Here are the places I recommend - online yarn stores, crochet patterns websites and more.
It is sad but i believe that Internet changed the reality for the brick-and-mortar neighborhood yarn and craft stores ... their inventory is shrinking or they are disappearing ... The last couple of years i supply my stash from online yarn stores and i can recommend some of my best places to get the yarn and all the crochet supplies. There are much more online yarn stores but i posted here only the stores i dealt with personally. The recommendations are based strictly on my personal experience and the stores did NOT pay me to do that (they have no idea i am writing a review on them) :)
It's my favorite online yarn store so far :) They have big selection of yarn and great prices. They sell yarn in small bulks (3-6 skeins or rolls for each type and color), that's how they are able to keep their prices lower. This store also sell basic craft supplies: crochet hooks, knitting needles, kits and books. The USA domestic shipping is FREE for orders over $100 and they have a flat rate shipping for international orders.
Customer service is friendly and fast-responding, but sometimes it is better to e-mail then to call.
They sell all major brands of yarn and they have their own brands of acrylic yarn I love: Herrschnners Worsted Weight and Herrschners Chunky - great quality and great color selection. Their craft supply department is stunning, cross-stitch and needleworking, pre-printed canvas, puzzles and latch hook kits make me wish i had 48 hours in my day! :) The shipping depends on the volume of your order and is fast enough, but if you opt for 2nd day or express UPS delivery - they still take their sweet time processing your order before they ship it (2-3 days). If you plan to purchase often - you can get a membership: $20 (last time i checked) - and you will get 10% discount on everything during the year.
They also print their catalog and mail it to the customers free and regularly. A lot of information, pictures and ideas!
Customer service is good, they have a phone number and you can speak to the real people. :)
It's a big online yarn store. The customer service is so-so (only through e-mail and sometimes it takes a while to hear back), you always pay for the shipping unless they have it as a discount, the prices are MSRP or close to it. (Sometimes they have sales 20 % off - be sure to subscribe to their e-mail letters).
Their big advantage: they carry absolutely all kinds of Red Heart yarn, even hard-to find shades and types no one esle have.
If you are looking for the crochet tread - this is the place, you will find all kinds, brands and colors there.
Natural fiber yarns, mostly wool and wool blends (cashmere, merino, alpaca, angora, aran, mohair), but they also have cotton and silk blends and organic yarn. Creat selection of ombre and variegated colors, the web-site is customer friendly and allow you to search the yarn by the color. Their Palette yarn (100% wool fine weight) comes in a stunning array of colors and shades, for example, they have more then 18 shades of blue.
They have a live customer service (you can call them) and domestic USA shipping is free if your order is more then $50.
They sell ribbons, tulle, organza, boxes, beads - everythin you need for your craft and party. I often use ribbons in my crochet projects and i can say - their ribbon selection is enourmous and the price is just a fraction of what you have to pay in a brick-and-mortar store. If you want to make a tutu for your little princess - get tulle and organza here! :) I recommend! :)
I recommend! :) Here you can find more free crochet patterns (great and large selection) and tips. The website is very friendly and you can chat, blog, ask a question or two, place your picture and get comments. TracyAnn is always there for you. Have fun! :)
The biggest knitting and crocheting central ever. Tons of patterns, free and for a little fee. People from all the world are there... cannot add more, you have to see it yourself. :) You can find me there as JTCreations.
Big (huge!) craft online fair. Creat place to get crochet and knit patterns. You can find nice deals and sales there. You can also check every shop's reputation, sales and feedback. If you need unique homespun yarn or handmade wood buttons - you can find it on ETSY. You can buy ready crochet and knit items or order custom-made pieces.
Find me on ETSY:
www.JTEasyCrochet.etsy.com for easy crochet patterns
www.BabiesBugsandBees.etsy.com for ready crochet hats and baby photo props