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If you’re searching for the best places to buy yarn online, you’ve come to the right place. This detailed guide will help you navigate the colorful world of online yarn shopping. We’ll share our favorite online yarn shops and give you our best tips and tricks for buying yarn online.
Gone are the days when our yarn options were limited to what was in stock at our local craft store. With online shopping, we’ve got the whole world of yarn right at our fingertips.
But where to start? Ordering yarn online might feel a bit overwhelming if you’re a new knitter or crocheter. No worries though, because I’m happy to share my experience. Let’s dive into the details and navigate the world of online yarn shopping together.
Factors to Consider When Buying Yarn Online
First things first. Before we dive into the sea of online yarn stores, it’s important to understand what to look for. Different stores cater to different tastes, budgets, and project requirements – from affordable yarns to luxurious fibers, hard-to-find international brands, to indie dyers. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Selection and Variety: When looking for the ideal online yarn store, consider the range of yarn types, brands, and colors they offer. From lace weight to super bulky, each yarn weight serves a different purpose. The same goes for yarn types, like cotton, wool, or acrylic.
Color Accuracy: Online colors can be tricky. Monitors can differ, and lighting in product photos can vary. All stores do their best to make sure the color on the screen matches the yarn in real life – but it’s not uncommon to receive a yarn that’s a bit different than you were expecting.
Price and Shipping Costs: Yarn can range from quite affordable to quite luxurious (read: expensive). And as with any online purchase, considering the prices and the shipping costs is essential for staying within your budget. Keep an eye out for promotions, sales, or discounts that can help you save on your purchase.
Customer Service and Return Policy: Last but definitely not least, it’s always good to check out a store’s customer service and return policy before making a purchase. Shopping online means you can’t feel the product before buying, so it’s good to have a backup plan in case the yarn doesn’t meet your expectations.
Top Online Yarn Stores
Now that we’re all prepped, let’s get to the good stuff. Here’s my go-to list of online yarn stores, complete with the pros and cons of each, based on my personal experiences, research, and other customer reviews. I’ll share my favorites and what you can expect in terms of quality, shipping times, and types of yarn available.
To keep things organized, I’ve arranged our list of stores into a few categories. Here’s how we’ll be breaking it down:
- Yarn Brands: These stores are specifically focused on a single yarn brand. If you have a brand you’re particularly fond of, their online store can be an excellent place to find their full range of products.
- Large Retailers: Large retailers offer a wide variety of yarn brands, weights, colors, and price points to suit the needs of any knitter or crocheter. These stores often stock well-known yarn brands, making it easier to find popular and trusted products.
- International Stores: For our friends outside of the United States, these stores are your go-to.
- Local Yarn Stores and Indie Dyers: Lots of brick-and-mortar LYS have an online presence too. They’re ideal for those seeking one-of-a-kind skeins (and for supporting small businesses!)
KnitPicks and Crochet.com
I’ve been shopping with KnitPicks and Crochet.com for years, and they’ve never let me down. They offer a wide range of high-quality yarns, making it one of our top choices. Their selection covers everything from basic acrylics to soft alpacas, from lace weight all the way to super-bulky yarns.
Sales: KnitPicks and Crochet.com are sister companies, and offer the same range of yarns. But, the timing of their sales often varies. This means that one type of yarn might be on sale at one store but not the other at any given time. So, it’s a good strategy to keep an eye on both websites to spot the best deals. You never know when your favorite yarn might be up for a bargain!
Shipping & Returns: Here’s another tip. Crochet.com has a lower threshold for free shipping than KnitPicks. They both offer a generous 90-day return policy.
- Pros: The affordability of their range is hard to beat, and they carry a wide variety of yarn weights and types. Also, keep an eye out for their frequent sales and discounts!
- Cons: If you’re in the market for ultra-luxury yarns, you might find their selection a bit lacking. And while I’ve usually been satisfied with their colors, remember that online photos may not be 100% accurate.
Lion Brand Yarn
No list of yarn stores would be complete without Lion Brand Yarn. Lion Brand is a staple in the yarn industry, offering many of our beloved and reliable favorites. Who hasn’t crafted a project or two with their classics like the 24/7 Cotton and the Thick and Quick lines?
But Lion Brand isn’t just about the classics. They also keep things interesting by regularly introducing new lines of yarn to their collection. However, one thing to keep in mind is that many of these new yarns don’t stick around forever – so if you see something you love, don’t hesitate to grab it.
Sales: Lion Brand hosts lots of sales throughout the year – on both yarns and kits. They also have a “Lion Points” reward program.
Shipping & Returns: They offer both domestic and international shipping options, with a 60-day return policy.
- Pros: Lion Brand yarns are the tried-and-true standbys that we find ourselves reaching for time and time again, known for their consistent quality and affordability. They carry a wide range of yarn types, and they frequently have sales.
- Cons: Their selection of luxury fibers is somewhat limited, and some products get discontinued after a while.
When it comes to variety, LoveCrafts takes the cake. From classic US brands to some hard-to-find European brands, they’ve got you covered. LoveCrafts has an extensive pattern library and helpful resources for knitters and crocheters.
Sales: Lovecrafts is almost always running a sale. And don’t forget to check out their Clearance section.
Shipping and Returns: Orders ship from locations in the US and UK, so it shouldn’t take too long to get your order. They also offer a 90-day return policy.
