2.16.2011

Yarn Along

yarn along

Aidan has been wanting to learn Greek, and I've been wanting to knit a sweater. Today we both got our wish!

I'm going to come right out and say it. I'm too cheap to be a real knitter. I'd like to say I'm too poor to buy yarn, because it sounds more pitiful, but the truth is I'm just too cheap. And indecisive, and unsure, and overwhelmed by all the possibilities of patterns, colors and textures. Every once in a while I get up the nerve to jump into a knitting project, and I check our budget and convince myself it's OK to splurge on yarn. Then I get to the yarn shop, get all sweaty and nervous, and leave empty handed. What if I don't like the color of the yarn once it's knitted up? What if the pattern doesn't fit right or doesn't look good on me? Why am I knitting a sweater anyways? My sweater drawer is full to bulging. Do I really want the responsibility of a hundred plus dollar, handmade sweater? Most of my favorite sweaters are two dollar thrift store finds.

thrift store score

So today when I found a bag of wool yarn at the thrift store for five bucks, I decided it was fate. It is very rare to find wool yarn at a thrift store, let alone a bag of it. Plus it's vintage and a color I can imagine wearing. As soon as I got it home, I scrolled through pages of patterns on Ravelry looking for a match to the weight and amount of yarn I had, found a free pattern on Knitty (the Tappan Zee Cardigan), and cast on to check gauge using the only pair of size 6 needles I had. Since it's impossible to knit a sweater on sock needles, I rode my bike down to the yarn store, splurged on some Addis, came home, built a fire, and cast on - just before the thunder began rumbling and the hail started pounding.

all hail broke loose

And that is how thrifty knitters yarn along.

P.S. Shannon reached her Kickstarter goal! Thanks to all of those who helped! Now I have yet another reason to visit Vermont (not that Diane and Tara aren't reason enough!) - I'd love to spend some time in Shannon's yarn lounge. Especially if I saved my pennies and could splurge on her handspun farm wool. Congratulations Shannon!

28 comments:

  1. I love thrift store yarn. :) Awesome find.

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  2. A lot of my favorite crochets & knits have come from reclaimed yarn. Those $3 thrift store sweaters, unraveled, created gorgeous hanks of yarn! :)

    Congrats on your great wool find!

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  3. Ha... I so hear you about buying yarn. That is such an awesome find. Can't wait to see how it knits up.
    That book looks fun.

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  4. I'm too poor. But when the budget allows, I'm the same - too nervous and cheap to actually go for it.

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  5. That's so funny. I'm dying to knit a sweater but don't have the courage yet. Keep an ey out at yard sales. Last spring I scored a bag about the size of a trash bag with random organic wool and cotton yarn that was so cool.
    Love Aimee's idea of unravel sweaters I'll keep it in mind.

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  6. I'm so happy for your sweater yarn find! And that pattern will be fun to knit, and surely cute to wear.

    Me, I have no problem justifying my yarn purchases. Yarn for small projects like hats is usually pretty inexpensive, and when I knit a sweater, it almost always takes me months. So if I factor in all the hours of entertainment (not to mention therapy) I get over the course of knitting a sweater, I figure it's relatively cheap entertainment! The fact that I get a sweater out of it is just gravy. Plus I belabor my pattern-choosing and yarn-purchasing to death beforehand, studying everything I can on Ravelry, so I'm usually pretty happy with the resulting handknits. And I wear them and wear them and wear them. You just can't buy sweaters that mean as much, and store-bought ones are never knit in such fantastic fibers.

    Aimee's reclaimed thrifted yarn idea sounds like an excellent challenge, don't you think? You're going to become a *real* knitter yet!

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  7. Well, if you ever do make it to Vermont, let me know and I'll take you out for coffee :)

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  8. This wool, and this blog, is very lovely. Have fun with it! It seems like fate that you found it!

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  9. I've had my eye on that Tappan Zee! I'm looking forward to seeing how yours turns out. That yarn is very pretty. I love the silvery-grey color. An exciting find!

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  10. Hello, I'm new to your blog. I'm a bit daunted by yarn prices as well. How wonderful to find such lovely stuff a in thrift store!

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  11. It does give me pause when I think the yarn alone would cost a small fortune, and I still have to knit it. That being said, I do buy nicer yarn. I rationalize it by thinking about the amount of time we will spend together and because I enjoy knitting with it. It is my own luxury!

    I love your thrift store finds lately. You are having tremendous luck!

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  12. I am keen to hear about the Greek. Why does he want to learn it? Why was the prompt? I loved learning the etymology of words when I studied greek.

    The yarn is cool too.
    I only make scarves and wrist warmers for the same reasons.

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  13. Great find! If you ever find more wool/natural fibers yarn and don't like the color, consider overdying it. You'll get beautiful variegated yarn to knit!

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  14. Awesome (rare) score Molly! Back before I learned to knit I found an amazing bundle (bag full!) of chunky pure wool yarn. I ended up giving some away and paying someone to make some slippers with some of the rest. Wish now I would have hung onto it!

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  15. What an awesome thrift store find! The sweater will be lovely. I'm alway on the look out for deals on yarn too.

    I was so psyched to see that Shannon reached her goal. It was awesome to be able to help a little tiny bit. And Vermont really isn't that far.

    Blessings, Elizabeth

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  16. sweet thrifty find! Do share the finished product with us, ok? I hadn't checked back on Shannon in a few days and I am so happy to hear the good news!
    ...and if you go to Vermont, I am driving up there to hang in the lounge, too :)
    in fact I just might do that anyway.

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  17. Thrift Score!

    I am rich in many things but don't have money to build a yarn stash.

    Until the day that I have sheep...then I will be a prolific knitter.

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  18. fantastic!
    (said from a yarn addict, who over the years has slowly splurged a wee little bit here and there, which means I can knit a lot of hats...)

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  19. I remember being shocked (shocked!) when I realized that spending hundreds of hours knitting didn't allow you to make a sweater for much cheaper than you could buy in the store. But I think I need to make at least one or two sweaters for myself, just to see if I can.

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  20. I have the same feeling when I go to the yarn store. On my way there, I am so excited. I think, "This is the time when I'm just going to buy a pretty ball of yarn just because it's pretty, no other reason." Then I walk through the door and it's just overwhelming and I'm afraid I also wear the cheap badge rather proudly. Great thrift find. Can't wait to see the finished sweater.

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  21. can i noe how many followers do u hev???..:D

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  23. I'm with you too on how beautious yarn is and how intimidating the prices are. I've read up on recycling yarn from thrift store sweaters, the idea intrigues me. Here's a great tutorial:
    http://www.neauveau.com/recycledyarn.html
    Yours in thrift, Leslie

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  24. oh, great find! I still have to learn how to knit. I thought I'd learn over the winter and here we are in February. I liked imagining you rushing to the yarn store on your bike and getting back in time to miss the hail storm and thunder and making a fire! Sounds like a cozy day!

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  25. What a treasure! I too have wanted to knit a sweater for quite some time but have similar trepidations. Hope it turns out as you wish.

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  26. That's an awesome find! KnitPicks has reasonably priced yarn that is good quality too, definitely makes sweater quantities more affordable. Also, patons classic wool (you can get it at michael's or joanns) is a really nice wool IMO. It wears well and comes in some nice basic colors.

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  27. Oh, I mean to add patons classic wool often goes on sale at joann's as well so I'd watch the sales ad if you want a good deal.

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