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Sites for budget-minded fiber folk, take 2


Previous Entry Sites for budget-minded fiber folk, take 2 Sep. 23rd, 2005 @ 01:41 pm Next Entry
I spent about an hour writing this up before lunch...and LJ ate it. Grrrrrrrrrr.

Anyway, so you've picked up a new, fun hobby - say, knitting, but your Learn-to-Knit kit only included 2 pairs of needles. You want to branch out - socks, say, or fine lace - but your size 8s and 6s aren't suited for that. What to do? Needles get expensive...especially once you start collecting them.

Simple. Hit Ebay. But, don't look for 1 pair at a time..no, you need to add to your search box terms like "sets" or "lot" or "estate". "Vintage" is also good. I just got 25 pairs of straights and about 6 sets of DPNs (Double Point Needles, good for socks and mittens and hats) for $16, including shipping. This is the fastest, cheapest way to build your collection.

Need yarns? I don't recommend Ebay for that, unless you *know* what you want and have current prices right there. Try Smiley's yarns (google it - I can't find my link) - they don't have the higher-end yarns, but the prices are excellent. Elann has higher-quality yarns, but you have to jump on them immediately, because they sell out *fast*. Webs is a personal favorite of mine for weaving yarns - great prices, good selection..but the website is a bit confusing.

Want to take up spinning or weaving, but can't afford new? Try the Housecleaning Pages - lots of gently used items at very good prices. Or, try the Fiber Equipment Barter Page. (Spinning need not be expensive - Babe's Fiber Starter spinning wheel retails at a litlle over $100; it's ugly (PVC) but it's cheap and it *works*.) You can check Ebay, too...but unless you *know* what you're looking at, and can tell if the item is in working order, you'd be better off shopping elsewhere.

Want a sock machine? *g* There are no new ones currently be offered..so. You can do Ebay, again, but...these old machines are quite cranky (pun not intended) and I wouldn't recommend newbie's attempting to restore one. For links to restorers, go to my CSM page. Seriously - it's better to learn on one that you *know* works, not one that you constantly wonder if it's you or the machine.

Need fiber? I'm not the best one to recommend places, here, because I prefer to buy from smaller vendors. I've had wonderful service from Claudia at Countrywool and Rose at Red Barn Farm. Ask other spinners - everyone has their favorite suppliers and will be happy to share. (Unless they're greedy, that is...*eg*)

Retail type shops: I like the Woolery - prices aren't the *best*, but the service is good. Woodland Woolworks is pretty good - they carry some things I haven't seen elsewhere. Ditto with Yarn Barn in Kansas, and Patternworks

Books: Amazon is good, Ebay seller Book-Marz is better. (You might have to search for their correct ID...I know it's bookmarz, but with the "-"? Without?) The books I've gotten from them have come out at least $1 cheaper (even with shipping). They are *slow*, though.

Dyes? Dharma trading (again, google it. I'm too lazy today) hands down. They carry everything you could possibly dream up for the dyer, and they are the nicest people.

I think that's it...I need to get back to working up my next yarn order...
Current Mood: boredbored
The possessed iPod says:: Naughty Nymphs: Fairy Story
spin a yarn
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Date:September 23rd, 2005 08:01 pm (UTC)
Dharma Trading

So, it's not enough you've gotten me hooked on weaving... is it? ROFL... ooo must have loom.... eyes bank account...
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Date:September 23rd, 2005 08:12 pm (UTC)
bwahahahahahahahahahahaha! I guess I shouldn't send you to Nina, then - I got 3 used reeds for my Swedish monster @$25/apiece...new they'd have been $75+ each. *g*

So, table or floor loom? What's your basic can't go over price range? *eg*

You'd be surprised what you can find if you're looking...my Structo table loom, 22", 4 shaft, was $200. I've seen 'em on Ebay go for less...and more.

My 1st floor loom was a Harrisville 22", 4S, 4Treadle, we paid $300, but got a boatload of stuff with it - basically a complete studio. Steve built the warping board (I've seem them for $30 on Ebay) and the bench (I was quite comfortable using a chair)..the rest was included.

You'll need at least 1 shuttle (either boat (also needs bobbins - usually $1/each new) or stick..you can make stick shuttles out of wooden rulers/yardsticks) and either a warping board or warping pegs. Oh, and Yarn...*g*

Me? If I were starting out, I'd go with a floor loom, because you'll want to move "up" to one eventually anyway. They're a lot more efficient. Table looms are good - and take up less space - and I like mine, but I *love* my floor loom. Table looms are more portable - my Glimakra is *there*...and is a bitch to move around. My LeClerc was a little easier to move...but 45" is still pretty big to try and maneuver.

I'll start looking for accessories for you....even if it takes you a while, I can still use 'em in the meantime. *eg* I've got the "Learn to Weave" bible you can borrow....and tons of other books.

What, me enable???
[User Picture Icon]
Date:September 23rd, 2005 08:15 pm (UTC)
OH!! Did you see this?

Free to a good home!
4 Harness Counterbalance floor loom.Tiger maple, Weaves 42", sturdy, wire hettles. Acessories included.Must transport on your own.

email: seaotter33@aol.com

Counterbalance isn't bad - it's not as common now as Jack looms, but still a very good loom...and Free??? Don't know where it's located, though...
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Date:September 23rd, 2005 08:26 pm (UTC)
I hate you.

I'll email and see.
(spin a yarn)
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