- store: The Yarn Barn
- address: 930 Massachusetts Street Lawrence, KS 66044
- website: www.yarnbarn-ks.com/
- date of visit: November, 2009
Let me begin by saying that even if the Yarn Barn were in the middle of nowhere, it would be worth the drive to visit. But, it’s in Lawrence, KS, which is (in my opinion) an adorable College Town- and putting the two together make for an excellent day. The Yarn Barn’s reputation precedes it: known as a yarn, weaving and spinning store extraordinaire that also ships, bringing fiber goodies to those who really do live in the middle of nowhere. The photo at the left is a small selection of the cones that are used for weaving (they can be used for knitting & crocheting, too, but are particularly great for weaving). As you can tell, the store is quite large, and the yarns are available in a wide range of colors. The store not only sells cones for weaving, but also looms, shuttles, and all sorts of crucial weaving supplies.
As I said, the store also carries supplies for spinning. Just like with weaving, there isn’t a lonely spindle and a small basket of roving sitting in the corner (which, is the extent of many yarn stores’ spinning supplies). There’s wheels! And a selection of spindles! And dyes! And oodles of roving! I quite enjoyed walking through the roving isle- organic cotton, silk, camel, various wools… it was a fine selection, indeed.
And of course, there’s yarn. I estimate that the store had (aside from cones) yarn covering about 33% of the store landscape, so it isn’t the largest selection of yarn in the country, but they had a number of yarns that I haven’t seen in many stores… like Buffalo Gold (really fabulous stuff)! And some beautiful locally-dyed yarns. As you can also tell from the photo, there is a large selection of samples which are hung very nicely from the ceiling, so it’s easy to get an idea of what the various yarns are like.
Aside from the weaving and spinning supplies, and yarn, the Yarn Barn also had a wonderful supply of needles, notions and books. From memory, they stocked at least 4 brands of knitting needles and a wide range of books and magazines and patterns. It was a lovely store, but had a completely different vibe than the LYSs that I’m used to. I was in the store for over a half hour, and was never asked if I needed help. I didn’t think the workers were grumpy (as some reviews I’ve read claim), but it’s such a big store with so many customers that it feels a bit like Target- if you want help, you need to find someone and ask for it. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but certainly different from your tiny yarn shop with one employee working!
I know not many of you may travel to Kansas, but if you do, the Yarn Barn is worth a stop! It’s about 20 minutes outside of Topeka, and about an hour or so from the Kansas City, MO airport.