I am in PA spreading the Chicagobama love. While I am here, I am hitting as many LYS as I can. Yesterday I started in Doylestown. I took a yoga class at Sun Dog (highly recommended!) and went hunting for A Fine Yarn. Doylestown is one of those places with businesses tucked in behind other shops, down walkways, and in alleys, so I missed it on the first pass. It was a fine shop with a very decent selection, though I didn't get particularly warm vibes despite making a purchase.
Within walking distance is Lisbeth's, a shop in the process of closing. The good news: everything is 50% off. The not so good news: there is more novelty yarn than you can shake a (pointy) stick at. Lots and lots of novelty yarn. So much novelty yarn that it camouflaged any non-novelty yarn that might have been there. I did get three sets of lovely leather bag handles but that was it.
From there I drove to Skippack. Yarnings is a lovely shop on two floors of an old house. If you haven't been there before, Skippack is one of those towns that has become a bit of a shopping mecca. It is chock full of little shops and restaurants heavy on the upscale country chic, if ya know what I mean. Real antiques are liberally interspersed with repros, etc. Yarnings is brightly lit, has some of the most elegant yarn shelving I have seen, and they have a great area to sit with big, attractive, comfortable chairs and a sofa. (That feature can make or break a LYS experience for me.)
Last stop was Lillie's which is a three minute drive from my mom's house. They have a slightly better selection than they did before (mostly in the way of alpaca yarns), but it seems like there are big gaps, at least from my knitting perspective. In general, there is a fair amount of acrylic and the wools are not my favorites though there are some serviceable choices. It is, however, convenient to have nearby when I am in a pinch. (Last time I was here, I was in desperate need for yarn to make a pair of Fetching mitts, and I was able to get there and back in less than 15 minutes!)
My schedule is pretty full, but I have at least one (and possibly three) more yarn stops this week. There is a farm with BFLs somewhere in the township where my mom lives, and I am hoping to make it there, too.
Today I am off to Downingtown for an acupuncture appointment (my first) with someone I found through the beauty of Ravelry. Very exciting! I'm so curious about acupuncture, and who better than a knitter to stick you with needles?!