One fine Saturday I was looking for a very specific yarn. My favorite local yarn shop had just closed a few months ago and I needed some Black Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted to start a new project. Lamb's pride is one of my favorite "work horse" yarns for felting and making stuffed animals. It's soft has lovely stitch definition when not felted and is rugged enough to take the abuse toddlers dish out to there favorite toys. It even gets a lovely fuzzy halo. And the shop I always got it at was gone!
So I went to Black Sheep's website and looked up who in Washington carries their products. I knew that the two shops closest to my home, Main Street Yarn in Mill Creek and Serial Knitters in Kirkland carry Lamb's Pride but only in Bulky. I did not want Bulky, I wanted worsted. So I called a couple of shops on the list from Black Sheep. One shop was closed and one shop only had three colors. Three colors? What's the use in that? The other shops on the list were to far away or in Seattle proper, I dislike Seattle traffic, save one precious gem of hope, Country Yarns in Snohomish. I live in Woodinville, thats just up Highway 9. Victory was within my grasp.
I called the shop at the first reasonable opening time, 10 am. Who am I kidding, waking up before noon on the weekend is challenging for my house. I spoke with Teresa, the owner and found that she did indeed have the yarn I sought, she also had the color cards and was placing an order so if she didn't have the colors I wanted she could just order them in for me. At that point I nearly teared up and did a little happy dance at my computer. Now all I needed was a conscious roommate with a car.
After a some caffeine we pulled into the parking lot a little before 1:00. (See, not fast movers on a weekend.) We were greeted by a very perky Teresa who immediately made us feel at home. She even made us tea.
My roommate Shelley has some mobility issues. The shop was perfect for her. Nice open floor plan. Everything was in easy reach. No stairs. The shop has a really big table in the middle of the main room so we could sit down with our tea and look through the color cards and books at our own pace. The back room is full of roving and Shelley had to limit the time she spent in there, not because she couldn't move around but because she spins and the wool fumes were making her want to buy everything in site. She did pick up a beautiful 4oz of wool/silk hand dyed roving and an alpaca fleece. The alpacas name was Geraldine, I think. She lives on Sauk Island.
That was one of the things that I most liked about Country Yarns, they make a serious effort to support the local community. They had yarn from spinners in Snohomish and Monroe, dyers in Snohomish, and fleeces from Montana. One of the spinners even uses wool from her own sheep. While we were there knitters kept coming in to the shop and sitting at the big table. They would get out projects and share stories. When I ask Teresa if we were interrupting a knitting circle or class or something she said "no, this is just what happens." It was fantastic. I got to talk with the other knitters and shop the sock yarn and drink tea and ask questions of the class on spinning that actually was a class in the back room. We had a great time.
So, on to the nuts and bolts. Country Yarns is located at 119 Avenue B, Snohomish, WA 98290. It's a one story brick building with on street parking and a parking lot just to the south. The shop is in the front. Their phone number is 360.568.7611. She is getting her new website back up and running but I don't know what it is yet. She's open M-W,F&Sat 10-6, Th 12-8, Closed Sunday. She carries a variety of yarns with an emphasis on local fiber artists and different textures. You may not find a huge selection of novelty yarns or big name yarn companies but you will find a good mix of yarns for every purpose. She carries cotton, kids yarn, sock yarn, natural fibers, wool blended with silk, cashmere, or alpaca. The floor plan is very open so on first blush you might not think she has a lot of variety, or stock for that matter, but take a second look, and then a third, there's a lot of yarn in that shop.
Shelley and I did end up ordering some Lamb's Pride. Shelley's making a large I-cord table cover and matching rug and I wanted to order some of the colors I hadn't seen before just to have them in my palate. I also got three balls of sock yarn and sense my bin and my giant basket of sock yarn are already overflowing I had to get a new basket to keep it in. I wouldn't want my Zauberball or Schoppel Wolle to get lonely while waiting for me to knit them.