I had such much fun yesterday visiting all of the north Houston LYS's (Local Yarn Shops). Would you believe that there is no yarn shop in Fort Bend County (where I live)? That should be a crime. So when David had a conference in The Woodlands this week, I went with him and dedicated one morning to LYS hopping. Here's a summary of my experiences and purchases...
Twisted Yarns is a darling shop in Old Town Spring. Old Town Spring is a few blocks worth of shops containing antiques and collectibles, jewelry and random treasures that is fun to spend a day wandering through. I learned yesterday that it is also home to my favorite north Houston yarn shop. Twisted Yarns has everything! The ladies who worked there were so friendly and helpful. They were happy to show me around quickly and then leave me alone to browse and pet all of the lovely yarn. I came away with a long list of ideas and projects that their yarns would be perfect for, but I only bought one thing. I fell in love with this organic cotton yarn and bought a skein of it in the "sand" color. It was tremendously difficult not to buy it in every color--it's so soft and beautiful. I feel passionately that every baby in the world deserves a hat made of this yarn. Next friend to have a baby gets one! The only bummer about Twisted Yarns is that they are very knit-focused. None of their example projects were done in crochet. They only had a small selection of crochet hooks, and all of the classes they offer are geared toward knitters. I can forgive that little oversight, though, considering how impressed I was with their yarns and customer service. I even got a free tape measure since it was my first visit. No such thing as too many tape measures!
The Hen House--Also in Spring, the Hen House is a combination yarn shop and quilt shop. Mom and I made a stop there this summer, so this was my 2nd visit to this store. The interior could not be cuter. It's made to look like a barn, well, probably a hen house, with wood floors and wooden walls and apple baskets full of yarn. It's a very inviting place. For my purposes, however, it's not the greatest LYS. They carry many, many, many specialty yarns, most of which are too frilly for me to want to work with. I don't like hairy or fuzzy or ribbon-y yarns. I like soft cottons and wools that look like your grandmother would have used them. None of this new trendy yarn for me! I must say, though, that if I'm ever in the market for some gorgeous HPY (hand painted yarn), I'll have to take a trip back. Their selection of locally dyed HPY was to die for!
Merribee Needlearts--I made my first trip to Merribee a few months ago in search of the perfect wool for my on-going felted basket project. The little lady who owns this shop is so sweet and will sit and talk with you forever about your ideas. She was a tremendous help to me when I was debating which yarn to use and how to construct the so-called baskets. Her shop is very large, and is dedicated to needle crafts of all types, including embroidery and needlepoint in addition to knit and crochet. This shop is very crochet-friendly, a trait I admire. In fact, the owner was crocheting a sample from a new wool yarn she had just ordered for felting when I was there, and we had a lively debate on hook size for worsted weight yarn. She's pretty sure I always use a smaller hook than I should, and let's face it--she's probably right, but I'm stubborn! Merribee is not a fancy shop, though. No HPY, no organics, hemps, or linens. Not even some of the classics that you expect to see in a LYS like Cascade, but a sweet shop and an owner that makes you want to visit again and again. I did leave Merribee with a small purchase, too--some yarn for the Christmas swap on the 'pin!