Anne had a contest to talk about local yarn shops. She even posted somewhat of a wish list recently, which is what I think almost all of us need/want in a local yarn shop. Well, I've found one that is local, in a back roads, away from the city kind of way. Limerick Fibers (site under construction, but coming soon!), in Gordonsville, VA is a knitter's dream. It's cute. The owners are a mother-daughter team, and while I was there, I was introduced to another daughter and her wee daughter. I left work early and drove 25 minutes out into the country, and there on Main Street is the little grey building that is home to the best little yarn shop going.
I was in a good frame of mind to judge, as I'd picked up the last of the back ordered Cotton Fleece from the LYS in the city I frequent. (They know me by name, and even what I have in the works.) They're nice enough now that they know me (and coincidentally, I've spent a boatload of money in there), but they're still disorganized and always seem to lack whatever I went in there after. Not so at Limerick Fibers. They didn't know me from Eve, and had not a clue whether I'd buy anything then or ever, but Paula assured me I should take my time, let her know if she could help, etc.
My cell phone has a camera. I should have used it. I have never seen so much Cascade 220 in one place, neatly stacked in wood stained cubes, higher than I could reach, in row after row. Sigh. There was even an entire row at the back with the Cascade Sierra, which is what I wanted to use for hubby's blankie, but the above-mentioned LYS had one little cube full of maybe three colors, so I went with the Cotton Fleece, and still had to order five of the colors. I'm pleased with my selections, but the multi MONTH wait for the last color was unacceptable, and Cotton Fleece simply doesn't have some of the colors I wanted. (There they are. There are multiple skeins of many of the colors, but you could have guessed that, since I said it was for a blanket, right?)
So, here is what I purchased, minus one more pattern that is for a swap. Those are Bryspun needles. Almost since I reconnected with my inner knitter, I've wanted to try them. Soy? Good, but you know about that, because I went overboard about why I love soy with the SWS. They have sharp points too, just like those awesome Options. Yep, despite my initial less than love for Cascade 220, there's more of it in there. There's also Euroflax in there, because Knitters Stash and a mystery customer in the above mentioned LYS said I needed to try it, and the mounds of beautimousness all around are the Plymouth Bamboo that called to me. It wants to be the vest on the left, because I don't do sleeveless. And again, the folks at Limerick's are so cool that when I began to walk around stroking the bamboo and talk to the spinny racks of patterns, Paula went downstairs to find the three balls she'd pulled for her own use and for a shop sample. With those three balls, there was just enough for the pattern. Joy! There's another felted bag pattern on the teal paper, but that's for a swap too.
These down-home geniuses are also going to have a wish list section on their website. Even without a working website, they noted the ball winder and swift I want for my birthday, and said to send my family in. My husband, sister and mother inlaw have all been so advised. (Already, I trust Paula and her family. I won't end up with three swifts. They do gift certificates too.) They have spinning and needle felting stuff too.
I also got more lusciousness from Sheri at The Loopy Ewe. It's in a colorway called "Preppy" in colors I love dearly, by Sknitches. I'm still called "Preppy" and this yarn makes me proud to share the title. It also makes me want to go buy some penny loafers too, but I wouldn't really wear them. (I wonder if Clarks makes something like a penny loafer?)
Limerick's could be better. No Sunday hours, only open five days a week, but I do feel sure that if I can't leave work early and arrive there at 4:30, they'll stay until I've selected what I need and want. They are heavy on Cascade, carrying yarns in that brand I had only seen on websites before. They don't have much in the way of sock yarn, and I don't know whether it is a plus or a minus, but they have no Yuck Yarn - that's Noro Kureyon for the rest of you. However, they're more than willing to custom-order, which is nice, but realistically, it means that the city LYSs will still get plenty of my business, as will the internet stores. That I feel comfortable sending my family in there speaks volumes. That I checked to make sure they won't be closed for their family vacation while Anne is here means I've found the first "must see" stop on our Virginia yarn crawl.
Speaking of vacations, those crazy gals at the Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap are tricky! International dateline and all, sign-ups are already open! Be there or be square. I'm already plotting what would go in my Virginia is for lovers swap box. (That's the state's tourism slogan, or was for too many years while I was growing up anyway.) I'm looking forward to seeing and hearing what everyone else comes up with. Maybe I'll be inspired to add to my places I want to go if I'm ever able to take more than four days of vacation at a time list.