The Good, The Bad and the Ugly--Your LYS!

I thought that in light of AineePooh’s thread regarding her recent LYS visit, I thought we could take a moment to share info on our LYS’s-complete with location and why we like them.

Personally, I planned my vacation last year around Yarn Shops that I could visit on the way to and from my best friends wedding. In doing so I found a store I LOVE!!! Of course it is in Ohio and I am in Maryland, but perhaps my info would help someone who lives near there or plans on passing through.

My Thumbs up list:

Lambikins Hideaway
217 South B Street
Hamilton, OH 45013
Its HUGE by LYS standards. Great selection, lots of sale priced yarn. An entire wall of Mmmmmalabrigo-(I laid against it). Great selection-and only an 11 hour drive from me!!! :wall:

The Celtic Knot Yarn Shop
8480 Baltimore National Pike
Suite 426
Ellicott City, MD 21043
I love the environment here. Large and open and airy with the most comfortable couch ever. Very inviting to drop by and knit a bit. A very nice selection, staff very friendly and helpful. This shop holds a special place in my :heart:

Crazy For Ewe
22715 Washington St. (on the Square)
Leonardtown, MD
Lots of Noro! A nice selection of what I would consider more upscale yarns. The owner Ellen is wonderful. She is extremely pleasant and readily invites you to sit and knit a bit. The first time I walked in there I purchased 3 hanks of Misti Alpaca Chunky and knit an entire scarf in an afternoon while chatting away.

Springwater Fiber Workshop
808 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Spinning, weaving, knitting Oh MY! This is a school for lovers of the fiber arts. They have a modest shop with a great selection. Staff is helpful but not overbearing. Larger than average book selection with seating to look them over.

Hunt Country Yarns
1 West Federal Street
Middleburg VA 20118-1206
I love the friendly staff, and the owner is a great guy. This shop has decent prices and a great selection. I have been able to find some yarns at prices well below other shops. Plus it has the benefit of being located in historic Middleburg Va. Lots of antique shops, a British Tea Room and shop (squee!) and a general old world feel that I just love. I am there at least 2x per month!!

My LYS is actually not the closest one. Its Saybrook Yarn www.saybrookyarn.com in Old Saybrook CT. They have a big selection and really friendly people. They understand that you might buy yarn elsewhere but really repay your loyalty by doing stuff like keeping a record of your purchases for easy return without your slip, a knitting night on Thursdays for one dollar where there is always an instructor there who doesn’t mind showing you how to do something or interpret a pattern etc. Interestingly, two (three if you count me I just taught Continental knitting there) are men.

I also really like the Yarn Barn www.theyarnbarn.com
in Woodbridge CT.

Fiberworks
http://www.fiberworks4yarn.com/

17830 New Hampshire Ave
The Alloway Building - Suite 101
Ashton MD 20861-3641

Owner helpful, if a little prickly if she doesn’t recognize you. definitely understands budgets, offered many useful yarn substitutions for something I wanted to make, didn’t push. smallish supply of buttons, large variety of yarns of all types. pretty good selection of needles/ supplies/ bags. offers beginner classes. helped troubleshoot a project where I didn’t buy anything for it at the shop. (of course, I bought Other stuff…)

I have been looking at Fiberworks but haven’t made it up there yet. See? This is what I am talking about. Next time I have a day off I am going to Ashton!!! :teehee:

I live in Charlottesville, VA and don’t care for either of the LYS … The Needle Lady on the Downtown Mall has great selection, however they are a little snooty and cater to people that do not work full-time and charge you for EVERYTHING - even advice and help !!

I have fallen in love with Limerick Fibers in Gordonsville, VA. The first time I walked in Paula was answering questions and showing me how to make i-cord and pick out yarns etc. They have a FREE knitting night every month, offer a wide range of classes from socks to spinning and dyeing your own yarn !! I love that it is owned by mother & daughter.

I know they carry a lot of Cascade and Plymouth yarns, but I usually go in looking for local stuff, I also stock up at the The Fall Fiber Festival that happens the first weekend in October he in VA which is a great source of local fibers (wool, alpaca, angora etc).

I am so jealous of those who have LYS to stop by, sit on the couch and knit away an evening or afternoon. I am so recharged by my monthly night out knitting - at 30 I am the youngest one there, but hey…

Hehe now I have 2 new yarn stores to day-trip to!!! :muah: Keep it coming!!!

