#Crochet #TipsTuesday: How To Find Great Yarn Stores on Your Next Trip

How to find great #yarn stores on your next trip | #TipsTuesday on Underground Crafter #crochet #knittingBack in March, I traveled to Atlanta for work. I got into town a bit early, so I had the chance to visit a local yarn shop, Needle Nook.

My haul from Atlanta. | How to find great #yarn stores on your next trip | #TipsTuesday on Underground Crafter #crochet #knitting
My haul from Atlanta.

My journey on public transportation from the hotel took a bit longer than I planned, but the woman was kind enough to let me in although the store had just closed. I discovered a beautiful regional yarn, Sprout by The Fiber Seed, and I also picked up a finger stitch counter. (The buttons are from the Tuesday Morning located in the same strip mall.) Outside of the shop, I started chatting with a local customer and she showed me some stunning projects she had just finished.


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This experience is just one of many great ones I’ve had while traveling, so in this post, I’m sharing 6 ways to find yarn stores while on vacation or trips for work.

Craftsy

But first, why visit yarn shops while you’re traveling?

Besides the fact that you can (almost) never have too much yarn? There are so many reasons to visit local yarn shops away from home, but here are some of my favorites.

  • You can discover yarns that aren’t available in your local area. Ask if the shop has a section for local or regional yarns, or if they have any exclusive colorways. Then you can get a souvenir while adding to your stash!
  • You can meet local crocheters and knitters. Locals can share suggestions that can help you with the rest of your trip, including advice on restaurants, attractions, or events.
  • You can visit neighborhoods you might have otherwise missed. Some yarn shops are off the beaten path for tourists, so you’ll get the chance to see parts of the area that wouldn’t have otherwise been on your itinerary.
  • You can contribute to the local economy. You can support the communities you travel to by shopping at small businesses.
  • You can have fun. Because it’s a yarn shop!
  • You can bring friends or spend time alone. If you’re shopping with other crocheters or knitters, a trip to a yarn shop can be a great bonding experience. If you need a break from your travel companions, you can tell them to enjoy their favorite hobbies while you check out local yarn shops.

Now that you’re convinced, here are 6 ways to find great yarn stores while traveling.

ILK 300x250b February 2016 BannersDo some research before leaving home

If you have the time, doing some research up front can help you plan your trip and give you a head start on making new friends. It can also help you separate the subpar yarn shops from the great ones so you don’t waste your time. Here are 4 ways you can do some research before you start your trip.

  • Ask in Facebook groups. If you’re in crochet or knitting groups on Facebook, mention that you’ll be traveling and ask members for suggestions for the best yarn shops in the area.
  • Find local Ravelry groups. Click on the groups tab and either search for the name of the place you’ll be visiting or browse local groups.

How to find great #yarn stores on your next trip | #TipsTuesday on Underground Crafter #crochet #knitting

Groups in large metropolitan areas may already have a list of suggestions posted, like this one posted in the New York City Knitters Ravelry group.

How to find great #yarn stores on your next trip | #TipsTuesday on Underground Crafter #crochet #knitting

If not, you can start a new thread asking for recommendations.

  • Use hashtags on Instagram or Twitter. If you’re active on Instagram or Twitter, ask about #yarn shops and be sure to use popular hashtags for place you’ll be visiting. You can also tag any locals you know already, or the local tourism office.
  • Ask your favorite crochet and knitting authors, bloggers, YouTubers, etc. If your favorites live in an area where you plan to visit, ask for recommendations. Some bloggers even have a list of favorite local yarn shops already, like my Visitor’s Guide to New York City Yarn Shops.

Keep in mind internet safety as you ask for suggestions. It’s probably not a good idea to announce to everyone on Facebook the exact dates when you won’t be home, but it’s probably alright to ask, “I’ll be in Salt Lake City in April. Do you have a favorite local yarn shops to recommend?”

If you don’t have time for research before your trip

Don’t despair if you got wrapped up in life before your trip. Once you get to your destination, here are two ways to get fast results.

  • Do a quick web search. Type “best yarn shops in DESTINATION” into your favorite search engine.
  • Use YarnPlaces. YarnPlaces is a website that helps you “find places and events related to knitting and crochet.” You can search for yarn shops, fiber farms, fiber mills, events, and more. You can learn more about YarnPlaces in this interview with its founder, Cindy. KnitMap and the Daily Knitter Yarn Shop Locator have similar search features.

For best results, click through to the store and call to verify the hours before you head over!

What are your favorite ways to discover new yarn shops when traveling?

Favorite Online Crochet Resources: Tips and Tricks from FreshStitches

Every Saturday during National Crochet Month 2013, I’ll be highlighting one of my favorite online crochet resources.  Today’s featured site is FreshStitches, my favorite source of tips and tricks for crochet and small (crafty) business.

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I’m a huge fan of Stacey Trock, also known as FreshStitches.  I had the pleasure of interviewing her and participating in her blog tour for Crocheted Softies: 18 Adorable Animals from Around the World back in 2011.  I also had a blast working up my very first knitting pattern as part of her Knit and Crochet Design Week in 2012.  And I even made a rough and tumble version of her Lala the Panda pattern for my pre-school aged cousin.

 

FreshStitches

 

Stacey’s blog is filled with wonderful pictures.  For amigurumi fans, there is a lot to enjoy as Stacey shares projects from her own patterns as well as tips and customer projects from CALs that she hosts.  And Stacey also shares her own projects, which include a range of crocheted and knit garments and accessories.

