Saturday, I took the kids to skating, and on our way back, we stopped at the local donut/Baskin Robbins emporium to procure donuts. There was a little local ad flyer with a yarn store I had never heard of -- All Points Yarn. I grabbed the flyer and resolved to visit after nap.
My stated goal was to see if they had double-pointed finger needles in size 6. This would be a heck of a trick, as finger-needles are hard to find in the first place, and 6 is not a typical size for them.
I went to Des Moines, which, in good traffic, is about 10 minutes from my house in Kent. I drove up and down the strip a few times, annoying locals and trying to figure out the whack-ass numbering system. Finally I found the shop, tucked away in a strip mall with a restaurant and a used book store.
The shop owner's name is Morgan, and evidently, he is a big ol' textiles nerd. He designed this awesome crochet stitch blanket, and I say this as someone who has not met a lot of crochet she likes. He burbled happily about his knitting machines.
He explained his stocking philosophy -- almost no patterns or books, since everyone uses the internet. Yarns that I would describe as the high-end of the cheaps -- for instance, Lion Brand, but only the Fisherman's Wool. And there was the low-end of boutique yarns -- Tofutsies and Noro and Louet. I didn't see any Debbie Bliss or Blue Sky, but there was a metric ton of Cascade. And he has some kind of interesting setup where he has a whole wall of coned wool in different colors, and will essentially ply it on the fly so you can build your own wool yarn by marling. He showed me a fair isle sweater he'd done in worsted with one yarn that was three strands of blues, and one that was three strands of neutral. It looked pretty damn good. He has a few cat-puke yarns and sells them by the ounce, so you only have as much as you need. He also has a variety of dyes.
He offers classes, sit-and-knit times, and advice. I was going to sign up for the sweater class, which is a pretty cool idea. You pay up front for four hours of class ($40, a steal). You spend two hours picking a pattern and yarn. Then, when you eventually finish, you get two hours of help assembling and finishing the damn thing. Awesome. I said I had the yarn and pattern picked, but wanted help with the short-row math. He said that I shouldn't take the class, he'd be happy to help me with just that part.
But most importantly, he did have finger needles, in a variety of sizes, including 6. Win! Bryspun, even.
On the other hand, it's a sucky year to start a business. I bought the finger needles, and a bottle of Euclan, and a skein of Tofutsies to make Kay some socks with. If you're local, you should go visit.
All Points Yarn
He needs a better website, though.