Ways to save at JoAnn & Michaels (and other stores)

For my U.S. Loom knitters, two popular craft stores to buy yarn, looms, and accessories are JoAnn and Michaels. But did you know that you can get big discounts at these stores?

If you’re a regular shopper, than you probably know that both stores offer coupons on their website, usually for 40-50% off one item or 20-30% off of your purchase. If you haven’t been checking for coupons when you shop, now is the time to start! 🙂

Both stores also have member rewards coupons when you sign up for their newsletter. At JoAnn, you can also get additional coupons which are not in the emails or on the website by downloading their app on your phone. What some people might not realize is that you can combine email and app coupons or website and app coupons if you are buying multiple items. You can also sign up for coupons by text message! JoAnn actively encourages coupon shopping and their staff will often help you to get the best deals because they want you to come back.

But that is not the only way to save at JoAnn. JoAnn regularly offers rebates for in-store shoppers through iBotta. IBotta is a popular phone app that lets you take a picture of your receipt and get money back for grocery, drugstore, and other purchases. JoAnn periodically has REALLY good rebates (this week, I can get 15% cash back by shopping in-store). Yes, that is fifteen percent, not 1.5% like most rebate offers. The trick is that you have to turn in your receipt within 7 days or you won’t get the rebate. Sign up here using my link (or type in the referral code jnblwkn) and we’ll both get a bonus when you claim your first rebates. You can also use iBotta for online shopping, too.

Ebates is a similar app, and you can use it to get rebates when you shop online at Michaels. It’s not as good of a deal as the in-store rebates that JoAnn offers, but if you are planning to shop online anyway, you will get 1-5% cash back on your purchase. You will also see coupons for Michaels in the app and sometimes sale items. The rate of the cash back varies. Ebates also has cashback for JoAnn.com, but if I’m shopping at JoAnn, I prefer using iBotta for in-store purchases to get the better deal, if I can get to the store.

Another way to save at Michaels is by looking for their clearance aisles. I usually find good yarn there, and recently, I scored some deals on the Loops and Threads Barcelona yarn, which is being discontinued. They were about 65% off the regular price. If your Michaels store is anything like mine, the clearance aisle is hidden away and you wouldn’t find it unless you ask – or you browse through every aisle. It is worth looking for the clearance rack!

Side tip: I’ve been told by several loom knitters that you can get good yarn at the Dollar Tree. I’ve seen people post about scoring Bernat blanket yarn there. I’ve never spotted any at mine, but I don’t know if they stock it in the big metro areas like Los Angeles and New York. It’s worth taking a look if you have one near you.

Once in a while, you can score yarn deals at Amazon, but I typically find better savings going to Michaels and JoAnn in person. One deal at Amazon I do recommend is their Darice Looms. You can get a good round loom set for $10-12 and I have seen them offer the really small flower looms for very cheap as well and they carry a set of Darice long looms, too. These looms are a great deal if you want to get started loom knitting and have a limited budget. You can make scarves, hats, and even blankets on them.

Where do you like to bargain shop? Do you have any tips for scoring deals at the major craft stores?

Fun with double knits

Photo by Venus – Adventures in Loom Knitting

Last weekend, I decided to try my first double-knit project. It is a double stockinette stitch (where both sides of the panel are knit (rather than having a knit on the front side and a purl on the back). The double stockinette looks like a zig-zag pattern on the loom where you zig-zag across in one direction and then zig-zag back in the other direction.

I used the anchor yarn cast on. I’ll have to neaten up the edge at the end.

Here is a link to the instructions for knitting the double stockinette on the Knitting Board website. I followed the stitch pattern from the book that came with my KB Loom Knitting Basics Kit. You can purchase this kit at Joann, Amazon, or the Knitting Board website. Or, if you’re an intermediate knitter and don’t need the book or accessories, you can purchase the 32-peg loom by itself from KB.

I’m nearly done with my scarf and so far, I really love double-knitting. The project comes out so clean and pretty and the stitches have a smooth, finished edge and seem to be very uniform.

Photo by Venus – Adventures in Loom Knitting

The scarf is made with one strand of Red Heart Super Saver Ombre (in Purple). I’d originally single-knitted a few rows with 2 strands of ombre yarn, but since the two skeins were starting with different shades of purple, I didn’t like the mixed color effect. Sometimes I love that, but for the scarf I was making, I really didn’t want it to have that speckled look that you get when you use two different colored strands as one.

I found the double-knit stockinette stitch to be very easy to do and I plan to make more projects with it. I also love my new KB 32-peg loom. It’s easy to hold in your hand and it’s small, so it’s a loom you can take with you anywhere. You can also make hats on it, but I haven’t tried that yet.

The scarf will probably be roughly 5 ft long when finished. I only have about a foot left to go!

Do you like double-knitting or single-knitting? Or does it depend on the project?