What makes a good yarn store? Is it yarn selection? Is it the staff? Is it the coziness or atmosphere? Do you need all of those things to make a good yarn store?
I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to structures (houses, stores, buildings) filled with fiber. If there’s a room with yarn anywhere in the vicinity, you can bet I’ll make my way there sooner or later. So last week when I took my mother-in-law to the airport in a nearby metro-area I did the only thing a knitter would do: I googled all possible yarn acquisition sites.
I live in the Greensboro area of North Carolina, and though we have an airport here, my m-i-l was flying out of Raleigh – about an hour and a half away. I narrowed my yarn store search down to three options. Great Yarns in Raleigh would probably have been a good bet, but it’s owned by the same woman who owns the yarn store in Greensboro. The chance for duplication was too great. Cozy in Durham seemed like a nice store in a college-y section of town. From what I could find out online, they stock lots of things in addition to yarn. An eclectic gift store, if you will. I really wanted just yarn. Then I read another blogger’s description of a store in Cary. And I quote: “The yarn selection is DEEP.” My decision was made.
Shuttles, Needles & Hooks
214 E. Chatham St.
Cary, NC 27511
The store is an old house set close to a busy street. There is a small sign out front that you might miss if you’re not looking. The bushes out front are large. But let’s get to the good stuff.
The yarn selection is DEEP. My word! Knitters! I’ve never been to WEBS, and I’m sure that it is a whole other monster, but this was something to behold. Upon entering, the first thing that hits you is the musty smell. Old houses come with musty smells. After a deep breath to acclimate, the yarn! It’s piled everywhere. There are many many rooms of yarn. It hangs from the walls. It sits on the floor. It lies in nooks and crannies everywhere waiting to be found.
I wish I could tell you exactly which brands of yarn they carry. Unfortunately I was too overwhelmed by all the yarn (and the carrying and minding of children) to take notes. They had Lorna’s Laces. They had Henry’s Attic. They had Lopi. They had Dale of Norway. They had Cascade, Plymouth and Brown Sheep. They had Jaeger. I could go on. There were also cones. Lots of cones. There was a room full of many varied books.
Here’s the thing. There was yarn on the floor. I’ll say it again. There was yarn on the floor. What I mean is, picture your stash. Now picture yourself rummaging through your stash to find something at the bottom. You’ve found it, then you’re left with a small mountain of stash yarn at your feet. The whole store was like that. The yarn was on the floor!
I was interested in, and eventually bought some Dale of Norway Falk, but I could barely reach it without stomping over balls and balls of yarn. The organizer in me wanted to tidy up. Take that yarn out of those bags and put it away! Pick that yarn up off the floor and put it away!
Here’s another thing. Poor Jerry. He brought a Lego comic book to read while I shopped, but there was no place for him to sit. There was one chair in the book room, but it was occupied. He had to sit on the floor, and there wasn’t even much space for that, what with the yarn on the floor.
Upstairs there was sale yarn. All on the floor. Too mind boggling to go through. Too much yarn on the floor. And boy was it hot upstairs.
Did I like this yarn store? Yes. Yes I did! I really liked it! I was terribly overwhelmed with the whole experience, but if I am in the area again I’m sure to return. The owner and her daughter were very helpful in suggesting yardage for my project, even though they were preoccupied with ordering more yarn (presumably to put on the floor). They even took my phone number and said they’ll call when they get more Lorna’s Laces in stock.
I can’t say this store is the greatest ever. It was fun to be in the middle of millions and millions of yards of delicious yarns, but it is not for the faint of heart (i.e. I would NOT take my mother there). Someday I will return. It will be a Saturday when my children stay home and play with their father. I will be prepared.
And since you’ve got to the end of my yarn store review sans pictures, here is a preview of what I’ve been working on, which I’ll discuss more soon.