Tag Archive: sale

Five for Friday: Places to get yarn, cheap!

Pull up a chair, knit friends, because today I’m going to share some of my best secrets with you on how I am able to acquire some great yarn on a graduate student’s paltry budget. The majority of my best yarn scores come from my three favorite old stand-bys: Webs Closeout section, Elann, and Ebay. Since I think many of you are already aware of these sites (especially the saltier bargain hounds among you who have been knitting and stashing as long as I have), I thought I’d mention a few places that may be new to you in this list of five favorite places I look for yarn bargains.

1. The local thrift store

You can find very inexpensive yarns at thrift stores in two ways. First, many thrift stores accept yarn as donations. They tend to bag it up and sell it in lots of like colors or fibers for a dollar or two a bag. You never know what you might find in these bags! My mom is the queen of the thrift store yarn scores and she has brought me such goodies as a bag of undyed virgin wool and a big lot of a discontinued Berroco tweed. A second way you can get yarn is by scouring the sweater racks for sweaters you can unravel to recycle yarn. Again, these will only cost you a couple of bucks.  Check out this great Craft Stylish post on how to recycle the yarn from a thrift store sweater.

2. DBNY (Discontinued Name Brand Yarn) online shop

As the name implies, this website closes out designer yarns that have been discontinued for one reason or another at stunning prices. There are some single skeins and some full bag deals. You can also find spinning fibers sometimes. The prices on Cherry Tree Hill handpainted yarns are especially breathtaking. Sign up for the email newsletter and they’ll warn you when great specials are on.

3. Dizzy Sheep Daily Yarn Deal and Jimmy Bean’s Wool Watcher

Those of you who have been reading Wool Durham for awhile may remember my past feature on these websites that work a bit like Woot.com, but for yarn.  The Dizzy Sheep features one discounted yarn per day, with shipping costs of just $1.  On some holiday weekends, Dizzy also has a “Spin-off”, where yarns are available for a big discount until they sell out. I’ve scored some awesome deals this way on Malabrigo and Dream in Color yarns.   Jimmy Bean’s Wool Watcher similarly features a deep discount on one yarn at a time that changes throughout the day. You never know what will be on offer there (and it is kind of an addictive distraction to keep checking—ask me how I know…).

4. Colourmart

If you really want to stretch a yarn budget and don’t care much about brand names, you can get some incredible value luxury yarns (read: cashmere and silk) online at Colourmart. Many of these yarns were not originally intended for handknitters, so they come on cones and are listed in terms of NM numbers (which is a ratio of meters per gram). The site has a great help section that can help you learn about this system so you know what you’re ordering. Colourmart is heaven for lace knitters. Not into lace? Don’t be afraid to double or triple strand these yarns. The price is right.

5. Smiley’s Yarns, online and Queens, NY

Planning a visit to New York City? This yarn store is worth the subway fare to Queens (it is very near the Woodhaven stop). The focus here tends to be on acrylics and you can always find Red Heart, Caron, Bernat, and Patons in every shape, quantity and color at screaming deals. Before you yarn snobs overlook it though, they also close out high quality wools from Europe and Canada, including Rowan and Filatura di Crosa. The brick and mortar store has many smaller lots that don’t make it to their website, but if you aren’t in New York, you can still score some bargains from home. There is a $50 minimum for mail orders, so you might want to split an order with a friend unless you are building a stash from scratch ($50 at Smiley’s goes a loooooong way: many yarns are $1 a ball).

Got other favorite bargain haunts to share? Please post to the comments!  Have fun shopping everyone!

Five for Friday is a series of (mostly) weekly posts to highlight five favorite fiber-related links or items I’d like to share with my readers. Got an idea/request for a future feature? Email me or post to the comments.

Cool new way to buy yarn and fiber

Have you guys been following the launch of the new Fiber Cooperative?

This new website bills itself as an online indie fiber festival. What beautiful things it has for sale! Exhibits of yarn, fiber, patterns, and tools rotate monthly and feature indie suppliers from around the world.

This website idea itself is extremely exciting to me because I don’t make it to as many fiberfests as I would like (and many of us do not live anywhere near the best festivals and/or cannot afford to go). More than that though, I am impressed with the execution of this idea. The website has a nice clean layout and gorgeous pictures that make shopping it totally inspirational.

Maybe the colorful batches of fiber on here are just the final push I need to learn how to Navajo ply.

“Free” subscription to Knit Simple

This was originally posted on Thursday, July 8.

This week I received a mailer offering a great subscription deal for Knit Simple, one of Vogue Knitting’s newer magazines, that I thought I would pass on in case some of you might be interested.

