Our grannies may have knitted to save money, but these days a handmade sweater from a designer pattern with handspun yarn can run well into three figures. To make sure you're not dropping stitches after dropping all that dough, get to know the nice knitters working at PassionKnit in Snider Plaza. They'll start you out slowly then ease you into tougher patterns (though we'll never understand those Kaffe Fassett designs). Thursday nights you can join others for group knit-purl-gossip sessions. Besides picking up tips on the best needles (we prefer bamboo, which they sell here), you can often hear some of the best Highland Park hussy stories as you whip up that afghan. And stock up at the season-end sales, where the top-end yarns are marked down 30 to 40 percent.