Some of us have found more than one knit shop in our area. Even though you find that one or more shops may stock some of the same yarns, tools, books & supplies, what makes you choose one as your favorite 'SHOP' to go back to over and over?
6) Special Order Service
7) Hours Open (eves & weekend)
And all the women who were wise of heart spun with their hands, and they kept bringing as yarn the blue thread and the wool dyed reddish purple, the coccus scarlet material and the fine linen. Ex. 35:25
For me it is mostly a question of staff, prices and special order service. There is a quite good yarn shop in the city centre of my hometown, but the staff and the owner smoke in the backroom and the yarn is always smelly. So I don't often go there and buy wool there, since I don't want to have smelly yarn to work with.
I even drive a few kilometres/miles to get to a very good, small yarn shop that is in a former barn and the shopkeeper is really nice. They stock unusual yarn, French yarns, but also order other yarn if you need it.
I think my reasons for preferring one shop over another has mostly to do with the staff. My favourite shop has staff who are knowledgeable, interested in what you are planning to make, informative and friendly. The stock is also a good reason for going back. My own favourite shop is tiny, currently in a small pedestrian-only area, but packed with a fascinating array of yarns, needles and other necessaries. It also has mail-order or online ordering which is very helpful since it is rather a long distance to travel unless I am going to Chester (UK) for other reasons.
My favourite shop is this one:
I do have a second yarn shop which I sometimes use in the local town. This is handy for certain yarns, but not good if I need to replace my bamboo needles.
There is a third shop, but its stock of yarns is so limited, I seldom return there unless I need one of the makes of yarn they sell.
I love shops that have a warm and welcome feeling. There are some that the staff makes you feel like you've just come over for Thanksgiving dinner and others that make you feel like you need to remove your shoes and never speak above a whisper. I work in an LYS and my goal is to make everyone who comes in the door feel welcome and wanted. It's my goal to help where I can and to inspire as often as allowed. In other words, to be treated as an honored guest for that's what customers are.
i love to got to the base store/shopsense or lindcraft.
shopsese is a just up the road and has needles crochet hooks yarns and all the notions. so after school i just pop by and buy a whole lot of things. they are open every day and close about 5pm so i always have plenty of time. the staff knows me well because i go in there nearly everyday to see if anything new or interesting comes in. they are very affordable prices too :)
i go to lindcraft if dad or mum drives us home from school or i go there if im looking for specific yarns or books etc. they are about 99 cents a ball and i got some beautiful yarn for about 60 cents the other day so im very happy. they are open later than shopsense and the staff are very friendly. i can order anything in and within a week or less they have so much of it i could literally go swimming in it! LOL. there is also endless amounts of parking at the stores.
id rather go to lindcraft but if i just need a little bit of yarn they always have it up the road at shopsense.
Dont take people for granted, beacuse one day you will realise you have lost a diamond while you were too buysing collecting stones....
First I start with Staff. You can tell whether they are truely helpful or just trying to make a sale. Whether they are really nice or arrogant, etc everything goes into consideration. I won't even bother with a shop that has poor staff.
Then do they have an adequate selection of yarns and needles, but this also co-mingles with prices. I don't mind paying for good yarn, but i don't want to be paying 14.00 for malabrigo when I can get it for 9.50-10.50. If they have a great selection but are overpriced I would go to a LYS that was smaller but better prices.
Location as long as it's within a reasonable driving distance that doesn't matter.... well unless it is an area run by gangs. Ambiance and other "niceties" are a bonus.
My personal favorite Yarn Shop is Babbetta's Yarn and Gifts in Sacramento Ca.
HI to thelostmitten, PrincessG, MicheleC, Mandy H, & JulesG:
Just wanted to say thanks for putting your thoughts down re this topic. I enjoyed hearing all of your thoughts, from the 'stocking French yarns', staff knowledgeable, no smelling up the yarn with cigarette smoke, pricing, close proximity to where you live, & willingness to place an order for something they don't have in stock.
MichelleC put it so well, when she said "In other words to be treated as an honored guest for that's what customers are."
Also what I gathered from your comments: It's important that even if this particular "VISIT" you don't see what you need to make a purchase, but you will come back to visit again if you were made to feel warmly welcomed.