July 5, 2016

How to get free yarn, or for cheap

Some of my yarn stash
© Marie Anne St. Jean
Having a stash of yarn on hand for your knit or crochet projects doesn't have to be expensive. There are frugal ways to get yarn cheaper or in many cases, free!

Where to Get Free Yarn

Make sure everyone in your network of family and friends knows that you knit or crochet and would welcome any free yarn. They might have a stash of their own that they won't use since they've given up the craft, or maybe they've cleaned out under Grandma's bed and found some that she left behind. Don't assume everyone knows that you'd like to have their leftover yarn - tell them!

Sign up for Freecycle and post that you're looking for free yarn. Freecycle.org is a national organization with local chapters throughout the U.S.   Members publish to an email group when they have something to give away, and you can post if you're looking for something as well. Many don't think to list something on freecycle until they see someone that wants or needs it, so let freecyclers in your area know that you'll take yarn off their hands before it ends up in the trash. (Check the rules of your local freecycle group. Some require that you post something to give away free before you can ask for something).

Where to Buy Yarn on the Cheap

I rarely pay full price for a skein or ball of yarn. If you watch for sales and use coupons, check  eBay, and visit yard sales and thrift stores, you won't either.

Most every town has Facebook groups where people post freebies or sell things cheap, like an online yard sale.   Subscribe to the posts from your local area and watch for people who have yarn to get rid of at a good price.  You can also post in those groups that you are looking for yarn, and prompt your neighbors to clean out their own stash while adding to yours at bargain prices.

After yards sales and thrift stores, Hobby Lobby and Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores are my favorite places to find yarn rather inexpensively. Sign up at HobbyLobby.com and Jo-Ann.com to receive email alerts for upcoming sales. Hobby lobby provides a weekly coupon to print and it is often for one item at 40% off regular price., and Jo-Ann has frequent coupons for anywhere from 20-60% off one item that’s not currently on sale.   Both stores also have an app where you can access the sales and coupons right on your smartphone.  Oh, and Jo-Ann does price matching of coupons, so you can use your Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon at Jo-Ann's.  

Big Lots and various dollar-type stores often have yarn in their inventory for a low price. Be careful when purchasing from such places that buy discontinued items, though. If you can, buy enough to finish your project because that particular yarn may not be available later.   Sometimes, though, the price is so good that you can’t pass it up, even if it’s just a single skein or ball of yarn or thread that you have no idea what to do with just yet.

When shopping at yard sales or thrift stores, in addition to looking for yarn, keep an eye out for crochet or knit items that are in good shape that you could easily unravel and use for another project. What you see as an ugly color or pattern for that afghan migh be the perfect shade to re-purpose into a matching scarf, hat and mitten set.

If you shop for yarn on eBay or other online auctions or stores, be watchful of additional costs. That wonderful deal that you just made may not seem so good once $10 or more shipping and handling fee is tacked onto the final price. Before check-out, search online for coupons and free shipping codes.

Purchasing yarn to support your craft of knit or crochet can be expensive, but as you can see, it doesn't have to be.

Have you ever got an incredibly great deal on yarn, something that you couldn't pass up, no matter how overgrown your current stash was?  Feel free to share in the comments!

~Marie Anne


Marie Anne St Jean said...


Linda Belcher said...

Thanks for the great tips on yarn purchases.