Want good yarn but don’t want to pay big bucks? Check out these 5 places to buy yarn online for great prices
I’ve heard from so many knitters who would love to be able to buy more of the “good stuff” yarns (i.e., more natural fibers like wool) but balk at the increased costs.
I totally understand this because I’ve felt this way myself. I’ll never forget the first time I entered a local yarn shop. Not a craft store, but an honest-to-goodness, just-for-knitters-and-crocheters yarn shop.
The first thing I remember was the scent. Yarn shops just smell different! I actually picked up a couple of skeins and inhaled deeply just because it smelled so heavenly. (My husband thought I was so weird.)
That was fun, but then I made the mistake of taking an innocent peek at a price tag. I do believe the phrase “sticker shock” was coined by a witness to the kind of expression my facial muscles made.
They want how much for this yarn? For ONE HANK??
Sadly, I placed the hank back onto the shelf. I picked up another. And another, and another, desperately seeking a hank or skein that didn’t make me feel like I’d have to hide my purchase from my husband.
I don’t remember what I bought that day. I probably wouldn’t have bought anything at all had I not felt guilty about going into this local business, touching and even smelling their wares, without buying something. But at some point I think I found the cheapest yarn I could find (that I actually wanted) and bought it.
Most knitters, I imagine, who become truly serious about their hobby have probably felt this way about yarn shops. The yarns are quality, no question about it. And while we know that you often get what you pay for, it can be devastatingly difficult to justify paying that kind of money on something you don’t technically need.
Want to Save Money on Good Yarn? Buy Yarn Online
That’s the question many of us get to. Is there any way to buy good yarn without feeling like you’re draining your checking account?
Sadly, unless a yarn shop is having a sale, it’s unlikely you can save much money shopping in person. The best way to do it is to buy yarn online.
Recently while I was listening to a KnitCents podcast episode (have you checked these out yet?), I heard Rachel mention a particular online yarn shop that had a sale going on. I made a note of the yarn shop, then decided it would be a good idea to look for some other online shops with good prices.
So below I have listed several online yarn shops I’ve discovered, either recommended by other knitters to me or else recommended by Ravelry knitters in some of the frugal groups I like to peek into from time to time.
Note that I did not include Knitpicks, WEBS, or *Patternworks (now a part of Interweave). These are three of my favorites, but I’ve mentioned them many times before. I wanted to stick with shops I haven’t mentioned in an article or newsletter recently, since many of you are probably already aware of these.
*This is an affiliate link; for more information, please see my Disclosure Policy.
So let’s get to shopping and saving!
Great Places to Buy Yarn Online at Terrific Prices
Smiley’s Yarns: Every time I write about frugal ways to purchase yarn online, I get e-mails reminding me of Smiley’s Yarns. You do need to purchase a minimum of $50 to get the savings at this site. But when you find prices as low as $3, $2, and even $1 for terrific yarns, the $50 seems like nothing! (Or better still, join up with a knitting friend or two and split the savings!)
Yarn Paradise: I was alerted to this site by a reader named Laurie a few weeks ago. I’ll let her describe the site herself:
“[It] is based in Turkey. They have luxurious, high quality yarn of all types and colors. The prices are shocking, like $1.99 a skein for alpaca, cashmere or silk!! The variety is totally mind boggling. The shipping costs are no more expensive than local yarn sites.
“One way they keep their prices low is you have to buy by the bag of yarn. So you might have to buy a multiple of 4 or a multiple of 6 skeins– you can’t just buy one. But that hasn’t been an issue for me. It’s the same as buying a bit extra in the store so you don’t run out.
“I’m making a shawl for my sister-in-law of cashmere/silk/alpaca and I love feeling it in my lap as I work on it. I’m going to miss it when it’s finished! But I think it was something like $30 (including shipping) for the 600 grams I bought to make the 3-foot by 6-foot shawl. Finally, inexpensive gorgeous yarn!”
Ravelry ISO and Destash of Yarn Group: Okay, obviously this isn’t actually an online yarn shop. But, it’s a terrific way to get yarn at great prices or even to swap. You can look at the current listings of Destash posts, or you can even post your own In Search Of (ISO) if you’re looking for a specific yarn. Just follow the rules of the group (posted in the “Guidelines and Rules” link at the top of the page) and have fun shopping and/or posting!
DROPS: DROPS happens to be not only one of my favorite sources for free patterns, but also a great source of quality yarn. They frequently have sales on both yarn and needles.
Colourmart: Don’t let the British spelling fool you – this shop ships all over the world. It has a terrific yarn search tool, whereby you can search by color, fiber content, weight, and so on. Or, if you don’t really know what you want and would rather just browse, you can do that too. This shop is able to offer yarn quite inexpensively because it acquires closeouts and mill ends from luxury yarn manufacturers.
Finally, if you’re looking to buy yarn online, I highly recommend this excellent blog post: Ninja Shopping, Yarn Edition. You’ll find some fantastic tips on ways to save money shopping for yarn online. You won’t regret it!
So if you’re looking to score some good yarn at great prices, check out these sites to buy yarn online. What you’ll lose in yarn shop scents, you’ll gain in yarn shop cents!