Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Penny Pincher's Guide to Cheapskate Knitting Series - Part 1

Even though it feels like we are finally climbing out of the huge hole our economy, real estate and stock market fell into in the last few years, I think responsible shopping is always appropriate.  I'm proud to have been called many things over the years, from "thrifty" to "tight" to just plain "cheap ass" as I've steadily honed my cheapskate skills.  It is the way I raised my daughters to consume as well.  To this day, they are trained to go directly to the SALE racks at the back of the store, do not pass GO.  We just don't pay retail and I think a lot more people feel this way after what we've all been through since 2008.  Losing your job, your retirement savings and possibly your home makes thrifty living look more attractive even to the most die-hard spender.  And none of us plans on giving up our knitting addiction no matter what the economy...

There is something innately gratifying about getting a good deal.  It enhances the enjoyment of buying something we really want or need when we have the added satisfaction of paying as little as humanly possible for that item.  I can remember what type of deal I got on every skein of yarn, knitting needle and pattern I use on a daily basis.  Sometimes it makes me smile while I knit with those things and certainly adds to the fun of the project and process.   And if anyone criticizes my boundless yarn stash purchases, I can justify/rationalize all of it when it was at bargain prices.

As a former yarn shop owner, I have a distinctly different view on what is a reasonable price for yarn and knitting supplies.  I bought all the inventory for the shop from wholesalers and systematically doubled the wholesale price for the final retail prices I charged in a very upscale tourist-dependent beach town.  Being able to buy wholesale for five years is probably why I keep trying to recreate that situation with every knitting purchase I make now.  

Granted, it is a lot of fun to hang out in your local yarn shop (LYS) and buy only the highest-quality, snooty brand name yarn and tools. I love it as much as the next knitter.  Cheapskate knitting sometimes involves eliminating our yarn snob tendencies and foregoing the tactile experience of feeling over the yarn in your LYS for better prices online and keeping an open mind.

With all this in mind, here goes "The Penny Pincher's Guide to Cheapskate Knitting", a 5-part series here on my blog.  Stay tuned for "Part 2:  Cheapo Ways to Find Knitting Patterns" next week.

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