Monday, July 19, 2010

A Field Trip

Some time ago, I posted about a trip I made to a well-known LYS, only to be frustrated by an environment that I’ll charitably refer to as less-than welcoming. Plus, they didn’t have what I was looking for. That’s a bit of a double-whammy.

In response to that earlier post, I received a number of comments. One of those comments came from someone affiliated with another LYS, suggesting that I give their shop a try and even offering that they “specialize in not being snobby.”
And so I did.

Yesterday, we had the whole family up and out of the house early as we needed to run some errands on the Seattle side of the water. After an initially delicious but later somewhat sedating breakfast at a local institution, we made our way to a number of local retail haunts. For the oldest guy, we made a stop at the Lego store. For the middle guy – a place where a child can make his own stuffed animal and then plead with his parents for miscellaneous swag to go with the toy. Honestly, did we need to make a Darth Vader costume that will fit a teddy bear?

For Mrs. TSMK a local apparel retailer to exchange an item or two. For me – after a quick trip to my favorite snowboard/skateboard shop – we headed down to Kent.

More specifically, we headed down to Renaissance Yarns. I hadn’t been there before, and managed to get turned around while driving through Kent. But ultimately we found the spot. Tucked conveniently around the corner from an ice cream shop in an open-air mall.

I knew at once I would like the store, for they had hand-knitted and hand-crocheted lingerie hanging in the window. Clearly, this was my kind of place.

We were greeted immediately by a very cheerful clerk. As is typical, she initially approached Mrs. TSMK and asked her if she needed help. I know this is a bit sexist, but kind of like this common mistake as it typically gives me a chance to elude the clerk and begin examining the shelves. I seized upon that opportunity in this case, and immediately went about exploring the shop.

It is a small shop, but very well lit.  Like my LYS, it is exceptionally clean and is very well organized. Much of the inventory I recognized: good workmanlike stuff like Cascade 220, various kinds of Rowan tweed and similar yarns. But there were a few things I hadn’t seen before. My favorite of those was Zauberball sock yarn. I had read of this product on Ravelry, but hadn’t had a chance to see it up close. On inspection – I liked it very much. It comes in a bunch of vibrant colors and is a nice 75/25 blend of wool and polyamide. It feels very soft. I don’t really need any more sock yarn. In fact, I don’t really need any more yarn of any type as I’m spinning more and more (another 200 yards or so of lace weight last night). But I couldn’t resist and ended up buying two Zauberball err. . . balls. 


Who knows, maybe one will turn into a Christmas present.

In the back of the store came the biggest and coolest surprise. They have a whole wall filled with interesting roving for spinning, along with a number of other spinning accoutrements. I see this as seriously cool – and took the opportunity to point out a nice double-treadle wheel to Mrs. TSMK as a possible Christmas present idea. She didn’t look too excited about the possibility, but didn’t become actively sick at the notion either. So maybe there’s hope.

And so, all in all, I’d have to say that I enjoyed my trip to Renaissance Yarns quite a bit. The shop was welcoming and carried good product – all at reasonable price points. The clerk was very friendly, and didn’t seem particularly shocked that I was the knitter in the family. I can’t say for sure when I’ll be back, as I’m rarely in Kent. But if I find myself in the neighborhood with some time to kill – I can absolutely see me making my way back to the shop.  Especially if they have a pattern for those very hot pink boy shorts that were displayed in the window.  I'm pretty sure Mrs. TSMK needs a pair of those.



  1. It's always great to find a great Yarnshop that has the 'right' atmosphere!! And, for those that need Boy
    And, yes absolutley doe the world need a DV costume for a Teddy Bear!!!

  2. Oh my, that darth vader teddy is too much....I know a 6 y.o. boy who would love that!!!

  3. So....I had to quickly hide the Darth Teddy picture before my kids saw it! Pretty cute :)

    Glad you found a nice LYS over on this side. I am a little further north than Kent, and I find that the existing LYS's are few, far between, and with attitude. It's especially irritating as they focus so much on knitting that they actually get condescending to me as a crocheter! But I think I will check out this place!
    Thanks for the info!