One of the joys of diving into a new hobby or craft is building up a storage of materials for that craft. Whether it’s scrapbook paper and stickers for paper crafts, bolts of fabric for clothes making, or yarn for knitting and crochet.
The price of these supplies can add up very quickly, though. As any knitting or crochet enthusiast knows, it becomes nearly impossible to resist a good skein of yarn. With so many colors, weights, and fibers to choose from, there’s an urge to collect them all!
After you’ve filled a large tote (or three), you may realize that the endless purchasing of new yarn isn’t financially feasible. This is when sales and coupons will become vital to helping you create the yarn stash of your dreams!
So, how can you find the cheapest yarn? The best way to find the cheapest yarn is to check multiple stores. Consult the coupons and sales of each local craft store, as well as the craft shelves of department and thrift stores.
In this article, we’ll give you the keys to finding the best deals on yarn. After reading these tips, you’ll never buy another skein of yarn at full price again!
Knitting And Crochet: Where Do I Start?
The two primary crafts done with yarn are knitting and crochet.
If you’ve been interested in learning how to crochet or knit but have felt intimidated by the different tools or price of yarn, you’re in the right place.
Both knitting and crochet are done by simply weaving loops of yarn, just with different tools. Crochet is done with a single crochet hook, while knitting is traditionally done with two knitting needles.
There are different sizes of crochet hooks, so the best way to get started is by buying a bundle like this one, with a range of sizes and a handy carrying case.
If you’d like more information and options for crochet hooks, check out our article about the Best Crochet Hooks for Beginners.
Knitting needles also have a wide variety of sizes, but that’s not the only variation. You can also find straight needles, circular needles, or double-pointed needles.
Straight needles are the traditional needles that have been used since knitting began. You can get a simple set of most needle sizes here.
Circular needles are connected with a cord that runs from the end of one needle to the other. This gives you more room to hold your work and also makes knitting in the round possible.
A great idea if you’re looking for the best set of knitting needles is to get a set of interchangeable circular needles. This comes in a set with the needles and cords separate, able to be combined in whatever way is needed for the project by screwing the cord into the ends of the needles.
Double-pointed needles are most often used for socks or hats. These are another option to creating circular pieces of knitting. This set from KnitPicks is a great choice.
If you want more information and options for knitting needles, check out our article on the Best Knitting Needles For Beginners.
What Yarn Weight Should I Buy?
If you head to your local craft store and start looking at the yarn options, you may notice that they’re separated by weight.
Yarn weight indicates how thick or thin the yarn is. The weights range in sizes from 0 to 7. Each weight has a general name, as well as terms used to describe the weights.
Check out the details of each yarn weight below:
- Weight 0, Lace: described as fingering weight, ideal for socks
- Weight 1, Super Fine: described as sock and fingering weight, ideal for socks and shawls
- Weight 2, Fine: described as sport and baby weight, ideal for socks, gloves, shawls, or tight-knit hats and sweaters
- Weight 3, Light: described as DK and worsted weight, ideal for hats, gloves, or tight-knit sweaters
- Weight 4, Medium: described as worsted and afghan weight, ideal for sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, and shawls
- Weight 5, Bulky: described as chunky and craft weight, ideal for sweaters, scarves, and blankets
- Weight 6, Super Bulky: described as bulky and roving weight, ideal for sweaters, scarves, and blankets
- Weight 7, Jumbo: described as jumbo and roving weight, ideal for blankets
If you’re ever in doubt of which weight to buy, there are a few places you can check.
All knitting patterns will include a specific yarn or yarn weight for you to purchase and use, so the best way to know your yarn weight is to consult the knitting pattern.
You can also check the label on each yarn skein. It will not only have the yarn weight and ideal knitting needle and crochet hook sizes, but it will tell you how many skeins you’ll need to create certain projects, such as a hat or scarf.
This will give you a good indication of the types of projects made with that weight of yarn.
What Types Of Yarn Are The Cheapest?
One of the biggest distinctions that will help you find the cheapest yarn is the type of fibers used to make the yarn.
The two main types of yarn are synthetic and natural fibers. These are broken down further into the types of fibers used, but those are the main categories to be familiar with when shopping for cheap yarn.
Synthetic fibers will always be cheaper than natural fibers. This is because synthetic fibers can be made endlessly in a factory, while natural fibers have to be sourced from the animal or plant and produced into a fiber.
Wool is the most common natural fiber that comes with a higher price tag. Polyester is the most common synthetic fiber that comes with a lower price tag.
