How to find inexpensive yarn?

Beginner here, just finished my first afghan & am looking for yarn for my second.

Problem: Even with acrylic yarn on discount sites, the cost seems to be $80-$100 for enough to complete one afghan. What am I missing? I’ve tried amazon,,, etc.

I’m just doing this for fun, & the work I produce is not yet worth that kind of financial outlay. Can someone suggest a place where I could buy an afghan’s worth of yarn for around $50, or is this not possible?

Thanks in advance!

What kind of craft stores are near you? Sometimes they have good sales with coupons and stuff. Here are some websites for inexpensive yarn:

Have you heard of a store called “Ollies”? They are all over this area (near Philadelphia). They get yarn close-outs and all their yarn is $2.99 a skein!!! I’ve been there and bought Lion Brand yarn!!! Check them out!!!



I’ve made lots of one color afghans for wedding gifts and such. I love to use double strands of these yarns:

Caron One Pound yarn
Bernat Super Value Yarn

Or sometimes I use 4 strands of Lion Brand Homespun yarn with size 50 needles.

Yesterday I was at JoAnn Fabrics and I bought some yarn that was on sale for 25% off. I got another 20% off because it was Senior Discount Day!!! Keep your eyes open and sign up for coupons for ALL your local craft stores!! I am also a HUGE Craigslist yarn shopper! Just enter “yarn” in the search box!!


1 Like

Thanks for the great suggestions: knitting-warehouse was new to me, and their prices look pretty good. We don’t have Ollies where I live, but we have Ocean State Job Lot (pretty much the same thing) and they sell yarn, too - who knew?
One more quick question you might be able to answer: knitting-warehouse has lots of “baby yarn,” but I don’t know what makes that different from regular yarn. Could I use that to knit an “adult” afghan?

Great advice - thanks! I never thought to look at Craigslist, but I checked it out and there’s quite a bit of yarn for sale there.
The Caron one pound yarn looks like a great deal, but I had skipped it because my pattern calls for bulky (5) and the one-pounds are worsted weight (4). Could I use double strands of (4) instead of a single strand of (5)?
Another question: have you ever mixed two strands of different-colored yarns? If so, what colors did you mix?
Thanks again!

wow, I didn’t know Ollie’s carried any yarn. There’s one an hour from me in Ithaca, NY :slight_smile: I just went on eBay last night and there were some places where the shipping was only .99 cents and the price for 6 balls of Lily Sugar’n Cream was $3.00 less. It adds up so I’m going to keep checking there. I had great luck also with Craftsy on their specials and like knitcindy said, they have discounts including free shipping on top of a sale or $1.99 with great sales. Fabulousyarns also had lower price on good yarn. I just ordered from them for my first time. Good luck to everyone!

What I’ve found is that not every Ollie’s is the same when it comes to their yarn. One of their stores near me just opens the boxes and stuffs it on the shelf. None of the skeins were tangled up with each other and they were all nicely displayed, even in the boxes.

Otoh, at a different Ollie’s (still within 30 min drive) their yarn was all tangled up and not looking very nice at all. I would’ve had to stand there and untangle about 50% of the skeins!!!

Hope you find what u like there

1 Like

You could try it and see how it looks! (using 2 worsted weights together) I have used 2 different shades of purple together, cream and cranberry together and I just finished one with white all the way through but changing the other strand from blue to yellow and then green! There all kinds of possibilities!

“Baby yarn” can mean that the colors are appropriate for baby items OR it can mean that the weight is thinner, like a “3”. One of the nice things about the KW website is that each yarn has a thorough description. So u should be able to tell. I have used “baby” yarn to make adult afghans. The label said baby, but the color was the same cream as a regular cream. If u like it it shouldn’t be a problem!! The only one who would know it’s a baby yarn is YOU!!


1 Like

Thanks - specials and coupons seem to make a real difference.

Thanks for that info knitcindy :slight_smile:

Thanks again for the amazingly helpful replies, knitcindy! I hadn’t liked the flat, monochromatic colors of the cheaper yarns, but being able to mix them opens up a whole new world! Nice to know that baby yarn is an option, too.
One more thing: if I use two strands of worsted instead of one strand of bulky, should I still use the same size needles recommended for the bulky?

One thing you’re learning is that hand knit projects can NOT compete with manufactured machine made products when it comes to cost. You will always spend more than what you can get at Walmart. This is one of the reasons it SO hard to sell hand made anything. Most people do not understand the cost of the yarn alone much less the time and love you’ve put into making it.


You’re right - and I’m in it for the enjoyment of doing these projects, rather than because I need multiple afghans. The sticker shock from the yarn made me afraid I was taking up a very expensive hobby. I understand the prices people are charging on Etsy now, though - $100 for an afghan may not cover much more than the cost of materials.

Yeah. Sometimes it is a shock. The first time I made socks the yarn was a less expensive one and it was still $20 or so. :smirk:

I’ve bought yarn in stores like Michaels or Hobby Lobby when I first started knitting. Now I usually buy it in my LYS. It costs more, but it supports the store and I enjoy the quality more. And MY hobby is way less than my husbands hobbies so he can’t say a word. :joy: I’ve not made an afghan though and if I did so I’m not sure I’d buy the yarn in the yarn store!

I didn’t know what an LYS was so I had to look it up - now I feel like an insider! We have a couple of those in my area, and I like their emphasis on building a sense of community. I think I’ll wait until my knitting skills improve before going with higher-quality yarn, though. Loved your sock story - I’ve never owned a $20 pair of socks!

1 Like

Yes, there is a big difference in the cost of materials plus the time it takes to hand knit an item vs. a machine knit item made with yarn bought in bulk quantities.

One of my friends suggested that I could sell the Doctor Who scarves for about $150 each. At 60+ hours invested in making one, I told him he seriously undervalued my time! It may have only cost me $30 in materials, but that would mean that my time is only worth $2 per hour?!


I hear you - that’s why I look at knitting as entertainment (which I would pay for) rather than work (which someone would pay me for). But when I saw the cost of yarn, it felt like my “entertainment” might be in the same price range as Broadway tickets!

Haha! You’re right. Just remember this last longer than a Broadway musical though. Are you making the afghan for yourself?

1 Like

If you have JoAnn’s I have found that their app has amazing coupons each week. Download Michael’s and Hobby Lobby’s apps. You can use each apps coupons at the register at JoAnn’s at the same time. Hope this helps :blush:

1 Like