Hiya! SciFi Chris with the second part of my adventure Steel Valley Yarn Crawl. Before I get to the details of the final three shops, I want to take some space to reply to the comments from the post on the first part of my yarn crawl. If you just want the stuff on the Yarn Crawl shops, just skip down a bit.
Reply to comments – First, thanks for taking the time to read the blog and make some comments! Sorry about taking so long to reply, but this past week I was away on vacation and didn’t check to see what was happening on the internet while I was away. The comments were focused on my experience at Dyed in the Wool. Two of the commenters didn’t agree with what I posted. It’s very understandable that folks would want to defend their favorite yarn shops, especially when someone new doesn’t share their enthusiasm.
firstname.lastname@example.org , in her comment, pointed out that Dyed in the Wool, which I was not impressed with, had weaving and spinning items, in addition to knitting. I admit that I’m not a weaver or a spinner, so even though I noticed the loom and spinning wheels, it didn’t really register. When I go into a new yarn shop, I look for crochet items, since that’s what I do and what I post about on the 3RC blog. There is a definite lack of crochet in Dyed in the Wool. I did appreciate the tone of annschelbe’s comments, which seemed to be trying to point out things I missed in my first impressions of the shop, pointing out the positives that she has experienced, and encouraging me to give the shop another try.
The comments by email@example.com, on the other hand, basically tried to defend her favorite shop by attacking me. The snarky comments about my lunch that day, implying that I was drunk and therefore wasn’t able to make a sound evaluation of the shop, only reinforced my feelings about the unwelcoming atmosphere of Dyed in the Wool. Disagreeing with another person’s opinion is one thing. We all have our own preferences. However, if the only way you can do so is by personal attacks and snarky remarks, rather than relying on presenting an opposing opinion (such annschelbe did) then perhaps the evidence supporting your side of the discussion isn’t that strong. Instead of making me think that perhaps my first impressions of the shop were inaccurate, all those comments did was reinforce that first negative impression and made me feel that I was correct that Dyed in the Wool was not the place for me.
For my third commenter, I hope you make it out to Kid Ewe Knot and have a nice experience there! In this post, I’m including my visit to Yarns Unlimited, which I very much enjoyed.
THIS IS THE PART THAT HAS THE YARN CRAWL DESCRIPTION, just in case you were scrolling down to skip over the comments on comments.
The last of the yarn crawling I did solo. The next day after going to the first four shops, I headed up to Grove City and Wolf Creek Yarns. The shop is in the town itself and not in the outlet area. I had been there a few years ago for a yarn tasting. Wolf Creek has expanded the size of its store, significantly. They have taken the back of the shop, which used to be the office area and storage, and turned it into more retail area. This is a store where you keep walking back and back, and it seems to just keep going.
It has a great selection of yarns. Sadly, it does not have much in the way of crochet related items. The staff was friendly and included a shop dog, Eugie. I hope I spelled that correctly. Eugie is a very low key shop dog, he came over to me when I entered the shop, acknowledged my presence with a couple of tail wags, and promptly lay down for a nap. The human staff was more energetic. Another customer in the shop was looking for a particular pattern. The woman behind the counter (I believe she was the owner) took some time in helping her locate the pattern on Ravelry and explaining to the customer how buying Ravelry patterns through a local yarn shop worked. Very helpful. One of the items I bought at Wolf Creek was a yarn spindle. It is designed so that a ball of yarn can be slid down over the spindle and unwind without rolling all over the place. Three Rivers Crochet member Doug had picked up one on a trip to Denver. I had admired the gadget and was very pleased when I was able to get one at Wolf Creek. I currently have a ball of "Sea Star" superwash merino yarn from Unplanned Peacock Studios on it, being crocheted into a lace scarf. That's not what is shown in the photo, by the way. The photo is the yarn spindle on display in the shop.
I think going to Wolf Creek yarns would make a fun day trip, stopping in the shop then wandering around the town of Grove City. Wolf Creek Yarns had a small gift bag for crawlers, which included knitting needle size gauge and a 10% off coupon for the coffee shop/cafe Beans on Broad, around the corner from the yarn shop. I am very glad I took advantage of the coupon. The folks who were working there were also yarn crafters! They were very friendly and the food was good. The gentleman behind the counter in the one photograph is the person who knitted the pink elephant, which is shown in another photo.
The second shop I went to was Yarns Unlimited in Sewickley. This was one of my favorite shops of the crawl. When I told the person working there I was a crocheter, she immediately said that the shop was very crochet friendly, rattled off the names of staff that were crocheters, that they had crochet classes, a crochet group that met there the first Saturday of each month, and would I like to see the new crochet hooks they had just got in. I also noticed there were crochet magazines on display on the counter, along with the knit magazine. It’s easy for folks to say that their shop is crochet friendly, but it’s actually having crochet related items prominently displayed that demonstrate that a shop really is crochet friendly.
Yarns Unlimited had a good selection of yarn, but then just about all the shops on the crawl have had lots of great yarn. Which is why my yarn stash is now much larger and my bank account is much smaller. What really stood out at Yarns Unlimited was the massive amount of buttons. A huge wall display of an amazing variety of buttons, made of many different types of materials and many different styles. From playful kids buttons to sophisticated stylish buttons. This is definitely the place to go for buttons.
Another positive thing about Yarns Unlimited, at least from my point of view, was one of the staff noticed the Doctor Who shirt I was wearing and exclaimed she was also a fan. We had a marvelous conversation about Doctor Who. Always nice to chat with a fellow geek.
The last stop on my yarn crawl had to wait for a week, since I went off to Niagara Falls. Once I had returned to Pittsburgh and recovered a bit from my journey to Canada, I got back in the car to make the hour drive out to Kathy’s Kreations in Ligonier. This is another shop that would make a good day trip activity. The yarn shop is down the road from amusement park Idlewild and the historical attraction Fort Ligonier. There are also lots of 'quaint' little shops. The Steelers’ training camp isn’t far from Ligonier, so there was lots of black and gold yarn and projects on display.
Kathy's Kreations is worth the trip, it’s a nice shop with a good variety of yarn. The staff was very, very friendly. When I said I was a crocheter, one of the ladies showed me where the crochet patterns and books were. I was also invited to sit and crochet, since it was 'open sit and stitch Saturday.' This was also one of only two shops that included crochet items in their raffle baskets, Kid Ewe Knot was the other. Even better, they were the only shop that had a crochet alternative to the free yarn crawl knit pattern. There was also a free gift of a 'handi tool' which I'm told is used by knitters to pick up dropped stitches. It has a small crochet hook on one end and a point on the other. Also included was a coupon for 20% off regular priced yarn on the next visit.
The trip to Kathy’s Kreations was a very pleasant end to the 2014 Steel Valley Yarn Crawl. It was quite an adventure and I enjoyed getting to visit so many new yarn shops, chat with fellow yarn enthusiasts, along with getting some spiffy new yarn for my stash.