It’s important that we support our local yarn shops. They give us venues to get together physically rather than virtually with other fiber artists, they are sources for pattern advice and instruction, and their sales benefit our local economy. Alas, not all of us are fortunate enough to have yarn shops that are truly local - spending money for a full tank of gas instead of needles, yarn, books and notions isn’t quite “local”! Or maybe there’s a special yarn or needle that your LYS can’t or won’t carry. So who do you turn to after you’ve shopped your stash and the store in your town - or the next town- or the town your sister/parents/in-laws live in ?
I’ll get the yarn ball (which I wind from the center out; center-pull balls drive me nuts) rolling with a couple of mine. Some I’ve bought yarn from, some patterns/books/needles. So, in no particular order:
Wool & Company - https://www.woolandcompany.com
This is a brick and mortar store, based in St Charles, IL (Illinois knitters, help me here; I think that’s near Chicago?) with a fantastic website. W&C has a huge yarn etc selection (almost too big; it can take a while to download on a slow server). Photos of yarns and their colorways are big enough to see. Prices are good compared to many other sites. The site owner is very responsive and answers web-posed questions within a day if not sooner. There is a free ball-winding service (ordinarily, I like to wind my own skeins, but if it’s a tangly sort of fiber, I’d rather someone else deal with the challenge, so I can have more knitting time). I bought the Shibui Twig I’m using for a knitted top for myself from W&C.
Knit Circus - https://knitcircus.com - Ah, multi-colored, self-striping, spotted, variegated yarns here! Dare I call this site “yarn porn”? I’ve only knit five pair of socks in my multi-decade knitting life, but there are self-striping colorways here tempting me to maybe one day make another pair… though these are so pretty, I think I’d have to use them for mittens instead. The owner/designer/dyer offers some free patterns and some for sale. Yarn lovers in and near Madison, Wisconsin, you can actually drive to her newly-expanded shop! (The rest of us; hmmm; maybe take an empty suitcase, throw a couple of clothes changes and toothbrush in the car and take a trip?)
Jimmy Beans Wool - https://www.jimmybeanswool.com One of the first big Internet fiberista sites, and still imho, one of the best. Huge selection of manufacturers (including indie dyers), colorways, weights, needles, notions. Great, fast-loading photos. Some sales, and offers of discounts on future purchases based on previous purchases within a recent time (although imho other shops beat their prices because those “discounts” are built into listed prices). Still, if you’re trying to decide, for example what worsted weight, plied, super wash 100% wool yarn with a gauge of x and y in the “blue you love” choices there are, JBW is a good place to do a search with its Advance Yarn Search feature. Online question site exists, but it’s not as quickly responsive in my experience as W&C. Brick and mortar store is based in Reno, NV. Frankly, I’d definitely rather shop here than gamble at the casinos.
Webs - even older than JBW. Retail store is in Northampton MA. Huge variety of products. Fast-loading pages. I find their search feature not quite as user-friendly as JBW, but perhaps that’s just me. They offer their own yarn lines, which are competitively-priced and of good quality.
EatSleepKnit - eatsleepknit.com - Based in Dallas GA (an Atlanta suburb), ESK has a boutique selection of yarns. Photos are the best of all of the sites I’ve listed - the largest, and ESK takes care to post the photos of the dye lots they have, so you can see (very important with certain manufacturers, like the ones spelled “Malab&&go” and “Madelin&&osh”, whose dye lots vary widely).
So, I haven’t listed every place I’ve ever shopped (didn’t even reference etsy), but I have to go for an opthamologist’s appointment. Sunglasses for me the rest of the day.