Not surprisingly, there are not a ton of local yarn shops (LYS) in Florida. Before today, the only other time I actually visited one (and it not just a yarn shop but it was a stitching shop too) was about 15 years ago. I was working 30 plus miles south of where I now live, and this place was nearby where I worked. I went there a few times during my lunch hour.
The LYS I visited yesterday, Yarn It in Port Saint Lucie, opened about a year ago, but it was in downtown Ft. Pierce, an area I try to avoid for a number of reasons; however, a few months ago, the shop moved a little closer to me. It took me a while to find the place because it was not at all where I mentally pictured it, and though it is in a plaza right off US1, it is tricky getting into the plaza because there is no direct entrance. But my persistence paid off, especially after I called a friend who I knew went to the gym near there and had told me about the yarn shop being in the same plaza.
I often hear that some yarn shops can have an attitude (sort like some bead shops). This can be especially true of shops that cater more to knitters than crocheters, but that is not the case at all with Yarn It. The owner, Celeste Briglia, actually knits and crochets. In fact, there were some Crochet Today magazines on the counter, an immediate sign of a crochet friendly shop.
I am not sure exactly what I was expecting. Walls and walls of yarn and dark wood all around maybe? But what I found was an open and airy shop with a specialized selection of unique yarns that I have to admit were kind of over my head. I am used to shopping at big box stores like Michael’s, and you just are not going to find hand-spun yarn at a big box store. Of course, there were lots of other yarn related items, including some vintage books and magazines. But I was there for the yarn.
Since I purchased Intermediate Scarves and Stitches, I needed yarn for the first project. Okay, honestly, I don’t really need yarn. While my stash does not rival many dedicated yarn crafters’, I will say it is plenty healthy. So I will say instead that I wanted some yarn for my first project, and of course, when you go to a yarn shop, heck, you are going to by yarn, no?!
I hope to go back and get some more yarn education and learn more about what she has, but as I said, I felt sort of out of my element. I told Celeste about my project, and she helped me pick out some pretty purple Lambs Pride Super Wash bulky from Brown Sheep Company. It was $6.10 for 110 yards, and I bought two, so that is not too bad considering I’m taking a step up from acrylic.
My eyes also locked onto some way cool looking yarn made in Italy, la lana Asia. It is the swirly pink, blue, purple skeins pictured above. It is bumpy and full of texture, and it probably isn’t the best for a beginning knitter, but I loved it and it bought two skeins with the idea I could make a scarf with it as well. It was $9.20 for 100 grams, and it is made of 60% merino, 9% alpaca, 5% nylon, and 26% acrylic.
I set my skeins on the car seat next to me, and as I was driving home I noticed that the purple wool yarn actually looked good next to the Asia yarn because of the little bits of purple in the swirls, so I have decided to make a loom knit hat with the Asia and that way I will have a matching purple scarf. At least some day I will have a purple scarf since I am very slow at knitting compared to crochet.
I will keep you posted on my progress, and of course, I plan to squeeze in time to visit the yarn shop again. I do not see myself giving up my big box acrylics, but it would be nice to infuse my yarn work with some unique yarns once in awhile.