Frugal Knitting and Crocheting: How to Keep Creating When Money is Tight!
Frugal Knitting and Crocheting
We all have times when finances are tight. This doesn't mean you should stop knitting or crocheting! There are a lot of ways to save money and still be creative. I am a bit of a yarn snob, and am not a fan of working with scratchy yarn. It would be wonderful to always be able to buy the gorgeous high quality yarn that I see at my favorite local yarn stores. Unfortunately, there are times when I just can't afford it! Here is a list of some frugal knitting and crocheting ideas that will keep you creating without sacrificing quality.
Save ALL Your Scraps
Seriously... all of them, even the tiny ones. You can use them for all kinds of things! They could be used for accents, tassels or fringe. They work great for sewing on buttons or adding embellishments. Scraps make great draw strings for knitted or crocheted drawstring bags. If you have kids, then you can always use them for kid's craft projects.
Embrace StripesStripes are a great way to use up some of your scrap yarn! They can be used in just about any knitting or crochet pattern. All you have to do is change colors at the beginning/end of a row. Studio Knits has a fantastic blog post with tips for knitting stripes here!
It's Hip to Crochet SquaresHere's on for the crocheters! Granny squares are wonderful for those little scraps! You can crochet the squares with multiple colors per square, or use one color per square. The choice is yours. Granny squares can be made into blankets, vests, open sweaters, bags, scarves, and more!
Learn to Knit Fair Isle
Fair Isle knitting is named for an a small island in the north of Scotland. It is a technique uses more than one color to create beautiful designs. The Fair Isle technique usually uses two colors per row, and the back ground color can change just as much as the pattern color. This technique is perfect for scrap yarn! You can find some wonderful free charted patterns online, or create your own using graft paper.
There is so much you can do with wool! Wool is a yarn with endless possibilities. One of the things you can do with wool is that you can dye it different colors. This works best if you choose a light color yarn, or a white yarn. If it is a 100% wool then it can be used in felting projects. Super wash wool not felt, but you can still dye super wash wool! Most wool blends with 80% wool will take dye. You can give your yarn a new look by over dying it. I've had some beautiful results using mohair art yarn, and some patterned sock yarn. I have a post on how to dye yarn in a Ziploc bag here.
Select a Project That Will Take Forever
I absolutely love the instant gratification of a quick bulky knit, but bulky yarn can add up fast when you are pinching pennies! Small needles + small yarn = FOREVER. I am currently knitting a project in fingering weight, and it is taking quite a while. By a while I mean year(s). I am finally past the half way point.
The Forever Project: Architexture Scarf Knitting Kit by Jennifer Weissman Craftsy
Shop Sales and Use CouponsI feel like this is kinda obvious, but I wanted to include it anyway. A lot of craft stores (like A.C. Moore, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and JoAnn Fabrics) have sale ads and online coupons. Taking advantage of these is a good way to save a bit of money and keep crafting.
Shop Knit PicksKnit Picks has quality yarn at fantastic prices. If you spend $65 shipping is free. This is great for those larger projects like sweaters and Afghans when you need a lot of yarn, but can't afford to spend a lot. I am a huge fan of their Wool of the Andes yarn for sweaters. I am also in love with their Hawthorne line of sock yarn. If $65 is too much for your wallet, and you still want to get the free shipping why not order with a friend? You can check out their website here.
Recycle!If you are a thrift shop/yard sale lover this one is for you! Sometimes you can find sweaters with gorgeous yarn that you can unravel, and knit with! When shopping look at the seams to see if it can be taken apart easily, and then unraveled. It would be a good idea to wind them into hanks and wash them, and dry them so they will be easier to knit with. Ashley Martineau has a wonderful YouTube video about how to recycle sweaters here.
Socks are great for the frugal knitter, because you don't need to buy a lot of yarn for your project. You can usually knit a whole pair of socks in a skein or two. They are usually done on small needles and small yarn. I usually plan for 100 grams of sock weight yarn for a pair of socks. If your sock yarn is sold in 50 gram skeins then get two skeins, and if it is sold in 100 gram skeins then you can get a pair out of one skein.
Learn to Spin Your Own Yarn
Learning to spin your own yarn may not seem like a frugal thing to do, but hear me out. You buy the wool, you dye the wool, you spin the wool into yarn, you set the wool, and then you knit/crochet the wool. I am talking hours of entertainment here. You get to enjoy every step of the project, and it will take you quite some time. The most frugal way to spin yarn is on a drop spindle. You can read my post on Learning to Spin Your Own Yarn without spending a Fortune COMING SOON!
I hope these ideas will help you to keep creating when money is tight. If you can think of any other great money saving tips I would love to hear about them in the comments section. Thank you for taking time to read my blog.