Yarn from Candy Skein


There are many different places from which I buy my yarn. I buy some from my LYS sources. I always seek out the LYS of each place when I travel and get some there. I buy some yarn from yard sales and auctions. If I need cheap yarn I occasionally get it from a chain store like Michael’s or from the local dollar store (which is actually a $1.25 store here). I have been known to buy yarn from sellers at craft fairs and festivals. But my number one favorite place to buy yarn is online from indie sellers.

Buying yarn online isn’t everyone’s favorite choice. And there are definitely drawbacks. You can’t touch the yarn in advance, for example. And you can’t always be certain of the colorway since photos and computer monitors aren’t always accurate. But it remains my favorite way to buy yarn. Here’s why:

  • Lots and lots and lots of choices. I am lucky to live in a city that has multiple local yarn stores and each one offers different brands and types of yarn so it’s easy for me to find choices in the city. Nevertheless, there remains infinitely more yarn choices online than could be found locally. I enjoy being able to explore all of my different options online with no time pressure to make the purchase.
  • Less inclination to impulse buy. Although there are more choices for yarn online, I am less likely to get sucked into the impulse buy when shopping online. When I go into a great LYS I want a little bit of everything. There the choices overwhelm me because there are so many colors and displays and ideas popping into my head about what I can do with this and that. I am not sure when I’ll be back in the store so I impulse buy while I’m there. In contrast, I may get the same sort of inclination with all of those online yarn choices but it’s easier for me to resist the impulse buy. I can instead bookmark the pages for yarn I think I might want (sometimes I do this in regular bookmarks although I’m increasingly doing it using the Pinterest site). Then I can go back to them when I’m more clear headed and really ask myself if I want the yarn or not. As a result I am much less likely to regret an online yarn purchase than a local one.
  • Costs less. In general I find that it costs less for me to purchase my yarn online. This probably wouldn’t be true if I was someone who shopped at the cheaper chain stores for yarn and it’s not true in comparison to my dollar store / yard sale purchases. But in comparison to purchases made at the LYS, during travels or at festivals, buying yarn online is cheaper. The main reason is that I can do a cost comparison online between stores so that I can find the most affordable option of the yarn that I want. I find this more difficult to do in a store because the prices aren’t listed side by side and you have to factor in yardage, etc. It’s easier for me to do this at home in front of my computer. I also find that working with the same indie yarn sellers over and over again online exposes me to discounts, giveaways and deals that reduce the cost of my yarn purchases further.
  • Ease and joy of online purchasing. I admit that a main reason I enjoy buying yarn online is really just because I almost always prefer online shopping to in-store shopping. I’m not big on shopping in stores. I don’t like to trek from store to store to find what I want. I don’t always enjoy interacting with the salespeople at stores (which makes me sound much more anti-social than I am … it’s just that I like being left alone when making purchasing decisions but tend to get wrapped up in conversation with people at local stores). I like placing my order and having it arrive on my doorstep. I love getting mail that includes the surprise of something that I’ve ordered recently. I get excited all over again when it arrives.
  • Support indie sellers around the nation. Buying yarn from online indie sellers allows me to help support indie sales around the nation. It’s a cause I care about. I am able to help provide an income to people in both urban and rural areas who are doing something creative and crafty with their time. I like that. Admittedly I do think there’s also value in shopping local, so it’s a balance between the two on this one.
  • I get lots of really unique yarn. I tend to get the one-of-a-kind or less common colorways, providing me with yarn that is unique from what everyone else is using.

Buying yarn online isn’t right for everyone. It isn’t even always right for me. But it remains my favorite of all of my yarn buying options. Do you buy yarn online?


San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!

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