Knitting on the Cheap?!

This post is actually about entertaining knits I've enjoyed from the past year and a half or so - about successful projects I found satisfying to knit, often using used good quality yarns and all very affordable.

Socks are a no brainer here but sock yarns can be pricey. My favourite affordable sock yarns are Meilenweit and Trekking. A $15.00 ball easily makes a pair of women's socks - the colourways make basic stockinette look grand or easily accomodate more complex patterns. The socks are soft, wearable, warm and with 25% nylon mixed with the superwash wool, durable and easy to clean.
While hats require little but give back a lot they don't get any better than Shedir. Unisex, one size fits all, fashionable, free pattern on Knitty and made with one measly ball of Rowan Calmer that cost me $11.00 here in Toronto. On top of all that - what an entertaining knit! I learned a new cast on (Italian Tubular) which I used to great advantage and then went on to enjoy a resoundingly challenging process of following the chart and undertaking the cleverly designed decreases. In the end I had a very fancy looking knit and about a yard of yarn left over - enough for mending but not a drop of waste!

Heart Sachet. 5 sachets from one ball of Koigu with this pattern by Vickey Sever. That could be 5 very nice gifts and as I detailed in my FO post on it last month you could easily substitute other yarns for different effects or make them from something in your stash. Meanwhile mini mitered squares knitted onto each other requires minimal assembly while giving a grand old knitting time - I worked on these over three weeks. Great value all around.
My stash has a huge collection of leftovers and lots of the scrounged bits are acrylics from the 70's. These bits, used together make great stuffed toys that young kids just love. I use the book Knit a Square Make A Toy as a great source of patterns and inspiration here...

Garter (Stitch) Snakes - best ever TV knitting project and very well received by my young nephews.
Pink Doll - many yarns I held double or even triple to maintain gauge and plow through even more of those leftovers - a gift for a little girl that cost me nothing to make.

Bunny - The shaping on this is ingenious so very entertaining to knit and used much less than a ball (note to self - why do I have so much leftover pink yarn?)

Debbie Bliss Teddy Bear from Debbie Bliss Simply Baby - an old ball of baby wool, probably from the 60's - it was in a bag of mixed yarn from a second hand store and cost me pennies to make.
I had a bunch of little balls of miss matched cotton string so I turned these into Elisa's Nest Tote. (FO post here) Without enough of any one colour of white to make the whole bag I used random width stripes to make up the body. There are bag patterns out there that require a lot more in terms of yarn and that might not lend themselves as readily to striping - this one is perfect to use up ends and how much better does it get than making a reusable shopping bag with leftovers?

In terms of frugal knitting ahead for me? I'm working on things I really need to make up a winter wardrobe for myself. This has me using money from my clothing budget at the LYS and getting rid of the "line item" in the budget formerly dedicated to yarn for its own sake.

I'm also exploring the great value in making vests - less yarn required but still adding warmth without second sleeve syndrome to worry about! How about these two patterns that won't even have me needing to buy much if any yarn...(to make them of course - I'm not going to stop buying yarn altogether for goodness sakes!)

1 comment:

Acorn to Oak said...

I love the hat! It's awesome!

It's so fun to make things from the stash. It adds a tad more to the satisfaction factor when the project is done.

I have the "Leftovers Vest" on my list too. The "Brooklyn Tweed's Recycled Vest" sure is nice.