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Amy Solovay

Yarn Shopping - Where Do You Shop for Yarn?

By November 8, 2009

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Several days ago, I posted a yarn bargain alert letting you guys know about a deal I found on yarn. This post prompted a couple of interesting comments that I think are worth sharing.

Susan says:

I find oodles of yarn at second hand stores -- often bundled with someone's project -- usually a couple of inches long-I also find fine thread (20, 30, 50) that is in great condition. The harder the yarn/thread is to work with, the more likely it will get donated to a local thrift shop

Thread-lovers, take note! Perhaps you haven't thought of checking your local thrift store for threads and yarns. It's a bit hit or miss, but I've found some good yarn bargains at thrift stores too.

Morgen says:

Walmart closed all the local yarn shops and now is getting ready to stop carrying yarn. I don't shop there - haven't for many years because of this very behavior.

Hi Morgen, Thanks so much for the comment.

I can appreciate what you are saying. I never once in my life bought yarn from Walmart until I started designing crochet projects for About.com.

My own yarn stash mostly consists of vintage, luxury and handspun yarns. I would love to use them more often, but it poses problems. Most handspun yarns are made in small batches, and many are one-of-a-kind. If I were to use my handspun to create the projects for the free patterns I post, you guys would never be able to re-create the projects. (Or at least, not without some difficulty.)

Same with vintage yarns - some of them are really hard to find, and I don't think any of you would want to have to chase them down just to make a project.

Same with the luxury yarns I have in my stash. I have yarns collected from a lot of really fabulous places, and a lot of them I couldn't find again even if I wanted to buy more. So I know you wouldn't be able to find them, either.

So, when I design projects for you guys, I decided to do my yarn shopping at the places most people shop for supplies. Otherwise, I wouldn't be buying yarn at Walmart, either.

I am curious - where do you shop for yarn now? This question isn't just for Morgen - it's for all of you. I'd really like to do my best to design projects using supplies that all of you can find! Even those of you who do shop at Walmart - what will you do if they stop stocking it at your location?


November 8, 2009 at 9:31 pm
(1) Junie says:

I purchase yarn at second hand stores,garage and yard sales,dollar stores and anywhere else I can get it cheap then I donate Items that I crochet to needy

November 9, 2009 at 12:28 pm
(2) BJ says:

In our area the Fred Meyer stores have some basic yarn, It’s getting hard to find good basic yarn.

November 9, 2009 at 3:25 pm
(3) Robin says:

I’ve tightened my yarn-buying belt but when I do need yarn I am most likely to buy it at my local yarn stores. I want to support them so they can continue to provide me with products, services, classes, and a feeling of community. And a place to see and fondle samples of patterns. That said, if I want dishrag cotton I usually go to Michael’s.

November 9, 2009 at 4:41 pm
(4) Alice Schwartz says:

The best is A.C.Moore in Frederick,Md. and any other place they have a store.All yarns,cheap,mid price,expensive.The staff is ready to answer all questions. They now have earned points on a special A.C.Moore card.

November 9, 2009 at 5:37 pm
(5) Candy says:

The Wal-Mart here has greatly downsized their yarn inventory. Only one side of one aisle and one end cap of yarn now. Hobby Lobby is the other store here that sells yarn, but they tend to focus on their own brands. More and more of my yarn shopping is online now because the local choices are so few.

November 9, 2009 at 6:05 pm
(6) Marion says:

My purchases are usually at Wal-Mart as it is the only place I can buy yarn any where near where I live. Do purchase from JoAnnes & Michaels (as well as Dollar stores & Big lots when they have yarns) while visiting with my daughter. Have considered the internet, but hesitate because I like to see the actual colorways and feel the yarn. May take the plunge one of these days.

November 9, 2009 at 6:18 pm
(7) Amy says:

I buy yarn wherever it is on sale. I buy the fun fur stuff at Dollar Tree and Big Lots. It’s only a dollar at both places :) . Yard sales are also a great place to get yarn. You can pick up skeins for about a 50 cents each at yard sales. The variety isn’t always the best, but these are great for scarves & small projects. Or for my kids who are learning to crochet.

November 9, 2009 at 6:19 pm
(8) Yvonne says:

I have a local AC Moore as well. Also, I am a spinner, so I spin some of my own yarn. I have been crocheting more since spinning my own yarns, since single ply yarns work out fairly well for crocheting versus knitting, for knitting, single plied yarns tend to bias, especially if you use stockinette stitch.

November 9, 2009 at 9:41 pm
(9) Nita says:

I have most stopped shopping at local stores–Walmart, Joann’s, Michaels, because they seldom have anything I want. Walmart carries only RedHeart Pounders in Cherry Red, Soft Havy, White and Black. Joann’s will sometimes carry a color I’m looking for, but not often and then only in small 3.4 oz skeins, same with Michael’s. Online works better, most Herschnerr’s, always look at Smiley’s for sales and odd stuff. Have stopped trying to find interesting yarns, they are hard to find and rarely on sale. Being confined to a wheelchair makes the search even harder. Even Walmart seems to be squeezing out wheelchairs and canes with too narrow aisles.