But the main reason I’m highlighting her blog today is because of the regular tips and tricks that Stacey shares with her readers.  Here are a few of my favorites for yarn crafts in general:

And a few of my favorites for crochet amigurumi:

This was tough!  Stacey has a lot of great amigurumi tips and tutorials to choose from on her blog.

Although she is an extremely busy lady with an active Facebook page and Ravelry group, classes on Craftsy, and is prepping for the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival next weekend, among other things, Stacey had a few minutes to answer some NatCroMo13 questions.
Underground Crafter (UC): Can you share a favorite crochet project with us?

Stacey: Oh, I don’t know if I could really pick a favorite, but I’ll pick a nice one…

From the time I was 12 years old, I entered my crochet in the county fair every summer. It was a lot of fun, and I really liked getting ribbons.

Then, when I was 17, I was waiting in line to submit my crochet pieces for the year. A supervisor came up to me and said that my work was so lovely… and asked if I wanted to do a demonstration!

I couldn’t believe it, I was so excited! So, I got booked in for a timeslot, and I spent a few hours crocheting at the fair.

I think it was the first time that I viewed my crocheting as something exciting and interesting. Before then, I just thought of it as something my mom and I did… it never occurred to me that other people didn’t!

Stacey Trock.
Stacey Trock demonstrating crochet at the county fair.

UC: What are your favorite types of crochet projects to make?

Stacey: I love making stuffed animals. They’re cute, they’re quick, and they make use of the best properties of crochet fabric. They benefit from the density that a crochet stitch can provide.

UC: What are your favorite websites for crochet-related content and community?
I’m in love with Ravelry. I spend a lot of time chatting in the forums, there!  I also love Kathryn Vercillo’s blog.  It’s full of really great crochet content & trends.  (UC comment: I guess great minds think alike because I highlighted Crochet Concupiscence last week as my favorite source of crochet news!)

 

Thanks Stacey, for stopping by, and for providing such wonderful content on your blog!

Favorite Online Crochet Resources: News with Crochet Concupiscence

Every Saturday during National Crochet Month 2013, I’ll be highlighting one of my favorite online crochet resources.  Today’s featured site is Crochet Concupiscence, my favorite source of crochet-related news.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Kathryn Vercillo‘s blog, Crochet Concupiscence.  I’ve interviewed Kathryn twice on my blog (here and here), and I’ve previously described Crochet Concupiscence this way:

It is sort of like the USA Today of crochet blogs – a roundup of everything going on in the crochet world, plus Kathryn’s personal projects – but with much better/more engaging writing.

Crochet Concupiscence logo

It’s because of that combination – Kathryn’s tireless efforts at gathering crochet news along with the quality of her writing – that I find myself returning to her blog again and again.  I always discover new blogs through Kathryn’s weekly Crochet Link Love on Saturdays, and I also love her vintage crochet discoveries (which can be found in her new 50 Years of Crochet feature and her series on Edgy 1970s Crochet Designers).

Although Kathryn’s a busy lady – she maintains three different blogs, writes books, and is organizing a multimedia project to teach people to use crochet to improve their overall wellness –  she took some time to answer a few NatCroMo13 questions.

Kathryn Vercillo

Underground Crafter (UC): What’s your favorite crochet memory?

Kathryn: My sister and I sometimes crochet together when she is here. I remember one time that she came here and we had a fire going in the fireplace and I was working on my crochet work while she was reading out loud to me by the light of the fire. It felt like I was part of an amazing 19th century novel.

 

UC: What are your favorite types of projects to crochet?  

Kathryn: This varies so much depending on my mood. Crochet can serve so many different emotional needs! Lately I’ve been in a complicated emotional space in both my personal and professional lives and as a result I’ve been drawn to really simple, instant gratification projects that offer the opportunity to focus and go inwards. For example, I’ve been crocheting a lot of post stitch and cable stitch crochet hat patterns because I can follow the pattern, focus on the work at hand and kind of let everything else slip away but the project is never so complicated that it feels draining or trying.  (UC comment: I love to make granny squares when I’m stressed out, for the same reason!)

 

UC: What are your favorite crochet websites?  

Kathryn: It’s so hard to choose just a few websites. That’s why I do crochet link love every week, to link to all of the best crochet content from around the web because there is so much of it and the sources change from week to week! I like Pinterest for finding crochet inspiration, Ravelry for finding patterns and I’m learning to like the Facebook crochet community although the Facebook platform has taken me some getting used to. (UC comment: Kathryn frequently shares a crochet question of the day on her Facebook page and it’s very fun to play along!)  I’m increasingly interested in Twitter chats and hangouts where you can connect with a smaller group of people in real time but there are only a handful of those; I’d like to get more involved in that.

UC: You’re a very organized blogger.  Can you share your current blog schedule with us?

Kathryn: My current posting schedule varies depending on what’s in the news but you can usually count on these things:
  • Crochet artist profiles on Mondays
  • My new 50 Years of Crochet History posts on Wednesdays (starting with crochet in the 1930s)
  • Designer crochet or crochet fashion posts on Thursdays
  • Something about crochet health or crocheting for creativity on Fridays
Then throughout the week some of the other things that I feature include crochet news, roundups of crochet pattern links, and info on crochet designers. Occasionally I’ll do crochet book reviews or giveaways. I’ve also just started accepting crochet sponsors on this blog so there are posts introducing the amazing things that they offer and usually featuring a giveaway at some point during the month.
Thanks, Kathryn, for stopping by, and for regularly scouring the web to share such amazing crochet content with your readers!
What’s your favorite online resource for crochet-related news?