Crocheting is a relatively inexpensive hobby on average, but can have a range of almost free to luxury. The starting cost of crocheting is around $20, and costs between $10 and $100 per project for yarn. Decreasing costs is possible by sourcing yarn for free from friends, yard sales, and through couponing.
If you’ve been thinking about diving into a new hobby and are wondering whether crochet is the right one for you, you’re in the right place for a detailed discussion of the costs involved with crochet and the price range you’re getting yourself into. I’ve been crocheting for over a year and have made crochet items from sweaters, to blankets, to toys, and I’m excited to share what I’ve learned with you. Here’s the short answer on whether crocheting is expensive:
On average, crocheting is a relatively inexpensive hobby on average, and can have a range of almost free to luxury. The starting cost of crocheting is around $20, and costs between $10 and $100 per project for yarn. Decreasing costs is possible by sourcing yarn for free from friends, yard sales, and through couponing.
Crocheting is a fiber arts hobby that involves using a hook to create garments, home decor items, blankets, toys, and other items that have a knit-like look to them. There are a few starting costs involved, but after you get started the major costs to continue are acquiring yarn to crochet with, and purchasing patterns. Let’s break it all down below:
What do I need to get started crocheting?
To get started crocheting, these materials are necessary:
- Aluminum crochet hook (US size J, or 4.0mm)
- Worsted weight yarn (category 4)
- Plastic stitch markers or safety pins
- Tapestry needle
The most basic tools and materials you need to crochet are a crochet hook and yarn. Hooks come in different sizes depending on how thick the yarn you’re working with is, but worsted weight yarn is the most common and beginner friendly size, and 4.0mm crochet hooks are perfect for it. Stitch markers are key to a successful start because they help you keep track of the end of each round or row, but can be substituted for safety pins or scrap yarn if needed. A tapestry needle or yarn needle is a needle with a very large eye that yarn can fit through, and is essential for finishing off your projects and tucking in ends.
At the very basic level, cheaper aluminum hooks usually cost around $3, the cheapest yarn (usually acrylic or cotton) costs between $3-5 per skein, and stitch markers and a tapestry needle might run you about $10 total. If you want to get a few colors of yarn, then your beginning cost will be between $20-30. After these starting costs, you will only need to purchase or acquire yarn and perhaps hooks in different sizes to continue making projects. It is entirely possible to learn crochet for free through online tutorials on YouTube (click here for my channel full of amigurumi basics and tips), and many high quality crochet patterns are available for free, eliminating the need to spend more in this area.
Next, let’s talk about the most common crochet costs in three different price points: budget (very low budget or no budget), moderate (around $100/month to spend on crochet), and luxury ($300+/month to spend on crochet).
Can I crochet on no budget?
Crocheting on a budget or on no budget is possible by acquiring basic materials from friends or family, Freecycle, yard sales, church sales, or other means. Tutorials and free patterns are available online, meaning it is possible to be a skilled crocheter without any expenses.
To acquire the basic materials detailed above on a budget, ask around your community if anyone has extra yarn or materials available they would like to donate. Yarns and crochet supplies are fairly common craft supplies for kid activities, so more likely than not there are some people who will be more than willing to let you have them.
You can also put out a request for extra yarn on Freecycle (a local community exchange website), look for No-Buy groups in your area on Facebook, look on Facebook Marketplace for steep discounts on destashes, and attend yard sales or church sales.
I’ve found a huge amount of crochet hooks, knitting needles, and yarn this way, and it’s a fantastic way to cut down on waste, save money, and still delve into a new hobby. If you go this route, you will have less control with the type and quality of the materials you have to work with, but it’s still a great way to get started without a significant investment. If you enjoy it, you can always upgrade your tools and materials later on.
Budget materials might look like this:
How to crochet at a moderate price point ($100/month)
On a modest budget like this, you will be able to purchase some premium yarns that are softer, more eco-friendly, and specialized yarn. You will also be able to use hooks that can be more ergonomic, and get some basic notions that will help you crochet more efficiently and professionally. Further, you’ll be able to purchase high quality patterns from professional designers that are not available for free, which opens up a huge array of possibility for your crochet projects. You may also be interested in subscribing to crochet magazines and subscription boxes, or purchasing books with patterns and inspiration.
