The first day of the yarn crawl was awesome and a little disappointing at the same time. The goal was to hit the downtown Chicago shops with some of my knitting friends. If there was time left we’d also get to the shops in the northern suburbs. I liked seeing all the different downtown shops but I quickly noticed that the downtown area doesn’t have much real estate. The shops were smaller and that led to smaller selections of yarn. Since I wanted sweater, or at least tank top, quantities I was frustrated at the end of the day. I did have fun getting some buttons at these shops.
Luckily on Sunday I hit a couple of the western suburb shops and these were larger with more selections. I absolutely loved Fiberista Club in Oak Park! Almost, if not all, yarn selections had sweater quantities. There was no falling in love and then not finding enough skeins for my project. The layout was welcoming and the sample pieces out were ones that I personally liked more than other shops I visited. I know baby projects are very popular; they’re just not what I look for other than special occasions. I’d rather see sample projects I’d make for myself.
During the week I went back out to finish up the western suburbs. I’d already gotten most of what I wanted but I did need a few more needle sizes and of course I found more yarn. I’d already visited most of these shops last year and didn’t spend as long here.
By the end of the week I’d visited 17 out of the 21 shops! Not quite all that I’d wanted, but Sister-Arts Studio was just too hard to get to with the construction and over crowded street parking. Once I missed that first shop I wasn’t as inspired to try and get them all!
My new list of favorite shops is:
- Fiberista Club in Oak Park – my favorite selection and setup, very helpful it choosing the right yarn for your project. This will likely become my luxury LYS with its focus on unique and hand dyed fibers.
- Knitche in Downers Grove – probably the shop I’d consider my LYS even if it’s not closest to me. I like their setup, staff, and selection of Quince & Co yarn.
- Yarnify! in Chicago – they had an amazing selection that I didn’t appreciate until I visited more downtown shops. I was a little turned off that they wanted to charge for their pin if you didn’t make a purchase. Hopefully that didn’t continue once yarn crawlers let them know that other shops weren’t doing that.