I Knit Because it’s NOT Cheap

August 3rd, 2009 | View Comments

I just read a review of Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture and as a knitter, it struck a chord with me. The book is going into my shopping cart.

As knitters and crocheters, I am sure we have all heard some variant of the question: “Why would you spend that much money to knit your own [garment] when you can buy that for [ridiculous price] at [Big Box Store]?”

And if you are like me, you get deeply annoyed with this question. I realize I’m probably preaching to the converted here, but…off I go!

See, I was raised to be frugal. But in my house, that did not mean “pay as little money for any single item as possible.” In my house, that meant “choose what you buy carefully, and only buy items that are actually worth the money.” How long something would last was an integral part of the equation.

I once bought a sweater for $25 at Old Navy. Some people would consider this a bargain. I came to consider this a massive waste of $25 (which, in the poorest of my poor student days, was almost a week’s worth of meals). Two months later, it had started unraveling in three places; the ends had been clipped without being properly secured. To repair it, I’d have to find matching yarn, disassemble the sweater, re-knit parts of it, and re-seam it. I had worn it maybe ten times.

Average cost per use: $2.50.

The yarn for each of Big Sack, Hourglass, and Rogue, cost between 3.5 and 5 times the amount of that Old Navy sweater. I wear Big Sack the least, but I am sure I have worn it at least 35 times. The other two sweaters, waaaaaaay more than 50 times, and they’ve also survived a rip and re-knit when I wanted to size them down. All the sweaters remain in excellent condition and I expect them to last many more years, especially now that I live in Houston.

Average cost per use: less than $2.50. By a lot. And that’s not even counting the hundreds of hours of entertainment I got out of knitting them. Seriously, what makes more sense?

Even if I knit with luxury yarns, it is worth every penny to knit garments myself instead of buying cheap pieces, made by who-knows-who in what kind of conditions, that I’m just going to have to replace after one season anyways.

CogKnition posted this on August 3rd, 2009 @ 8:51pm in Life as a Knitter | Permalink to "I Knit Because it’s NOT Cheap"

1 Comment

  1. Tracy says:

    Amen, Yvonne. Amen.