Crocheting On A Budget

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To tell you how many times I’ve stumbled upon patterns that I wanted to use but couldn’t would be impossible. I have downloaded countless patterns to my laptop and have invested in many hard copy books over the years, but it seems only a handful of those patterns have ever been put to use. And why is that? Not because I don’t have enough time to crochet (Let’s face it, serious crochet addicts like myself ALWAYS find time), but because I can’t afford to buy all the supplies required!

Tips On Getting The Most Out Of Your $$

  • Make smaller items which allows you to make more items per skein of yarn.  One ball of crochet thread can make many bookmarks, or even a couple of smaller doilies. One skein of yarn can make a pair of mittens and a hat, or a couple of pairs of slippers or socks.
  • Once you are done making your items, you’ll probably be left with a small amount of unused yarn. Wind this up into a little ball and put it in a special place such as a bin or a drawer. Every time you are left with that small amount of leftovers after completing a project, wind it up and add it to that special place. Before you know it you will have an abundance of small colorful balls of yarn…perfect for making granny squares! Or Flower Appliques which you can attach to hats and headbands. Scrapbookers also like flower appliques to add to their pages!
  • Scour yard sales, thrift stores and flea markets. You can find old pattern books, threads and yarns and tools too. When a crafter passes on, many times the family members will sell or donate their loved ones supplies. While it sounds a bit morbid to acquire your crocheting supplies in this fashion, it’s really not. Consider the fact that you’re helping this person’s crafting legacy to continue on through the projects that you create using their old supplies. (And sometimes it’s just a case of the crafter clearing out their stash to make room for a new stash!)
  • Have an old scarf (or sweater, hat, blanket) that’s outdated or you simply don’t want any longer? Unravel it and recycle it into something new! Or, you can buy old garments at the yard sales, thrift stores and flea markets and recycle them instead! You can also crochet using plastic bags, rags, and even wire!
  • When a pattern calls for a certain type of yarn, chances are there’s a cheaper version of that yarn. Scout the yarn aisle at stores such as WalMart for cheap alternatives.
  • Don’t splurge when you see yarn for sale! Easier said than done, right? But with a little willpower you can avoid this. I use to be guilty of this. What did it get me? An over-abundance of yarns that collected dust as I waited for a project to use them all on, and an empty wallet.
  • Find a pattern that you want to use, write a shopping list of the materials you need to buy to make it, write down the approximate cost of making the project, and budget it into your next paycheck (or 2 paychecks, whatever the case may be). Then when it’s time to shop, bring the list and stick to it!
  • Instead of paying for patterns, download and/or print them from the internet. There are many wonderful free patterns available. You could also make your own patterns. Simply write down the pattern as you’re creating it.
  • Visit your local library and you’ll find pattern books. Check the book out and if you’re not done with it by the time the book is due back to the library, you could check it out again. You could also photocopy or scan the pattern you’re interested in (just be wary of copyright laws).
  • Avoid getting sucked into buying accessories that you don’t really need. There are countless brands offering up many wonderful tools, however, it’s sometimes easier to just improvise. I don’t use stitch markers. I use safety pins instead. They are much much cheaper and have many different uses. For marking stitches you can also use contrasting colors of yarn. Just tie a little strand in the place you need marked.
  • Try selling what you make. There are many sites online (RavelryEtsy, Craftsy) where you can sell your projects (you might even get orders for more once people see what you have to offer!) Or you could rent a table at a craft fair or a flea market.
  • If you are new to crocheting or want to learn new stitches, don’t pay for lessons. Instead watch video tutorials online. YouTube has an abundance of videos that can help you learn.

Crocheting should be a pleasure, and not induce worry or anxiety about how much you spend on the hobby. In general, I think that the best way to avoid high costs is to buy only what you need, and not have too many different projects on the go at one time. Before you start a new project, finish the old one.

Amanda

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