The first day of the Puget Sound LYS Tour was ca-raaaazy! I only made it to two stores. I started after work. There was a really bad accident on the freeway and I got stuck in traffic for about two hours in between the stores. Needless to say, after the second one, I decided to just call it a day. Still, the two stores I did make it to today were well worth it.
First off, Cultured Purls.
This is an awesome little shop. Tucked into a cozy little set of stores in Issaquah, the vibe on the outside is very inviting. The staff were extremely friendly – I even pointed out as I was signing my receipt that the pen I was using was particularly nice to write with, and the gal gave it to me to keep. Not a big deal, but one of those things that gives you a good vibe about the people there. I ended up buying a very cute handpainted mug for my mom that has horses and sheep on the outside and just on the inside rim says “Nag, Nag, Nag…”. I also picked up a beautiful skein of purple twisty sock yarn from a local spinner/dyer husband wife team called Four Footed Fiber.
All in all, Cultured Purls is a great little shop and I’m really happy that the Local Yarn Store tour gave me an excuse (aka, the kick in the butt) needed to go check it out!
After my long experience stuck in traffic, I did finally make it over to Serial Knitters in Kirkland, which also happens to be my home store. They weren’t too busy which was great. I, of course, love this shop. The staff are so friendly, the atmosphere is bright and cheery, and they have the coolest, most unique selection of yarn that I’m likely to see anywhere on the tour. From Hazel Knits, to Black Trillium, to Three Irish Girls, they are great at keeping a very unique inventory. They had Madelinetosh light and Manos on sale and I picked up a great colorway of the Tosh.
I’m sure the color in the photo doesn’t do it justice, but the color, Baltic, is incredibly vibrant and lovely.
All in all, a productive, great day at two really great local yarn shops!
The second day was quite the event, as I spent it with my lovely niece Lauren. She’s a non-knitter, but she was more excited about the yarn than I was. We hit up 5 stores in total.
Acorn Street is a lovely, old shop with a lot of good, sturdy wool. It felt like Elizabeth Zimmerman might be lurking in a corner somewhere. They carried Lorna’s Laces in Hawkeye colors, which Lauren was particularly jazzed about.
Next up, we hit a shop called Tricoter. (pronounced, Tree-ko-tay) Now, for those unfamiliar, Tricoter is french for “to knit”. I was unsure what to expect from this store, and unfortunately, I’m still not sure what’s going on with this place. The name itself seems to constantly remind you that you’re “not quite cool enough” for this store, and that’s how I would describe the whole vibe. The wool is organized by color, and I couldn’t seem to figure out any other organizational method. Their selection was brimming with novelty yarn, something I personally am not super interested in. Unfortunately the staff really made me feel like we were inconveniencing them by coming into their shop. Possibly I just caught them at a bad time on a random day, but it was a bummer of a blemish on the otherwise lovely trip. One person also made some rude comments to my niece, so we didn’t stay long.
From there we hit up Bad Woman Yarn, a fabulous shop that I wish I could make it to more frequently. They have TONS of sample items which really makes it easy to pick out wool. They have a huge inventory, including a lot of Malabrigo, Berocco, Tosh, and on and on. I picked up a skein of Mini Mochi here in a rainbow color, which Lauren used to finger knit for the rest of the day while we travelled.
Next we hit up So Much Yarn. This is a lovely little store, tucked right near Pike Place Market. It’s interesting to get to, as you have to get yourself buzzed in by the gate, but the awkwardness is totally worth it. They had a great selection for a small space, and the staff in the shop were incredibly warm and knowledgeable. They also had a huge selection of well chosen books here. I hope people find this shop, as it’s worth stopping in.
Finally, we hit the barracuda, Churchmouse. The ferry ride is wonderful, (what can I say, my husband proposed on the Bainbridge Island ferry, so it’s safe to say I enjoy it.) The other shops on the island, charming and sophisticated. I would actually use those same words to describe Churchmouse. It’s classy, simple, elegant. they carry a large selection of Rowan, Malabrigo, Madelinetosh, Plymouth. Their patterns turn up in every LYS that I seem to go to, nationwide. They take simple patterns passed down through generations, write them up, and publish them. Depending on your outlook, this should either be infuriating or comforting. I haven’t decided which camp I fall into. For the tour, they were passing out glasses of sparkling water and champagne, which I thought was a very nice and generous touch. Lauren and I enjoyed checking out their large selection, followed by grabbing an ice cream for the ferry ride back. What a weekend…