Is your yarn budget small (or nonexistent) these days? If so, I sure hope that won't stop you from crocheting. There are plenty of things other than yarn that you can use to crochet with -- and many of them are things you might already have on hand. You might be able to find some neat stuff to crochet with just by looking around in your closets, drawers and cupboards.
Even if you have plenty of yarn on hand, and plenty of cash to buy more, it can be interesting to shake things up a bit and try working with different materials.
Many of you have commented that you are already crocheting with innovative materials. For those of you who aren't, what are you waiting for? Why not give it a try?
Sooner or later, just about everyone ends up with stained / torn / outgrown clothing, worn out sheets, and textiles that just plain don't work any more for whatever purpose you originally needed them. If you have bunches of these old duds hanging around, here are some ideas for using them. You can crochet a variety of interesting projects using cut-up strips of fabric:
- Fabric necklaces -- These necklaces are a quick and easy introduction to fabric crochet. This is the lowest-commitment fabric crochet project I know of; if you think you might like this technique but you aren't sure you want to commit to a big project like a rag rug, try this necklace first.
- Rag bags -- You could crochet a pretty bag out of fabric scraps using any of these free patterns.
- Rag rugs -- If you're ready to try a larger, more substantial rag crochet project, these rag rugs are all fabulous.
You can crochet amazing jewelry using wire and other findings. Wire and jewelry supplies tend to be just as expensive as yarn is, but sometimes you can find cheap supplies at the 99 cent store. Or if you're really lucky, you might already have some wire hanging around in your garage; I liberated some that was in my DH's cabinet for use in a recent crochet project.
At any rate, at least you won't have to spend a bundle on patterns and instructions, because I've rounded up a bunch of free patterns you can use to try this.
Note that wire work can be really hard on your hands -- it's harder to work with than yarn is -- so please use caution and common sense when working with it. This is not something you want to risk doing if you are already coping with repetitive stress injuries or other problems of that ilk.