10 Ways to Increase Your Yarn Stash

By Caissa "Cami" McClinton – 7 Comments

I have come to realize, through griping about my crazy & out of control stash, that some Crochet Spotters may want a large stash. I also have come to realize that since buying yarn can be expensive, I should share some of the great thrifty tips that have helped me to amass such a vibrant & (well, now getting under control) stash.

Yarn is lovely and I am obsessed. That means that I budget for yarn each and every month. Through careful budgeting, shopping, and swapping, I have amassed quite a stash. It has taken me a long time to accumulate it! Truth be told, I am a very thrifty person. I have to be. Yet I still have yarn. If you want to amass an enormous stash, maybe these tips can help!

Photo modified from Jaydot via flickr.  License

Photo modified from Jaydot via flickr. License

1. Make a yarn budget. Money is tight. And even if it weren’t I would still have a budget. I used a library book called The Debt-Free Spending Plan to set up a functional budget for myself based upon what I can afford. Because crafts are important to me, I have a very small monthly budget for buying craft supplies. It keeps me happy and current. I can spend without guilt each month!

2. Shop sales & use coupons! Big box craft stores usually run coupons & have sales every week. Sometimes they will accept their competitors’ coupons. I save the coupons each week and use them on single items to maximize savings. If I need more than one ball of yarn and it’s not on sale, sometimes I will return week after week until I have enough yarn for my project.

3. Check the clearance bins. Seriously. I’ve found perfectly good yarn that’s going “off season” for $2-$3 a skein. That is the time to purchase a sweater’s worth! You can find clearance yarn at big box stores as well as local yarn stores. Even online stores have clearance yarn and often run free shipping coupons. If money is tight, try to save up so you can treat yourself when the season ends and clearance begins! Another good tip: If you are near a store called Tuesday Morning, they often carry really nice yarn at deeply discounted rates. I recently got cashmere at a Tuesday Morning for $4/ball.

4. Attend yarn swaps! I got a LOT of my stash that way!

5. Ask for gifts of yarn! People know I like yarn, so they give it to me. It makes sense, right? Sometimes people let go of their hobbies and they want to know that their precious materials will go to someone who will appreciate it, and use it! Also on my birthday and during holidays I have gotten lots of yarn. Gift cards to craft stores make great gifts, too. Tell your friends if that is what you want.

6. Enter contests to win yarn! Admittedly, this accounts for very little of my stash, but I have won yarn on blogs and podcasts! It’s really really fun, and you can’t win if you don’t enter!

Here are some other great ways to get yarn inexpensively:

7. Shop the Thrift Stores. You never know what you will find there. Places like Goodwill and Salvation Army may have yarn. Sometimes you need to launder it before using, but that is easy enough to do.

8. Recover Yarn from a Thrift Store Sweater. Lee Meredith has a great tutorial on how to recover yarn by unraveling thrift store sweaters. I’ve never done it, but it’s an amazing concept.

9. Make Your Own Yarn! You’re crafty, right? Rachel has showed us how to make plarn right here on Crochet Spot. You can also make yarn from T-Shirts by using this tutorial. People have even spun yarn from newspaper. There are so many options!

10. Use Non-Traditional Yarn. If I can wrap it around a hook, it’s fair game. I’ve crocheted with wire, cords, fabric strips, paper, raffia, ribbon, and elastic.

I hope that all of these ideas will help you to grow your stash. That’s how mine got so big, anyway. 🙂 Do you have any tips about saving money while growing your yarn stash? As always, please leave your thoughts, ideas and questions in the comment section below. Stash up!

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  1. Deb says:

    I get a lot of my yarn at garage sales. Many people try to knit of crochet and don’t finish. They sell everything at garage sales. This also covers estate sales. My best one was a lady in another town who was selling her mother’s skeins for 2/1.00. I bought $25 worth of yarn!!!!

  2. Twinkie Lover says:

    I can testify that Goodwill is a great place to get yarn. Where I live they sell it in big bags of skeins and balls for between $4.99 and $9.99. I have gotten tons of awesome yarn and saved massive amounts of money. Some of it has been older, but I’ve never had to do more than pick lint off of it or unravel a barely started project. You can also get great lots of second hand yarn on ebay. Letting people know you want yarn is also a great idea. A friend of mine who was moving just gave me a huge bag of Lion and cotton yarn.

  3. Varsha says:

    I use jute twine often.. Bit hard on fingers but looks cool

  4. Sherry says:

    I worked a temp job a few years back. I could crochet between the calls. One of the ladies that worked there told me her mom was cleaning out her attic. She brought me 2- 32 gallon trash bags full of yarn and a couple grocery bags full. I couldn’t believe my luck.

  5. Jessica-Jean says:

    A stranger – waiting like me for her pre-schooler to finish swim class – saw me knitting and offered me a box of yarn she didn’t want. After we’d collected our kids, we drove to her house to fetch the box. I’d had a shoebox in mind; it was the box a washing machine had been delivered in! And it was full. I spent the next month untangling the mass. It kept me in yarn for a long time at a time when I had no discretionary funds for yarn, A good reason for knitting/crocheting in public; you never know when someone will just offer you yarn!!

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