In the current ‘Credit Crunch’ we are being advised to economize. This affects our favorite hobby of cross-stitching, of course. Most cross stitchers have occasionally made expensive mistakes when buying things like Crochet Yarn and Quilting Fabric etc.
As for me, I still cringe when I see a kit at the bottom of my storage box that I bought years ago. I had been lured into buying a ‘bargain’ that was, in fact, a poor quality cute design of a horse… or is it a donkey?
I’m not exactly certain, but I do know that I have learned from this mistake, and as the years have passed, I’ve made some personal rules that I’d guess you may agree with. Or do you? Here they are:
- There are some things where the economy should not matter. For me, this is definitely a good quality lamp to work by.
It’s not possible to recommend a particular lamp, because everyone has unique needs, but do buy the best you can – and place it on a birthday/Christmas present list if you cannot afford one.Look out for second-hand bargains and auctions, but never compromise on quality for what you need.
- Do not be tempted to buy things impulsively – at needlework fairs etc. Enthusiasm is infectious, and when you see someone else saying how wonderful a product is, it is easy to reach for your money. If in doubt, do not buy… walk around, think about it, and return an hour later…
- Never economize by buying cheap threads (floss) that you often see with giveaway kits and ‘bargains’. It’s wise to stick with the tried and tested big-name brands – purely because the results are better. The economy brands have no natural sheen, and they look cheap.
- Invest in the best basic equipment you can afford. For example, it is false economy to buy cheap scissors or needles. I still use a pair of embroidery scissors I was given ten years ago and have no intention of buying a new pair.
- Shop around… when you buy. You may choose to support your local needlework shop. That’s a great principle, but many stitchers do not live near a shop, so we buy via the internet.
Beware of cheap offers that lure you to a site, and then… you pay for overpriced extras while you are there.(This is a psychological trick that the giant supermarkets use to reel in customers.) Check out the delivery costs too – and additional taxes that may be added to the total of your purchases.
- Remember that many designs are timeless. You may find some great advice and charts from second-hand books and magazines.
- Share your books, magazines, and equipment with stitching friends. You can even buy fabric and other essentials in bulk to save money. Stitching together is fun, as well as being economical.
- Why spend many pounds on a single chart/pattern? There are many free designs on the internet, and of course, if you are a member of Patterns Patch, you can access hundreds of beautiful designs, free of charge.
I think that the ‘less is more’ principle is important in cross-stitch. Buy fewer – but always top quality – items and services. And also – Beware of ‘bargains’! Please share any money-saving tips with us!