When trying to choose the best yarn store in your area, you may want to start by comparing the products and prices. If the quality and cost of the yarns are similar between stores, you can use other criteria to help you decide on which shop is best for your needs. Color selection, customer service and quantity preparedness can differ greatly, even between yarn shops that carry a similarly priced product line.
If you knit or crochet afghans or other large pieces that require many balls of yarn, check to see if the store will have the amount you need. Don't go by the size of the shop; smaller stores may not have room to stockpile a lot of yarn, but depending on their ordering methods, they may still be able to supply you with the materials you're looking for within a reasonable amount of time. Find out how long it would take, on average, for them to order more balls of a certain type of yarn if they didn't have the amount you need in stock. At the same time, you may want to find out if the yarn store will order specialty yarns for you.
Having your questions answered by the staff or owner of a yarn store can give you a good idea of its quality of customer service. Many yarn shop owners and staff are passionate about needle arts as well as knowledgeable about different types of yarns. Friendly, informative customer service is the hallmark of the best yarn stores. If you don't find that personable touch when you visit your local yarn shops, you might feel that you'd be better off ordering your knitting, crochet or other materials through the Internet.
Although most yarn stores carry a wide color selection, some may have a more limited supply or the tones may be mostly warm or cool rather than a mixture. If the shades just don't seem appealing, see if the shop will order colors you select or it may be best to look elsewhere for yarn. Part of the appeal of creating knitted or crocheted pieces is choosing colors that are attractive to you, so don't settle for just any colors from a yarn store.
If you're interested in taking knitting or crochet classes either to learn how to do these crafts or to gain new techniques and stitches, compare the offerings and costs at different yarn stores. A yarn shop that carries a full range of knitting needles and crochet hooks is convenient if you want to purchase a size for a project and don't already have that particular one. Location is also a consideration when looking for the best local yarn shop because you'll save time and transportation costs by choosing a store near your home or other places you frequent.