This budget is probably the most common for crocheters who are interested in making good quality items and enjoy having a larger selection of yarns to choose from. Also, if you’re interested in making lots of large projects such as sweaters, afghans, and baby blankets, purchasing a larger quantity of yarn is also necessary.
Most people are probably comfortable at the moderate price range because most store bought yarn is accessible here, along with higher quality tools and the occasional premium pattern from a favorite designer. You can stick to this level with the occasional splurge at the luxury price point or only come up to this level for those ergonomic crochet hooks that can reduce wrist pain.
It is also possible to begin off setting the cost of yarn and tools by trying to earn money crocheting. For more information on how you can make money crocheting just to feed your yarn habit or to even make a full time income, read my in depth discussion here.
How to crochet at a luxury price point ($300+/month)
At this price point most of the expense comes from each of the products being handmade in some regard. Hand dyed yarns often cost at least $25/hank and can have exquisite colors, hand carved crochet hooks begin from $80, and handmade stitch marker sets can be $50.
These are beautiful goods that aren’t necessary by any means for a beautiful crochet project, but can be a fun splurge if you have the budget to add a luxurious touch to your crochet experience. Of course, if you have the resources to regularly spend $300+ a month, then enjoy shopping handmade and supporting small businesses and local artists! All of the photos I’ve shown below are woman-owned, independent small businesses built from the ground up and often committed to sustainability, so if you’re interested in supporting their work feel free check them out on Instagram to hear about behind the scenes and shop updates.
Hand dyed yarn
Hand dyed yarns are created by independent dyers on a home-based basis who use natural and acid dyes to make beautifully variegated and tonal yarns on a variety of bases. Since each skein is time and resource intensive to create, one hank can cost from $25-30, meaning that a sweater quantity of yarn can cost from $200-300 at a time. If it’s in your budget, the results are beautiful!
Handmade crochet hooks
Some artists create handmade crochet hooks either by carving, turning, or other means. These are extremely time consuming, and artists specifically source beautiful woods or even recycle wood from a backyard. Each hook can cost at least $80 and are truly extraordinary works of art.
Handmade stitch markers
These stitch markers are a beautiful way to add interest to your crochet project though they are functionally the same as stitch markers in the budget category. These can be made with polymer clay, as in the first two examples, or through hand embroidery like in the third. If you love surrounding yourself with handmade, then these stitch markers can be a great way to help you feel excited to crochet!
These beautiful handmade yarns, hooks, and notions are an amazing treat for yourself if you’re a diehard crocheter and love the craft. Often, crocheters begin at a lower price point to get a feel for the craft and then invest more as they gain experience and love for the art, so don’t feel pressured to spend a lot (or any money) at the beginning. I hope these price points were a helpful guide to you in understanding how much you need to begin crocheting, and how much amateurs can spend to keep up with this hobby.
Next, we’ll discuss the varying sizes of hooks and yarn to help you decide what size to get beyond my initial recommendation.
What sizes do crochet hooks and yarn come in?
Crochet hooks are measured both in millimeters (of the diameter of the tip) and also in letter sizes in the US, and range from 2.0mm to 16mm.
Yarn is categorized according to weight (the thickness of the yarn), and is separated into the following categories from thinnest to thickest: lace (category 1), fingering/sock (category 2), sport (category 3), DK, worsted/medium (category 4), bulky (category 5), super bulky (category 6), and jumbo (category 7). Lace weight is almost threadlike and used to make doilies, fingering is for very fine sweaters and socks, sport weight and DK are a little thicker, and worsted is most common for sweaters, shawls, scarves, and most wearables because it doesn’t take too long to work with but isn’t too chunky. The weights higher than worsted are for chunkier garments or home decor items like baskets, and jumbo is the largest, and is more rarely used.
If you’re ever in doubt about what yarn size to use, refer to the yarn label and it will list what weight the yarn is (usually with the category number and also name), as well as the corresponding hook size in US terms and in millimeters.
I hope this article was illuminating and helpful! If you have any more questions, please leave them in the comments below or let me know through the contact page.