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« Knitter's Rule #145: Always Have A Plan B | Main | Handknit Holidays - And Other Stuff »

October 15, 2005


Judi M.

What a great post! I agree. I agree. I agree.


I kept waiting for the rude part to show up! ;-)

I agree with you, although our small town of 20,000 has a pretty nice LYS, my *time* is so limited that i go to Joanns and Michaels 'cause i combine my shopping trips.

I think your destiny is to open that second LYS in Albuquerque . . . .

And i like what your doing with your "spice", going to get mine this weekend . . .

Joan Hamer

Very well said. I am much less inclined these days to spend $100 and more for a sweater. My disposable income has dropped since I retired but that thinking came way before that income was gone. It's almost a "price it high and they will buy" mentality now. I know where on line to get a good bang for my buck and do it regularly.


I also agree with you re: LYS. I ventured into my LYS recently and was not all that impressed. I love Elann, Knitpicks and Ebay. I've "subscribed via bloglines" to your blog and I enjoy seeing all of your projects.


Thanks, Judi - Glad I hit a chord!

Cec - You bet I'll open a LYS - the minute I win the lottery & can afford the overhead!

I'm with you, Joan. It amazes me what some people will buy simply because of the name & price. And you'll have a hard time convincing me that the quality is worth the extra $$!

Carolyn - Oops! I forgot to mention Knitpicks - glad you brought them up. :) That's another good source, for sure. And thanks for being a subscriber! I'm grateful for everyone who manages to plow through my posts. :)


Hear, hear!

We technically have 5 yarn shops in town. 2 are TEENY little things... when I have something in mind for a project, they usually do not carry it, although they do each carry some stuff I can't find in the bigger ones, and both of them are relatively close to me.

The other 3 are WAY across town... about a 40 minute drive. None of them are REALLY big, but they definitely trump the little ones by me on selection.

There are yarns I can't find at any of them (Koigu being the biggest one I desperately want to get my hands on, but there's others, too), and I have to know which store carries what generally, because none of them are big enough to carry everything the other ones do.

And, none of them have super prices or advertised sales that would really draw me there. I get so jealous when I hear of people hitting sales where they can get good yarns at reasonable prices.

I like the big box stores just fine, myself, although I find myself buying there less and less because they seem to have just 3 kinds of yarn... really cheap acrylics (I'm not totally against these... I just don't want clothing for me made out of them, so they don't always fit the bill), foo-foo yarn (SAVE THE MUPPETS, BOYCOTT FUN FUR!), and stuff I would like, but it's as expensive as what I'd find in specialty stores.

Online is usually my best bet.

Okay... I think I've rambled too much. On to my actual point...

While I do understand the idea of supporting small businesses, I do not find doing so more important than my ability to do my hobby while taking care of my family. If it costs too much, I just can't do it. It'd be nice to have all the disposable income in the world to only buy local and organic and support the mom&pop stores and all, but I don't have that kind of money, and frankly, I'd bet that's true of a majority of people.

 kathy b

Great post. The frugal Hungarian amongst the irisheyesknitters is always watching the bottom line. I am still buying most of my yarn from LYS , but I'm starting to look at other sources. I find your blog and others very helpful for these ebay etc suggestions.



When I just crocheted, I pretty much just used Red Heart, Lion Brand, and Patons yarns and was quite happy.

Then, I learned to knit and started using more expensive yarns. Now, I use whatever yarn I like and can afford since I don't have alot of disposable income.

I really like what Knit Picks is doing with nice yarn at a low price--makes you wonder why other places can't sell yarn cheaper.

The hoodies is cute.


There is absolutely a place in the world for both LYS's and big box stores/online shopping. I am lucky to live in an area with at least 4 local LYS's, several more within 30-45 minutes, a large fabric store with a LYS-like selection, and several Michaels', Joann's, and AC Moores (not sure which of these you have, but all are similar to Hobby Lobby, I think).