While you can find a skein of polyester yarn for only $2-3, the same amount of yarn in wool fiber can run up to $10-15, depending on the brand, color, weight, and other factors.
The best way to buy cheap yarn is to stick to the synthetic fibers, especially polyester. The only drawback to avoiding natural fibers is that these yarns are often significantly softer.
Yarn is generally used to create clothing or blankets that will touch the body. If you’re going to spend the hours knitting a sweater by hand, you want that sweater to be soft and comfortable.
Thankfully, yarn is sold openly on shelves without any plastic packaging, meaning you’ll get the opportunity to touch each yarn before you purchase it.
Not all synthetic yarns are created equal, so we recommend touching the yarns before choosing one. You can find two skeins of yarn, both made from polyester and both from the same brand, but they may have totally different feels.
Another good trick to finding soft yarn is looking for “soft” in the name! Many of the top yarn manufacturers will have specific lines of yarn that are a little more expensive, but designed to feel super soft.
It’s also a good idea to buy larger skeins of yarn. For example, Lion Heart sells regular-sized skeins of yarn, or what they call their Pound of Love yarn. This is one pound of yarn, and a much larger skein than the usual size.
Although the pound of yarn will typically cost around $7-11 depending on sales, you get way more yarn for your money. This is a great way to save money while getting more yarn!
Where To Buy Yarn For A Cheap Price
Now that you know what tools to purchase and the different weights of yarn available, let’s finally get to the core of this article: where to get cheap yarn!
There are two strategies to go about getting the cheapest yarn. You can bargain shop around craft stores, or surf online platforms for the best deals.
We’ll explore the options for finding cheap yarn both in stores and online below.
If you want to find cheap yarn, one of your first stops should be the three main craft store chains: JOANN, Hobby Lobby, and Michael’s. The great thing about each of these three craft stores is that they have continual sales and coupons.
Before you set out to head to one specific store, we recommend checking the sales and coupons online to compare and see which store has the lowest price.
JOANN is one of the better choices for cheap yarn because they always have sales on yarn and have a large variety of coupons in rotation.
They also tend to have a good amount of yarn selection in plenty of weights, fibers, colors, and levels of softness.
Hobby Lobby always has their 40% off one regular-priced item coupon available, so even if their yarn isn’t on sale, you’ll always be guaranteed 40% off at least one skein of yarn.
Another advantage of Hobby Lobby is their in-house yarn brand called Yarn Bee.
The Yarn Bee yarns are some of the softest yarns available, whether they’re synthetic or natural. You can get virtually any type of weight or color imaginable in Yarn Bee too, so you won’t have to sacrifice color choice for softness.
Michael’s also has a solid selection of yarn. They don’t have as many coupons available, but they do have a steady rotation of sales that you can check.
You can see all the current sales and coupons for each store on their website.
Another great store that has a small selection of cheap yarn is Walmart. If you check out their craft section, they’ll have several skeins of yarn marked down from their usual price.
Walmart won’t have as big of a selection as the craft stores, but if you’re just looking for the cheapest yarns, they’re a place to check out.
Goodwill and Dollar Tree also carry yarn sometimes, so be sure to check their aisles and see if they have any discounted yarn!
Shopping in-store can be preferable because you get to feel each type of yarn and really know what it will feel like on the body. Most craft stores even have small sample knitted or crocheted pieces that help you gauge what a yarn will feel and look like.
Regardless of which store you choose, don’t forget to check the clearance section. There are almost always piles of yarn skeins sitting on clearance shelves for under a dollar, and this is a great way to get the cheapest yarn!
If you want to buy from one of the craft stores but can’t make it into a location near you, you can always buy from them online! Amazon is always our first choice, as they carry a wide selection of reliable products that often go on sale. You can also browse honest reviews to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
We recommend sorting their yarn selection by Price: Low to High so you can see the cheapest yarns available.
In our links provided above for each website, we’ve already sorted the yarn choices in this way for your ease. Simply click the link for whichever store you want to check, and you’ll go directly to their yarn page filtered based on lowest price!
These stores aren’t the only place to buy yarn for cheap online, though. There are also some great websites that sell all the types of yarn you could typically find in stores.
The first is Yarnspirations. This website always has a wide selection of yarn with great sales. They even have a clearance section where you can find the best sale prices that they have available.
There are other online websites that have large varieties of yarn available, but Yarnspirations and Love Craft are our top two recommended picks that have great service.
