Sadly, the only decent yarn shop I've found near here closed down awhile back, and I didn't even get to go to the closeout sales!!!
A.C.Moore in the Savannah Mall (not the Oglethorpe Mall) has a good selection of yarns, and there is a JoAnne's and a Michael's. I think Hancock Fabrics might have yarn, but I haven't checked. There are several of those around.
As for thrifting, I haven't had the chance to do much of that yet. I've only been here a year. But, I've found awesome things in yard sales...check out the paper at www.savannahnow.com
and the yard sales are in the classifieds on Friday and Saturday. I don't know of any groups, but I might participate if I found one. We may be moving to Richmond Hill soon (will still work in Savannah).
I'm a crocheter in my 20s, and I'd love to learn to knit.