I have made sweaters with both Noro Kureyon and Cotton Ease found at Building 19 for $1.39/ball. I've made $20 Koigu socks and mittens with inexpensive wool/acrylic blends.

Sometimes, I want the luxury of a particular fiber or the experience of shopping in a well-designed store with friendly owners and employees.

Sometimes, I just want to knit a fun pattern for cheap!

It's a shame that the writer of your article can't understand that some people knit for the experience and need the low prices not offered at most LYS's. Or that sometimes, the higher prices simply aren't worth it.

However, for beginners, LYS's can be a great resource not found at big box stores.

We need both:)


Leisel - precisely. The higher-end yarns are priced out of the reach of some average knitters. And how intimidating is it for a beginner knitter, wanting to go beyond scarves, to find that sweater yarn will set her/him back $120??? I'm hoping the feeding frenzy dies down a bit & LYS's are able to lower prices.

Hi Kathy - thanks for dropping by. :) Definitely check out other sources - surely a happy medium can be reached. Supporting small businesses AND enjoying a hobby without breaking the bank!

Yep, Vera- Knitpicks took a chance and I'll be it utimately pays off for them. Now - if only they'd expand their color palette!

The hoodie is a super fast crochet piece - I'm still not convinced that a zipper will be the right closure. We'll see!

Danielle - Exactly. I agree there's a place for both - I just resent those who try to put ME in a place. I felt this woman was saying, "Real knitters shop primarily at LYS's." Which is akin to saying, "Real women cook & make babies." It just ain't so. ;)


I have very little diposable income and, until very recently, my yarn has come from clearance sales and odd lots. Knitpicks has changed that some and I'm morbidly grateful for a yarn source that doesn't cost an arm and a leg and a belly-button :)

As for th "box" stores, well they're also bginning to charge yarn store prices for stuff. However, I can still get LionBrands Fisherman's wool (a decent, workhorse type worsted) for $5.99 at A.C. Moore - that's for an 8 oz skein...erm...227 grams. Not too shabby :)


And to think I thought Albequerque would be a hotbed of great yarn shops. Actually my town is the best ever...7 shops of varying degrees, with Threadbear being one of them. TB has everything...the help, the hangout, the high-priced stuff, and lots of reasonable stuff too. I'm very lucky. But well-stated post Bron. 25 sweaters a year!!! You are a knitting machine!


Robbyn - so true. That's a point I didn't bring up in my post: places like Hobby Lobby starting to charge $10.00/skein for their "house" brand yarns. I think it's a very poor business decision and hope that they come to their senses soon. Of course, if people refuse to buy the stuff, that should make 'em take notice!

Sharon - Thanks. :) So much depends on where you live & how the LYS is run. So it's even more insulting when someone (like the Editor) assumes everyone MUST patronize LYS's to be a conscientious knitter. LOL - yep - I'm a knitting machine. Heaven help me if I every GET a knitting machine! The cat & dog will each have a wardrobe of sweaters...and they'll finally haul me off to the loony bin. :::grin:::


Bron, I totally agree I consider myself to still be a beginner and I find that going into LYS that they are usually stand-offish and not very helpful. Needless to say I taught myself to knit and use the web and the chain stores the most to get my yarn for knitting and crocheting. I also find that the web stores, when you call to speak with them regarding the yarn are extremely nice and personable. Good for you for your great rant.



Thanks, Yvonne. :) It's strange, isn't it, how customer service for online stores can be so much better than face to face? I'm quite happy with mail-order & don't see that changing in the near future!


This is when I get to feel really really lucky to live in Portland, right? I just tallied it up and we have about 20 LYSes in the metro area, and I know there are 1 or 2 more, at least, preparing to open. It's not likely that they'll all stick around, but I'll keep enjoying it while I can. =)

However, even with our glut of yarn stores, I still buy a majority of my yarn online. I pretty much never buy more than 1-2 skeins of anything that isn't on sale at an actual store... I just can't afford to. It's nice to go check things out and fondle the yarn in person, though!

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