- Pros: Their selection is impressive, and they offer frequent discounts.
- Cons: Depending on where you live, shipping costs might add a bit to your budget.
As one of the largest online yarn stores in the US, WEBS carries almost every brand you can think of. Be sure to check out the sale sections, sometimes there are some great bargains to be had.
Sales: WEBS offers a rotating Deal of the Week, as well as percentage discounts on larger purchases.
Shipping and Returns: At the time of writing, WEBS does not offer free shipping, but they do offer a 60-day return policy.
- Pros: Their selection is vast, and they offer discounts for bulk purchases—a great option if you’re planning a larger project.
- Cons: Their website can feel a little overwhelming if you’re a beginner, or if you’re just browsing.
Jimmy Beans Wool
Jimmy Beans Wool is a great resource for high-quality yarns. They’ve also recently acquired the brands Namaste, della Q, and Madelinetosh.
Shipping & Returns: They offer free shipping for all orders over $75, and a 30-day return policy.
- Pros: They carry a range of high-quality yarns, and their rewards program can earn you some nice discounts.
- Cons: Their focus on luxury yarns means they’re a bit pricier. If you’re on a strict budget, this might not be your first stop.
Michaels isn’t just for in-person shopping—they have a robust online store as well.
- Pros: Their selection of affordable acrylic yarns is good, and they have frequent sales and discounts. Plus, their options for local pickup can be very convenient.
- Cons: Their high-end yarn and natural fiber yarn selection is limited. If ordering a large quantity of yarn, you might get skeins from different dye lots.
Joann is another big-name craft store with a well-stocked online presence.
- Pros: They carry a wide selection of yarns, especially budget-friendly acrylic and cotton yarn. They frequently offer coupons and discounts.
- Cons: They have limited availability of some products, and shipping can be a tad slow. And like Michaels, you might get skeins of yarn from different dye lots.
Lastly, Amazon provides an almost endless variety of yarns from multiple retailers, making it a convenient and accessible choice for yarn shopping. But, Amazon’s yarn prices are usually quite a bit higher than what you’d find in-store, or at other online stores.
Pros: Amazon offers quick shipping and a familiar shopping experience.
Cons: The prices are often higher than in physical stores or other online platforms.
International Yarn Stores
For my yarn lovers outside the U.S., here are a couple of stores that ship worldwide and cater to different regions.
Wool Warehouse (UK)
Another excellent option for international yarn shopping is Wool Warehouse. Based in the UK, they stock a vast selection of yarns – including some US brands. They offer worldwide shipping at competitive rates, and their customer service is known for being helpful and efficient.
Hobbii.com is quickly becoming a favorite online yarn destination. This Denmark-based company is all about delivering a fantastic variety of yarns at competitive prices without compromising on quality.
They’re known for their line of Rainbow cotton yarns and their super colorful yarn cakes that you can’t find anywhere else.
Sales: They frequently offer discounts and sales. They also offer a ‘Points Store’ where members get exclusive deals.
- Pros: They do have frequent sales and allow returns within three months of purchase.
- Cons: The threshold for free shipping is higher than other stores. And, since they are based in Denmark, the shipping times to other countries can be a bit long.
Yes, LoveCrafts again! Their worldwide shipping and variety make them a strong choice for my international friends.
Local Yarn Stores
As yarn lovers ourselves, we know how important it is to support independent yarn sellers. And lucky for us, most local yarn stores have online shops to complement their brick-and-mortar storefronts.
Many local yarn stores hold seasonal sales and promotions, which can be a great time to stock up on yarn or find some great deals. To keep up with your local yarn, it is a good idea to:
- Sign up for newsletters: Most online stores have a mailing list that sends out information about upcoming sales and promotions.
- Follow on social media: Stores often post sale announcements on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms. By following your favorite stores, you’ll be the first to know about their promotions.
When browsing independent yarn sellers, we recommend looking for reviews, clear product descriptions, and a good selection of fibers. Keep in mind that hand-dyed yarns may have some variation between skeins, so it’s important to consider this when planning your projects.
Tips and Tricks for Online Yarn Shopping
Now that we’ve explored some great online yarn stores, let’s talk about some tips to make your online yarn shopping experience even better:
- Color Accuracy: Remember that colors can look different online. When in doubt, try googling the yarn for additional photos and reviews. Ravelry and Instagram are excellent resources when it comes to seeing yarn out “in the wild .”Trust me, someone out there has bought it before and is excited to share!
- Buy enough yarn for your project: By purchasing all the yarn you need at once, you’re more likely to get skeins from the same dye lot, ensuring color consistency throughout your project.
- Customer Reviews: Don’t overlook these! They’re one of the best sources of information about a product.
- Newsletters and Membership: Signing up for newsletters and store memberships can often earn you a nice discount. Plus, you’ll be the first to know about sales and new arrivals.
- Sample Ordering: If you’re unsure about a yarn, try ordering a small amount first to see if it meets your needs. It might seem like an extra step, but it can save you from disappointment down the line.
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Sarah Stearns has helped millions of makers find their next craft project with free patterns and step-by-step tutorials on her blog, sarahmaker.com. Read more.
With over a decade of experience in knitting and crochet, she has been featured in prominent publications like The New York Times, Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, and Lifehacker.