Are you KIDDING?!?! :?? That’s awful!

Not kidding at all - went in there when I was first learning to knit and asked if they could help clarify instructions for turning a heel in socks and the woman first critisized my yarn (granted didn’t choose best quality wool for 1st pair of socks) then told me they have a knitting class on various days of the week all midday while some of us are working…when I told her I work fulltime do you have something on Sat or in the evening, she offered to answer my question for $10/hr !!! :!!!: I even gave them a second chance and asked them to order specific colors of Lambs Pride (which they carry) and then it never came in and when I questioned it never coming in they told me nobody that works there remembers seeing me in the store regularly so they could not do a special order !!! :wall:

Yes, I’m still bitter

The Yarn Garden in Annapolis isn’t bad, but it’s also not really worth a special trip. :shrug:

If anyone’s ever in Rochester, Village Yarn Shop (I think that’s what it’s called) in Midtown is AMAZING in terms of selection. Wild Wools on South Ave is my favorite in terms of people, though. The lady that owns it is awesome and even remember me and my roommate AND what we’d last bought yarn for, even though we hadn’t been in there in a couple of months.

If you’re in Boston, go to Windsor Button. Its the only LYS I’ve gone to here, but the staff are really helpful. My first project that I was making didn’t have anything about what kind of yarn to use, and the girl looked at the picture to help me figure out what weight I should be using (I had no clue!). I told her I wanted a green color so she showed me a few and told me how many skeins I would need (she was right on, I didn’t have too much leftover). I also thought it was great that she showed me yarn in a variety of prices, not just the expensive stuff…she recommended with the amount of yarn I would need to get something that was a little cheaper. Its also not just a yarn store (there’s stuff for sewing, etc), so if you need extras for a project you’re likely to find them there. I’d definitely recommend it!

Contact info:
35 Temple Place
Boston, MA 02111
617-482-4969
http://www.windsorbutton.com/

Chel- sure- come on up to Ashton- I’ll meet you for coffee. yummy french bakery just a mile or so away… mmmmmmm coffee. Ashton is actually not as far away from No Va. as it sounds, suburban SIlver Spring, Burtonsville, Sandy SPring, Colesville are the neighboring towns.

My Mom loves Uniquities in Vienna Va- cute shop with super nice ladies. 421 D Church St NE
Vienna Va 22180
LOTS of lovely yarns of all types: And they don’t charge you to oblivion- Mom found a 200 yd skein of Encore for me for less than $6 including tax. it is a wool/ acrylic blend (I think.)

Showers of Flowers
6900 West Colfax Ave.
Lakewood, CO 80214

Only LYS I’ve been to.

Nice-sized store, large selection of fibers and patterns.

Downsides: Pricey, and if you mention getting things online, they’ll chew you out. At least the owner/manager did. :!!!:

I agree with windsor button, I have asked questions there that I knew were unwise and the owner is so nice and still doesn’t think I’m insane.

And they do super-speedy special orders without deposits.

And will take back things without receipts and without necessarily the person you bought it from even in the store at the time.

I have mixed feelings about our LYS. Somedays I go in and everyone is really nice, but there are two ladies there that are who won’t give you the time of day if you aren’t a regular. But they are sure helpful if you want to purchase something. They definitely treat you differently if are a regular, I have been in enough to see how they treat different customers. Their supplies and yarn are quite pricey and they really don’t have large selection of yarns. From what I read on the forum and have seen in the nice knitting magazines, they don’t even offer most of those. I will order if online if I want something really nice.

Only one lady really offers to help, but she isn’t in there very often. Usually I have to wait my turn to get help, and then be quite direct, they won’t just say hi and be helpful just off the bat. I have no problem waiting, but wish they could be a bit more friendly. That bugs me big time. They close early and don’t’ really offer for anyone to just come and knit. They even told one customer when I was there if you purchase yarn from our store we would be very glad to help you. I got the feeling that if you don’t shop there then forgot even asking for help.

I have purchased yarn and supplies from my current LYS, but I admit I will try the chain store first, especially if I have a coupon. We have a lot of chain stores, like Micheal’s and Joann’s, but a few more.

