There's nothing better than a trip to the yarn store! Do I need more yarn/books/patterns/gadgets? Well, no of course I don't. But I've been a good girl so it was time for a little treatsie.
I'm lucky that Spokane (finally!) has two very nice yarn stores close by. I no longer have to go to the shop of the evil yarn troll who was the only game in town for years. I was a customer for over 20 years, and this lady never once smiled at me, or thanked me for my business. She instead complained non-stop about having to take credit cards/check cards, followed me around the store as if I were a major shoplifter, and generally insulted both my color sense and my knitting knowledge (I've been knitting for 40 years, and I'm pretty comfortable with the way I do things.) Anyhoo, the next time I shop at Evil Yarn Troll's store will be her going out of business sale!
Now for the NICE stores: A Grand Yarn is located on Spokane's South Hill, right across from the Starbuck's on 13th and Grand (my old house is 1 block away, WHY weren't they there when I lived within walking distance!? Perhaps it's better for my bank account that they weren't...) Lovely ladies, a pleasant atmosphere, just the right amount of help (there if you need it, but you are welcome to browse all you want), and a nice selection of all the yarn I love: basic wools, cool sock yarns, the only Rowan available in Spokane, cottons, and just enough 'wow' yarns to entice you. Their book and pattern selection is good (not huge, but certainly you'll find plenty to inspire you), they will order anything you want, and they always have adorable samples knit up for more inspiration. I've never taken a class from them, but they have a really good list and maybe one of these days I will. I think they also have a "sit and knit" time, I'll have to find out when that is and go (once I overcome my deadly fear of mingling with strangers : - *)
I picked up a handful of sale patterns, the new Interweave Knits felting special issue and a skein of Eco-Wool for a felted teddy bear. And ONE MORE package of rubber stitch ring markers. I swear I have bought a package every time I've gone to a yarn store over the past 25 years and yet I never have any. These ones are kind of violently colored green and purple so maybe just maybe I will not vacuum them up quite so readily. Also, they had a whole table of gorgeous yarn they had just received from Blue Moon Fibers, including some fab colors of "Socks that Rock". I was sorely tempted but resisted (for now, I can always go back right?)
AGY has a website with class info etc.
The other yarn store in the 'hood is Holy Threads, located down at the bottom of the South Hill in a charming old house that most recently was a B&B and bakery. This shop has a different ''feel" than AGY, so there's little danger of seeing the exact same thing in both shops. Holy Threads has a ton of 'high end' yarns to die for: Tili Thomas beaded yarn, lots of silks and other fab fibers, many glitzy yarns, ribbon, etc. They do stock Cascade 220 and some very nice 'basics' but I go here to fondle and see what's unique in the yarn world. The shop's main floor has quite a bit of the yarn arranged by color --- it's a lovely look, but it's not how I 'think' when I'm looking for yarn. I prefer to see yarn grouped a little more traditionally by fiber and/or mfr. But that's just me! Upstairs is a nice workspace with wool yarns and handspuns. They have a big room just for books and patterns with a large table to sit and peruse. One fun thing they offer is a discount for a different 'group' each day: Monday is 55+, Tuesday is South Hill, Wednesday North Side. Etc. They have good sales and send out a nice newsletter.
While there, I picked up a drop spindle kit I purchased from them on eBay (as if I need one more hobby but I've always wanted to learn how to do this), and bought a skein of Gjestal wool (like Lopi) at 40% off (for Liam's pirate hat's skull and crossbones) and the latest Knitters magazine. Oldest daughter Pia came with me and she bought yarn for a Griffindor scarf, plus she got a bag of Rown Ribbon Print and a pattern book at AGY.