In 2007, Sara Ware and Natalia Uribe Wilson were a pair of Chicago knitters and otherwise crafty ladies who found themselves seeking out local producers of yarn. The larger, national yarn companies held annual events in the suburbs, but there was nothing in the city for crafters who wanted easy access to quality fiber.

Inspired in part by local craft fairs DIY Trunk Show and Renegade Craft Fair, Sara and Natalia came up with the idea for a fiber fair that focused on independent, locally produced fiber goods. The name YarnCon came easily, since both women tend naturally toward geekiness. Lindy Sinclair was a volunteer at the original YarnCon in the fall of 2007, and after a stint together at Yarn School in Harveyville, Kansas, in 2008, the three became fast friends. Lindy was brought on as an official organizer in 2011.

Celebrating its 10th birthday in 2017, YarnCon is the premier market for independent producers of yarn and fiber for knitting, crochet, spinning, and weaving. Nearly 2,000 fiber enthusiasts visit YarnCon each year, ready to shop at the booths of 60 vendors from around the country, learn a new skill in a workshop, or just spend time with friends in a community atmosphere.

Team YarnCon, from left: Lindy Sinclair, Sara Ware,
and Natalia Uribe Wilson
photo credit: Shay Hill