Local Yarn Shops: My Home Away from Home (plus an LYS $5 rebate!)

A Grand YarnTomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I have so much to be thankful for this year. I have a terrific job, lovely friends and family, a nice home, and a growing yarn stash. 🙂 Seriously, though, I have had a fabulous year. Here's the story.

I moved from Seattle to Spokane last August, leaving behind a gaggle of wonderful friends, my beloved local yarn shops, and a vibrant city full of diverse neighborhoods. (And hellish traffic!) Spokane is my hometown  so I was looking forward to being back, but I was nervous about creating a community here, especially since I had just left such an amazing group of friends in Seattle. Enter my LYS here, A Grand Yarn.

I started with a bi-weekly stitch class, and I scored a spot at the annual retreat at a camp on one of the beautiful lakes that surround Spokane. Soon after, I started working and teaching classes at A Grand Yarn—my first day was actually Christmas Eve! Then I started knitting with a group of gals that came in every Saturday. These women became friends, and A Grand Yarn became my home away from home. I love walking in the door and being greeted with a "Hi, Kathleen! How are you?" And I'm always great because the minute I walk in the door I'm surrounded by beautiful yarn and samples of amazing projects—some knitted by me!

Working in knitting has been a dream of mine for a long time, and this year it came true in spades!

TricoterYOUR Local Yarn Store: Developing a Community

If you have an LYS, I encourage you to stop in and pick up their newsletter. The shop most likely has an open knitting group that you can join to meet other knitters. And take some classes! There are all kinds of classes offered at my LYS, and every LYS I've visited has a list of classes available, so try one. You'll meet people and learn new techniques.

Each LYS has its own personality, but I've found that one thing they all have in common is a welcoming atmosphere. I was driving in Pasadena, California last year and I glanced over at exactly the right time because I saw a yarn shop and there was a parking place right in front! I went in and ended up sitting for two hours, knitting and chatting with the ladies there.

On a recent visit back to Seattle this fall, a friend and I took a ferry to Bainbridge Island and visited the fabulous yarn shop there. They have a wonderful selection of yarn and the button options there are amazing! One of their teachers was there to teach a class to a group coming off of a crafts cruise to Alaska, and she gave my friend and me a couple of pointers on the linen stitch. We spent about three hours there, and many dollars, too!

One of the things I love about shopping at an LYS is the different yarns they each have available. This varies around the country, of course, because of climate, mainly. I visited a shop in Palm Springs, California, and they had an amazing array of cotton and linen yarns. Some shops specialize in a  certain type of yarn, too, such as sock yarn. One of the shops in Portland, Oregon has a lovely wall of sock yarn. When I stopped in there during the Sock Summit, they had such a variety of yarn to choose from it was hard to make a decision. I managed it, though.

Many of the yarn shops I've visited do charity projects, too. At A Grand Yarn, we've knit chemo hats for donation and we're currently knitting hats and scarves for homeless kids. This is a wonderful way to get your knitting to people who really need it. Check in with your LYS to see if they've got a charity knitting project in the works.

Churchmouse Yarns and TeasBut I Don't Have an LYS in My Town!

I know many of you don't have an LYS handy, but if you're reading this newsletter, you do have a computer handy, and that's the next best thing. Many shops have thriving mail-order businesses, so do some yarn shop web browsing—you'll find tons of shops you can order from! And there lots of fun features on shop websites, too: blogs, kits, project galleries, and so on.

If you're traveling, check out the LYS situation before you go—maybe there's a class offered during your visit, or a trunk show (a group of designs on display from a certain book or designer).

At Interweave, we love LYS's, so we want to give you a coupon for a $5.00 rebate on any Interweave product you buy at an LYS—just scroll down and print out the coupon. And have fun shopping!

And leave us a comment about your favorite LYS! Why is it your home away from home?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and know that I'm thankful for each and every one of you, Knitting Daily readers!



$5 Rebate valid ANY Interweave product through 12/31/2009

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