Knitting with cheap yarn takes the pressure off me

DSCF1001 2Sometimes knitting can be a total waste of time. I am the first to admit that I do not like many of the things that I knit for myself. And I have read many of those books about how to make sure you have a gauge swatch or take your measurements or study your profile for what looks good on your body type. But all those books still leave room for the imagination. I sometimes imagine that a project is going to look like something it really doesn’t come out to look like. And I hate it. This happens more often than I would care to admit. Maybe I am just unrealistic. A knitting dreamer.

So you may understand why I bought cheap yarn for my latest sweater project. Buying cheap yarn really cuts your losses in half. You aren’t wasting much money, you are only wasting your time. And if you figure into the formula how much time you are relaxing and loving knitting, even that isn’t a waste. Cheap therapy is what it is. 

So here is my springtime sweater therapy project, knit in Lion Brand Cotton-Ease yarn. Sometimes cheap yarn is worth knitting with and doesn’t come out looking like you used, well, cheap yarn.

DSCF1001The pattern is a free Ravelry download called Miette. If you a knitter or crocheter and are not a member of Ravelry you don’t know what you are missing. Go here to join: RAVELRY

Why join Ravelry? Besides free patterns, it is a huge database of lots of people’s work. So the next time you want to knit or crochet something, you can see everyone’s version of it and see if it really is something you like on a bodytype like your own. And you can see what yarns everyone is making it with and how they liked their yarn choice or how you liked their yarn choice. People share what it was like to make their project, problems they might have had with the pattern or yarn, changes they made to the design, things to watch out for, how hard it was to make, and so many other helpful ideas and inspirations.

And then you can also choose to share your own projects with photos. That is up to you. You can just roam if you would rather do that. It is what you make of it and is totally fun.

So this time I lucked out. My sweater is a keeper, and I actually like the yarn! I adore the color as it is taupe and one of my colors. But the yarn also comes in other brighter spring colors. It is 50/50 cotton and acrylic. I usually shy away from acrylic, but this yarn looks and feels great like a light cotton. I bought mine at Jo-Ann’s.

If you join Ravelry, look me up under the name primspirit.

Have fun with all your creative projects ~ Karen

51 thoughts on “Knitting with cheap yarn takes the pressure off me

    • hi bev, yes i make all kinds of versions of these bloomers. they are just a modified cropped pants pattern that a friend made for me. but you can use an elastic waist pattern and make the legs wider.


    • thanks for commenting. i made the bloomers. i have been making them for a few years now. this time i made a patchy ruffle and added a couple more patches to make it look more hobo. they are so easy to wear!


  1. Great sweater. It is hard to spend a hundred dollars or more for a project you are not convinced will be “yours”. LionBrand has some beautiful alternatives. Yea for Ravelry too. A great resource!


  2. Karen, this is a great post! I’m completely on board with you on the knitting issue. In fact I’m working on another Liesl, and pretty pleased with the first. But the expensive yarn makes me a bit nervous when I’m knitting, and I’ve vowed that if it doesn’t work out, I’m ripping and saving it for something else instead of having it hang in the closet forever. I’ve been looking at a sweater pattern by the same designer as the Liesl, but once again…. major yarn investment. I may give this one a whirl with the cheaper yarn. Really makes sense… although I’m a yarn addict, and love the good stuff. Yours looks fabulous! Also, love the bloomers! I just ordered a pair that I’ve been contemplating from Sarah Clemmens on Etsy. Chocolate Brown! And…. I’ve “hobboed” a pair of jeans, a blazer, and a sweater in the past. My friend did the same with tights. Adorable!


    • sarah clemmens is very inspiring! but her sizes are still too big for me unfortunately. so i make my own versions. i also feel like you do about redoing a knitted project if it doesn’t work. sometimes it may take me a while to admit that fact! and yes, qualities of linen vary greatly. i used a less expensive linen for the natural colored liesl, and it tends to shed. but i think that it will eventually stop shedding after repeated washings. any experience with that?


      • On this 2nd liesl I’m sticking with recommended linen. But….. I just ordered her Odelia cardigan pattern, and I think I’ll go with cheap yarn as a test. If all works well, I’ll maybe try the recommended AVFKW Metamorphosis…. pretty pricey though. I’ll have to love the cheap one first!


      • odelia looks like a great cardi, simple and fun! love to see it on you. yes, the recommended linen for liesl is a really nice quality. i have it in pewter and will plan to make it this summer.


  3. You’re so right, I knit because I like to knit…and hold my breath that it will fit! Of course if it seems a little big I think I may be able to shrink or felt it a bit, I add decreases where they don’t belong and think, “OK, who do I know that this WILL fit?” So my lovely hand dyed Araucania yarn looks like a patchwork quilt! Next time I’ll use ‘cheap’ yarn first. Thanks for the pitch for Ravelry, I’ve been considering it.


  4. I totally agree! Cheap yarn doesn’t have to be bad yarn – just as an enormous price-tag doesn’t mean you really get the best quality.
    And knitting with a cheaper yarn (in a quality you like) can make it far less stressful while you still get a pretty, wearable, stylish garment out of it. Not everything has to be an heirloom piece…
    (Although I’m a little wary of cheap yarns atm, after a bad experience with a color repeat desaster in a bargain basement sock yarn…


  5. Whoa… I *just* tripped over your blog… for the first time , I love it ! We have the same theme too 🙂 I kind of am a fan of Knit Picks, because of the fact that I can feel more creative without the pinch of expense nipping at my heels.


  6. What a bonus to have your experimental sweater turn out to be so lovely! Good to know about that yarn. too.
    And I agree about rav…the value of ravelry as a research tool is fantastic!


  7. Love your outfit ~ hand-made ~ totally cute! And love your comment about being to small for a brand’s clothing ~ that would be a problem I’d love to have!!!


  8. Karen, I am so excited about discovering your website. I feel as if I have renewed a friendship. It has been a while since I took your class in NC. I think your sweater looks very ambitious and the fit is perfect. I love to knit to keep my hands busy. I am getting ready to tackle the Liesl. Also I have the Weekend Wrap that I want to attempt. I will probably use the DK weight yarn for the wrap but a linen for the Liesl. I need to get the yarns sometime soon so I can start one of them. Is the Liesl difficult? I have enjoyed reading all your blogs and love all that you do. You knew me as Langford but now I am Andrews.


    • sarah, i am excited to hear from you! i still have the crocs you gave me so long ago and wear them all the time. congratulations on the andrews! yes, knitting is a contented thing to do, i love it. liesl is not difficult, however you may find working with the linen a challenge as it is stiff and non stretchy. that can be hard on your hands. some have suggested prewashing your linen to soften it, although i have not done this. keep me posted. join ravelry if you are not a member already!


  9. I love your sweater, Karen. It looks like you, if you know what I mean.

    I was wondering why all of the words of people’s posts aren’t showing? They disappear to the right. Or maybe it’s just me?


  10. Love it! Several years ago, I finally discarded about three one armed sweaters that I made decades ago. I had them partially together and hated them. I agree that the time I am engaged in the knitting is my main enjoyment not necessarily the end results. The finished garment is just a bonus — if it works out.


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