Day 27: How do you acquire most of yarn? Online retailers, local yarn shops, swaps, or large chain craft stores? What’s your favorite?

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I have gotten my yarn from several different places in different parts of my life. When I was younger and didn’t have a debit card, I mostly got my yarn from big box stores like AC Moore, Michaels, and Wal-Mart (when Wal-Mart still carried a good selection of yarn). Even when I didn’t knit I always liked looking at all of the balls of yarn displayed in all the different colors. I always wanted to buy them and take them home, which is probably why mom tried to teach me how to crochet so she could get me a ball of yarn and I would actually use it instead of hording it.

I didn’t really discover online retailers and local yarn stores until high school when knitting started to get really popular again around 2007. This is where the bulk of my yarn came from. The first online retailer that I discovered was Knit Picks, so they have a special place in my heart. That was where I discovered that there was actually different types of yarn and not just acrylic and cotton. I got introduced to wool, alpaca, and linen. I have a bunch of good memories of Knit Picks and they are still one of my favorite yarn companies to buy from. My second favorite online retailer is the Loopy Ewe. They are really, really fantastic and they have really fantastic customer service. They also have a brick and mortar store that I would love to go to and actually meet Sheri and the group of people that work there, but they make me feel like family even though I am halfway across the United States. And my third favorite online retailer is Cotton Clouds where I got most of my information about cotton and cotton spinning because I apparently like a challenge.

Of course, another favorite place of mine to shop for yarn is Etsy. You can always find a bunch of smaller stores that have really fantastic themed yarns. It is a great place to find wild and heavily variegated yarns, but you shouldn’t go in looking for a specific solid color because most indie dyers don’t do solid colors.

For choice, my favorite way to buy yarn is online, but I would love to find a really good local yarn store that carries lots of sock yarn in solid, variegated, gradiated, and self-striping. I know, I don’t ask for much, but that would be a dream to find! Then I could actually see the color in person and feel how soft it was or how durable it was before buying. But, until then, I will just have to stay with my online yarn stores.