With a few spools and a pair of sticks, you can embark on a journey of creation that connects back to our earliest history. Aside from having your basic equipment, the most important part of making fabric from wool is having the right supply of quality material. You have a few options when it comes to deciding where to buy wool for your next knitting adventure: local farmers, craft stores, and online vendors.
Find a Local Wool Farm
Being able to support the local community by buying from someone you know that lives and works in your area can feel great, and it can also feel like a fantastic deal if you purchase raw wool in bulk. There are some key limitations to keep in mind before you try this route, though.
A single farmer’s stock is not going to be as consistent as one sourced from multiple farms. This won’t matter so much if you make one purchase from them while they are overstocked and offering a great deal, but they may have nothing left from filling their normal orders the next time you ask or only have the dregs of the stock.
Wool does go through processing before it’s bundled and put onto the shelves, so the wool you get directly from the farmer will likely need to be worked before it’s suitable for a project. If the wool is raw, it has to be thoroughly cleaned and scoured with special soap mixtures, tugged through metal teeth to straighten it into carded wool, then spun into strands before you can weave it. For special colours, you have to complete the dyeing process, too. All of these are accomplishable tasks that can be rewarding, but they do take effort and equipment.
Visit a Craft Store
Stopping into a craft store is a way that many of us have sparked the inspiration for a project. The store will have a curated selection of craft materials organized into sections that make it easy to compare your options. The feel of yarn can make a difference, so being able to run your fingers over it will help you identify the quality.
This does mean you have to get up and drive to the store, which takes energy from you and your auto. You’ll have to mask up and remember that people can see and hear you. The available items on the shelf will be limited since they can’t put them all out there at once, and you can’t go check the measurements on a project if you spot something that might work with it that you hadn’t thought of considering. Craft stores can be dangerous if you are easily distracted or can’t resist an impulse purchase, as well.
When you buy yarn online, you have access to a wide range of products and an easier shopping experience. The entire store catalog can be browsed at your leisure, and they can show stock that’s too low in sales volume for a brick-and-mortar store to give it shelf space. Since online vendors spend less of their revenue on customer-facing services like a store front and have a wider sales base, they typically have lower prices and wholesale options.
You don’t have to go into the store at all, which does have its ups and its downs. The product may look slightly different than you pictured it in your mind once it arrives, and you have to wait for the shipment to arrive. When you’re purchasing wool from the same vendors with reliable specifications on the listing, you’ll come to know what to expect and have the option to return the item if it’s below par. Shipping and handling costs can add overhead to your order, but you can find online vendors where you can buy yarn online from a company in your province or country to avoid hefty international markups and limit travel times since the product only has to travel domestically.
Pick the Shopping Method that Works for You
There’s no perfect solution for everybody’s needs, but it’s hard to beat the pricing, selection, and convenience if you buy yarn online. Australian crafters can get the value of an online vendor with the pricing of a local store from the Yarn Trader.