Here’s the deal:

If you subscribe to Knit Simple for $15, they send you a $15 gift card to use for whatever you like at VogueKnitting.com online store (patterns and books).  You also get a 30% discount at the online store for the year. For what its worth, I don’t work for these people and I’m not getting any kickbacks. I am just always on the lookout for ways to stretch my knitting budget, and I bet the same goes for most of you.

{source: Vogue Knitting}

I don’t currently subscribe to this magazine. I think it is geared toward newer knitters and in the past some of the patterns have struck me as a little dowdy in that geared-toward-new-knitter way (I’m sure many of you know what I mean). Lately I suspect the editors may have been working to change this image because I have encountered several forum threads on Ravelry where folks compared the new Knit Simple designs to those found in stores (J Crew, Anthropologie).  For this bargain, the mag may be worth another look.  Goodness knows all of us, beginners or otherwise, could always use more simplicity in the knitting, no?

To get the deal, go to http://knitsimplemag.com/promo.htm

Five for Friday: Favorite Vacation Yarn Shops

I am a little slow to post this week because I am off visiting family for a week. I’ll be back to my regular blogging pace next Tuesday when I return.  Thanks to everyone who has commented here while I have been on the road. I look forward to corresponding with you next week.

Since vacation is on my mind, I thought it would be nice to post a list of five favorite yarn shops that I have visited on vacation.  I know there are many more fine yarn shops out there, but I may not have made it to them yet. These are ones that I have really enjoyed visiting in the past:

1. Webs (Northampton, Mass.)

I would think any list like this would have to start with Webs. Not only do they have a huge front room packed full with just about every brand of yarn you can think of, plus tools and books for spinners and weavers, too, but the back room is full of DISCOUNT yarn.  I think anyone who cares about fiber arts should get to visit this store at least once in their life. I am kind of glad I don’t live closer. . .I would probably start replacing the dishes in our kitchen cabinets with yarn!

2. The Fiber Factory (Mesa, AZ)

The hot Phoenix metro area may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of buying yarn, but take it from me, a Phoenix native, that The Fiber Factory is a dream store for knitters. They have a terrific range of yarns, displayed in a bright open space much bigger than most yarn stores you would find on the East Coast. Every time I go I am always impressed with the display of spinning and weaving equipment and the supplies for Navajo weaving. Don’t miss this shop if you are in the Southwest.

3. Smiley’s Yarns (Queens, NYC)

Smiley’s, aka dollaryarns.com, is probably best known to yarn lovers for their online shop, which tends to sell mostly acrylic yarns. The brick and mortar version in Woodhaven–a quick walk from the subway–boasts different offerings than the online store front. It is a huge space and you never know what you might find there, at a huge discount. I used to visit this place when I lived in Brooklyn and I remember getting mohair laceweight for $2 a ball and wool tweed for $1.  If you are in NYC with a little time to ride the subway, check this place out.

4. School Products (Manhattan, NYC)

I always thought the name of this place was slightly misleading. I don’t know what if anything it has to do with school. To me, it seemed to be a room packed full of yarn. This isn’t the kind of yarn store that is all about the display. They have too much inventory for that. The feel of this place is more like being in a secret warehouse or a professional garment district supplier. There are some of the usual name brands, but the real attraction here is the high quality and well priced yarns with no labels. You never know what you might find in this place.

5. Gail Knits (Las Vegas, NV)

This is my idea of the perfect LYS. This store is not huge and there are no special gimmicks, just a great selection of yarns and patterns. The real selling point for me has always been the staff at this place, who are so nice and down to earth, especially Gail (the owner) herself. I am sure you all have experienced a snooty yarn store owner at least once and Gail Knits is the opposite of that experience. The staff are eager to help or just to shoot the breeze.  If you are in Vegas on vacation and need a yarn fix, get yourself to this store.

That’s it for my favorites. What are your favorites?

Five for Friday is a series of posts that feature lists of my top five favorite fiber-related items in a specific category.

Vogue Knitting.com Pattern Sale

In case you aren’t on the Vogue Knitting mailing list, I thought I’d give everyone a heads up that there is a great sale on through the weekend at vogueknitting.com.  All downloadable patterns are $2.99 and books are 40% off.

It appears that there has been an overwhelming response to this sale because the site is down at the moment, but when it comes back up, this could be a great opportunity to get some of the patterns you may have missed, including this one:

[source: Soho Publishing}

The Garter Yoke Cardigan by Melissa LaBarre, which originally ran in the Fall/Winter 2008 issue of Knit.1.  This knits up at a gauge of 5sts/inch, so it would be a quick, easy and wearable way to use that Patons Classic Merino or Cascade 220 or other basic worsted weight yarn almost all of us probably have in the stash somewhere.  I bet it would work well for handspun, too. Anyone up for a knit-along?