I was fortunate on our last vacation to visit two yarn stores while in the Lake Tahoe/Reno area. I went to both Jimmy Beans Wool Stores and :heart: it. Everyone I talked with there was so nice and helpful. They had a lot of really quality yarn! I stopped at a LYS in the South Lake Tahoe area (can’t remember the name, thinks it’s call the “The Wool Tree.”) At each place I bought some yarn and found my time at all both places to be a very positive experience.

I am definitely going to try another LYS that in close by in my area that I haven’t had a chance to go visit. I saw their website and it seems like a really great place to visit and get help. (yarndogs)

So I understand the woes of those who aren’t all that impressed with their LYS.

I love one of my LYS! The Knitting Emporium in Kennesaw is wonderful!

The Knitting Emporium
2803 S Main St
Kennesaw, Ga 30144
Phone: 770-421-1919

A lot of knitters in my area seem to like The Purly Gates. Now, perhaps I was “assisted” by someone different than they have been, but I wasn’t impressed. Granted, when I called them to see if they had the Denise needle kit in stock, the lady I spoke to was very friendly. When I went to pick the set up, however, the woman who was working the shop at the time was incredibly rude. When I picked up a bag of wool roving to make some felted soaps with, she sneered at me and said, “you are aware that is not yarn, right?” like I was some sort of idiot. Plus, they are substantially more expensive than the Knitting Emporium.

I have a guess as to the unnamed store you mention. I don’t live very close to it but I went there a couple of times in early 2005. I got needles there.

Yarndogs is awesome. I’d go there more often if I didn’t live so far away. casual, friendly, down-to-earth atmosphere. they have lots of Manos and Noro, and they may be the only south bay store to stock SWTC Karaoke. once they didn’t have enough skeins of something rmturtle wanted, but they called someone to get more from offsite storage and brought it to her within 10 minutes. :thumbsup:

Commuknity:
http://www.commuknity.com
(San Jose)
another nice pleasant place. I ALWAYS get a friendly greeting and offers to help me find something. I just went there yesterday because I think they may be the only south bay store to stock Brittany 5" DPNs. I ended up buying 220 and Kureyon as well. they have a good selection of Noro and Cascade. :smiley:

Purlescence:
http://www.purlescenceyarns.com
(Sunnyvale)
this is my localest LYS. everyone who works there is friendly and warm and I always get a pleasant greeting. they have SOCKS THAT ROCK, and a great Rowan and Cascade selection. good variety of bags and notions there as well. :heart:

Rug and Yarn Hut:
http://ewebwarped.stores.yahoo.net/
(Campbell)
this place has by far the biggest stock of Cascade 220 in the south bay. everyone who works there as well as hangs out there is super friendly and helpful. wonderful “family” atmosphere. :heart:

Knitting Arts:
http://www.goknit.com/
(Saratoga)
GORGEOUS store! I’ve only been there twice, as it’s a bit far for me. but their KPPPM and Cherry Tree Hill selections are good, and they have a lot of patterns. I have to go there soon to check out their Lexie Barnes stock. :smiley:

Uncommon Threads:
http://www.uncommonthreadsyarn.com/
(Los Altos)
I’ve heard a lot of negative reviews of this place, but fortunately I’ve never had a bad experience there. they’ve called me when more KPPPM and Kureyon came in, they’ve set books aside for me, and they’ve always greeted me when I walked in, and told me someone would be right with me when I stood in a line at the cashier. I think they have the best Nashua stock in the south bay. :smiley:

Full Thread Ahead:
(Los Altos)
haven’t been there yet.

Yarn Place:
(Sunnyvale)
haven’t been there yet.

Knitters’ Studio
(Menlo Park)
haven’t been there yet.

a bit of a drive (2.5 hours from me), but worth it if you want to make a weekend out of it:
Filati


(Rocklin)
they have EVERYTHING. :heart:

Let me add another GA store to the list…There are several in the Atlanta area but none better than Knitch. Their full address is:

Knitch
1052 St. Charles Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30306

It’s located in the Virginia/Highland district and hasn’t been around for all that long. The owner and every worker there is SO helpful and very nice. It’s not the largest selection but I’m willing to give up a little selection to get the better customer service and helpful attitude. If you want to shop online at knitch–click HERE.

Okay, so after reading all this, who’s ready to go on an LYS tour of the country?!? ME!!

Yep…that would be awesome!!

BAD BUSINESS !!! my LYS charge $2 an hour only…chances is that you need their 10 mins and the rest of the 50 mins you are knitting aldy !