I buy on sale. Its a form of self-discipline. I buy too much yarn and too many books and I need all the knitting needles and all the crochet hooks but I buy on sale. Its my only self-discipline.
Btw, yarn and books are the only things in the entire world that I enjoy buying. All other shopping for me is a duty to be avoided whenever possible. But I have gotten better at buying online. I swear. I have. Ravelry forced me into getting a paypal account so that they could send me the money from people who buy my patterns.. and it was all down hill from there. So I’ve recently found that I can buy clothes online. But I don’t want to. Much rather buy yarn.
When I started this blog the makers of yarn and the sellers of books found me. They tracked me all the way to my email and introduced themselves. It started as a trickle and now its a flood. They want me to know about their products because they want me to tell all of you about their products. And I’ve been buying some, passing on most, and telling the blog about a few. I’ve also been watching and learning and I’ve become a better bargain hunter.
I believe in making money off the people who make money off all of us. So I became an affiliate for a select group of companies. I figure that if I’m using their product and writing about their product, they should pay me. They do. These are companies that I buy from and trust and if you buy from them via me, I get a small percentage. Like a sales commission. Its how I’ve funded all the blog improvements around here.
So here are some things I’ve learned that a sale-seeking, bargain hunting crafter might be interested in and some sales that are happening right now:
(This post was made Feb 5, 2016. Depending on when you read this, the specific bargain might have passed. But the tips should still be good.)
1. Books at Knit Picks go on sale 2 or 3 times a year. They are on sale right now. Its usually a good sale, 40% or more. They have flat shipping rates and orders over $50 are shipped for free. That’s good because books can get heavy. So if there is a book or a magazine you want, try to wait. Build up a small list and then buy when they are all 40%+ on sale.
Here are three titles that I own and like and they are on sale.
The Principles of Knitting is the best knitting reference book. Stop. Period. For sure. Every topic and technique I’ve ever wanted to look up is in there. Its the most complete knitting resource I’ve found and its a big book. Usually it runs $60 but right now Knit Picks is selling it for $27. I don’t think you will ever find a better deal on this. If you want it, better grab it.
Crochet-opedia isn’t on the same order as POK but its a good book. I like it. Of the many (manymany) crochet reference books out there, this one has the benefit of clarity. It will take you from the beginning of the craft, work you through your first pot holder, and right into making a sweater. I recommend it to beginning crocheters all the time and right now its 40%.
If you’re a spinner then you probably know there are lots of highly technical, hard to understand books on spinning available. This isn’t one of those books. The Spinner’s Book Of Yarn Designs is hands-on, heavily illustrated, and the information is easy to absorb. There are 80 different designs and each one is presented as a mini-tutorial. I use this book for inspiration all the time. I bought it all full price (like a dummy) at B&N and here it is 40% off at Knit Picks. Lesson learned.
2. Every month Knit Picks puts a different line of yarn on sale for 20% off. They put the entire line, not just discontinued colors, on sale. If you can wait (I know, I know that is really hard), wait. Maybe next month what you want will be on sale.
This month the sale yarn is Galileo. Its a half wool, half bamboo sport weight. Its shiny because of the bamboo and it has the spring of merino wool… somewhat. It has some elasticity to it, enough for most projects. I like it for solid stockinette and for lace.
3. Speaking of yarn on sale, Craftsy has 50% off yarn sales at the end of every season and when they do, they put lots of Cascade Yarns on clearance. I like Cascade. If I had a favorite brand of yarn it would probably be Cascade. They consistently make a good product. I recommended it. But hold off on buying Cascade if you can and wait for Craftsy to mark their whole stock down. Like they are doing right now.
Here is the list of Cascade yarn all currently marked 50% off but let me just point out my favs. I can’t resist.
Casablanca is a nice yarn. Its a worsted weight blend of wool, silk and mohair and its irregular enough to look like handspun. You can’t tell by the way they have it skeined (and I think that hurts its sales) but its a long color way yarn. I used it to make one of my Meshed hats.
Luna is a worsted weight cotton that I love, love, love. Its usually priced out of my reach. When I was working in a yarn shop I had massive envy for every single person that came in and bought blanket quantities of this stuff while I waited for a sale.
4. Craftsy puts its classes on sale when you’re not looking. Sometimes they put all of them on sale at once but more often they cycle. Every month they switch up and different classes are anywhere from 25 to 50% off. Since when you buy a class, you own it and can watch it any time, it pays to wait for the one you want to be on sale.
Right now their best class for knitters (in my opinion) is 50% off. Its Lucy Neatby’s Fearless Knitting. She’s a great instructor and I’ll never get to any of her in-person classes. She’s in Canada. So for me Craftsy it is. And of her three Craftsy classes, Fearless Knitting is the best. 3000 people have taken this one so I must not be alone in my opinion.
5. Annie’s Craft Store always has a clearance sale going. ALWAYS. Its like a digital sales bin and you never know what odds and ends are gong to end up in there. The discounts vary but they can go up to 65%. They have pattern books, discontinued yarn colors, needles, notions, you name it. (psst … at the time of this writing, 9 skeins of Freia Ombre Sport are marked 25% off)
They are currently running all sorts of coupon-code sales including one that gets you an additional 15% off clearance items.
And here are the others that I’ve found so far. If I come across more, I’ll update.
6. Leisure Arts has little back corner of their site called the Warehouse Clearance. That’s where they put their discontinued pattern leaflets. You can pick those up for less then a dollar. Don’t ever buy them at full price.
Franklin Jones said it best…
Look, you’re gonna buy yarn and stuff and you know it. You can say that you won’t buy more yarn until you use up your stash but that’s a lie and we all know it. Yarn diets results in yarn-buying orgies. So buy on sale. Its smarter to do that than to deny yourself.
"There is no failure. Only feedback." - Robert Allen
12 Comments on "Tips for the Bargain Hunting Crafter"
Ugh. That sounds like a minor disaster. The freezer is the best thing you could have done though. It will take care of any pests that may be hiding from you. I’ve read that cricket populations are higher than usual (which makes me think of those biblical plagues) because of heavy rains. I also read that you can make cricket traps with molasses but I never tired it.
No. No, no, no, no, no… I’m supposed to be doing taxes today. 🙁 I don’t want to do taxes, because now I want to go yarn shopping. Hmm… Priorities… Okay, I’ll pass up those 9 skeins of Freia that I really want and hit up Knit Picks some other time 🙂
lol. By all means, taxes come first. And they are make it so easy these days and its very satisfying to get them done and …
yeah. I can’t. Taxes instead of yarn & books? I get sad just thinking about it.
I absolutely love your blog! It’s instructive, entertaining, and soothing to my knit -knotted brain.
Thanks! That’s the kind of feedback that keeps me going!
And “knit-knotted brain” is a condition I think I may suffer from as well…
Uhg! Taxes! Go shopping instead.
Jenn, thanks for the temptations. I mean tips.
Anytime. I’m here to enable.
Those are great additions! Thanks for posting them.
But beware that yarn diet. It always seems to end in yarn overbuying binges for me. Better to snack and munch and buy yarn in little bits all the time and you can’t talk me out of that!