Online versus Local Yarn Shop

Well what can I say?

Someone has posted tips on how to buy yarn online.  To be honest, it reads more like a list of warnings!

  1.  poundsYarns are sometimes cheaper online- don’t be fooled into thinking that is always the case.  We have become programmed to believe that anything we buy online is cheaper than what we buy from bricks and mortar stores AND that small independants are always dearer.  The majority of yarn shop prices are comparable with online stores and sometimes will actually be cheaper.
  2. delivery truckBuying online you have to wait for the yarn to be delivered, yes the pro is that it comes straight to your door (assuming you are home when the delivery occurs) and you don’t have to brave the weather AND fresh air to get it.  I understand that for those living in remote areas this may be a bonus but for the majority of people a trip out is a pleasure and there’s no waiting for delivery, you get to take it home with you.
  3. For adIn store you get to not only see the colour but also to touch and feel the yarn.  I remember when I was younger all the yarn was kept in its packets behind the counter.  I had to ask for what I wanted and the store keeper would get it down for me to LOOK at.  I was discouraged from actually TOUCHING the yarn.  Thankfully these days are behind us.  I can now squidge to my heart’s content.  I can lay differing yarns side by side and make educated comparisons, I can even be tempted by something a bit different which may be better quality and even cheaper, just because it’s all visible at the same time.  Online I have to hope the colours are “true”, I have to hope the descriptions are accurate about how ” beautifully soft” the yarn is and I can’t have several balls side by side to compare colours etc.  I need to rely on my memory for fibre content, yardage etc as I travel from page to page.
  4. Yarns stores offer an abundance of extras that online shopping just can’t manage.  Help and advice being the main things.  “Will this yarn work instead?”  “Is this an easy pattern? ” “I’m not sure I understand the pattern”  These and many other questions are easily dealt with by your local store but you won’t be able to get pattern help from your online store or be able to discuss the various merits of the different yarns.
  5. Community – now for me, this is the biggest and most exciting part of a local yarn shop.  You can meet with like minded people who are enthusiastic about yarn and their craft.  Most will run workshops and groups where you can learn new skills, meet new people, make amazing friends and be encouraged.  On a daily basis I would say the main function of my particular shop is the community aspect.  People come and sit and chat.  They get help and offer help.  They enthuse and get enthusiastic.  They get tempted by new yarns and tempt others in return.

WeKnit cafe panoramicI won’t make a million in my little corner of Cornwall, but what I will make is friends.  I’ve met some wonderful and talented people, I’ve been encouraged and teased, I’ve had quiet days and hectic ones but above it all I get to share a passion for yarn, knitting and crochet and I get to help others.

If you worry about the demise of the “Wool shop” do something about it and shop local. Don’t be fooled into thinking prices are better online.  Come and have a squidge.  Come and make friends.




5 thoughts on “Online versus Local Yarn Shop

  1. I totally agree with all of this! I applaud you for writing it 🙂 The other day, the shop owner (Julie from the Wool Zone in Oakham), one of the her other customers and I were all bending down showing off our handmade socks to one another! Only knitters would do this! Great fun! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t have a yarn shop close to me. The closest one is an hour away, and while I do visit them- they are not close enough to visit on a regular basis. So for me- online shopping is a must. If it helps- a few of the places I shop ARE yarn shops- they just aren’t close to me.


    1. I realised that not everyone can visit a yarn shop but some people come into a shop, look around and then say they’ll go and buy online without realising that the yarn is probably cheaper in the shop. We’ve just got this mindset these days that online is cheaper. 😦


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