Knitters create money-saving gifts

December 13, 2010 10:02:48 AM PST
An ages-old craft is experiencing a resurgence in Philadelphia, as knitters find they can create great holiday gifts at significant savings over buying retail.

"This time of year, especially, we see a lot of people coming in, wanting to learn how to knit," explains Sara McLaughlin of Rosie's Yarn Cellar.

"They feel like if they can make something handmade by themselves, they like to give that as a gift as opposed to going to the store and spending probably even more to get something that doesn't have as much meaning."

Rosie's, at 2017 Locust Street, near Rittenhouse Square, offers individual lessons for $20 an hour or six-weeks of two-hour group classes for $125. That includes the supplies to make at least one project.

After the initial investment of time and money, the avid knitters we met a Rosie's say,their skills have really paid off.

Rae Pagliarulo of Fairmount made a beret right after her beginner's class.

"I was wearing it around town and I got a lot of comments, 'You got that at urban, right?'" she explains, thinking she'd bought the hat at an Urban Outfitters store. "And I said, 'No, this is one of my projects that I made.'"

Pagliarulo went to Urban Outfitters to look at the similar hat.

"It was about $30 for the hat," she says. "And my ball of yarn was $10 -$11 and I got two hats out of it."

Ana Maria Iglesias of Spring Garden had a similar experience with the cowls she made and gave as holiday gifts last year.

"It was about $10-$15 (to make each cowl). It was two to three hours maximum of work," she says. "You can see something very similar at Neiman or Nordstrom. A yarn of this quality would run you $150-$200. "

And that's not the only savings. Rosie's experts can also fix hand-knit items that have come undone over time, saving the cost of buying new.

"People in the last couple of years have definitely been coming in, wanting to salvage things, wanting to remake things," McLaughlin says.

To learn about the knitting and crocheting classes at Rosie's Yarn Cellar, click here.


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