Your LYS Loves Crochet!

By Caissa "Cami" McClinton – 2 Comments

What’s not to love, right? I bet a few of you are wondering if you even have an LYS and what it might be. Well, an LYS is a Local Yarn Store. An LYS can also be a crocheter’s best friend.

In my last post, I talked a bit about my impromptu yarn crawl. Well, it was tons of fun, and that is partly because I was able to really get to know some local yarn stores. Isn’t it great that we have so many sources for yarn? As yarn crafters we are so lucky! We can shop everywhere from big box stores, to specialty stores, to yard sales and even at Goodwill! If you look long enough, you’re going to find yarn! But shopping at an LYS is really special for crocheters and I am going to give you three reasons why.

It's Knitting Criations in Somers, CT!!

It’s Knitting Criations in Somers, CT!!

1. You’re a crocheter. You’re a star. If you’re in the United States, your LYS is likely knitting focused, but that doesn’t mean that the shop owners don’t want to serve you. I think this knitting-focused LYS phenomenon came about because of the “mainstream” popularity of knitting in the U.S. Interestingly, the opposite is true in Latin America. Crochet is quite a bit more dominant in Mexico, for example. I am aware that crocheters have sometimes felt out of place at some LYSes due to the knitting focus, however through education and persistence, shop owners have come to realize this. I make the assumption that they want to serve us, and they do! Personally, I have never once encountered a shop owner or worker who looked down upon crochet. In fact, with crochet’s rising mainstream popularity, you can use “the crochet hook” (get it?) to become the local crochet rock star. Your enthusiasm will be contagious!

2. THE YARN!!!! Let’s face it. It just stands to reason that a store that is entirely focused upon essentially one thing will work to create a great selection and possibly even offer unique products. All I can tell you is that my LYS visits were AMAZING! I was able to look at and touch different yarns I’d previously only seen online live and in person! The availability of colorways was incredible and the project ideas were just flowing and flowing. If you use your local yarn store as a source, you can take the time to really choose that perfect yarn for the project. And plus, it’s usually comfy in there. So spend the whole day!

3. Community & Learning. It’s likely that your LYS has a comfortable area created so that people can actually crochet in the store. Take advantage of that and stop in for a crafting night. Even if they call it a “knit night” bring your crochet and share your love of it with the people you meet. In my experience, yarn crafters are really laid back and very helpful. An LYS is a great place to share ideas and pick up tips.

I am very interested to hear everybody’s experiences with LYSes not only in the United States, but also all over the world. Is your LYS knitting-focused, crochet-focused, or both? Have you ever crocheted at an LYS? Do you think you can find a better selection at your LYS? And what about the prices you encounter at the LYS? Are at least some of the yarns affordable? Do you feel like your LYS loves crochet? Please leave any thoughts and points of view in the comments below. This is an open conversation, so feel free!

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  1. Terri says:

    It’s funny you should mention this now. About 2 nights ago I found out there’s a local yarn store very close to where I live. They have an event each 2nd Saturday of the month where they will supply yarn for people to come in and crochet items that are needed by people in the area, such as scarves, hats, mittens, slippers. The items are donated to the homeless shelters and food bank type charities. They also have get togethers where a person can come in and chat with others while they crochet. I plan to go as soon as possible to check it out. It sounds very exciting to me 🙂

  2. Emma says:

    How I wish there was a LYS near me! There isn’t, though. The only places anywhere near me (meaning in the radius of around 10 miles) is JoAnn’s, Michael’s, and A.C. Moore. Which isn’t “bad”…but not the same as an LYS. I remember when I was a teenager, going to the “yarn store” with my mother. It was magical, with walls and shelves and counters just FULL of fabulous color and texture. But that was long long ago (in the ’60’s) and I haven’t seen a true local yarn store since. I now get my yarn at the previously mentioned stores or Amazon. Sometimes I order direct from Lion Brand or another online yarn supplier.

    Interesting that it was mentioned that knitting is more “mainstream” in the U.S. than crochet. Up until just this year I was a knitter…through and through. I even taught knitting at JoAnns for several years, and have a great deal of experience with that craft. All sorts of knitting, too…just about every type and method there is, I’ve done it. I was forever feeling annoyed that people would come up to me and comment on my lovingly hand knitted clothing and accessories and say “Oh! Did you crochet that?”. Grrrrr! NO, I didn’t crochet it! It’s KNITTED! I felt like here, where I live, everyone was into crochet and knitters were the stepchildren of needle arts! I even got that impression online back 10 years ago or so. Seemed it was so much easier to find crocheted patterns than it was knitting ones.

    Earlier this year the one thing that had held me back from really crocheting finally was cleared up for me (thanks to Facebook, off all things). I could crochet edgings and simple things like that. I even knew “how” to make all the basic stitches. What I did not know how to do was to start a project from a foundation chain! Seriously. The crochet instruction book I had said to hook 2 strands on the foundation chain to start…which I found so frustrating I simply gave up. Then a lady that I knew on FB, who’s crocheted over 40 years, told me that it was not necessary to hook 2 loops on the foundation chain. One strand or loop was fine…it was only needed to hook the 2 loops on the 2nd row on…or as instructed. Well, I’ll be. Something so basic, and no one would tell me that before? I’ve been a rabid crocheter since April. Totally besotted!

    Goes to show even the most simple little detail…something you might think anyone should know…might have been explained wrong in some old instruction book, and you could be the hero who helps launch another person who thought they “couldn’t do it” into being a happy hooker! Wouldn’t that be grand?

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