Yes, it's a confession. I don't know whether or not there's a self-help group for yarn snobs or not. Quite honestly, if there is one, I'm not sure I would want to go. The fact is--I like nice fibers! I've always been really picky about the fabrics I wear--usually only wearing natural fibers so those preferences have carried over to my knitting as well. With knit items, the cheap stuff tends to pill and stretch out of shape as well as not being all that comfy. By "cheap" I am referring to quality--not price. I'm bringing up this topic because one of my friends-- PHD Knitter at knitting group last night commented on my last blog post that referred to yarn snobbery. As a "starving student" she said that she was unable to be a yarn snob. Au conraire, mon cheri! Yarn snobbery is able to exist at bargain prices! Here I will discuss sources for bargain basement, high quality, knitting fiber!
The two sources that everyone seems to know about of course are Knit Picks, and Elann. Both of these sources offer their own brand of high quality luxury yarns as well as other moderately prices knitting items. Elann also offers a lot of closeout yarns from the big manufacturers. It is worth browsing this site on a regular basis because the closeout stock changes and the colors are often limited so you have to get 'em while you can! My new favorite online store is Fabulous Yarn. This site offers luxury yarns with a 10% discount which rises to 20% when you hit $50. I don't think it necessarily fits into the "starving student" category of "budget priced" but it is a nice place to visit for the ocassional spurge.
Lastly, I need to discuss Ebay. Those of you who know me, know that I am an Ebay junkie. I'm sure there really is a support group for this one! I wrote an extensive blog about a year ago on myspace about this one! I buy clothes, shoes, cosmetics, books, household items, collectibles, CD's, DVD's, fabric, automotive items and yes--knitting needles and yarn on Ebay. The latest finds? Let's see--Addi Turbos for $4! Two pairs no less! Debbie Bliss alpaca/silk yarn for $4 a skein! And the newest one is the hand dyed merino from Uraguay! I haven't gotten that one yet but the auction ends in 3 days. The seller's store is called Handpainted Wool and their yarn resembles Malabrigo. They have a huge number of colourways. Other Ebay stores: Craft and Save, which is actually located in Rockville Maryland and Cucumberpatch UK, which is located in the UK. Craft and save has big name yarns that are 20 - 40% off retail. They are very fast in getting your order to you as well. I have bought Berroco and Debbie Bliss from them. Cucumberpatch has fabulous yarns made in the UK. I first stumbled across them when looking for Colinette yarns which are one of my favorites. I had made a sweater from Colinette and paid $26 a skein from a LYS. Fortunately it was a little bitty sweater which didn't require a lot of yarn. Colinette comes in 100 gm . skeins for those who aren't familiar with the brand. Cucumberpatch carries Colinette for $11 - $15 a skein and they have a huge selection--bigger than I've ever seen in a regular store! The shipping isn't bad either--$4.75 for first skein plus $1 for each additional. Other yarns which come in smaller skeins are less expensive for shipping. The best part is that it arrives in less than a week!
You can also find bargains in Ebay auctions. You just have to search for what you want. Search the manufacturer name first. If that turns up too many choices, add the yarn name. For example you might search "Berroco" or "Berroco Touche" if that is the specific yarn you are looking for. Don't use the word "yarn" in your search if you are searching a specific brand as most auction titles don't have the word "yarn" in the title. If you find something you like, it is worthwhile to "View seller's other items" to see what that seller is parting with. People often use Ebay as a way of cleaning out their stash and you can pick up some real bargains. I saw some Blue Sky Alpaca Silk that went 4 skeins for about $20 brand new. That yarn retails for $11 a skein so someone got a good deal!
So ma petit ami, go forth and be a yarn snob! It IS possible, even for a starving student!