Tag Archive | local yarn stores

Nerd Girl Field Trip

I’m lucky enough to have a fantastic indie dyer only thirty minutes away: Nerd Girl Yarns. Her colorways are exactly what you’d expect (Doctor Who, Harry Potter, superheroes, and much more), the colors are gorgeous, and the yarn is always a treat to knit with. In the recent past, she’s been primarily an online seller, without a brick and mortar retail location, but she’s in a new space now and had a Grand Opening this weekend. Of course I had to go, and I haven’t gotten to hang out much with Knitting SIL lately, so she joined me. We weren’t disappointed: the new location was beautiful!

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The wood glass-fronted cabinets are stunning, especially filled with yarn. She also carries a bit of tea, so we saw tea accessories too. When you first go in, you see a cabinet full of crystal teacups and flasks, each holding yarn.

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But as pretty as it all was, we were there mainly for one thing: yarn!

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Her selection of already-dyed yarn is limited, but it’s all tempting. There was pima cotton in bright pinks and oranges and yellows, plus plenty of merino in a variety of colors. There were also tie-dyed sock knitting bags, which I resisted (It was hard), and dyed wool for spinning. (Is that called roving? I don’t know.)

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There was plenty more bare yarn, and if I dyed my own yarn, this would be the place to go, since she had all different weights, plus some with sparkle!

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So what did I get?? This was my little impulse purchase, rainbow scissors up by the register. Love them!

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This is merino worsted in a color called Too English to Say Anything. I think I want to look for a solid or two to go with it.

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Originally my goal was to only buy one skein. But then I found this one, a fingering weight called Queen of the Amazons, and of course it had to come home with me.

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It was a fun little field trip in an otherwise busy weekend. I’m glad we were able to squeeze it in!

Sock Yarn!

We went on a field trip today, the husband and I. The girl was spending time with the boyfriend, and the boy wanted to hang out at home, so husband and I drove out to Lawrence, Kansas for the afternoon. We spent a lovely few hours walking around, having lunch and ice cream. There was a Busker Festival going on, so there was some street entertainment, but the best part is that so many people brought their dogs! There were dogs everywhere, and they were all much better behaved than mine would be in that situation. I petted as many as I could, but it wasn’t enough. Never enough dogs! We went to a fun stationary/art supply store, where I found a new fountain pen, a Dude.

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And of course we went to the Dusty Bookshelf, where I bought a book of essays about dogs (naturally). And also of course, we went to the Yarn Barn, where I bought some yarn (naturally). But I’d left my purse at home, which meant the husband had to pay, which meant I was probably more restrained than I would have been otherwise. This is all I got:

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Just one skein of Frolicking Feet in the colorway Dancing Leprechaun, and my first Zauberball! I’m pretty excited to make socks out of them. It might happen soon, too, because my current socks are going quickly. Well, okay, so I have two pairs on my needles. This pair I started for my lunchtime knitting at work, another simple pair of Vanilla Latte socks. This is Tumbleweed yarn in the color Sorority Girl and I love it so much.

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But then once that was going, I started other pair, a fun pair to knit at home, a pretty hot pink pair with lace on the leg, and thanks to movie knitting yesterday and car knitting today, I’ve already turned the heel on the first sock.

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The pattern is called Spring Forward (it’s free, too!) and the yarn is Merino Nylon Fingering by Knerd String, colorway Hotter! So now, let’s see if I can finish these two socks this week! I think I can, I think I can…

Pretty pretty yarn

Recently we spent a day in Columbia, MO. I knew of one yarn store there that we visit each time we’re in town, but on a whim I did a google search and found another one. I only had time to visit one LYS, so the new one won. It’s called True Blewe Yarns and it was marvelous! The selection wasn’t deep but it was delicious. They carried a few favorites, like Madelinetosh, Manos del Uruguay and some Cascade superwash but they also had some new (to me) lines like Holiday Yarns and Three Irish Girls, and I fell in love.

