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Favorite place to buy yarn?

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I pretty much agree with the comments on the LYSs.  I haven't been to many, because I crochet for charity, almost exclusively.  No!-Exclusively--because even when I make something that I get paid for, the money goes back into the yarn account for charity crocheting!  But the attitude I've gotten from the 5 or 6 LYSs that I've encountered have been the same--a little snooty, when they find out that I prefer to crochet!! (Before they find that out, they're fawning all over me!) What the heck is the difference?!  When I crochet, I have to buy more yarn--wouldn't they prefer that??  I know how to knit, but much prefer crocheting!  It's a right of ours to prefer one thing over the other, isn't it? We're in America!  So, I just avoid LYSs unless I really need a high quality/high priced yarn for something!

My favorite yarn store (the topic of this thread!), therefore, has to be JoAnn's--but preferably the ones in the bigger cities (more space--more variety!) We have one here in my fine city, but it is lacking somewhat in quantity and variety, due to its size.

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See that's the part I don't get.  Why would you care what I'm buying the yarn for?  As long as I'm a paying customer even if I just hoard it in my spare room why care?  Crochet or knitting you charge me the same price, so sell it to me with the same courtesy and politeness and answer my questions if you can and just be polite if you don't know because you know nothing about crochet. 

 

Honestly it wouldn't hurt to do some free research on crochet to be able to answer a few basic questions from those customers who do come in and have different craft needs than knitters.

 

This is supposed to be one of the beni's of going to an LYS over a box store, service.  I can't remember the last time I spoke with a clerk regarding product at one of the box stores I visit.  There are just too few available and I expect to do my own hunting when I'm there and know what I need, etc.  I've helped a few people who made the mistake of thinking there would be people to answer their questions and were new knitters/crocheters stuck in the aisles trying to figure out what to buy.  However, you don't find many people around to answer your questions when you go.

 

However, one of the advantages of an LYS is supposed to be customer service.  The people there are supposed to know fiber and be able to help you find what you need.  When they treat you badly, and have higher prices, it adds insult to injury.  I'm paying more and getting equally bad service.  At least in the box stores they just ignore you, they don't insult you.

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See that's the part I don't get.  Why would you care what I'm buying the yarn for?  As long as I'm a paying customer even if I just hoard it in my spare room why care?  Crochet or knitting you charge me the same price, so sell it to me with the same courtesy and politeness and answer my questions if you can and just be polite if you don't know because you know nothing about crochet. 

 

However, one of the advantages of an LYS is supposed to be customer service.  The people there are supposed to know fiber and be able to help you find what you need.  When they treat you badly, and have higher prices, it adds insult to injury.  I'm paying more and getting equally bad service.  At least in the box stores they just ignore you, they don't insult you.

 

I agree there is no justification for being rude to customers, making people feel unwelcome in a store.  No reason at all to not want to sell yarn for whatever purpose the buyer may put it to.  People who are treated rudely WILL find other places to shop, whether that's a different type of store or online, we have so many venues to choose from.  

 

I've had two LYS owners be negative.  One told me "you should knit, it's so much nicer" when I said I crocheted---I laughed at her, didn't buy anything, and haven't returned to the store. And one wanted to debate the merits of crochet versus knitting which is "so much more versatile".....she will also argue about how long it took me to drive to the store----I haven't completely ruled out going to her current store, but somehow just haven't been back for a couple of years.  

 

But most stores I have been to do not have the bad attitude and are welcoming of anyone who wants to buy yarn.  So I just hope that crocheters who have not yet been to an LYS will give it a try and not avoid LYS completely out of a fear that they will not be welcomed.  

 

I guess in my mind, by shopping at LYS I am helping in a small way to spread the message that LYS are missing out on sales if they don't cultivate the crocheting customer.  And when I do encounter a really crochet-positive shop, like my 2 favorites that I mentioned above,  I feel really motivated to support them.  It is a great feeling to walk into a small store with a friendly owner/staff, and be able to talk about the different yarns, or tools, and what you might crochet with them.  The yarns they find to stock are ones I would probably never try if I didn't see them in person, so it's like a treasure hunt.  I just hope that crocheters won't entirely give up on LYS because there are some great ones out there.  

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My problem with buying there is the price.  When comparing the skein size, the majority of their skeins are the same size as the average worsted acrylic, like LB's Vanna's Choice.  The price difference is an average of $20/skein compared to $5/skein (or $2.50 because of coupons.)  I know that the quality is better, but that's a HUGE difference to me. 

 

 

 

Are we talking apples to oranges here?  I've never seen worsted 100% acrylic priced at $20 a skein.  Do you remember what brand it was?  

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Are we talking apples to oranges here?  I've never seen worsted 100% acrylic priced at $20 a skein.  Do you remember what brand it was?  

I'll be honest the last time I was at a LYS store about 6 months ago and used the word acrylic I thought the woman would have heart failure.  I can't tell you what acrylic brands they stock because frankly they were quite insulting about the whole idea of acrylic yarn despite the cost, brand, or purpose for use of it.  They only wanted to discuss the natural fibers.  There are some who just feel acrylic is evil no matter what label you slap on it.

