By Anne Merrow

When the Yarn Store Comes to You

“Do you want to go to the yarn store?” That’s what my husband asks when we pass a few shops in town. (On one hand, he gets points for asking. On the other hand, why even ask? Obviously the answer is yes!) When I learned to spin and weave, though, I realized that the question isn’t always so simple.

If I want to buy cones of weaving yarn, spinning wheel bobbins, or tatting shuttles, not just any yarn store will do. I love finding a drop spindle or small loom in a knitting shop, but also finding a good variety of coned yarn, several brands of spinning wheel to try, and a staff member who can help you pick fiber for felting . . . That’s a destination. If you’re lucky, there might be one or two in your entire state.

Eugene Textile Center - Yarn Fest Premier Sponsor

We have fewer stores that offer tools and materials for spinning and weaving as well as knitting and crochet. One shop bucked the trend when Suzie Liles founded the Eugene Textile Center in 2008. A weaving designer, she brought together looms big and small, a variety of yarns, and books and DVDs to go with them. For spinners, there are wheels and fibers; for dyers, a whole section of paints and dyes and mordants.

Here in Northern Colorado, I’m lucky—not only do we have weaving shops nearby, but on April 12–14, 2018, Eugene Textile Center isn’t a road trip away. They’re coming all the way from Oregon to me—more specifically, to Interweave Yarn Fest in Loveland, Colorado. If I want to compare shades of Swedish wool yarn or watch ETC’s spinning expert Janis Thompson demonstrate spinning silk from a cocoon, I can traipse on over to the booth or the Fiber Spotlight Pavilion. Last year here are just a few of the goodies they brought along to the event.

You might think that Interweave Yarn Fest is primarily a knitting event, but three wonderful shops will bring a whole range of yarn, fiber, and other goodies for spinners and weavers as well as knitters, crocheters, and needleworkers. From right in Fort Collins, Colorado, Lambspun fills their booth with lovely fiber blends and yarns for all kinds of crafts.

Yarn from Lambspun

And Susan’s Fiber Shop always amazes me with how much yarn, fiber, tools, books, and other gems she can get into her booth. (I picture the shelves of her Columbus, Wisconsin shop empty when she’s on the road, but Wisconsin friends assure me that’s not the case.)

Yarn Fest Booth for Susan’s Fiber Shop

So, do you want to go to the yarn store? How about 50 yarn stores? Join us at the marketplace and grab your weekend pass now so you can walk right in!


7 thoughts on “When the Yarn Store Comes to You

  1. I must be on the wrong mailing list since I am definitely not close enough to Colorado to be able to clain that yarnshops going there is the same as them coming to me. Going to Colorado is not an option for many people.

    1. Rita, thanks for reaching out. We have people on our lists from all over the world, and while we realize travel isn’t always possible we strive to provide our audience with a well-rounded experience. From how-to and tips to local happenings we’re passionate about sharing it all. For other ideas here are just a few of the events we’ve covered so far, with more to come in 2018 https://www.interweave.com/tag/fiber-festivals/. I hope that helps!

      All the best,
      Tiffany
      Interweave Team

  2. My circumstances also prevent me from attending most of the big fiber festivals. However, I am grateful that the guilds in my state put on a small festival each year. It has since been moved to a town too far from me, but I am grateful I could attend a couple of years. Though small, the festival provided access to smaller, lesser known vendors from my own region, and only a few bigger names. I still have the list of 20-30 vendors from that fiber arts fair, and I have seen their wares. If I feel the need to order something, I can contact them and ask.

    A list of fiber festivals would be very helpful, and not just the big festivals. Also, I would suggest that those who feel their shopping experiences are limited contact their local guilds. Sometimes the guilds provide a greater reach, such as group orders, or members willing to show and share their experiences (as well as favorite, trusted, and reliable sources for supplies).

    1. Thank you for the great feedback. I’ll send it over to our content teams to see what ideas we can come up with!

      ~Tiffany

  3. Your list of fiber festivals is a year out of date – 2017 is long past. How about a LIST of current fiber events to make it easy to find one within a reasonable distance in time to make plans to attend?

    1. Mary,
      We’re working on updating those pages as we speak and launching new events features as well! Look for updates coming soon.

      Best,
      Tiffany

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