Location: Downtown Lawrence, KS
The Yarn Barn of Kansas downtown shopping area of Lawrence, Kansas. Massachusetts Street is an old-fashioned shopping street, with lots of locally-owned stores and restaurants… visitors to the shop can easily send their tag-along family members to the science store, toy store, British-goods store, European market, or one of several clothing stores (and that is just on the same block!)
Lawrence is a beautiful college town that’s home to the University of Kansas, a mecca for basketball fans. Just slightly farther afield from the shop, James Naismith’s original “Rules of Basket Ball” are on display. There are art and natural history museums on the campus as well as a local history museum downtown. It’s easy to find many excuses to visit Lawrence!
But I know why you’re reading… it’s to hear about the shop and their yarn and spinning/weaving supplies, right?
The Yarn Barn has been open for 46 years (with the same owner!) and is well-known as one of the country’s best stocked yarn and fiber equipment shops. The photos only hint at the abundance of yummy products in the shop!
But when asked about the driving force of the shop, owner Susan Bateman points to her shop’s focus on customer service. “We believe that the best thing we can do for customers is to give them the skills and knowledge they need to complete a project successfully. When they are investing money in yarn and time in knitting or weaving something, they deserve to have a good result.” Helpful staff are available to guide customers through the abundance of yarn choices.
The service doesn’t stop there. Susan says, “In addition to the many classes we teach in knitting, weaving, spinning, and crochet, we help customers daily with their projects: correcting mistakes, explaining techniques, and interpreting patterns. We also love getting people off on the right foot when they are planning a new project.”
Although the shop draws customers every day from the general northeastern Kansas area, including Kansas City and Topeka, the community isn’t just local. Susan is proud to point out that a number of “weavers and spinners come from surrounding states to our classes, and we have mail order customers who have been with us for 25 years or more. They keep us posted by phone and e-mail on their lives and projects. In the summertime, we are often a destination for these long-distance customers, who stop in on their travels across the country.”
Kansas is in the heart of America (literally. The exact center of the US is located near Lebanon, KS!), and having done drives through Kansas myself, I can attest that the Yarn Barn and the town of Lawrence are a treat worth planning your road trips through!
Even though the shop has been open for nearly 5 decades, you’d be wrong to think it’s a shop that’s just standing still. Yarn Barn is constantly looking for new trends to help it’s customers connect with projects they love. Susan tells us her customers are going crazy for the “American raised and spun Brooklyn Tweed yarns! The yarns are beautiful and the patterns are incredibly well written.” Unique fibers are striking a cord with customers in the shop. “We carry Tencel from two different companies and are constantly finding uses for its luminous colors, beautiful sheen, and great drape having many of the qualities of silk but at a fraction of the cost!”
Susan also notes that small floor looms, like the Jane, are steady sellers, especially as tapestries are very hot right now!
If you’re anywhere nearby, I recommend putting Yarn Barn on your list of detours well-worth it! Get help selecting the perfect project (or new fiber hobby!) from their friendly staff!
This blog post is sponsored content, featuring a shop that retails our products. Opinions and text are our own.