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Is knitting an expensive hobby?

Note: I started this blog entry several days ago and since then, this topic has come up in conversation, so I am posting it today. I’d love to see more bloggers address this topic. I’m personally a bit weary of disdain towards my knitting choices and what some think are thoughtless expenses. EVERY yarn purchase I make is approached with a great deal of thought and analysis. Yes, I have my favorite yarns and yes, I know that some of them are dearly-priced. So what?

Is knitting an expensive hobby?

It depends. In my opinion, it’s not; it’s purely subjective. Like any hobby, there are degrees of expenditures depending on how far one goes to explore the limits of the craft. I don't disparage anybody's love of their own particular hobby or the resources they commit to it. Having a worthwhile hobby is beneficial to mental and emotional health . . . whatever it is you enjoy doing, do it with passion and flair; make no apologies.

If you want to learn to knit, you can easily do so for less than $20 with supplies purchased at Wal-Mart or Target. If you don't want to learn to knit, that's fine too. Just don't avoid it because you think it's "expensive." Once you learn to knit and feel proficient enough to venture in to actually MAKING something, of course you’ll be enticed by the sheer variety of yarns, fibers, tools, notions, and books devoted to the craft. If you allow your interests to steer you and show a bit of restraint, it won’t be an expensive hobby at all. Provided you aren’t spending your mortgage payment or grocery money, it’s no more “expensive” than scrapbooking, beading, cross-stitch or latch-hooking.

What about costly yarns? Doesn’t it add up after a while? There are a number of ways to make learning and practicing this hobby more affordable and I’ve availed myself of a lot of them:

The Local Library – “Test-drive” that expensive book before you buy it. I’ve checked out books by Elizabeth Zimmermann, Barbara Walker, Nancie Wiseman, Debbie Bliss and more. I don’t end up buying my own copy of all of them, but the good ones, I do.

Online Knitting Magazines - Knitty.com and Magknits.com. Both provide excellent patterns and articles. If there are errors in a pattern, the instructions are updated/corrected and the designer’s blog is also often linked from the article. A recent Knitty project of my own knit with Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool ($7.50):

FINISHED Branching Out
Branching Out Scarf

An in-progress photo:
Branching Out Scarf - Knitty.com

The INTERNET -- Free sites, free instruction, and of course knitting blogs! Knitters are eager to share and their information is usually free! (FREE, however, in this case, doesn’t mean free of copyright. Do not republish the work of others - no matter how tempting it is - just because something was offered for FREE).

Discounted QUALITY yarn - Elann ("captivating yarn - irresistible prices") and KnitPicks ("traveling the world to bring you affordable knitting")

Your LOCAL Yarn Store -- You’ll get an inside track on the latest sales, excellent classes and the trendy new yarns (see them in person). Often, if you’re stuck on something in your knitting, you can get help for free. If your yarn store doesn’t offer free help, go elsewhere. (However, don’t be too demanding if the store is busy – you can offer to stop by later or schedule inexpensive private instruction at a later time).

A local “Sit & Knit” group – priceless. I can see what others are knitting and also get help making decisions about yarn, patterns, etc. It’s significant in keeping my own impulsiveness at bay. We all bring different skills and points of view to the group and I don’t feel like I am trying to keep up with more prolific knitbloggers.

Knitting is within reach of anybody with the desire to try it. The false perception that it is expensive shouldn't discourage you.


Your scarf is beautiful. I was familiar with Knitty, but not the other Mag site. I will have to check it out - and I didn't even think about the library as a resource! xxx Thank you.

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