Like most of you knitters out there, I have a favorite local yarn store (or two, or three, or a dozen) that I buy my yarn from. But what do you do when you just can't find what you're looking for at any of the local shops? If you're anything like me, you turn to the great big wonder that is the internet.
There are some fantastic places to buy yarn online, and there are some advantages to buying this way. For one, you can look at several different stores for the yarn you're looking for without driving all around town. For another, you can find some really good prices online - like really good. How does 1.50 a skein sound?
The only real downside to buying yarn online, other than not supporting your LYS, is not being able to feel before you buy. For me, the feel of yarn is something that makes me want to buy it in the first place, which makes buying yarn sight unseen (or touch unseen) can be a bit of a gamble. But if you don't mind the risk, or already know what you want to buy, here are a few of my favorite places to shop for yarn online.
These sites offer pretty much the same things - good overall selection at decent prices. And if you sign-up for their e-mail lists, every once in a while you'll get a free shipping or a $5 off coupon.
For all you lace knitters, this is the place to go. ColourMart is a British company that specializes in selling remainder luxury yarns - remainder yarn being the yarn left on the cone after a piece is knit or woven. Anyways, this is the place to go if you want lace weight yarn in bulk for a really good price - anywhere from $15 to $40 (including shipping) for about 1500 yards of cashmeir, silk, marino or some combination.
More just a place to find wonderful patterns and chat with your fellow yarn enthusiasts, Ravelry.com can also be a great place to buy yarn, especially discontinued yarn. Under the "Yarn" Tab at the top, either search for a specific brand or type of yarn you want or go browsing. Click on a specific yarn, and then either choose the "buying options" tab or the "stashes" tab to find out which other Ravelry members have your yarn and who is willing to sell or trade it.
To be honest, Knit Picks is really only a great place to buy yarn if you like KnitPicks brand yarn, which I do. They have yarns of all fiber types and colors at really good princes - 440 yards of baby alpaca lace for under $6? Yes and please.
For the life of me, I will never understand why this site is called WEBS instead of Yarn.com - but whatever. All I know is that these guys have nearly every yarn under the sun. And their closeout section is one of the best places around to find some amazing deals on yarn.
So - have you ever bought yarn online? If yes, where's your favorite place and if not, would you ever consider giving it a chance?