For the sixth year in a row, Chicago local yarn shops will be participating in their annual summer shop-hop, the Chicago Yarn Crawl. The popular nine-day event, stretching through the first week of August and coinciding with Stitches Midwest, has become a highly-anticipated fixture in the Chicago knitting scene. This year’s event will take place from August 1 to 9.
This year, 26 stores in the greater Chicago area are participating, and the stores are divided into four regions. The stores go as far north as Crystal Lake and Northbrook, and as far south as Plainfield. There are seven stores in Chicago proper in the Crawl, with the other 19 stores scattered throughout the suburbs.
Participation in the Chicago Yarn Crawl is free. To join the fun, knitters and crocheters can to to any store on the list (found here) and pick up an official Chicago Yarn Crawl passport. The passport will have all of the stores’ names, addresses, and store hours during the Crawl printed on the inside pages. As participants visit each store, a store employee will stamp the passport to confirm the visit. Each store will have a free Yarn-Crawl-exclusive pattern to give to all customers, and stores will also be offering a discount on yarn purchases during the entire week. Finally, each store will have a $100-value raffle basket for participants to enter and win. Finally, participants can be entered into additional raffles by visiting 5, 10, and 15 stores.
There are way more items to see than just yarn in some of the stores participating in the Crawl. A new entry into this year’s Crawl, the Blue Beaker in Westmont, also carries unique gifts and handmade body products. Also, Knitche in Downers Grove has a full espresso bar and pastries for sale during store hours. Craftique/Never Enough Knitting in Wheaton also sells fabric and quilting supplies, while Idea Studio has a large selection of supplies for jewelry-making. Need a mid-Crawl snack? The Nook in Lisle has a great assortment of classic candies, and they also sell Petersen’s Ice Cream.
Many stores are having special events during the week of the Chicago Yarn Crawl, including kickoff parties on the night of July 31 at both Sifu Design Studio in the Edgewater neighborhood, and Idea Studio in La Grange. Coinciding with its tenth anniversary, Knit 1 in the North Center neighborhood will also be hosting a party that night from 6:30p.m. to 8:30p.m.
Throughout the week, many events will be scattered throughout the Crawl. Windy Knitty, located in the Andersonville neighborhood, will host two free coffee-break workshops to cover basic techniques, including cables and bind-offs. Nina in Wicker Park will be hosting an Ann Weaver trunk show on Saturday afternoon, and this will be in conjunction with a Pom Pom party; the events will be repeated on Wednesday evening. Mosaic Yarn Studio in Mount Prospect has a full docket of classes and workshops throughout the entire week. Trunk shows will be popping up all throughout the western-suburban stores on various days, which you can see here.
For seasoned Chicago Yarn Crawl veterans, there is one notable change to Elemental Yarns’ participation. Previously, the store was located in Shorewood. This year, however, the store has moved to downtown Plainfield, and a second location was also opened in Oswego. Both stores are participating in the Crawl.
Whether you just want to road trip with friends, or you want to buy enough yarn for your next project, the Chicago Yarn Crawl is not to be missed.