Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Yarn Basics: Yarn Stores

There are a variety of stores, both online and offline, that sell yarn and other knitting accessories. In this article, different types of yarn stores will be discussed, including major retail chains, local yarn shops (LYS), online retailers, and the unexpected places.

School Products

Retail chains

There are many large retail chains that either specialize in yarn and crafting supplies, or carry a diverse amount of them. These are usually multi-state stores such as WalMart, Joann's Fabrics, Michael's Crafts, A.C. Moore, Hobby Lobby, and Ben Franklin. These stores generally have sales/coupons advertised online, and specialty coupons sent via email or regular mail if you sign up for their newsletter. Prices can vary as well as selection. Most craft stores carry a variety of brand name yarns as well as accessories such as knitting needles and stitch holders. You can order online or visit them in their store.

The Point

Local yarn shops (LYS)

Local yarn shops are a wonderful way to get more up close and personal with a range of higher quality yarns. These shops are generally locally owned and run and can provide a more intimate purchasing experience. While the yarns can be more expensive, they are generally more luxuriant and made with much higher quality materials than you will find in general retail chain craft stores. These stores also have knitting accessories, some handmade. These can be harder to find, but check your local telephone directory for information on these local treasures.

Anneke's Needleworks

Online retailers

There are too many of these to name, and many are so amazing! There are the yarn brand websites, such as Red Heart, Bernat's, Caron, Patons, and Lion Brand. There are also online versions of local yarn shops such as Ice, Herrschners, Annie's Attic, Knit Picks, Knitting Warehouse, Smiley's Yarns, WEBS, and Deramores. There are also a large amount of exceptionally talented individual retailers who spin and dye their own handpainted yarns. These you can find by searching such places as Etsy, Ebay, ArtFire, and Ravelry. A large number of online groups for knitting, yarn, spinning, and dyeing exist as well. You can search these types of groups to find individuals who sell yarn.

Unexpected Places

A few places that are unexpected can often lead to the cheapest yarn! Be sure to check places such as your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other second-hand stores frequently, as they tend to have large lots or bags of yarn very inexpensively. Sometimes they will not have labels though, so it can be a grab bag. Other good places to look for yarn are estate sales, garage sales, classified ads, and places such as Craigslist for your area.

This is an overview of various places that yarn can be purchased. The stores listed are merely examples, and this is not an exhaustive list. Use search engines to your advantage to find amazing yarns and as always, enjoy!

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