How Much Would You Pay for Yarn?

By Rachel Choi – 42 Comments
Today I went to my local yarn shop (LYS) and I saw some of the most amazing yarns! I’ve always wanted to crochet with mohair, alpaca, bamboo and all those other fancy yarns. But I just couldn’t buy anything at the local yarn shop. After all why would I buy 1 skein of yarn for $65 when I can go to the craft store and get one for $3. Granted that the $65 skein was very pretty, but hey, I’m frugal and I admit it. yarn

The most I’ve ever spend for yarn was $5 for a small skein of %100 wool (I wanted to felt). What about you? How much do you spend on yarn?

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  1. Crissy says:

    At one of my local yarn stores, a lady told me that someone had ordered something like $600 worth of yarn to knit a sweater. And that was after talking her down from the $800 option. I don’t know how many skeins she ordered, it couldn’t have been that many!

    I don’t think I’ve paid more than $5 either. I don’t think I’m good enough to justify anything more than that!

  2. misssssy says:

    well if you’re talking how much i would drop in one day at the store on yarn, no more than 20 bucks. but i wouldn’t really pay more than 5 or 6 on a good sized skein OKAY i lied i bought 2 skeins of the lion brand “one pound of love” its worth it though, i think it was like 7 bucks? last weekend i did a little bit of splurging though, i returned bags and BAGS of cans and bottles from my sister in law and i got to keep the money! i got 2 bucks out of it plus 15 dollars from a winning lottery ticket :] i ended up getting 4 skeins of that caron naturals spa in the light blue color. lets just say i have an amazing cardigan in the works!

    sorry i typed so much. yarn = porn for us crocheters. and knitters :] lol and who would ever drop 65 bucks for ONE skein of yarn? no matter how pretty it was. if its the color thats pretty, dye your own :]

  3. Harold says:

    $65 dollars for a skein of yarn? Are you kidding me? For that price it better be spun gold!!!!!! I dont think I have ever paid more than maybe 2 bucks for a skein, if that. I get all my yarn off of ebay and pay maybe 6-10 bucks for a box of yarn or a big huge bag of it. But I would NEVEr pay $65 for a single skein!!!!!!!

  4. Marty says:

    I feel the same way you do Rachel! I’d love to use other types of yarn but I refuse to spend that kind of money. The most I’ll typically spend is $7/skein (and that’s usually the extra-large ones). I did spend about $22 on pure wool to felt a purse, but I wouldn’t use wool on wearables anyway because of it’s shrinkability. In this economy it’s insane to spend over $10/skein. If you sold your items you’d never get money back for both the yarn and your time/skills, unless you sold it at some store for the ultra rich.

  5. Darlene says:

    I certainly would not spend $65 for a skein of yarn either. I’m not sure what my top price is maybe $10. Sometimes I’ve ran across a pattern that calls for a very pricey yarn and they don’t state what the weight of the yarn is so I’m left trying to guess at a substitute or just not making it.

  6. Banglesntrinkets says:

    Wow 65.00 a skein … no never would I pay that much .
    I buy when its on sale or clearance.I never pay more than 5.00 unless I am making something for someone and they request something that cost more , but even than I will look and look til I find a good price for it .
    I have a huge yarn stash right now so unless someone request it I am using up my stash before I buy more yarn . (this could take years and years LOL)

  7. Shari says:

    I love the new yarns, too, but my budget certainly wouldn’t allow $65/skein. The most expensive yarn I’ve purchased was $11, but it is for making helmet liners for our troops, and it has to 100% wool. For myself, or even for gifts, $5-6 is my max.

  8. Laura says:

    I admit I am definitely frugal. After raising 6 children, it’s a habit that can’t be broke! lol
    These are the steps I take:
    When you “fall in love” with a yarn:
    1. RESEARCH the yarn!!! I always google the yarn & read everything others have said about it. This step has been extremely helpful in eliminating some yarns I thought I would like. This step is also very important because some people will suggest “cheaper” yarns that are just as good or better than the expensive one. Learn by other people’s mistakes.
    2. Stop and ask yourself if it is the “feel” of the yarn or the colorway that you love? Last year I had a “duh” moment…i only see most yarns on the internet…therefore I was loving the color not the texture. I had no idea what any of the yarn felt like since all i have available is what Wal-mart is carrying.
    3. Once you’ve narrowed down your list of yarns you think you love, take that list to a lys (even if it’s not very local) & experience those yarns in person. This step helps cut down your list even farther.
    4. This is the hardest step. WAIT. WAIT until it goes on clearance. WAIT until someone else doesn’t want it anymore. Weekly check your favorite internet sites, ebay & etsy for the yarn you want. It will eventually be listed….it really will!!
    5. While your waiting, you can use the yarn you have piled up at home. That way your stashbusting & being frugal at the same time!! lol
    sorry for the long post…just thought i may be able to help another yarnaholic like me.

