Thursday, December 27, 2012

LYS....can be a dirty word

When I first started knitting, I purchased my yarn at chain stores like Michaels, Joanns, WalMart...etc.  Now there is nothing wrong with the yarn purchased in these stores.  And I was content to stock my stash from the lovelies found on their shelf.

But hanging out with a bunch of enabling yarn lovers (yes my lovely ladies of the Wednesday night knitting and crochet group, I am referring to you), I soon learned a new dangerous term....LYS, short for Local Yarn Store.  Yup as whole store for yarn.  Well most have other fiber related goodies, but yarn is the star of the show. And the yarn, well you don't get these goods at the big box chain stores.

Now I'm not a yarn snob, and the yarn in the chain stores has a happy home in my hoard stash cabinet.  But the first time I visited a Local Yarn Store, I lost my ever-loving mind.   My oh my....who knew such lushness  could be found stocked is these small retail locations.  I'd done some web surfing and even jumped out on a limb and made a couple of on-line purchases.  But there is nothing like stepping into a brick and mortar  yarn shop.  The colors and textures sweep you and your wallet up into a euphoric a good way...I think.

The good....hands on interaction with lots of fiber goodies.  I mean really, there may be something very wrong with fiber lovers, the way we moan and sigh as we touch and pet a skein of yarn.  In a yarn store, such behavior is overlooked. If we did this on the street, people would likely give us a wide berth.

The least for me...there is no calculator automatically keeping a running total of purchases.  Talking about sticker shock when my total gets rung up.

So how does one go about finding and LYSs in the area:

1.  Enablers....join a knitting or crochet group and I guarantee, they'll help you out there (see paragraph 2 for an example)
2.  The a search of "local yarn store".  You can limit the search to your area or do a city, state, country or global search.  Google, yahoo, yelp and other such sites are great ways to locate LYSs
3. Ravelry.....the mecca of yarn related arts.  Yup you'll find out about yarn shops there...but be warned, once you get into Ravelry, you can't get out :)
4. Smart phone  There are a number of LYS related apps for both Android and iphone. I am not sure about Windows phones, since it's been eons since I've played around with one of these.
5. Old fashioned yellow pages...I guess you could use this.  But since it's been eons since I've used them, I'd probably have to use the internet to look up tips on how to use the yellow pages.  Sad, I know.

In some upcoming posts, I'll talk about some of the LYSs that I've had the pleasure of visiting. I'll also talk about LYS crawls.  OMG....what's more fun than visiting yarn stores...taking a friend or friends and hopping to several in a day!


  1. Well at least you didn't name names --- this time. And 95% of my fiber purchases are done on-line so I'm not the one who hooked you on LYS. I will, however, look forward to your reviews and see if we agree or disagree.

    Happy knitting or crocheting or....

  2. Oh don't you worry Gail...I'll get around to your enabling tendencies. Fiber...spinning...alpaca...hello :)