My husband found this yarn. It didn’t jump out at me at first because it’s not my usual combination of colors, but then I looked at the name:

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YES! It’s Wonder Woman yarn!! And I do adore Wonder Woman. So this was my first pick. It’s from Holiday Yarns and it will be either a long cowl, to wrap twice, or a shawl/scarf thing similar in size to a Hitchhiker. I had a hard time resisting the Twilight, Batman and Black Widow colors. You can check out all their yarns online here.

Then I had to pick a multicolor skein from Three Irish Girls because they were beautiful and felt good when I petted them. This was the winner.

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It’s Adorn Sock in a colorway called Piazza del San Marco and I have no idea what it will become.

I admired this color because…well, purple, but wasn’t going to pick it up until my husband pointed out how nicely it went with my dark purple winter coat. (Oh, yes, I know I’m very lucky to have a husband who helps me spend money on yarn!)

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It’s Holiday Yarns FlockSock, 400 yards of fingering weight. Definitely a scarfy-shawl thing.

Then my daughter found these scrumptious beauties and I loved them so much I had to have two! It’s like Malabrigo Rasta only SOFTER. AND you get 109 yards per skein!!

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The gray is going to become a big cowl (for ME) and the cream will become a hat with a BIG pompom (for…I don’t know who).

I had to quit after that but they liked me enough that they put my yarns in a nifty tote bag, and that’s happy because what knitter doesn’t need another tote bag??

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So if you’re in the Columbia area, I highly recommend you check out this jewel of a yarn store!

What do you want in a Local Yarn Store?

We did a little yard work on Monday, and today I woke up with two little spots of poison ivy on my arm. Of course. It never fails. Whenever I do yard work, I get poison ivy. Doesn’t matter what precautions I take or whether we can see any where I’m working. It just happens. Fingers crossed that it’s just the one spot and the calamine continues to do its job. Then I had a blog post half-written this morning before I realized I’d already posted about that topic (the purple crochet fedoras). Shoot. That was my big plan for the morning. Instead I’ll go down and cast on for the Honey Cowl again with my Madelinetosh.

My brain is a little preoccupied, I guess. I found out the other day that one of my favorite LYSs is moving. It will still be in the metro area, but it’s farther away. It leaves the area on this side of the state line with just one LYS, and not a great one. There are some positives, the best one being that it’s a 3-minute drive for me. It’s a big store and they have good prices. They’ve been there for years and years and it seems like the customer base is much older. The ladies who work there don’t always take kindly to younger crafters like myself invading their space. It is not a welcoming store. It’s not really a friendly store. I like to look at the yarn but I’d never want to just sit down and hang out there. And that’s what I want in my LYS. 

So this news started a little voice in the back of my head talking, poking me about opening my own LYS. I’ve thought about it, dreamed about it. I have a vision in my head of what it might look like. It’s fuzzy and shifts, but it’s there. Certain aspects stay the same. I have ideas of promotions I would do, groups I could host, how I’d arrange the comfy chairs for crafters. I’ve already thought about what types and brands of yarn I’d want to carry to distinguish myself from the other LYS, but I think the atmosphere would be the biggest variant. Knitters and crocheters are such a friendly, community-oriented bunch that I think we flock to places that encourage it. I *want* to encourage it. I want to foster it and be part of it.

My husband and I have talked about creating a shop together, one that would allow us both to showcase our creations and help others create. He dreams of building custom furniture, and a yarn store could easily also be a showroom for his sample pieces. We have a name picked out, we’ve looked at available buildings…every For Sale or For Rent sign in our little downtown area catches our eyes.

Right now I’m dreaming. I’m even yearning a bit. But it’s not time yet. My kids are busy, and aren’t old enough to drive themselves to their various activities. I still want to be there for them, help them be active in band and theater and music and whatever else they dream of. I have some other family stuff going on, too, stuff that wouldn’t allow me to easily take on something as huge as my own store. I have a puppy who would eat the house if left alone all day, every day. We haven’t begun to write a business plan yet, something that definitely needs to happen. We need to do some research, start compiling numbers and working out the details. But I think this could happen. I think this could be our future.

It makes me wonder, and I want your feedback: What do you look for in a LYS? What compels you to go there again and again? What do you like and not like? What do you wish your LYS had or did? If you could have a dream LYS, what would it look like?