 

I've encountered some of the brands you listed before online because some of the patterns I've purchased have had certain requirements for X brand and the color can't be matched with an alternative cheaper acrylic so I will on occasionally go with it. 

 

I think it would be great if we could encourage people to be more crochet friendly.  However, I also don't want people to think it's personal.  You walk into a store, people are thrilled to see everyone but YOU, it feels ugly.  If you have a great experience with LYS stores, awesome.  Keep going and support that store.  If you get treated badly, don't take it personally.  You aren't alone.  Many of us have had that experience.  It doesn't mean you shouldn't try.  It just means be prepared.  There is one store in the area I haven't visited and I want to check it out.  Again, it would be much easier if I could by my light weight yarns locally rather than having to order online.  If it works out great, if not, I'm not going to be surprised.

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Are we talking apples to oranges here?  I've never seen worsted 100% acrylic priced at $20 a skein.  Do you remember what brand it was?  

 

None of the LYS in my area carry acrylic.  So, yes it is apples to oranges in comparison.  The only real comparison that I can make is that one LYS does carry sugar n cream cotton worsted for $3.50/ball.  The local AC Moore has the identical yarn for $1.49/ball and most weeks it's on sale for $1/ball.  Other than that cotton, the only yarn under $10 is an itty, bitty skein ... maybe 30-40 yards.  Everything else is $17.50-$23.50/skein.

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(re: crochet versus knitting)     Redrosesdz, I agree: you're absolutely right that was a small sample, and the difference of a few stitches on these swatches will compound to many inches on a big project.  

 

My point was to dispel is the myth that I've frequently seen on the internet that crochet uses 2x-3x more yarn (according to that theory, a 4 skein knit project would presumably require 8-12 skeins to crochet a comparable one).   I know you didn't mention specific numbers, but that myth is repeated so often I just wanted to clarify in case that's what you were hoping for.  I was trying to prove if that were true, you would expect the knit swatches to be 2x-3x longer than the crochet ones.  

 

In your stacking of coins analogy, the ratio of the difference never changes (if 1 penny is 2x taller than 1 dime, any number of stacked pennies will be always be 2x taller than the same number of dimes).  Measuring the area of the swatches, the biggest discrepancy was stockinette swatch is about 20% bigger than SC and 14% bigger than DC (but on the other side of the coin , DC goes 8% farther than SC or garter).  I don't believe that comparing, say, washcloth size swatches will make a huge difference.  

 

20% is still a big deal, though, no question!   More like, if a knit 'thing' takes 4 skeins, plan for a comparable crochet 'thing' to need 5-ish (not 8-12).

 

And not to dissuade anyone from knitting (and getting further off topic of yarn shops, sorry again) , but I was shocked to discover looking at these same sized swatches of SC and garter, garter took about 3x more stitches!  Maybe that's where the 'more yarn' myth came from; it apparently does take about 3x more yarn to make one SC stitch, but one SC stitch is must be about 3x bigger than 1 garter knit stitch.  Probably why a lot of crocheters think knitting seem "slow".   :think

Edited by Granny Square

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I got an email today from one of my 2 faves, reminding me of a sale.  Here is their web store, this isn't all their inventory but it gives you an idea of some of the acrylics they carry http://www.treasurechestyarnshop.com/apps/webstore/products?page=2   

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I guess I'm lucky.  I live within 45 minutes of three Joann stores, three Hobby Lobby stores and one Michael's.  My favorite is Joann, however, I've gotten some great buys at Michael's by watching their sales.  And within that 45 minute circle, Michael's has the better selection of yarns (I mainly use worsted weight).  My ultimate favorite Joann store is about an hour and a half away and I rarely get to go there, but every once in a blue moon I can convince my husband to stop when we're in that area.  Also, Joann's calendar has great coupons throughout this year!  My least favorite place to shop for yarn is Hobby Lobby.  I don't feel their sales are that great and they don't have much of a selection of American-made yarn (most of the yarns they carry are made in Turkey).   I prefer Red Heart Soft and Caron Simply Soft, which are both made in the United States.  I grew up in a union household (AFL-CIO) ... thirty years ago I was taught to look for the union label ... now you do well to find American-made products.  Nine times out of ten, I choose American-made when I have that option.  Like Oreos and Hershey bars ... I don't buy those anymore either.  Michael's and Joann often have Caron on sale for 2/$5.00 and I've found you spend more in gas trying to find a better price than that.

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I just saw today that Joann has a coupon code for free shipping on orders over $75.00.  Not the best yarn sale they've ever had, though.

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I rarely buy high end yarns....just not in my budget.  I do shop at big box stores like Walmart, Hobby Lobby and Joanne Fabric.  They offer a nice assortment of yarns both acrylic and natural fibers with varying levels of pricing.  Most of my projects are geared toward charities which requires a yarn be very washable and long wearing so I tend to use more acrylics than anything.  I still like to buy the occasional silk blend or alpaca blend skein for a special gift project then I usually shop the internet stores as there are no LYS's within a 60 mile radius of my location.  

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