  9. Laura says:

    hmmmmmmmmm…guess i should of had more coffee before I left a comment, then maybe I would have answered your question instead of giving a lecture!
    The most I pay for yarn is $5- $6 for the really big skeins…like pounders. My best buy was 11 skeins of 100% wool for $10 & 5 skeins of wool/silk yarn for $10.

    • Teresa says:

      Thank you. I see JoAnne’s has one pound Caron yarn on sale this Black Friday for $4.99 and I was wondering if it was a good buy…

  10. Bookworm says:

    It really depends on the size of the skein, how much yardage I get. For Lily n’cream, I haven’t spent over $2 (Michaels has a sale on the regular size for $1, Joanns on the Supersize for $2). On regular skeins, I’ve been getting a lot of good sale, so they most I’ve spent on average is around $3. But I did spend almost $4 each on 2 skeins of Sensations Kashmira. I just love the feel of it.

  11. Maria says:

    Well, I’ll tell you, $65, there must be people out there spending that kind of money on one skein otherwise no one would be selling it for that amount. I agree with Marty and Rachel especially now, the way the economy is, I wouldn’t spend that amount on anything I made, I’d be trying to make that kind of money on things I can make. Also, I’m agreeing with Darlene. I believe all patterns should have the # of ply in the yarn included in the pattern so that at least if the yarn they are recommending is too expensive, we can substitute with something similar in ply count and texture.

  12. Carmel says:

    I have only broken the $7 barrier once- to get some superwash wool to try out for a present. Otherwise, I have been rather frugal (though some eBay auctions are tempting me!). I am making a shawl for a present out of some mercerized cotton I found at Hobby Lobby, and am buying it one skein at a time with coupons, bringing it down to $3 a skein. I am planning on boycotting acrylic, but it will be replaced with Sugar n’ Cream. (I am already trying the substitution for another present, and am liking it so far. 🙂

    The $7 wool is so nice and squishy… it feels good to work with!

  13. Roxanna S says:

    I have been known to pay $30 for an 8oz (or so) skein of hand-painted wool/alpaca/silk blend yarn. It was jewel-tones & I almost drooled when I saw it at my LYS!! I used it to make a beautiful felted clutch for my Mom for her & Dad’s 50th Wedding Anniversary. I generally cap my per skein amount at $15 – although I don’t usually go over $7 or $8 per skein. I don’t mind paying for good quality yarn but since I am currently out of work, I’m in a “stash-busting” mode. The only “new” yarn I’ve bought lately is approximately $4 for Lion Brand 100% cotton in espresso (dark brown). Otherwise, I’m using up what I have (considerable stash).


  14. Melissa says:

    I don’t feel my skills justify an expensive project yet. Even buying the “cheap” yarn, you shell out a lot for making blankets. I sort of gauge against how much I would spend if I bought the finished piece. And if I could buy the sweater for $40, I’m certainly not going to spend $65/skein to make it.

  15. Debbie T. says:

    Heavens sakes! No way would I ever pay $65.00 for a skein of yarn,let a lone afford it. The most I’ve ever spent on fancy yarn,was for Lion Brand Suede and that was on sale a while back for $3.99.Original price $5.99. I tend to look for those good ole sales,to save a buck and not to mention get more for your money.

  16. Lindsey says:

    I would never spend that much either! I buy most of my yarn at thrift shops or yardsales. Often times you can find big bags of it for not alot of money at all. One time I found a really expensive (40.00 to be exact) hand died, hand spun skien of high end wool yarn for only 0.50. Another time I got 5 skiens of mohair for only a buck. I have TONS and TONS of yarn and half of it I havent even bought at a store

  17. WendiG says:

    Rachel, I totally understand-becausei am allergic to wool as are many folks, I only use non-sheep’swool yarns-and some of those are gorgeous-like sari silk, bamboo, etc. But who can afford them? I am hoping someday to get enough of that beautiful sari silk to make myself a hat, but even for personal use i hesitate to spend that much…I guess it’s okay if you can afford it, but I can’t, and don’t know anyone who can..

  18. Cami says:

    It depends, but I might pay $30 for a skein if it’s an unusual color or if I just really love it. However, that’s definitely not the norm for me. I would also add that I would only buy a single skein at that price. I couldn’t afford to do more! I believe I recently paid $20 for a skein of sock yarn, but I’ll use it to make jewelry, so I’ll get many projects out of it and I’ll probably never run out. If I’m doing garments, I wouldn’t spend much more than $4/skein because I’d have to buy a lot of yarn.

