What on-line yarn shops are your favorites- and why?

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.

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I have used Paradise Fibers many times. It is a family owned business and they ship as soon as I order. More often than not I have my order the next day! Great prices, too.

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Thanks for the list of websites and descriptions. I’ve never heard of some of these, but I will check them out. I have ordered yarn from JimmyBeansWool, KnitPicks, Etsy and LoveCrafts. I prefer natural fibers, but when I want an inexpensive quality acrylic, Paintbox Yarns from LoveCrafts is where I go. Sooooo many colors and multiple yarn weights. But I do prefer buying yarn when I can touch it first. I’ve been disappointed buying online several times. And sometimes pleasantly surprised. It’s always a gamble when trying a new yarn.

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I have ordered from Webs the most. I find it has the largest selection, although I have a huge stash of indie dyed yarns that I use the most. When I’m in the Phoenix area the shops that are left are at lease a 45 minute expressway drive from me so I tend to order online. When I’m back in Michigan I support the shop, Spun, in Ann Arbor. It has a fabulous selection of indie yarns and good quality commercial yarns.

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Little Knits is a good online place to shop: https://littleknits.com/
They have frequent sales and offer some good discounts when buying ‘by the bag’. I have bought a lot of Cascade 220 & some Noro from them and have not gotten a bad ball/skein/hank yet.

Knitting Warehouse is pretty good too: https://www.knitting-warehouse.com/

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The problem of buying an unknown yarn can be ameliorated, I hope, by this website! Folks can ask their fellow members, “Have you used Xyarn? What for? What did you think of it?”

Jimmy Beans Wool and Webs encourage users to post yarn comments. Those postings can be helpful too.

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I adore www.missbabs.com. I have been buying from her for 13 years. My main buys are from her destash page and her annual sale that starts on Christmas Day. My favorite yarn from her is Yowza. I am happy she resumed fiber dyeing after a hiatus for several years. Her prices are higher than what I like to spend, so I use it for heirloom gift knits…special stuff. Only last year did I finally knit myself something large with her yarn. Now I am planning a sweater. Time to pamper me. :heart_eyes:

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Most often I order from KnitPicks, Little Knits, and Amazon (yes I have had good success ordering yarn from there), but sometimes I see something I like online and call my favorite non-local yarn store which is two hours away, and order from them.

It’s called Angelika’s and here is their link; https://yarn-store.com/. They are FAB-u lous! Great service, friendly and fast!! Do go by if you’re in the area (Independence, MO, very close to the Truman Library).

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I’m lucky enough to live about an hour from KnitCircus. It’s a truly wonderful store with a calm, welcoming atmosphere, helpful, engaged staff, and gorgeous yarns dyed on a variety of bases. And the store is crochet-friendly!

I’ve found the online photos to be very true to the real-life color of the yarn. So if you can’t visit the store, order with confidence!

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I bought some Miss Babs BFL roving in the Blue Ridge Mountain colorway, when I want to SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Festival), gosh, I think that was in 2016. I spun it and knit a poncho of my own design, using some stitch patterns from 250 Japanese Knitting Stitch Patterns book.

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I love Laughing Hens when I can’t get to my local shop.

I love the fact that when you browse the patterns books you can see ever single pattern in it and each pattern has a page with all the relevant yarn, needles and extras needed listed at the bottom ready to buy if needed. It makes it super easy to see what you’re getting and what yarn / needles you need if you don’t have them already.

The downside is it is too easy to spend money on there because of this! There are lots of free patterns on there too though.

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I’ve ordered from Paradise Fibers also. One time I had a few questions so I called them and had great customer service. They have good sales. I bought my interchangeable needles from them during a sale. I think I got 20% off. They also give reward points.

I’ve also bought European sock yarn on ebay from German sellers.

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I live in Tulsa, OK, and there is a GREAT yarn shop here, that has a really good online presence, two or three monthly or quarterly clubs, and great interviews with famous designers around the world.

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To answer your question - Wool & Co., in St. Charles, is about 1.5 hours west of Chicago. It’s about 50 minutes north of me. I’ve heard it’s a nice store but I’ve never driven up there. I really like to know facts about a yarn before buying - not just how it feels. I really liked looking up yarns on R’s database and reading the comments. I knit a lot of socks and always enjoyed reading yarn comments from other sock knitters. It would be a great feature to have a yarn section that allows user comments and does not allow the yarn company to delete comments. I heard that was happening on R.

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I usually order from Knit Picks. My LYS is about 45 minutes away. Friends and Fiberworks is a nice shop. For me, success is about 50/50 in finding yarn. The staff are very helpful.

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Thank you for this extremely detailed guide! I’ll definitely be checking some of those out!

I bought some Yowza from her several years ago at Rheinbeck, having never heard of her before. I bought enough for a sweater but have been holding on to it until I have become more consistent with my gauge, which I fear may not be until my next lifetime.


I’m loving this yarn Seacoast fingering from Expressions Fiber Art :blush:One of my current WIPs :slight_smile:

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Oh. My. Gosh. I see what you mean!

I was going to go to sleep - but now I’m going to have to stay up and LOOK. What a splendid website! It wouldn’t be environmentally friendly for me to order yarn from LH, but I wouldn’t feel guilty about purchasing a downloadable pattern.

Thank you for posting this link!

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The Loopy Ewe has a great selection of Indie Dyed Yarn and excellent customer service. My order normally ships the day I order it and I have gotten emails when two skeins of indie dyed don’t match well to see if I want to cancel my order.

For domestically grown and milled yarn (US), I love Quince and Co and Barrett Wool
http://quinceandco.com/

For gradient yarn, I like Twisted Fiber Art. They also dye self striping yarn and coordinating skeins to match the end colors of the gradient. They dye to order, so it can take a while to get your yarn. They also rotate the colors they dye, so not all colors are available all the time.
https://www.twistedfiberart.com/default.asp

I love Julie Spins for both Fiber and yarn. She has some amazing colors, but does not have repeatable colors, so if you see one you love, you need to buy it. Her fiber is always easy to spin and she has some unique blends.

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