My husband and I live a simple and frugal life in all the ways that we can. We grow our vegetables and fruit, and we keep hens. We jam, pickle, brew, and freeze for the less productive times of the year and always cook from scratch, never wasting anything. There is much I could write about what we do but I want to concentrate on one of my favorite hobbies, knitting. In fact knitting is more than a hobby, as I see it as another important part of our simple life. It's a wonderfully productive way of using spare time, I can even watch TV at the same time if I want to.
I knit for the home, for members of the family, old and young, and make most of our gifts for Christmas and birthdays. In addition to this, I love knitting for charity, churning out scarves, hats, mittens and various other items for homeless people and other people in need.. Yarn is now very expensive so my knitting has to be frugal too. Here are some of the things that I do to enable me to knit to my heart's content within budget :
Yarn: I buy yarn from discount stores, charity shops, coffee mornings, or similar. I am given yarn, I swap it, and even unpick sweaters if they are good enough. For example a recently unpicked cotton jumper provided me with several very colorful dishcloths. I search the internet for bargains and discontinued lines. In the last couple of weeks, I have knitted a toddler's jumper, 3 pairs of socks, a doll, 2 cupcake pin cushions, 2 scarves, several pairs of mittens and a sleeveless jumper. All for just a few pounds.
Patterns: These have been inherited, are swapped, or come free from internet sites. I cut them out of knitting magazines that are passed on to me and I've collected many over the years. They are neatly filed in plastic envelopes in ring binders to lengthen their life.
Buttons and Zips: No clothes are recycled until they are inspected for buttons and zips. Charity shops are another source.
Needles: Inherited, borrowed if necessary, or charity shop if lucky.
The fact that the yarn I use isn't always the most up to date and doesn't cost much, if anything, doesn't detract from the effort and love that goes into the items I knit or their quality. I subscribe (free) to blogs that provide lots of ideas to keep knitting fun and my enthusiasm going. Best of all I attend a Knit and Natter group every week where for one pound, I meet with fellow knitters who share my love of knitting and produce a great deal of items for charitable causes as well as being an inspiration and a source of knowledge. and materials.
By consolslel from Devon, England
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You are a more expert knitter than I am, but I also try to pursue this hobby thriftily. I buy my yarn largely at thrift shops (& some knitting needles, too) even found some at the dollar store & I have combined yarns to get a tweedy look on the scarves & hats I make. It also makes it more fun for me than straight knitting, but if I knitted as well as you do, well then. My productions are mostly intended for gifts & more folks are getting scarves this Xmas.
I don't knit but I crochet and have just finished 2 afghans for 2 of my grandsons for Christmas. 2 more to go and I will have made one for all 14 grandkids. Just had the last 4 grandsons to do this year.Yarn has gone up in price,but I have found several sackfuls at the Goodwill and Big Lots is selling quite a lot of different kinds now. When I moved to my small apartment I donated a lot of yarn to out Senior Citizens center as I had no room for it all here, but still have a lot. Of course I usually buy new for my afghans and they take anywhere from 8-10, 7 oz skeins. so usually have about $25,00 tied up in yarn. I think this year after Christmas I am going to make up odd things for charities just to use up my yarn.. Of course sometime this next year I am going to make myself one in purple and white ripple pattern.
What an entirely lovely amount of knitting you've created, with heart-felt work. I've heard of many people buying at the vintage shops and taking sweaters apart. Great idea. I am not a knitter, but the sweater purchases at thrift work for sewers as well. Once they are "felted" washed in hot and dried, I can cut them to use for other projects. All sorts!
Your doll looks adorable!
I do a lot of the same types of "scavenging" for yarn for all my crochet work. It just delights me when I can "undo" a sweater purchased at the thrift store for a dollar, and crochet nice things for friends and family. I don't like to sit with idle hands, and making crocheted animals and dolls for my "Grandies just suits me to a "T".
Thanks for sharing your ideas for knitting.
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