Well, apparently, we did not get a small grant I had applied for to buy yarn for our summer "Art Camp" programme. I have honestly cried over it a bit, but need to put on my "big girl panties and move on to plan B. I would welcome suggestions for obtaining cheap yarn! I only give one or two really keen little weavers the "real" stuff and, honestly, the kids LOVE the "junky" stuff! They are particularly enamoured of "fuzzy" stuff like eyelash. I have already invested almost $10,000 of my own money in acquiring tools and supplies but, having taken a "hit" like so many of us, last year, I need to closely budget my yarn spending this year, and probably next. The City rec dept has NO funds to give me. (another bone of contention, but, there you are.)
Anyway, suggestions for places to get a lot of yarn, really, really CHEAP would be welcome! We have 100 kids (50 per 1-week session) and this adds up to several hundreds of yards.
I always check the "hobby lobby" places and am going to keep an eye on the ebay "yarn" auctions. We live sort of off-the-beaten-path in terms of shopping for ANYTHING.
thanks for any and all suggestions
Nancy Lea, Alabama
That's a bummer. Our knitting/weaving group has a Stash Swap in May every year. There is always yarn left behind that no one wants. I usually donate it to a local child care center or school. I am happy to mail it to you this year for your "Art Camp". In the past there has been about 10-20 skeins of random yarns that would be appropriate for use either knitting or weaving. Please let me know if that would be helpful.
Claudia in Maryland
It absolutely would. thanks, hugely. I will be glad to cover postage. The kids' approach to weaving is real "take no prisoners" and one of the things I love is the way it loosens up my thinking!
anyway, anything would be greatly-appreciated! As I said, the city has even had to cut back of scholarships for the summer programmes. I "scholarship" one kid by having her be my "elf" and she's a huge help, but even I am feeling the pinch these days.
so, thanks again..
Look for a mill that sells their mill ends. I know there was one in Lowell MA that had REALLY cheap mill ends. I no longer live in that area, but if you do a search of mills in your area, and contact the mill, you could possibly get a donation that they could use as a tax write-off. I am sure your rec department would help facilitate a receipt for their generous donations, and perhaps free advertising in the rec department's flyers. Free advertising is always a good hook for donations. I ran a knitting guild for 10 years and got many yarn shops to donate items for free advertising. Good Luck!
Try R & M Yarns. They are in Middle TN, so shipping shouldn't be too bad and you should get it pretty quickly. Their best deals are on odd lots, so to get the biggest bang for your buck watch the site often or give them a call.
Our local library has a collection box for yarn for local non-profit project. Perhaps your local library or other organization would do the same. If you send me your address I will happily send you a bag of yarn and pass on an appeal to our local guild members!
Craig's list, eBay, donation boxes, mill ends are all excellent ideas. There is also the option of unravelling old sweaters from charity shops, and also spinning your own. That also could be a summer camp project, and can be done with a potato & pencil, dowel & toy wheel, etc. Grass, rags, and paper are good starter materials.
Ed Rossbach used to make us do endless paper exercises in class. Whenever I see the multi-fold stacks of computer paper I have the urge to tear it into narrow strips and either spin it or start plaiting, even in coporate mgmt meetings! He also used to do projects with plastic cleaner bags, old newspaper, and so on.
Take heart! Weavings made of found materials may not be the direction you intended to go, but they are certainly out there in the fine art weaving world, and once you get into it, they are certainly fun.