Six Tips for Enjoying a Yarn Crawl

It had been several years since I’d been able to attend a yarn crawl, and I had forgotten how joyfully chaotic they can be. It meant that, if I had to do it over again, I’d do a few things differently. In hopes of helping you avoid some of my mistakes and learn from the things that went well, I’ve collected my top six tips from last weekend’s yarn crawl experience.


A yarn crawl is very similar to the classic pub crawl, but instead of roaming from pub to pub, stitchers will go from yarn shop to yarn shop, picking up a bit of yarn at each place. Most yarn shops also have special events happening during the yarn crawl. Because it’s less common to have several yarn shops near each other than it is to have several pubs near each other, you’ll be more likely to see yarn crawls happening in and around large cities.

Tip #1: Plan your day ahead of time

Many yarn crawls run for three or four days, but most people usually have just one, maybe two days. Yarn crawls also tend to be spread out around a metropolitan area, which means you need to be somewhat strategic about where you want to go if you want to see everything.

Tip #2: Take  inventory of what you already have

I’m one of those people who is driven by impulse, and few things spur my impulsivity quite like seeing a yarn in a color I like. The problem? I usually have a few skeins just like it already, also bought on impulse. So before I left for Portland, I took a look at what was in my stash and where I had gaps in my sock collection.

Tip #3: Set a budget for yourself

Yarn crawls are extraordinarily tempting. Each shop has trunk shows of precious hand-dyed yarn and charming notions that you rarely see otherwise. It can be hard to resist buying everything you see and want. So before I set out for my first shop, I set a monetary and space budget for myself: a maximum price limit and one sock project per shop.

Tip #4: Make sure to eat and drink regularly

This is a mistake we made, and I strongly encourage you to avoid it if you can. You're doing a lot of standing and walking and chatting and observing and exploring, and that takes its toll on the body eventually. So when you’re planning out your route, keep an eye on what food resources are available near your stops.

Tip #5: Bring a friend or two

I’m a pretty solitary knitter most of the time, but I do have a crew of online knitter friends, and I love getting together with them for events like this. If you can make it happen, yarn crawling with friends is a great way to share ideas, bond over beautiful yarn, and combine yarns into pretty color combos and fades.

Tip #6: Feel free to chat if you’d like to

Making friends as an adult is hard for many of us, and it can feel extra awkward introducing ourselves to total strangers. At a yarn crawl, though, everyone has something in common already. What’s more, we’re pretty excited and primed for conversation. Of course, if you’re not in the mood to chat, that’s fine, too.

Curious to learn more about knitting or to dig deeper into yarn crawls? Click on through for tutorials, free patterns, technique tips, and more.

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