Sunday, February 10, 2008
yarn store review
Had a great weekend shopping, playing, and eating! But since this is a knit blog, I will just share my LYS reviews. These are just my general first impressions - I spent less than 30 minutes in each store because I didn't want to keep hubby waiting for too long. Sorry it's not a complete set of shop photos either...I didn't even think to take any and found out later that hubby took these storefront pics.

a selection of my fabric purchases

Purl (warehouse)
Because this is their warehouse, the employees are quite busy, but they are friendly and happy to pause and point you toward what you're looking for (i.e. this is not the place to go if you need a lot of attention and want to chat). I suggest going to their website first and making a list of what you want since there isn't really any signage. You can, however, browse the fabric bolts pretty readily which, as you can see, is what I did. Since this was my first stop and I had just ordered some Sundara yarn the day before (more on that later), I completely refrained from making any yarn purchases here. That wasn't easy as I finally got to see and feel some Manos Silk Blend - very nice! The space is a converted office and located in a business park so not much else in the immediate area to visit, but it's within a short driving distance of other attractions in Orange County.

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storefront

araucania sock yarn

cool ribbon

Wildfiber
Big, well-lit store, helpful employees, large variety of well-known brands (e.g. Koigu, Rowan, Debbie Bliss, Manos, Noro, Lorna's Laces), as well as less usual brands (e.g. Ozark, Twisted Sisters, Kollage). Good sock yarns (including Noro which I don't remember seeing in any of the other stores I visited) and a nice selection of ribbon, too.

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storefront

pagewood farm sock yarn

Compatto
Their cozy space, friendly owner/employees and customers, and Gracie the greeter (dog) made this shop one of my favorites. If I lived in the area, this would probably be the LYS where you would find me hanging out and knitting. Lots of Malabrigo and Blue Sky, also saw Ozark handspun, Tilli Thomas, Schaefer, Alchemy, and wonderful sock yarn selection including Rio de la Plata and Pagewood Farm. They offer to wind your purchases into yarn cakes, too. Two swifts are set up diagonally from two giant ball-winders - I wish I had the camera with me while I was there as two hanks were being wound with the yarns crossing each other - an impressive sight.

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L'Atelier
They had signs up saying they were going to remodel and much of the furniture was labeled for sale so maybe their yarn selection was limited by this. I saw several European brands like Anny Blatt, Lana Grossa, Filatura, Bouton D'Or, some novelty yarns like Trendsetter, also some Noro. I can't remember much else except the store was pretty small. Perhaps a revisit is in order once their remodel is complete. The store is on Montana Street with lots of other shops and restaurants so still worth checking out. And actually the other two Santa Monica stores are also in nice neighborhoods with nearby businesses that you can visit once you've gotten your fill of yarn (what? is that actually possible?).

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A Mano
I saw on their website that they carry Socks That Rock so was excited to check that out. Unfortunately, there were only two hanks left of one color - I found out they've been anxiously awaiting a new shipment but wouldn't be getting one until June. They had other good sock yarns including Shibui and a great variety of Cascade-brand yarns. Also saw Malabrigo, Encore, Noro, Trendsetter, Southwest Trading Company among others. I'm not as familiar with Venice so not sure if there are other stores/restaurants nearby to visit. The area was not as chi-chi as Santa Monica but that doesn't mean there might not be hidden gems in the vicinity. We were getting pretty tired so didn't wander around to check.

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There are so many yarn stores between San Diego and L.A. that I still want to check out but they will have to wait until the next trip!


3 Comments:

Blogger Khalila said...

I can't believe how well you held out! I would think it would be hard to hold out in that sort of situation. I'm glad you had fun and thanks for the reviews. See you on Wednesday!

Blogger Suzie said...

Thanks for the reviews. I added the shops to my list of future possible visits. Also living in San Diego we do not venture north that often as I just hate driving on the 405. But if a next visit is planned to Santa Monica, at least I can add some time to shop for some yarn. Susanne

Anonymous Monica Silva said...

Funny you mentioned the greeting dog at Compatto. I went there once for their Sip and Stitch and one of the few things I remember was the big dog. And of course the homemade appetizers knitters brought that night.

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