The next shop was recommended to me by the ladies at the Yarn Lounge, and bless them for it. It was my favorite. Called Knitting Addiction, it's a wonderful, roomy shop, as the picture on their home page shows. They even kept their pretty cat away from me, since I'm allergic. I fell in love with the colorways of Ellyn Cooper, and found a shop pattern (free with the yarn) to make a vest with her Cotton Ripple in Blue Hydrangea plus some Mission Falls cotton. Here you see half what I bought to make it.All the solid shades of Mission Falls appear in the Cooper yarn in the center. While I was picking them out, the shop owner had already wound the Cotton Ripple!
I saw another quickie pattern, a shrug, that looked perfect for keeping winter chill off in the office, and got it with some Plymouth Brushed Baby Alpaca. It's a lovely gray.
Last, I visited a shop on the Manteo waterfront called Fine Yarns at Kimbeeba. This was a smallish shop but with some nice yarns and another very good website. Again, I didn't feel as at home here, but I did get helpful service. She didn't have the Berroco yarn I wanted, but showed me a couple good substitutes, and even showed me one yarn, an Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, that would be about half the others, especially once I got her 15% off for ten skeins or more.Unfortunately, I felt pressured by the shop attendant (owner?) to purchase some very nice Noro sock yarn that I didn't want or need, and that was off-putting, but she did toss in an entralac pattern which was nice.
Thinking back, the thing my two preferred shops (and I emphasize, all four were nice and had helpful aspects) had over the less-preferred was that I didn't feel condescended to. I am pretty yarn-savvy. I run three knitting lists, but in the two shops where I was less comfortable, the staff ASSUMED a lack of knowledge on my part. It seems to me to be a healthier attitude to assume I have a yarn background, and if I have to ask more questions, then go more in-depth with explanations. Or simply ask how much help understanding various yarns I might need.
Assume I'm smart. I'll like you better. More important, I'll spend more. *sigh* Probably more than I should.