    Darlene: As far as substituting yarn goes, I would look up the specified yarn online to find out more info about the weight. Then (if it was a laborious project) I would go to a forum like Ravelry and ask about the drape of the original to see what a suitable substitute would be. For instance, size 4 worsted could range from just over DK weight to aran weight. That’s a huge difference! So I would try to understand what the original yarn was and do my best to match it in a low-cost version.

  19. Debbie says:

    Heavens no I wouldn’t spend that kind of money for yarn. I watch at yard sales and get it real cheap. I make alot of caps for kids so I watch for sales!

  20. Elizabeth says:

    I barely make over minimum wage so I wont pay over $7 for a skien. Just a couple of weeks ago I really wanted to buy some wool so I could do my first felting project but all the pretty wool was so expensive! I think I’m going to check out on ebay like everyone said and see if I can find some nice yarn at a cheap price!

  21. Lazaros Raphael says:

    I am totally a beginner, so I buy cheap acrylic wool from the baskets, it’s only 90 cents! Since I started crochet, I have visited 3 yarn shops, all sold at the very same price…

    Not sure of the length, not really interested anyways, I make small projects =D

  22. abigail says:

    The most I have spent was $6.95, for one of those larg skiens of baby yarn. Try looking @ Dollar Tree, a couple of time I have found Red Heart Supper soft yarn, and Red Heart Desigher sport yarn for $1, I spent $36 that day and got 34 skiens or yarn!! I have also found Moda-dea 100% wool and 100% bamboo wool, each a $1 a skien!!

  23. Bookworm says:

    I have to check out my local dollar tree because I’m noticing a lot of people talking about finding good yarn there.

  24. Elysia says:

    Ok… so, I shop at Hobby Lobby for my yarn. I usually spend $2.00 a skein. However, I did go to a local yarn store and I saw a skein of yarn a lot smaller then what I normally buy and it was $20.00! I may try it some day but I would only buy one to make a scarf. I think it is silly to spend that much money on one skein of yarn!!

  25. Erika says:

    I make minimum wage, but I admit I’ve spent up to ten dollars on yarn I’ve liked. I think I’d rather go without food than without yarn.

    By the way, to those of you who shop at Hobby Lobby, how are the yarns compared to Michael’s and Joann?

  26. Jasmine says:

    I’m very much of a cheap scape so i always do walmart were i”ve found the cheapest yarn (2. 54) but when I’m in ajam i will go up to 3 dollars. i found this basement store on Locust Street between 19th & 20th. they had yarn for like 15 dollars & up. it was a cute store & I’ll probably go back to it one day but only to look. not to buy… yarn atleast. too rich for my blood lol.

  27. Kate says:

    Laura – thank you so much for mentioning that you can get yarn from etsy! I hadn’t thought about it (I’m from Scotland and haven’t used etsy before) and have just discovered that there are some amazing bargains available!

    It seems that yarn is much more expensive here than in America, so I’m constantly on the look out for cheap yarn on the internet! 🙂

  28. Ang says:

    I always try to get the cheapest I can get, I don’t use wool though as I find it too itchy for my skin. For me I crochet because I love it and also because crocheting your own stuff is cheaper than buying it ready made, and spending loads of money on yarns completely defeats the purpose for me

  29. Laura says:

    Kate – I’m so happy I could help. I love etsy! It’s a wonderful way to help support crafters from around the world & I’ve met some wonderful people there. Have fun shopping!

  30. Gina says:

    I don’t have $65 to spend on a sweater, let alone a skein of yarn. We have a fabulous yarn store locally and the prices aren’t as high as that generally but they are too high for me. Even $15-$20 a skein seems outrageous to me. I bought some handdyed yarn from a friend a few years ago and I hope it’s enough for a shawl but even that cost me something like $17. It is a beautiful colorway but I’m afraid to knit or crochet it into anything for fear of it not turning out! LOL!

  31. Gina says:

    Just to add a bit more, there are some beautiful yarns and some that I love the feel of – but I just can’t justify spending more than $3-$4 for a skein of yarn and I’m talking a 4 oz skein, not the 1 oz skeins. I think this is largely why I don’t knit baby smocks or blankets as gifts anymore. It’s just way too expensive. That same money will buy a lot of diapers. Some years ago I paid more than I usually do for some yarn I wanted to crochet into an afghan. The yarn was beautiful but I couldn’t seem to find a pattern that made the yarn’s beauty stand out. I ended up giving it to my daughter and granddaughter after procrastinating for 5 or 6 years. I haven’t seen they’ve done anything with it either. That was MY expensive lesson.

  32. Sarah R. says:

    Personally, I justify buying the more expensive yarns (like lion brand) with the fact that your crochet item will last a long time. My dad still has an afghan my grandma crocheted for him more than 20 years ago. And it still looks nice, too. 🙂 Blankets you buy from the store don’t hold up like that, no matter how expensive they are.

    I don’t have a maximum I spend, I just buy what I need/want at the time. I do agree that a $65 skein is a bit silly though.

