Do you feel like local yarn stores are just for knitters?

Local Yarn Stores (or LYS, as we say in the yarn world) are typically a heated topic among crocheters.

When I say LYS, I’m not taking about big commercial stores, with low-cost commercially made yarns. No, not those ones.

I mean small-business, small-batch and typically hand-made yarns with fibers like alpaca, angora, merino and yak!

Why?

Some crocheters say they don’t feel welcome, that their craft is not represented or served, or that they just don’t know enough about the yarns available in these shops. 

I tend to avoid saying I’m a crocheter until we’ve gotten to talking about whatever yarn I’m petting and what I’m thinking of making. It’s kind of fun to drop the, “oh no! I don’t knit!!” when I’ve been in the store for a while.

Christine Lynn

And some say they don’t understand the prices.

If I had to rely on my LYS to crochet I couldn’t afford to make more than a couple of hats a year. One of the things I love about crochet is there is not a huge prejudice against less expensive yarns the way there is in knitting.

Liz Wilhite

But, these local places can be an awesome resource, so I’m sharing 5 reasons crocheters should visit their LYS today:

1) Get help finding patterns

Ravely is a resource a lot of LYS use in their store, and they are typically available to help source patterns that can be used with a yarn you find.

If you buy yarn, use yarn, have yarn, and crochet, Ravelry is the place to be and it’s free to use!

And so, when you’re wandering around and find a yarn you can’t live without but don’t know what to do with, a quick Ravelry search can share project options for the exact quantity and type of yarn!

On my last LYS visit, I found a single hank of Madelinetosh Tosh DK yarn that I immediately liked!

What could I do with just one hank of this yarn though?

My LYS helped me out, and after a quick search we found over 200 project references that used just 1 hank of this exact yarn!

Check out my results here!

2) View yarn in person

Every LYS is different, and not all of them carry the same yarn brands and types.

You might find some well-known, commercial yarns like Rowan and Cascade, or popular brands like Malabrigo, Blue Moon, and Hedgehog Fibers to see what all the hype is about.

Many handmade / dyed / spun yarns (especially from regionally local artists) are exactly what you’ll see in most LYS. These yarns may only be available in small lots or as one of a kind options, and can be fun to try with a really special crochet project!

Visiting our LYS (A weavers yarn, Fairbanks AK) not only allows us to support their small business, but also other local yarn makers! They sell a variety of locally produced (small business) yarns.

Laurie Yuenger

LYS are inviting places with huge displays of yarns, projects and notions; they encourage browsing, questions, and conversations about yarn!

It’s okay to look around and just feel comfortable in the space, especially on your first visit.

3) Learn about fibers

You can’t adequately buy delicious food or aromatic perfume online, so why would you buy alpaca yarn for the first time online, without even touching it?

Just like food and perfume, yarn is a tactile product that is best experienced through sight and touch in person.

Your LYS is filled with YARN, and yarn experts who can teach you about the different fibers that yarn is made with – why they’re awesome, and what they can be best suited for! 

For example, alpaca fibers may be best suited for a hat or sweater because it’s soft, lightweight, warm and water resistant!

But, if you’re looking to crochet an afghan, you may be offered to try a blend (like wool and acrylic) for a cozy and durable feel at a reasonable price!

Whatever your yarn question, or project needs, your LYS will have resources and options for you!

You can also learn about yarn weights, types, colors and care in our Yarn course (part of the Crochet Membership)!

4) Get help with your project

If you’re stuck on a WIP, not sure how to approach a certain pattern, or want to learn a special crochet technique, your LYS may have help!

While some LYS may have limited crochet knowledge and resources, they are great local places to begin looking. 

For example, your LYS may know of other crocheters they can connect you with, or they may even be inclined to learn how to help you.

If enough crocheters ask for help, support and resources may be provided to them – supply and demand!

My LYS is Center of the Yarniverse and there were not many crocheters there at first but word has gotten out and Team Crochet has grown!

Christine Bush

5) Education and community

From workshops to lessons, and friendship to groups, your LYS is the perfect place to share your craft and make friends.

Just like our last point, resources for crocheters may be limited due to need, so don’t assume your LYS is only for knitters!

This past May for my birthday my husband took me to CeCe’s Wool Yarns and More in Guilderland NY. All their fiber come from local farms and mills. They offer spinning and knitting classes. The owner told me she is working on getting more crochet resources. Her sister worked up a gorgeous butterfly shawl that was on display in the store.

Dawn Castillo

In fact, you may be just the crocheter that your LYS needs to teach, start community groups, crochet workshops and more. 

Whether you’re asking for crochet help, or you ARE the crochet help, your LYS is a great meeting place, and opportunity!

Join our crochet instructor training program today!

Watch this episode of the Yarn Life Show with ACA founder Salena Baca and fellow yarn boss Jess Mason for more on this topic:

LYS are boutique establishments; displaying yarns and projects that will give their shoppers a great experience!

And so, these are fun places to browse with other fiber-loving friends; the more, the merrier!  

The Yarn Attic in Hillsborough, NJ is my go to LYS. Price points for all ranges. All types of bases. Notions. Incredibly nice and helpful staff. Many of their classes already focus on crochet. They don’t forget crochet kits either! Super cool yarnbombing at the store. They don’t leave anyone out. The LYS for everyone.

Jennifer Daro

Now that we’ve outlined a few reasons crocheters can use local yarn stores, do you feel more confident about going to one?

Click here to find a LYS near you!

Peace + Love + Crochet

Salena

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