I have been knitting for over 15 years, and one of the most exciting things about travelling is buying vacation yayarn arn. Starting a few months before I left on my trip, I put together a list of all the local yarn shops on my route. I knew I wouldn't be able to visit all of them, but definitely had a goal of checking as many as I could. There were quite a few closed as I was passing through — I should have figured yarn shops might be closed on Sundays in Salt Lake City — but I was still absolutely pleased with the ones I could visit.
My other goal was to buy local yarn as much as possible, and nearly every place had a corner or at least a few shelves of local or local-adjacent yarn. Almost everyone I met was more than happy to talk with me about their yarns and their shops, and excited to hear about my journey. A few asked me which shop was my favorite, but I couldn't choose! Each one had something so delightful about it, unique to the area and its keepers. I loved every single one.
The Yarn Store at Nob Hill
Zia Woolz Sandia in Pink 213 (superwash merino and nylon)
Zia Woolz Cozy in Believer (superwash merino and nylon)
The first shop I stopped was The Yarn Store at Nob Hill in Albuquerque NM. My hotel was just around the corner, and they were kind enough to let me stay parked there while I explored the neighborhood. I had a wonderful breakfast, but yarn first! As a lovely coincedence, I was getting there in the morning just as my work knitting circle was meeting back home. Since our team is nearly all remote, we have our meetings via Zoom, so I asked the folks there if they would mind if I phoned in and showed them around. The shop had a larger main room with a table for hanging out, a side room with even more yarn, and another with just notions like needles and buttons. Oh! and a sweet shop cat.
Twirl Yarn Ditto in Carmel Sunshine and Alberta's Pool (wool, alpaca, and kid mohair)
I had two full days to spend in San Francisco CA and planned to visit a few yarn shops, but was only able to get to ImagiKnit. It was small but mighty, with an amazing selection of yarn in a bright and airy space. There were able to show me some of the little local yarn they had, but what they had was great.
Mountain Meadow Wool Green River in Marigold and Meadow (bamboo and merino)
Brooklyn Tweed Tones in Granita Undertone and Wallflower Overtone (wool)
Laramie WY is way more than I thought it was. I figured everything there was just the university, but the downtown area has a bunch of neat restaurants and shops, one of which was Cowgirl Yarn. There were tall tables of yarn as soon as I walked in, with shelves lining every wall and stretching far into the back. They seemed to be getting ready for some classes later in the day, and I think those may have been held downstairs.
I picked up the Brooklyn Tweed because, even though the company headquarters is in Portland, the fiber comes from Wyoming!
The Knittery Nook
Comma Chameleon Handy Sock in Citron (superwash merino and nylon)
PacaLand Worsted in Fawn (alpaca)
I had a rough night finding lodging in Ames IA, but I was able to stop at The Knittery Nook the next morning, so that made up for it. I loved touching every yarn there, and I chatted with the woman there for a long time. They had small area just for showcasing local art and local pottery, like yarn bowls.
Knitting Off Broadway
Turkey Creek Alpacas Baby Fine Sport in Herd Blend (alpaca)
Bella Filato Studio Solo DK in Fishtown (superwash merino)
Knitting Off Broadway in Fort Wayne IN was around the corner and down an alley, but luckily had parking just in front. The shop was large yet the decor and lighting made it wonderfully cozy. They didn't have local-local yarns, but had some from, what I found out is called, the Michiana area.
Bare Naked Wools
Bare Naked Wools Better Breakfast Fingering in Biscotti (merino, alpaca, and nylon)
Feederbrook Farm Entropy DK in Flash Point (bluefaced Leicester wool)
I drove through Canton OH to the place my GPS directed, but it took me a moment to figure out exactly where Bare Naked Wools was. There were a lot of fall leaves in the front and semi-blocking the doorway, and I was little confused once I walked in, because the shop is in the basement and I initially didn't see anyone! But a few minutes later, they came over to show me around and explain about their yarns. There was also a really small room in the back with file folder boxes filled with tons of patterns. I picked one out a lovely stole pattern first and then bought the yarn for it.
The Entropy DK actually comes from Maryland, but it was on sale here. It's one of the few yarns I bought that wasn't local to the yarn shop.