San Diego Yarn Crawl 2014

SDYC_web_bannerConfession. Before this weekend, I’d never visited a yarn shop here in San Diego.

I know.

My excuses? 1.) They are all too far away. 2.) The yarn is probably too expensive anyway.

Well, excuses are just that. Excuses, right? I had an amazing time visiting the many awesome yarn stores in this sunny metropolis.

The crawl lasted from Thursday to Sunday, but I already had plans this weekend, so I had to go to as many places as I could on Thursday — seven in all! I drove from El Cajon to PB to Encinitas to San Marcos. Phew! Good thing I had LibriVox to keep me company.

I’m going to take you on the journey with me. If you live in San Diego, this’ll hopefully give you a good overview of the yarn shops in the area.

First stop?

Yarn and Thread Expressions in La Mesa.

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My $0.02: This place has a really old-timey vibe, which I totally loved. I felt so welcome and at home here. They have a large project table, which they use for classes. That day, they used it for a yarn tasting.

Yarn tasting: (n) When various balls of yarn are placed on display (sometimes in martini and margarita glasses) so that customers can fondle them and see how they work up in knit and/or crochet.

At the register, I met Squeaky, a cute little Maltese mix. Expressions doesn’t have the best selection or the largest square footage of all shops between the international border and Camp Pendleton, but the staff is so friendly.

Tips: Don’t miss the parking lot adjacent to the building. I missed it and had to park on the street.

I got a two-fer at this location because the Yarnover Truck was stationed curbside!

Yarnover Truck

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My $0.02: It’s not a food truck. It’s a yarn store on wheels, and it offers something much more delicious — and less fattening. When I stepped into the truck, the wonderful Barbra welcomed me and showed me the small but pretty selection of yarns. I mean, how much yarn can you really fit on a truck? The thing I really like about the Yarnover Truck is how hip and youthful it is. They also have a selection of needles, hooks, and notions.

Tip: Check the calendar to see where the truck will be on a given weekend.

Buckle up. Let’s go to stop No. 3.

The Grove in South Park

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Look at that festive knit bunting!

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My $0.02: This place is heaven for a yarnie book nut like me. Although the selection of yarn is limited to one back corner of the shop, this place is worth visiting for its quirky collection of clothing, fabric, books, cards, and other goodies. This is a great place to shop for a you-can’t-find-it-anywhere-else gift more than it is a fiber destination. You’ve got to cut through the urban-cool aura just to walk in the door, and it’s merchandise selection has a touch of snotty teenage sarcasm (but in a good way).

Tip: There are a few fun restaurants adjacent to the Grove.

Meander along a few side streets to get to stop No. 4.

Aranitas Yarn by Sofia

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Check out the dude shopping for yarn! I can vouch for the fact that he was there alone of his own accord. Yay for manly knitters!

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My $0.02: It was really cool that this new little yarn shop participated in the crawl. I met Sofia, and she was lovely. Her little boutique store has a selection that I’m sure will only continue to grow. She’s done a great job maximizing the space. I did pick up four skeins of Berroco, which I’m hoping to use for a hairpin lace project!

Tip: The entrance isn’t street-side. Walk through the little passageway, and the door is on your right.

 

Off to Pacific Beach for stop No. 5.

Needlecraft Cottage in Pacific Beach

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You can see the ocean from this cute little shop! The main area is filled with lovely yarns.

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There’s more yarn in a back room, and there’s an embroidery room, too.

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My $0.02: There wasn’t as much hoopla about the Yarn Crawl at this location, but the lady at the register was very nice. The other shoppers sounded like regulars who frequent the place. There are several rooms in a building to the rear that they use for classes.

Tip: Don’t stop by on Wednesdays. They’re closed. Only a few parking spots available right in front.

Get cozy, because we’ve got a little bit of a drive to get to…

The Black Sheep in Encinitas

 

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My $0.02: This was one of my favorite places. They did an amazing job preparing for the Yarn Crawl. They had a huge yarn tasting on display in front of the shop, and they invited you to make your own yarn sample sheet, tying snippets of yarn to a piece of cardstock. The inside of the shop is somewhat of a paradise.

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Floor to ceiling yarn. Literally!

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They have an amazing selection. I’m sure some of this yarn was just making a special appearance for the crawl, but still.

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They have a separate classroom area with a large table, and they set up a cute make-and-take station where I created my own cute little yarn tassel. I must give this place an A+.

Tip: Don’t worry about finding parking on the street. They have their own little lot.

Making our way a little farther north to stop No. 7…

Common Threads in Encinitas

I can’t believe it, but I didn’t get a picture of this location!

My $0.02: The people here were super nice. An elderly woman welcomed me, stamped my passport, and gave me a goodie bag filled with a bunch of awesome freebies, including fruit snacks (which I really needed at that point in the day) and a free small skein of yarn! They also provided a map of the store, which has a wonderful selection (neck and neck with Black Sheep for largest quantity). And most of the shoppers sounded like regulars who frequent the place.

Tip: Don’t park in the front of the business complex. Drive around to the back. That’s where the “front” door is.

Making our way east to our last stop…

Yarning for You in San Marcos

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My $0.02: This super-friendly shop is bright and airy with a medium-sized selection. I met Heather Walpole, owner of Ewe Ewe Yarns, and she was such a lovely person. Her yarns are brightly colored and ultra-soft sold in very small skeins. This place is probably the closest shop to me, and hopefully I can return when I need something more luscious than what I can find at Michael’s.

Tip: Yarning for You hosts the Diva’s Book Club each month!

I got done with my grand tour just in time to fight rush-hour traffic back home. But I was rewarded with a nearly full passport — I wish I could’ve made it out to the mills.

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I also walked away with some adorable commemorative buttons…

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…a load of free patterns…

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…some adorable freebies…

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…and some scrumptious yarn (and an awesome vintage hairpin lace loom).

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Thanks for joining me on the crawl! It really was a lot of fun.

Now, all I have to do is wait to see if I win one of the heart-stoppingly incredible gift baskets. 😉

QUESTION OF THE DAY

Have you ever participated in a yarn crawl? Tell me about it!

 

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