Chicago. That toddlin’ town, known for its pizza, and hot dogs, and the Cubbies, and… YARN!
Really, this is a great place to have a yarn problem. Addiction, even. There are all sorts of places one can get into trouble with sticks and string.
- One of the largest guilds in the country is here, the Windy City Knitting Guild. The men and women of the guilt span the demographic spectrum and are friendly and inclusive. They have monthly meetings and weekend workshops, as well as a ton of resources on their website – including a list of local yarn groups and shops.
- Formerly Loopy Yarns, Yarnify bills itself as a Community of Fiber Artists.
- From small beginnings, great things grow. Knit 1 Chicago was started by a former WCKG guild member and has become a mainstay of the north side.
- Richmond, Illinois, is home to one of my favorite yarn shops in the country, Wool, Warp and Wheel.
- The annual Sheep and Wool Festival is just over the border in Wisconsin and is well worth the trek. You can shop for fiber to your heart’s content (no, really; it’s a huge marketplace), and they have working sheep dog trials, sheep sheering demonstrations (these are well worth seeing, trust me), and all sorts of information for those who want to get in on the husbandry side of the fiber trade.
- The annual Fine Art of Fiber event at the Chicago Botanic Garden is a must-see for anyone interested in the fiber arts. If you’re an artist, this is an excellent regional event. Highly recommended – and not just for knitters. Weavers and other fiber artists are represented as well.
- Galena, Illinois, has another of my favorite yarn shops, FiberWild. On the main drag not far from the DeSoto House, it’s a fun place to stop in and, if you have some time, sit down and put on a few stitches.
- The Yarn Pot in Elmhurst is small right now, but growing. The proprietor is a teacher and avid fiber artist. Well worth a visit, and it’s just upstairs from a great local coffee cafe.
Do you have other local treasures you enjoy? Share with me in the comments; I’m always on the look-out for LYS’s (Local Yarn Shops). Remember – by supporting these local businesses, we keep the community alive.