  33. Caitlin says:

    Around here lionbrand, red heart and patons are all about the same price $4 a skein, though the red heart skeins are much bigger. Thats as cheap as you can get around here (micheals and walmart are the only chain stores that carry yarn) and to buy yarn with a wool content or the chunky (5 and 6 weight) yarns you pay around $7-8 a skein. You should consider yourself lucky if you can get yarn for 2 bucks. I’m never going to make something like a sweater or an afghan since it costs way more to buy the yarn then it does to buy a blanket or sweater at a store. I would never pay more then 10 for a skein, a $65 skein better be like 50 pounds and made of golden silk haha. I wait for the expensive yarn (woolease thick and quick, homespun, LB fun fur ect.) to go on sale before I buy it.

  34. Roz says:

    I’ve seen yarn here in the UK for round about £28 a ball, times that by 1.65 and you have the US equivalent. Not that I would ever pay that much for normal knitting/crochet, but I suppose the very fine threads I buy for mini work would probably work out quite expensive if used in real life. Mind you it would take a zillion years to make anything worthwhile in Venne Colcoton 34/2, or one of the other bobbin lace threads, so the cost of the thread would be immaterial in the end.

  35. eliska says:

    I go to my local Walmart and get the Super Saver yarns for $2.00 – $2.50. I normally end up getting 4 – 8 skeins of yarn at a time, and I go there maybe twice a year at the most. I’m on a low budget, so I could never possibly pay more than that for a skein of yarn.

  36. Becky says:

    I found this comment thread and read the whole thing. NO, I would not pay $65 for a skein of yarn although I was very lucky to have won 5 skeins of beautiful gray marino wool a year ago and still don’t know what I want to make with it. I’m a casual person. I have paid $10 for fisherman’s wool so I can make felfted baby toys. I’m addicted to the yarn sections so when my hubby wants to buy art supplies at HL I stay in the car so I won’t be tempted, lol.

  37. Barbara says:

    I try to only buy on sale. But I will spend up to $10 on the pound size of yarns. I love the look of the expensive yarns, but they are not machine wash and dry. or at lest machine wash. plus most of what I make goes for people who have a family and/or pets

  38. loveyarn says:

    i love yarn!!!! have always used redheart yarn. recently got a cople skeins of lily n cream 100% cotton on sale. love it!!! also bought a coupleof lion brand too.. a yarn shop opened up next to us that has 100% woll yarn and half alpaca/half wool is beautiful, feels wonderful..yes i splurged and bought 1 skein at 13.00 and one at $26. will i do this every time! NOOOOOO!!! but there is a difference in the yarn.

  39. Cheryl Clarke says:

    Up until this past year I shopped for all my yarns at Michaels or Joannes. I bought a crochet magazine that offered three different suggestions for a pattern I fell in love with. I was inspired to research these different yarns and to visit some small yarn shops. Some of the prices over fifty dollars took my breath away. However, I began experimenting on small projects, switched to knitting and am quite taken with some of the more exotic offerings. The most I have spent was 38.00 for a 200 yard skein of black alpaca. A friend opened a shop in the mountains and I wanted to support her shop. The alpaca the yarn came from lives up here and her name is Gisele. I also saw pictures of her sisters who are white and cream. The yarn is wonderfully soft. I’ve begun a scarf that I will also call Gisele. Having this bit of background helped to salve my conscience. I may even start dreaming of a scarf in cream…

  40. Vicky says:

    You all have not entered the world of cloth diaper covers. Go beyond the thought of plastic covers and envision beautifully knitted diaper covers made of 100% wool. Some of this wool is quite expensive, I’ve seen some people spend $20-30/skein, needing 2 skeins, to make a cover/pants. They are sometimes handprinted or custom dyed for you. Then you can resell these beautiful pants, shorts, or covers for as much as $60-70 a pair!

    Personally, I’ve never spent more than $5 and that was on the jumbo size ball that was on sale 1/2 price.

  41. Jessica says:

    I budget my yarn based on price per yard. For example, I can get Cascade 220 for about $0.03 USD per yard shipped from England (Wool Warehouse), or I could get it for $0.05 elsewhere. I recently bought some secondhand yarn for $0.004 a yard. Yes, that’s four tenths of a cent! I was very proud of myself.

    Myself, I don’t like to spend more than $0.03/yard for yarn. So I guess that $65 skein would need more than 2100 yards for me to consider buying it.

    I guess my answer is, I don’t really have an upper limit for price-per-skein. I look at the price per yard instead. Nobody seems to sell 2100-yard skeins of yarn, so I never pay $65 for a skein. If someone did, and it was a good workhorse yarn, and I had $65 saved up, then I’d definitely consider it.

    Now I am dreaming of giant skeins…

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