A Sweater for Less

Cost of living, cozzie-livs, feeling the pinch, straightened times.. Whatever you want to call it, there’s a lot of us feeling it right now. It can be stressful, sometimes awkward, and all the things which we know knitting should be able to relieve – but if you’re priced out of the knitting, that doesn’t work so well.

There are no easy answers here – I know the prices in the shop have been creeping up as landlord, woollen mills, utilities and delivery companies pass their increased costs onto us. What’s gone around is unfortunately coming around. But there are some breathing spaces around this tangle and it seems like a good time to remind everyone about the low cost options we have in the shop. It’s also a great excuse for your ever-resourceful shopkeepers to come up with 8 great summer #sweaterforless yarn options.

We’re using 2 main criteria here:

  • a yarn quantity which we roughly estimate is enough to make a long sleeved top for an actual bust measurement of +/- 45″,
  • a total cost of less than £50

Recycled denim in a wonderful pallette – don’t be fooled by how flat the cotton lies – it really is a worsted. Your light weight tops and your wallet will thank you for knitting it to an 18 stitch gauge.

Long-time Wild and Woolly favourite from Rosa Pomar, made from recycled cotton textile waste that appear in little slubs, blended with Portuguese wool and now in lots of new juicy colours.

Pure wool, reared, sheared and spun in Yorkshire, perfect DK gauge, over 20 colours, AND it’s had a superwash treatment so you can throw it in the machine with the rest of your washing.

Organic cotton DK, gloriously soft and in all the most delicious colours. I know we’re talking about sweaters here, but can we just also say how great this one would be for a baby blanket too?

I have the Madragoa on my needles right now and am continually being destracted by how strokey and fluid the fabric is knitting up. Made from Tussah silk, giving a slightly suede-ish finish, and totally comfortable on a 3.5mm needle if you want to go sport instead of 4ply.

Maybe an odd choice for a summer yarn, but the summer seems to be taking its merry time and as we all know, autumn will be back! Knits like a chunky, weighs like less than half that, and those great big cakes – you’ve got to have a go!

Incredibly versatile gauge-wise – knits as beatifully at an 18 stitch gauge as it does at 14. This wool blooms fantastically so is always worth soaking before swatch-measuring. Colour range is glorious with fresh stocks of the whole range arriving next week.

Brontë’s favourite yarn, which needn’t necessarily be a reason to like it too, except that she’s probably the most knitteriest knitter in east London and has tried everything! Wonderful pallette, so thoughtfully produced, suitable for socks and sweaters, and of course, those labels!

So much for yarn on a £50 budget, did you know that there’s also place in the shop where the yarn costs just £2/ball? The Wild and Woolly Stash Depot has been a part of the shop since we opened up in 2014 and the price of the yarn in it has never changed. It’s all about getting wool that knitters are not knitting with, out from under-bed boxes, the cupboard under the stairs or the loft, and into the hands of knitters who’d like to knit with it. You never know what gems you’ll find in the Stash Depot, but it’s always worth a good rummage.

Contributing to the Stash Depot couldn’t be simpler.

You bring in the un-used, complete labelled balls of wool you no longer want to knit with. We give you a Stash Dealer number and put it on all your balls of wool in the Stash Depot drawer. We sell the balls for £2 each: you get £1 and the shop gets £1. The next time you come into the shop, we check how many of your balls have sold and you get to spend the credit on new wool that you do want to knit with, or you can turn it into Yarn Forward tokens. Meanwhile lots of other knitters have made good use of your unwanted wool.

And what about those Yarn Forward tokens on the board next to the till – how does that fit in?

Yarn Forward tokens are a way for knitters to help support each other with yarn, supplies and access to classes. When you buy a Yarn Forward token, you choose the amount and pin it to the board. It stays there for any knitter on a low or no income, to take and put towards their supplies. You don’t need to ask or explain if you would like to use a token towards the cost of your purchases. The tokens are there for you when you need them.

Tokens can be bought online or in the shop but can only be spent in the shop and not online.

And have they made a difference?

You bet! To date we have provided 5 low and no income knitters with scholarship places in our Sweater Club using Yarn Forward funds – covering all their tuition and materials costs, and made a significant dent in the cost of yarn and needles for countless other knitters. The Yarn Forward board is going through a slow patch at the moment but we’re optimistic that it will fill up again in the coming months and that we’ll be able to continue to use it to fund more knitters and more scholarship places in the Sweater Club.

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