Knitting is a darn popular hobby - but from fancy needles to the wool you’ll be buying, it can get expensive. These thrifty tips should help you knit on the cheap.
Before you ‘cast on’, seek advice from more experienced knitters so you don’t waste money on expensive yarn or unnecessary accessories. You could join a local knitting group to pick expert brains, or even borrow equipment. Try finding one through Knit Together, a directory of crochet and knitting groups. If you’d prefer to chat about knitting online, Ravelry is one of the world’s most popular knitting forums and it’s free to join.
Once you’re ready to invest in some kit, avoid going overboard – you only need a few basic supplies to get started. You could spend a fortune on a whole basket of gear, but until you’re sure you love knitting, keep it simple (and affordable). Talk to the sales rep in a craft shop for some advice, or simply find a comfortable pair of knitting needles (bamboo or wood is recommended for beginners) and soft wool that’s smooth to knit with.
Sign up for sales
Once you get your needles going, keep an eye out for bargains. Wool is seasonal, with colours, flecks, weights and fibres going in and out of fashion. Once a wool type is at the end of season, you’ll often find it marked down. Many specialist yarn retailers have clearance sections where you can find great discounts; you could try HCS Crafts, Black Sheep Wools and Love Knitting.
Use unwanted wool
Another savvy knitter’s trick is to look out for unwanted wool. Check Freecycle, local Facebook groups and charity shops for bags of unused yarn. Ravelry members have been known to sell wool they’ve decided not to use at good prices, and if you search eBay for wool bundles you can find all kinds of bargains.
Once you’re a bit more experienced with your knitting, you could try unraveling an old jumper or cardigan and reusing the wool. You could even buy a cheap charity shop knit in a gorgeous colour, unraveling it before soaking or steaming to take out any kinks: then you can start upcycling. If you need some guidance, this YouTube tutorial might come in handy, and there are Ravelry threads and crafty blog posts that discuss how to deconstruct old or secondhand knitwear.
Sell knits to fund your hobby
If you’re really getting handy with your homemade creations, you could produce knitwear to sell in order to fund your hobby. Look for local craft sales, talk to friends and family members about commissions and you could even consider setting up an Etsy shop. As well as challenging and improving your skills, this is a great way to make your passion for knitting more affordable.
Using our purls of wisdom, you’ll be knitting before you know it.