Getting Your Knitting Supplies Online: 3 Ways to Avoid Amazon

Everyone shops online.  It would be really strange if you didn’t buy at least some of your knitting supplies online.  But whether your looking to buy general knitting supplies online or just looking for knitting yarn suppliers, you can do better than Amazon.  Easily.

In the past few years, basically since the pandemic struck, the selection for knitters on Amazon has grown significantly.  This may sound like a reason to buy from Amazon, but for the best selection of knitting needles, yarn, and most supplies, your best bet is still specific fiber craft oriented company sites.

3 Knitting Suppliers to Consider

  1. Knitpicks.com – Budget friendly with a good selection of needles and natural fiber yarns
  2. Lionbrand.com – Great pattern library and a very wide range of yarn lines
  3. Lovecrafts.com – More European, supports an impressive range of hobbies and handcrafts

Knitpicks.com

Pros:  

  • Better prices on Books!  A few times a year they’ll have a really great book sale.  Their selection isn’t as broad as Amazon’s, but they have knit and crochet books Amazon doesn’t.  Their regular book prices aren’t as low, but it’s usually worth it to wait.  The best way to catch the book sale is to sign up for their email list.
  • Their brand specific yarns are pretty good, especially for the price!  You’ll have to watch out though, if you’re trying to stick to all natural fiber yarns.  KP does have some blends and even some all synthetic yarns.
  • Needles!  I saved the best for last.  I like KP interchangeable needles a LOT.  I would describe them as the best, most inexpensive, wooden interchangeables out there.  I have run across one knitter who didn’t like them, too slick for her, I think.  I’m not a fan of any metal needles by any company, so you’ll have to make your own judgement on KP’s metal needles.
  • Wide range of accessories including swifts, ball winders and project bags.
  • If you always sign in to your account before you buy, all the epatterns and ebooks that you buy will be available to you as long as you can get online.  I love pulling up charts on my ipad – so much easier to read!  Also, you’ll never lose them.

Cons

  • KP sells their own brand almost exclusively, so you’re not going to be able to get any other brands of needles or yarns.
  • Almost all of their products are made outside of North America.  If you’re looking to buy local-ish, KP isn’t the place.
  • Watch out for synthetics!  A few of their yarn lines are strictly natural fibers, but several are blends, and a few others are strictly synthetic.  Something for everyone, but make sure to read the descriptions!

 

Lion Brand Yarns  lionbrand.com

Pros:

  • I love the large free pattern library, (4132 free knitting patterns).  Even with all the great choices out there for patterns, lionbrand.com remains at the top of my go-to list when I’m looking for a pattern.  I confess, I almost always modify any pattern I use.  It’s easier to modify simple patterns and Lion Brand usually comes through for me.
  • Love the Big Box store prices and selection?  While Lion Brand doesn’t carry any other yarn brands, they do make up a lot of the selection at the big box stores, so if that’s your preference, you’ll feel right at home here.  In fact, you’ll like it better because the selection is bigger!
    • Natural Fiber Yarns are available!  LB seems to have moved into the luxury/natural fiber yarn segment with it’s LB Collection line.   These aren’t cheap, but they sure are enticing!  Looking at you, Merino Yak Alpaca yarn!
    • Recycled yarns also available!  LB’s product line has gotten bigger and bigger!
  • Needles and Accessories are available, too!  LB has done their best to become a one-stop knitting/crocheting/weaving shop.

Cons

  • The needle selection is my least favorite thing about LB.  It’s larger than it used to be and features LB brand needles, Hiya Hiya needles and a few others.  Like most other suppliers, LB has interchangeables, sets, dpn’s, etc. but not as many.
  • This one is kind of petty, but LB’s jeans yarn is 100% synthetic.  What the heck?!

Lovecrafts.com 

Pros:

  • They bought WEBS.  Is this a pro or a con?  Time will tell, but it does increase their presence and infrastructure in North America.
  • “Library” feature just like KP’s, so you can’t lose your patterns, as long as you buy them while signed in to your account.
  • Wide selection of yarn brands, needles, etc.  Lovecrafts doesn’t have their own brand, so they carry a wide variety of brands.  (They even carry some Lion Brand yarns!)  Since they are a European based company, they are a bit heavier on the European brands.
  • Their large free pattern library has thousands of patterns for knitters.  (Some of them are actually Lion brand patterns.)
  • Modern Slavery Statement – Lovecrafts appears to be a company with a conscience and is committed to making sure there is no slavery, child labor, etc. anywhere in its supply chain.  Pretty nice.
  • Also supports a wide variety of other handicrafts including:  baking, latch hooking, paper crafts, embroidery and more.

Cons

  • The last time I tried to download a pattern from Lovecrafts, I ended up with a page of code.  No idea what went wrong there.  It happened to be an LB pattern, so I went to LB’s site and downloaded it with no problem.

Concluding Thoughts

If you prefer to do business with companies with a conscience, it’s tough to be comfortable shopping on Amazon.  It pains me to say this because Amazon is so easy to use and I, like nearly everyone else, have depended on it for books for years.  I was always frustrated by its relatively poor selection of knitting books and supplies, so I’ve always been in the habit of buying directly from online knitting suppliers.  It turns out this is probably a good thing.

One other advantage to buying directly from suppliers like KnitPicks, Lionbrand, and Lovecrafts is that they have sales!  I know everyone is always on the look out for a sale.  Signing up for their emails or following their social media is probably the best way to make sure you don’t miss out.

Then there’s shopping locally and offline.  No worries, I have a local, irl shopping post in the works.

What do you think?  Do you prefer knitting-specific online shops?  What are your favorites and why?

 

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