I had the chance to visit the yarn mecca of San Francisco this past week. ImagiKnit is AWESOME.
SO. MUCH. YARN.
The yarn selection is the best I’ve ever seen at a California lys. There were so many options, most of which are beautiful hand-dyed greats that still have reasonable prices. (There’s also a plentiful clearance section.) I love that the lys is sectioned off by the wool room vs. the cotton, linen, paper, bamboo, etc. room.
Other fun things:
—There’s also a good roving selection for the spinners out there!
—There’s a store dog!
—The swift and ball winder are self-serve, so I finally learned how to spin cakes myself, thanks to the help of the friendly staff.
I ended up getting some great cotton blend and another skein of Corntastic.
If you ever find yourself in the Castro, check this place out!
I recently visited the adorable Knitterly in Petaluma, CA. Soooo cute :) The store is big, bright, and airy. The staff are super friendly. There’s just about every skein ever created by MadelineTosh. What more could you want?
This is a great store to visit if you’re experiencing knitter’s block. So much yarn, so much inspiration! I especially love that they have a ton of Koigu mini skeins for only $1.50 each and little mystery bags of mini balls for $4. Such a great way to experiment with yarn you may never pick up.
I wanted to take the whole store, but I left with a gorgeous grey to purple to pink ball of Liberty Wool. Mmmm.
For anyone in the North Bay, go check this out right now! (And, you can go get your beer on at Lagunitas afterwards, hit up the Sonoma coast, or jump over to the many, many, many wineries in the area. Perfect day!)
I recently visited the lovely lys that is Blizzard Yarn & Fiber in Vancouver, WA. If you’re in the Portland area, add this lys to your agenda.
This lys may be the most community-oriented store I’ve been to yet (AKA it’s awesome)! Not only was I greeted with a smile, a handshake, and a personal tour from the store owner, but the tight-knit (pun intended!) group of knitters in the store insisted that I join them. I’m not usually one for public knitting or group knitting, but I stayed for a good hour and a half knitting new socks alongside some fun conversation. This lys has a solid event calendar full of your classic weekly knit night, KAL/CAL nights multiple days of the week, and classes in a variety of fiber arts. There’s also a kitchen full of free coffee, tea, and snacks. Yessss. This store is the dream lys that you always want around the corner from your home.
The yarn selection is great with tons of MadTosh, Noro, Blue Sky, Cascade, and local yarns. There’s also some gorgeous roving for the spinners. Best of all, the yarn prices were super reasonable. The store has absolutely stunning display projects made by community members that really make you want to up your game. I also found some cute little handmade stitch markers. This store is the perfect mix of handmade cuteness and chic luxury yarn. I ended up with some Cascade Heritage Paints sock yarn and some new Knitter’s Pride Karbonz DPNs.
TL; DR This lys is the the lys I’ve always wanted. ;)
Also, pro tip: check their website for directions before you go, because it’s a bit tricky to find the store. It was like an adventure trying to find Narnia.
So, the other day I was driving to the beautiful Sonoma coast, and I happened across this lovely store! Be careful, if you blink, you may miss it. It’s located in Valley Ford, California, which boasts a population of a little under 200. Not what this city girl is used to!
Valley Ford Wool Mill is all about locally-sourced, locally-processed wool. So cool! The store smells like lavender (mmm), and there’s a bunch of fun things made from wool. The yarn and fiber selection isn’t huge, but the fact that it’s all local makes up for it.
If you’re in the North Bay area, you should check this out! It’s a gorgeous drive with lots of sheep and cows to wave to. :)
I recently visited Abuelita’s Knitting in Pasadena, CA, and it’s so adorable! It’s the first LYS I’ve been to in my native SoCal, so I was super excited! Consequently, it’s also the sunniest LYS I’ve been to yet. ;)
The small shop is super cozy, super colorful, and full of light. The space’s warmth is echoed by its very friendly owner. I will definitely be going back next time I’m in the area (budget alert: the prices are reasonable!). There were a few really lovely, unique yarns, and I couldn’t resist taking home some TARDIS blue fingering alpaca blend.
Another reason to love this LYS: Abuelita’s is located on Colorado Blvd next to a wine bar and across the street from the famous indie bookstore/reader mecca Vroman’s Bookstore. Um, can I live here!?
Close Knit in NE Portland, OR is THE CUTEST. After sprinting across the street after spotting a yarn store, I was welcomed with a super warm (it’s FREEZING in PDX) and cozy spot. Added bonus was the super adorable and friendly and lovely woman who helped me out.
Seriously, can I move in tomorrow?
Because I’m a broke postgrad, I never buy luxury yarn, but I splurged on some PINK needles (DPN & circular), dandelion sock yarn from Germany, and Cascade Baby Alpaca. Heavenly. :)
I recently had the opportunity to visit The Knitting Nest in Stateline, Nevada. LOOK at that gorgeous snow! It’s located right next to one of Lake Tahoe’s ski resorts, so you can almost watch snowboarders from the parking lot. SO COOL!
This store is super warm and cozy. The yarn selection is fun, but it’s really all about the notions wall. Yowza! Of course I fell in love with all the Lantern Moon stitch markers. I also especially loved all the adorable project bags strewn throughout the store. I also got to see some Addi Diamonds in person. Talk about swanky. The owner also carries the magic rainbow sticks that are Knit Picks needles. So much to choose from!
Even with all this luxury, I still found incredible deals here. As a knitter on a budget, I always beeline for clearance sections, and this one was full of so many goodies. Also, pro tip: use the 50% Yelp deal offered at this lys! I came out with a haul at a super low price. Happy dance! I’ll post a pic of my haul in another post. ;)
And, for the cherry on top, the owner of this lys is my idea of the perfect owner. She was super friendly and super helpful but not at all in your face while you shop. We had a great chat while she was spinning my hanks into cakes, which included me showing off pictures of The Yarnover Truck’s birthday. I’m hoping I convinced her to open a mobile yarn shop. ;) She also said she was inspired to open her shop while reading The Friday Night Knitting Club. I think I’ll finally have to sit down and give the novel a try.
Overall, I give this shop 5 out of 5 purls, even if just for the novelty of being in a lys where I could watch the snow fall as the yarn swift turned.