As you know, I’m spending this weekend in Minneapolis. What’s the first thing I do when planning a trip? Scope out the yarn stores!
Today, I’ll show you my favorite sites for finding LYSs. In addition to being handy when you travel, you can even use these sites for finding a store near you!
Oh, I love Ravelry. You knew it was handy for finding patterns and yarns, but did you know it can help you find a yarn store, too?
Click on the ‘Yarn’ tab at the top of the main screen, then look below the list of yarns on the left:
Enter a city or zip code, and you’ll get a list of results!
Once the list of results comes up, you’ll want to go to the website to make sure that it’s actually a store. For example, since Ravelry contains a database of Indie Dyers, some of the listings that come up are for Etsy shops (and the dyer does live in the city), and there’s nothing for you to actually visit.
The results give you a street address and a link to the website, as well as the distance from the address you entered… so planning your trip is easy!
KnitMap is a site specifically designed for this purpose! In addition being a database of yarn stores, it allows you to search by features (like ‘open now’ or ‘has spinning supplies’) and read reviews of each shop.
When you enter the city you’re searching for, a list of yarn stores comes up as well as a map with the stores on it:
Click on ‘details’ to view the reviews for a store. Seeing the reviews can really help you decide if you should put a store on your ‘must see’ list… particularly if there are oodles in a city or if you’re wondering if an out-of-the-way shop is worth your time.
Planet Purl also has a yarn shop directory, just click on ‘Yarn Shop Directory’ on the top toolbar:
Type in your city, and you’ll get results!
The downside to the Planet Purl results is that you only get the name of a shop, the address and phone number. There is no website listed for the shops, and they’re listed in alphabetical order (instead of distance from the center of the city), so for big cities, you’ve got a serious sorting problem on your hands.
The upside of Planet Purl is their travel guides. For a number of cities, bloggers have written a ‘yarn guide’ to the city, which can help you sort out the great spots to hit!
Where will you search?
Are you headed anywhere that’ll get you to put one of these sites to use? Or maybe you’d like to search around your hometown… you might find somewhere new!