Armed with a list of the nine shops, their addresses, and closing times, Amanda and I headed out from Augusta at 9:30AM – of course we would have left much earlier, but somebody had mandatory PT that morning (that’s working out in military speak. ) . Since the first stores opened at 10 AM and they closed pretty early 4PM-6PM we knew it would be pretty hard to hit all nine in one day!
We arrived at our first stop – Yarn Garden, around 11:30
First thing I noticed walking into Yarn Garden was the knitters! I automatically know I’m going to like a yarn store when the first thing I see is other people sitting around knitting. There was a charming little table with three ladies sitting there knitting away. A fourth knitter was scanning the Wall of Cascade, her adorable little baby sitting on the floor by her feet.
You could also see the two ladies working in the shop busy winding yarn into cakes for a waiting customer. Perfect! I still remember when I first started visiting yarn stores, skein winding wasn’t very common or expected – and some places charged for it! So great to see this service has become so much more widespread and accepted as a regular (free) part of the yarn experience.
That being said Amanda and I did not get our yarn wound in any of the stores we visited. Takes too much time and we were in a big hurry!
We asked which yarn store was closest and they said a Rare Purl However we knew they would be open until 6 and were afraid that the stores that were only open to 5 would be harder to get to, so we skipped it vowing to return. That was a mistake that almost cost us a stamp
Next Stop, Strings and Strands
This shop has the honor of being the first one that had yarn bombing on display. Love it! They also had a large selection of high-end yarn, including art yarn, yarn with beads or sequins spun in it, and exotic lace weight. I definitely could smell the yarn fumes in there. Fortunately for me my shop hop strategy was set in stone. I had a list of very specifics yarns to get for patterns I planned to knit soon, so I avoided temptation, stayed on budget, and bought the yarn that I needed. But there was so much more there that I wish I could have brought home with me!
The next stop was the Needle Nook.
There are two basic layouts for yarn stores : Open, or Not. Open yarn stores like Yarn Garden have all of the yarn displayed along the walls, leaving the middle of the floor open for sitting/standing/talking. Not open stores have rows and rows of shelves, much like a bookstore, turning them in to crowded fiber caverns. That’s definitely what Needle Nook was like! And don’t misunderstand me- both layouts have their pro’s and cons. Needle Nook shined in having a HUGE variety in all of my favorite things. Shelves and Shelves of lace weight in various types of fiber, A huge cotton/linen section, and Malabrigo. Oh, The Malabrigo. I don’t know how you feel about this brand of yarn, but for me, it’s like crack. I really have a hard time resisting it. My favorite is their lace weight – and many of the stores we went to had that and the worsted single ply, but needle nook had RIOS, a fairly new plied Malabrigo worsted weight. I may have blacked out momentarily and gone off budget in this store, RIOS was definitely NOT on my shopping list, but I’ve been dying to try it and she had the most amazing selection of colors!!! Ok, I know I’m drooling so I’m going to stop here before I really embarrass myself. Notice how I’ve only mentioned 3 stores? Brace yourself, there are 6 more to go, so stay tuned for next time to find out what happened next!