We all love stopping at our local yarn shop, we slowly move through the isles, touching the yarns, looking for the perfect colours and fibers – but if you know exactly what you want you can also find a wealth of yarn online. While you sacrifice being able to see and touch your purchase before making it, many stores selling yarn online will offer consistent sales, and every day savings on their products. Sometimes these savings can be considerably steeper than physically shopping at your local yarn shop. Online yarn websites also host many special sales for yarns that are discontinued, or just lines of yarn that they will no longer feature, which gives knitters a chance to collect products they won’t be able to get any longer for significant savings.
When shopping for yarn online you need to pay special attention to what you’re looking for in yarn, especially if you have a particular project in mind. While in the store you’re able to judge if the weight of yarn will be acceptable for your pattern, you can’t do the same when judging from pictures while shopping online for yarn, the facet of touch and texture isn’t available, making it even more important to be vigilant to the yarn weight called for.
Another important thing to pay attention to is yardage. There’s nothing more heart wrenching than realizing that the pattern you’re working on requires more yardage than you have available. It’s always better to have more yardage than you need, rather than less. A good rule of thumb to remember is always assume you’ll need at least 10 yards more than recommended. Everyone knits differently, and how tightly you knit will affect how much yardage you are using as well.
Here are some sites for finding quality yarn online:
Knit Picks – Knit Picks is a knitting website to not only find yarn, but to find a wealth of other resources, knitting patterns, needles, notions and other supplies, even knitting books and ebooks. The mission statement of Knit Picks is to provide luxury knitting at an affordable price, which is exactly what they do. The site offers an array of needles (from acrylic to birch wood), and an even larger selection of yarn. On the site you can even find kits that include patterns for lots of projects, from purses to knee-high socks. These kits include the yarn you’ll need for a given knitting pattern, and the pattern.
Ice Yarns – Ice Yarns is a knitting website intended for purchasing bulk yarn online. Based out of Turkey, a US resident can expect to pay at least fifteen US dollars in shipping, but the savings offered well makes up for the difference. You can purchase high quality yarn, such as cashmere and alpaca and many blends, for as low as .75 cents a hank.
One of the drawbacks of the site is that you are required to buy a “lot” of the yarn online, or 8 hanks at a time, and they cannot differ in color. But if you’re looking for a large amount of yarn for big projects, like blankets or bags, this site can be a lifesaver, offering significant savings, and large amounts of what you’re looking for. Ice Yarns also features extremely expedient shipping, and a lot of the time you’ll receive your order even sooner than you will from some US based companies.
Jimmy Beans Wool – Jimmy Beans Wool serves as an online vendor for many companies to sell yarn online. You can find yarns from Berroco, Churchmouse, and Cascade yarns, as well many others. Jimmy Beans Wool also sells needles and hooks from companies like Addi, Clover and Boye. You’ll find that many of the needle sets and yarns are offered for limited amounts of time, but are restocked at a later time, so it’s a good idea to visit the site from time to time if you’ve really been waiting to get savings on Addi needles, or natural fiber yarns online.
Knit Witts – Knit Witts, like many of the other sites listed, offers needles, knitting patterns and yarn. You can find a consistent sales bin with patterns and yarns and other products. The selection on Knit Witts is a bit more restrictive than the other sites, but you will still find plenty of quality yarn online here.
Shopping for online for yarn is convenient, cost effective, and for those without a specialty yarn shop near their home it’s the only way to get high quality yarns. A quick google search can lead you to many more online stores that may have certain yarns that other sites don’t, and even sites that are independent yarn spinners where you can find truly one-of-a-kind yarn online.