Some online yarn retailers can take several weeks to ship your yarn or may send it poorly packaged. Yarnspirations and Love Crafts have good reputations, lowering the chance of you running into these customer service issues.
The disadvantage to buying yarn online is that you don’t get to feel it before you buy it, so you run the risk of buying a super itchy and uncomfortable yarn.
A way to combat this disadvantage is to go to your local craft store and feel the yarns you’re interested in. Get a sense of which ones give you the effect you want, then go find them online.
An advantage to buying online is that you have a larger selection of colors. Most stores only carry a specific selection of color varieties per yarn, but there are often many colors not seen in stores.
If you buy online, you’ll get to see every color type available and choose the exact colors you want.
Best Tips For Finding Yarn On Sale
If you’re looking for a quick summary of the best tips to find yarn on sale, check out our list below:
- Compare the sales and coupons of JOANN, Hobby Lobby, and Michael’s, then go to the store with the best sales or biggest coupons.
- Find the type of yarn you want, then check if it’s available at a cheaper price on Amazon.
- Check the clearance section.
- Never buy yarn full price! If the yarn you want isn’t on sale, just wait. It will go on sale eventually!
Why Is Chunky Yarn So Expensive?
If you start perusing the yarn aisles and notice that a single skein of worsted weight yarn can cost as cheap as $2 while chunky yarn runs closer to $10, you may be discouraged from buying chunky yarn.
Chunky yarn is the best type of yarn for blankets, though, and is one of the softest types of yarns.
So, why is chunky yarn so expensive? Chunky yarn is expensive because it takes more resources and time to manufacture. There’s more material there, so naturally you’ll have to pay more to cover the cost of the extra materials.
One skein of chunky yarn will also go much further than regular yarn. When knitting a blanket, you’d only need 4 or 5 skeins of chunky yarn, but you might need closer to 8 to 10 skeins of worsted weight yarn.
Is Knitting An Expensive Hobby?
In general, knitting can be as expensive or inexpensive as you choose!
There are plenty of expensive types of yarn out there. You can get hand-woven, hand-dyed, specialty yarn for $25 or more per skein, or you can get simple polyester yarn for $1 per skein.
The same goes for your knitting needles. You can get a great set of knitting needles on Amazon for $20 or less that includes all the sizes you’ll need. You could also get a set of high-quality interchangeable circular knitting needles for $150.
It all depends on which products you choose to get. You could start knitting for a total of $20, or you could invest hundreds or even thousands of dollars into the hobby. It’s all about the way you dive in and how you choose to set yourself up with your knitting supplies.
How Much Does Yarn Usually Cost?
We’ve mentioned some ballpark figures for various types of yarns, but on average, how much does yarn usually cost?
For fingering weight yarn meant for socks or shawls, you can expect to spend anywhere between $5-10 per skein without any sales or coupons.
For worsted weight yarn meant for hats, sweaters, and shawls, you can expect to spend an average of $2-6 per skein without any sales or coupons.
For chunky weight yarn meant for blankets and scarves, you can expect to spend around $10-15 per skein.
Which Yarn Is The Softest?
Many people think that 100% wool yarn is the softest, but wool yarn can often be itchy and uncomfortable.
This isn’t always the case; you can certainly find some soft wool options. If you find a wool blend that includes merino wool, it’s often softer than some other wool yarns. It will be much more expensive than synthetic yarn, though.
Some of the softest yarns are made with cotton and bamboo. These plant fibers make for super soft yarn.
Even though cotton and bamboo are natural and not synthetic, they can actually be relatively cheap when compared with some other natural fibers.
You can even find super soft synthetic yarns too. The Caron Simply Soft yarn we mentioned earlier, for example, is 100% acrylic.
Hobby Lobby’s Yarn Bee brand also has a soft yarn line called Soft & Sleek that’s 100% acrylic.
Generally, acrylic yarns are softer when compared with their synthetic counterparts such as polyester.
Does Walmart Have Good Yarn?
Some people view Walmart as selling lesser-quality products than other box or department stores.
However, when it comes to their yarn selection, Walmart actually sells the same name-brand yarns as the craft stores and specialty online yarn retailers.
This means that Walmart carries the same great quality yarns you can find on the aisles of Hobby Lobby.
Generally, Walmart has a much lesser selection than the craft stores. Their craft section tends to be much smaller so there aren’t as many options when it comes to types and colors of yarn.
The yarn they do carry is great quality, though. A bonus? It’s often cheaper at Walmart. If you’re looking to save a few bucks, Walmart is a great place to go.
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