Times are hard...

...but the desire to knit continues. Unfortunately, these days virtually anything from the LYS is out of my price range, and the "demon enablers" (as MMario likes to call them (and he is most certainly one)) are running amok.

I've been scouring the big box stores to see what's out there that's more affordable, and have been reading the reviews of the various yarns I've found on Ravelry, which are largely inconsistent and contradictory. So, I thought I'd throw it out to the group.
What are your favorite cheapo yarns? I've done projects with a few -- some I liked (Hobby Lobby's I Love this Yarn; Lion Brand's Wool-Ease); some I didn't (Bernat's Baby Coordinates; Red Heart Super Saver). Is there anything I ought to give a try? And is there a big box lace weight yarn anywhere?

As always, thanks for your help!


vsidart's picture

http://www.smileysyarns.com/ can be a great resource... You never know what you're gonna find, but I've gotten some great deals there. They do have a $50 minimum order, but you can get LOADS 'o yarn for that price.

teejtc's picture

My favorite cheapo yarn is the Caron's Eco Soft from Walmart at under $3 a skein.


Hope it helps.

Grace and Peace,

MMario's picture

I've found, that even with shipping, some of the online stores are cheaper. A lot of time the trick is to purchase whole cones. WEBS or KNitPicks are two I've used.

Ray at Knitivity has frequent sales and specials - and carries commercially died as well as his hand dyed yarns.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

teejtc's picture

I'll second KnitPicks. I've purchased from them several times and always been pleased with the results. I've heard some complaints that their skeins have too many knots in them, but I haven't noticed it to be a problem.

Grace and peace,

MMario's picture

I haven't had any problems w/ knitpicks yarns either (aside from some of their colour choices) but have had with several more "upscale" yarns.

gee - inexpensive, no knots, versus expensive and four or five knots per skein? Guess which one I buy a seond time?

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

I'll second WEBS - I've had some great bargains over the past 9 months.

YarnGuy716's picture

Thus another reason for the importance of a healthy sized stash. I am once again unemployed, having gone through this early in 2007. Fortunately I have a healthy stash of yarns so that there is plenty for me to work with during these lean times. So I do feel for you.

The others have given some good suggestions. Also look for clearance sales. Check Craigslist in your area as well. I was able to get brand new men's pattern books for half of what they would have cost me in the stores.

Sock knitting is also a lot of bang for your buck. You can get Patons Kroy sock yarn at the big box stores using their 40% off coupons.

TheKnittingMill's picture

I agree that Knit Picks is a great place to pick up cheap yarn. I'm knitting with their DK swish for a cabled vest I'm doing and their andean silk for a sweater that I'm working on and I really like their yarns. As Tim shared, I haven't noticed an unusual amount of knots in the yarn either. In fact, I've come across very few. They also have clearance sales in something pretty much year round. As far as retail store yarn I'm with you--I really like lion brand's line of wool ease in the different weights. Look for the sales flyer at Michael's or Hobby Lobby that's available through their websites. Yarnmarket.com is another site where I've picked up some good deals. Hope this helps...

QueerJoe's picture

I have to agree with all the KnitPickers...I just finished a man's large sweater using two colors (stranded) of KnitPicks fingering weight yarns that I got on clearance. The entire sweater cost me about $40 in yarn cost (although I bought quite a bit more than I used).

I found one knot in the entire sweaters-worth of yarn and the yarn is quite soft and nice to knit with.

Thomasknits's picture

Knitpicks is quite awesome. Also, my personal favorite gawd awful cheap yarn is Caron Simply Soft. It is acrylic, alas, but it is very soft and has a shiny sheen to it.


RickeScott's picture

For what it's worth - Bill was always able to find great wool sweaters for cheap at thrift shops. He unraveled them, wound the resulting yarn into balls and stashed them away. Some are full of knots and short pieces, but others are just fine. Probably depends on how the sweater was knitted and constructed. For some projects, shorter pieces of yarn work just fine.

Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog I get stuff from SMiley's and Knitpicks, but I have been known to go to a thrift store and look for sweaters that I can use the yarn. Now that I am learning to dye yarn , using kool aid, sugar free jello and food coloring, I will unravel anything that is wool and white and give it color and new life, lol!