If you follow my other blog: Deb's Crafts: Handicrafts for Charity, you know that I donate a lot of handmade stuff to various charities. One of the reasons I do it, is there's no limits, my family and friends may only need a limited amount of, say hats, but I can make as many as I want for various charities. I often do my research and development for my patterns this way, changing (and hopefully making them better) each a little bit until I come up with a whole new pattern.
I have to say that I am not a rich woman, in fact many would use the words "dead end" and "low paid" in conjunction with the word job to describe what I do. However, I love what I do, I take care of the elderly and get a lot of satisfaction from it.
So the question is, how can I afford the yarn, fabric and other supplies for my projects? I guess most of it would be considered recycled. I buy it at thrift stores, yard sales and resale shops. The one I like the best is Leftovers, Etc. that I mentioned before. I am careful about odors and such but I can get some great deals and it makes it possible to make a lot more than I could if I bought it new.
When you go "shopping" for supplies this way keep an open mind about what can be used. Other than the obvious fabric and skeins of yarn, look for curtains, sheets and even tablecloths in good shape that can be used for fabric. Knitted or crocheted afghans, sweaters, etc. can be unraveled and used again. Even worn chenille bedspreads and the like can be used for cute stuffed animals. Vinyl tablecloths can be used for the backing for changing pads and other things. Over sized adults clothing can be cut down. Old blue jeans have many uses. You just need to look around and use your imagination.