Friday, October 26, 2007

Not So LYS - Fanciwerks Yarn Shoppe

With the all the smoke in the air, the stress of being so far from home AND lying to my hubby, and the fact that I knitted through an entire ball of yarn last night working on the DUCK project, I was a'needin' some retail therapy. I kept hemming and hawing about going to the (apparently) only yarn shop in the area because I hadn't met anyone who had gone there before.

Well, it turns out that one of the folks at my work is a dishcloth-knitting woman and knew all about the shop. My first question, which seemed to throw her, was: Are they nice? She replied that they are super and have a huge wall of yarn, great selection. So I figure, why not do a little road-tripping after work? So, after I put in my nearly nine hours, I got in my car and drove the exact opposite direction of my beaten path. After a bit of driving, a call to 411, a call to the shop for directions, then a bit more driving, I found it.

Peoples, Fanciwerks Yarn Shoppe is freakin' amazing. First off, when I first called the owner Lynn gave me insanely detailed directions, including street names, landmarks, and where to turn on the dinky side-street next to the highway. There was a little dachshund in one of those large cage/carrier thingies (turns out he wasn't feeling well because of the poor air quality or the little guy would have been out & about). I have mixed feelings about animals in yarn shops, but as long as they don't sully anything it's fine with me. I do worry about my peeps with allergies, but from what I've observed the shops with a little dog romping around seem to have the friendliest staff.

Anyway, there was a class in session, so I pop into the next room with the yarn. This, ladies and gentlemen, was a yarn shop. There were so many types and colors and brands, some I'd never heard of, piled in baskets on the walls and nested in shelves all over the floor, it took me two walks through to acclimate enough to trust myself to pick anything up. The one criticism I have is that I couldn't tell how (or if) the yarn was set up. It wasn't by color, weight, or manufacturer, though there was an obvious baby-yarns section. I did find a lot of alpaca in the same general area as well so???

Moving on, during my first stroll through the yarn the aforementioned owner Lynn, asked if I needed any help, and gave me a friendly laugh when I said I was trying to take it all in. She then mentioned that everything... Wait, let me get this right: EVERYTHING was 25% off. I was undone right there and then. Totally screwed. Good thing I needed alibi yarn, eh? She pointed towards the bags hanging off the walls and told me to grab one if I needed to. She then left me to my fondling, walking by often to answer any questions I had and to talk a little bit about the yarn I had clutched to my bosom. Not obtrusive or anything, just friendly.

The kicker? The one thing that really brought this shop over the top? The "regular" knitters in the class invited me to sit down while the lovely Lynn was winding a skein of yarn up for me. They were also very friendly and totally chatted about knitting and my local yarn shops with me. When my order was ready to go, Lynn chatted with me a bit about where I was from and how long I was going to be in the area. She offered to try to find the pattern to a sample felted purse that I fell in love with and made sure that I got a newsletter so I would know what classes were coming up and when the knit nights were. I felt so completely at home, they're lucky I didn't take off my shoes.

Purchase-wise, I think I did very well; I only bought one skein of Trekking Pro Natura, two skeins of Alpaca With A Twist Baby Twist for wristwarmers/fingerless/gloves/hat/something, a skein of Classic Elite Alpaca Sox, and the IK Holiday Gifts issue because I think it's not included with my subscription. All of it, including the magazine, was 25% off. No, really. This shop does not mess around with their sales. If you live in the area, I would highly recommend getting your yarn-buying behinds down there and raid the shop before Saturday.

Just stay away from the brown Baby Twist . I might need another skein for a hat...

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