November 9, 2009 at 10:04 pm
(10) Ann Jewell says:

I buy my yarn at Jo’ann’s or A. C. Moore I can’t afford yarn shops

November 10, 2009 at 5:49 am
(11) barb says:

big w is the place here in austalia for varigate 8ply. there normal 8ply is also great value for money.
if looking for 4ply baby wool, cant beat kmart.

November 10, 2009 at 9:46 am
(12) Arianna says:

I don’t do fancy projects, and thus don’t need fancy yarns…so I buy everything at craft stores (usually Hobby Lobby because I like their brand). I try to always use a coupon, however. Or watch for sales.
Recently I got a whole armload of funfur at 70 cents apiece when HL put their clearance yarn really cheap.

November 10, 2009 at 10:55 am
(13) Patty says:

I have used coupons, shopped at Michaels, Hobby Lobby (love their private label) and JoAnns. I also purchase at a local yarn shop and take classes too. They are very generous with their repeat customers and offer great advice with projects.

November 10, 2009 at 11:59 am
(14) Peg says:

I shop at a variety of places, but try to shop the sales.

Online, I use Smileys, elann.com, and WEBS (yarn.com). Elann often has bag sales and you can pick up some really high-end yarn for reasonable prices at WEBS closeouts. Love Smileys too–usually I go in with someone else to make the minimum order.

November 10, 2009 at 7:40 pm
(15) Pix says:

I buy yarn at yard & garage sales,estate sales,and flea markets. There’s nothing i like better than finding a good deal on yarn :)

November 10, 2009 at 7:42 pm
(16) Gina Williams says:

I am quite fortnate to have people donate yarn to me as my sister-in-law and i make hats and scarfs for the homeless and I also make items and give them out to clients of the local Food Bank

November 12, 2009 at 9:00 am
(17) Carrie says:

For every day run of the mill acrylics and cotton (Red Heart, Patons, Lion Brand, etc.) I go to Michael’s or Zellers . When it comes to superwash wool, silk, specialty blends, fingering (1) weight, lace weight, etc. then I go to my local yarn store. Altough, there are times when I’m looking for a special colour and that’s when I go to Herschnerrs (online).

November 12, 2009 at 4:28 pm
(18) Karin Roberts says:

Ben Franklin store in Reno is a good place for lots of yarn. I go there 2 times a year to visit my daughters.

November 12, 2009 at 4:46 pm
(19) Jan Clark says:

I get “free” yarn from donations to the local senior center. But most of my knitting and crocheting is for a group I belong to that knits/crochets/sews for charitable organizations in the area; this group accepts donations of enough yarn and fabric from individuals or stores, etc. to keep our group of 20 ladies busy all year.

November 12, 2009 at 7:43 pm
(20) Susan says:

Big Lots stores often carry Lion Brand yarns for as little as $1.50 a skein. I have found Watercolors and Chenille. The BEST store in the NY area is Smileys in Queens Borough. They have a great website too. Smileys.com. Once a year they load up a truck and have a sale in a hotel nearby. I take the day off and my sister and I stock up.

November 15, 2009 at 9:55 pm
(21) lanley says:

I’m fortunate to be in the NYC metro area & can make it do the Smiley’s hotel yarn sales. You can check out their internet sales, but I still prefer to touch the yarn. These are bargains, but closeouts, cash only & no returns

November 16, 2009 at 9:44 pm
(22) Cathy says:

More & more I try to look at what I have on hand when starting a new project. However, when I do need something specific, Mary Maxim is my favorite on-line shopping place. I find they have a wonderful selection at great prices. That is where I bought the yarn for my wedding dress a few years ago. I am always scoping out clearance offerings at Wal-mart as well but it is definitely not my first choice. That & Hobby Lobby are the only local offerings. Hobby Lobby usually only has their brand on sale lately, hence the looking at my stash for projects. Luckily, I have a nice variety collected over many years of crocheting.

November 17, 2009 at 4:41 am
(23) Cindy Peterson says:

I buy only Red Heart yarn because I have had the best luck with every project that I have made with that brand. I usually buy that at Wal-Mart. Sometimes I get it at Fred Meyer stores and Bi-Mart stores. I also get it over the internet. Our local drugstore carries Red Heart and are very nice about ordering for me when I cannot get it anywhere else.

November 17, 2009 at 9:28 am
(24) gam says:

I built up quite a stash early in this decade. Seldom purchase unless special project or 50% discount.

November 17, 2009 at 10:41 am
(25) Elaine says:

I buy my yarn whenever it is on sale if at all possible. Walmart and A.C. Moore are the best places around here to get yarn. A. C. Moore has a better selection. Michaels and JoAnn’s are more expensive.

November 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm
(26) BETTY JANE says:

I have bought yarn at Michael’s,Walmart and ACMoore;I am disappointed in Walmart and Michael’s;they don’t have much of a selection;ACMoore is the best.

November 18, 2009 at 4:08 am
(27) Frances Castillo says:

I buy my yarn at Walmart. They are 59 cents cheaper per skein of Red Heart yarn than Hobby Lobby is. I did notice that Hobby Lobby has a better and larger selection of yarns though.

November 30, 2009 at 7:10 am
(28) Gundosyhy says:

Aloha! kaf

February 2, 2011 at 10:05 pm
(29) Lydia Fitzgerald says:

I would love to crochet my own wedding dress. I think it would be so awesome and original. Definitely 1 of a kind. Do you know where I can find a pattern?

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