What could possibly be more exciting than spending an afternoon browsing through your local yarn shop? How about inviting your friends to join in the fun on a self-guided tour to visit as many as you can! Yarn crawls are a relatively new phenomenon, taking place primarily during the early spring or late fall and they are quickly becoming the hottest ticket in town.
The ultimate road trip for knitters is an organized event which features any number of participating shops within a designated area, either city-based or spread out over a combination of rural towns. Yarn crawlers are given access to a printed map pinpointing each location and a passport which is to be stamped at every shop. This will eventually be handed in at the last stop on the crawl and redeemed as an entry in a grand prize draw. Each shop will have a listing of special events posted beforehand, which can vary from trunk shows, demos, designer meet n greets, discounts, and free patterns designed especially for the event. The length of a yarn crawl can vary in duration, over a weekend, a few weeks or an entire season, such as this upcoming one in Ontario which will commence on June 18th and wrap up in September.
The Lakeside Yarn Crawl has been an annual event since 2014, taking place around the lower tip of picturesque Georgian Bay. This year there are twelve shops to visit, each one showcasing its own unique collection of yarns, accessories and designs.
Here are ten helpful tips on making the most of your next yarn crawl-
1. Do a bit of research beforehand. Check shop websites to get a general layout of what they specialize in. That way you won’t feel overwhelmed the moment you walk in the door.
2. Wear comfortable shoes and pack snacks to keep your energy levels up.
3. Keep a project list handy with tension and yardage requirements in order to match up yarns.
4. Check in advance for shop hours to avoid any disappointment. Ask about any scheduled events and make a note of the time and day to plan your visit around.
5. Take time to look for the unique specialty items that each shop has to offer.
6. Carpooling is a necessity! Why travel alone when you can enjoy the company of your knitting pals and most importantly have someone to enable your yarn purchases.
7. If your yarn crawl takes you too far from home, book a B&B in advance. Less time spent driving will allow more time for knitting.
8. Wear your latest hot off the needles project. There will be plenty of smiles and comments to break the ice when stepping into a brand new shop.
9. Don’t forget to enjoy the scenery along the way!
10. Check out active group listings on Ravelry to find an upcoming yarn crawl in your area.