Supporting the Local Yarn Store

Today, I spent time at two local yarn stores (LYS). SW Washington (Clark County) has been bereft of a good yarn store for many years. (Sorry, Michael’s or Craft Warehouse don’t make the cut.) If you were a knitter or crocheter who wanted quality yarn, a trip into Portland, Oregon was needed.

In the past year two stores have opened in Vancouver, WA and I finally took some time to check them out today.

I went to Urban Wolves Fibers, which is located in Hazel Dell at 9301 NE 5th Avenue, Suite G-120, Vancouver, WA 98665 (360) 609-2792. One of the co-owners admits that the store has an unusual name and is usually perceived as a tattoo shop. By the way, the shop is named after their two Siberian Huskies (thus the Urban Wolves).

The shop is clean, well lit, with plenty of stock and a nice sitting area. Urban Wolves carries a large variety of brands, with limited colors. They carry both major brands (Madeline Tosh, Dream in Color, Rowan, etc.) as well as, some local favorites. Books, magazines, needles, etc. are also part of the inventory. As with most LYS they also carry a stock of roving for spinners.

Urban Wolves holds frequent classes and workshops and hosts regular group activities and events. Their open knit/crochet/spin/weave events take place at 10 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 pm on Wednesdays, and 1 pm on Sundays.

The second shop I went to was Blizzard Yarn and Fiber. Blizzard is located at 6924 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Set A, Vancouver, WA (360) 991-5350. The location is at the corner of Andresen and Fourth Plain. Blizzard is a large store which includes a large classroom, as well as, a smaller table for gatherings. Another clean, well lit shop, with lots of inventory. Blizzard carries a smaller selection of major brands, but a larger color selection than Urban Wolves. Blizzard also carries a variety of locally dyed and spun yarns. Books, magazine, needles, hand carved crochet hooks, roving and spinning wheels.

Blizzard Yarn and Fiber has a calendar full of classes and get togethers; including Russian Continental Knitting, beginning weaving, etc. Saturday and Sundays include drop in for help times.

I support local yarn stores for many reasons. Just like buying handmade, I believe in supporting locally owned businesses. Also, I am a very tactile knitter, I frequently go just to feel the fibers. I simply can’t knit with fibers that don’t feel good. Which is why I never knit with Noro, hemp, linen or other yarns that need to soften as you knit… I won’t get there. If I buy online, it’s only a yarn I’ve personally laid hands on.

If you’re local in the Portland/Vancouver area, I hope you drop into your local LYS.

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