Don't get me wrong. I love a bargain especially when it comes to yarn. I admit that I do a lot of internet shopping for yarn. I buy books from Overstock.com and yarn and stuff from KnitPicks. I go to AC Moore for yarn, too but they don't have a very "fine" selection.
Since I visited my son at camp, I've been to 4 different yarn shops. There truly is a difference when you are up close and personal with the yarn (and the owner/staff) than with someone over the phone who isn't a knitter. I'm not going to stop buying over the internet but I will make the effort to visit a yarn shop when I need to touch and get instant gratification from buying yarn right then and there.
I first visited Twin Hearts in Pittsfield, MA. Gorgeous, large, colorful and a wonderfully friendly owner. Not like the ones in my area (BTW two of those "snotty" stores closed!). It was a very positive experience and gave me faith that there are some great stores and owners out there!
Yesterday, after having my mammogram and receiving a great report, I decided to treat myself to some solid sock yarn. I knew there was a store in Scarsdale, NY called Sticks & Strings. It's a bit out of the way for me from my house. I've met the owner at guild meetings and she's very nice. Today I walked in to a very contemporary store that was light and airy. It was very hot outside and this store was just so cool. Laurie, the owner, is very friendly and helpful. I know I disappointed her when I told her I needed solid sock yarn but she opened up a magic panel and there was tons of Koigu solid. I picked a blue color but it was hard to make up my mind. Another customer walked in who needed help and I even tried to help her while Laurie wound my skeins for me. She invited me to her Thursday night knit outs but I told her that I started one in my town. I think it's much nicer to have one in a knitting store but we don't have that option in my area. I walked out the store smiling. I was really happy with my purchase and experience.
Today I visited another yarn store in Rockland County. It's called Knitting Nation and it's in the very funky town of Nyack. The woman who owns it belongs to my guild but she was in California today. This was another great store. Very pretty, a very large selection and the woman who was left in charge was so sweet and friendly! I spent a good hour and a half looking, touching and playing with the yarns. I ended up buying more sock yarn. (I'm into socks this week!) I'll make the trip there again when my friend is there.
Two weeks ago, my friend and I visited the LYS closest to our homes. It's called the Katonah Yarn Company in Katonah, NY. This was my second time there. They were having an sidewalk sale so the goods were outside. I've been inside the store but one of the staff told me that we could only go in to pay for purchases. Hmm. I needed a circular #8 bamboo needle and they weren't letting me in to look The staff was extremely cranky. If you asked them a question they acted as if they were doing you a favor to answer it. This is the store that turns me off to shopping at a LYS! But I had 3 beautiful experiences and restored my faith in the Local Yarn Shops.