Soap Sheep and More

Have I mentioned lately that I’m very spoiled?  That I have the best friends EVER?

It’s true.  When I couldn’t do Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival (their website appears to be down, so no links!) with Ann and friends, I pouted, cursed my back, and that was that.  But not Ann.  She missed me, and picked up a few souveniers for me.  Isn’t the little magnet precious?  Sure, we could all make them, but we don’t.  And that soap!?  Have you EVER seen cuter soap?

And fiber.  Ann is relentless.  I shall spin again, perhaps even later this weekend if the Knight will cooperate.  And Gretchen.   I haven’t tried to spin since we got her, and the few times she’s been allowed in the room where the wheel lives, she’s grabbed a wad of pre-drafted fiber and trotted around the house. 

Have I mentioned lately that I love this town?  And see, it really is just a big ol’ town for a few more days, while the students are still away doing whatever they did for the summer.   Guess who plopped down in the booth next to ours?!  Okay, you’ll never guess so I’ll tell you.  The Knight’s cousin, the one we both grew up with.  He and his wife are on stay-cation, and of all the eateries in this town, they came into the same one.

After lunch, Ann and I braved the heat and tromped through the thick, hot air to pet some yarn. 

Some stuff came home.  Not much yarn, but another Classic Elite booklet of patterns, a pattern to go with the Blue Ridge yarn on the left, a needlepoint kit, and a tape measure that reminds me of Sissy.  The needlepoint case appears to be about the right size for my Blackberry, but we’ll see if I ever actually get started, much less finish it!

So, I forgot a couple of key elements that make for a great yarn shop, but that’s why I asked what you like!

  • Comfy, inviting seating.  Make us really feel we can plop down and stay awhile, even if we are working on something we didn’t buy in your shop.
  • Hand in hand with the above, make us feel comfortable asking you for help with something, regardless of where we bought the yarn.
  • Don’t focus so hard on stocking unique, glitzy yarns that we can’t get staples.  And news flash – a LOT of us consider “sock yarn” a staple.  Some of us even expect to be able to find more than one laceweight yarn in a store too.
  • Teach me.  That means offering classes, and a variety of them.   Broaden my fiber horizons.  Knit, crochet, tat, spin, dye, needle felt… 

How do you feel about the combination shops?  I don’t sew, but it seems there are fabric stores that carry a good bit of yarn.  One shop here in town carries a host of hand-painted needlepoint canvases, and a few cross stitch kits.  The first yarn shop I remember visiting as a child, we went in after needlepointing supplies, but my knitting great aunt bought skein after skein of yarn too.  My mother embroideried, and I seem to recall her picking up a crewel kit that day too…

13 comments on “Soap Sheep and More

  1. Sue says:

    It looks like you’re stocking up for winter projects. I’m yearning for cooler weather so I can sit on the porch and knit. I have several things I want to start for Christmas and need a push to get started.

  2. AlisonH says:

    One lys here has a huge, long, wide, business-conference-room-type table. Lots of people can sit up to it–but there’s no sense of coziness. It creates distance instead. My favorite lys has a circle in the middle of the store with comfy chairs pulled up in the round, with chairs in back to add in as need be. Much more friendly. Not to mention, I love their stock.

  3. p3knitter says:

    I can remember too many times when walking into a yarn store and asking where the lace yarn was, only to be met with the evil leering eyes of the shop keeper.

    Now, I’m happy to say that the two LYSs that I frequent carry lace weight in abundance, but still … some people don’t think it’s needed (like the shop in Cape May.)

  4. grace says:

    you are so right about the magnet, it is adorable, we could do it in a cinch but we won’t.

    Love your purchases I did some online yarn gratification yesterday with 2 bags of Skacel Adagio and some more fun stuff.

    Today I haven’t knit a stitch yet, when I got in from morning errands and a wee bit of exercise my youngest popped in for a visit, she is so in love and its so exciting, looks like a wedding maybe as early as next year.

    I remember when I did counted cross, the place I bought my canvas from had all the threads books needles etc but one wall was exotic mohairs and boucles and heavy wools–probably roving now that I think about it, but I wasn’t into knitting then, I wish that shop was still open now!1

  5. gaylen says:

    Well I just love that yarn on the left. i think it’s what your huge clap was made out of. And the colors in your – ty-dy – to die for! It was super soft and the striping was great – enjoy knitting it up. Don’t you have a giftee in mind already?

    g

  6. Darcy says:

    I would like to learn to embroider on wee socks and I have already beaded a wee sock so a shop with yarn,beads,embroidery supplies would fit the bill;)
    I love all your goodies that fiber looks so pretty love the sheep soaps:)Hugs Darcy

  7. Katiebell says:

    Chan,

    I think it would be nice to have a shop with all the goodies but I worry it would be hard to fit all that in a cozy size shop and you will end up with a big box feel. It would be hard to pull off. I like the idea of help when you need it no matter where you buy the items but staff have to have some kind of loophole for those who are trying to get a class out of them for free.

    My LYS has seating off in a yarn free side room instead in the middle of the shop (which isn’t possible in their shop) and it makes me feel shunned to sit out there. I like to be nosy and in on the action, so maybe some see it as out of the way in a good way.

    Lots of classes are really important.

  8. Anniebananie says:

    OK. First my precious little Gretchen. Just give her some fiber and let her prance around with it. She just wants mommy to share, and there is enough there that you won’t miss it. She’ll be happy and stay out of your stash. 🙂 I know, I’m bad.

    Now, as for the combo YS. I like my LYS to be a LYS and nothing else. I’m there for yarn and other yarny supplies, and it confuses me to see fabric, needlepoint, or anything else for that matter. But that’s just me…

  9. Robin in VA says:

    Awwww, that’s so cute! Love the soaps…and everything else is just as wonderful. You deserve all the spoiling…be sure and tell Knight I said that!

  10. Bubblesknits says:

    Precious soaps! Our LYS just started carrying fabric and basic quilting/sewing supplies, in addition to the yarn.

  11. Kathy says:

    My LYS is not very friendly/inviting but the one close to hubby’s workplace is wonderful.

    Sheep Soap??? Oh my gosh! Love it! Does the Knight get to use the sheep soap with his new handknit cloth? Does it have a nice fragance? That is the cutest soap I’ve seen.

    Nice goodies.

  12. nichole says:

    GREAT finds – esp the goodies Ann brought you – LOVE the magnet! Sheep soap is too cute… and your purchases are great. I had no idea you did needlepoitn – don’t let my Mom hear that or she’ll be after me to mail you off a bunch of kits she’s de-stashing!

  13. Anita says:

    Good stuff! Love the soap! 🙂

    I read a book one time that had a yarn/fiber/material shop set up in an old house, each room had something different in it, that would be great!

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