorite source for sweater-quantities of yarn. They have a great selection and great prices. They are mostly mailorder. If you are lucky enough to live in Seattle you get to go visit and fondle the yarny goodness in person (I am so lucky).


Where I live, I do not have a LYS–unless I go to Tuscaloosa AL (about 2 hours away). And when I go, I pick out a few skeins and pay the price. I will also stop by Hobby Lobby and pick up their brand (Yarn Bee) which I really like, and Lion Brand. So to answer your question, I will pay whatever as long as I like the yarn and it will make a good fabric.