Here is the promised review of the Crazy Girl Yarn Shop in Muscatine, Iowa. While their Web site is not done particularly well, it packs a lot of information into it. The store itself is beautiful! I did not take interior photos, but here is a shot of the outside. That ball of yarn is HUGE! I would say it has to be at least 4 feet wide (that's just the yarn, not the needles!) The store is set in an old button factory, so one of the coolest things ever is that they MAKE THEIR OWN BUTTONS!! I have never seen such beautiful buttons in my life! The store has personality like you wouldn't believe - hardwood floors - huge ceilings, and exposed brick. There is also a little cafe in the back!
They carry a lot of yarn, but not a ton of variety as far as vendors go. For example, they carry just about every imaginable color of Cascade 220, and they even have their own line of custom dyed Cascade yarns for sale. The carry an extensive selection of patterns and yarns for Dale of Norway, and even sell the sweaters in the store. Their needle needle selection was nice also - Addis in every variety, and bamboo straights and circulars. I even found 000s. They have lots of Schaefer yarns as well - some left in hanks hanging beautifully on the wall, some pre-wound into balls so you don't have to worry about it. I actually ended up purchasing some Schaefer yarn there, just because I thought the colors were OUTSTANDING. Of course, my camera doesn't do this yarn justice. Those are actually very deep colors, not as pastel as they look in the photo. They remind me of the sunset. They also carry some Noro Kureyon, at about $9 ball - a little higher than I would pay, but much cheaper than my LYS here in Des Moines which charges $12 a ball, but that's for another post.
Crazy Girls Yarn Shop doesn't stop there, though. They have lots of fun yarns, including a baby section, and a whole section in the back brimming with every variety you can imagine! I wasn't planning on writing a review of the store, so I didn't write everything down, but they do have a great selection of "fun" yarn. They also sell their own line of project bags, t-shirts and needles cases, each emblazoned with their "crazy girl" mascot. Of course I couldn't resist a purchase. That little sticker has the mascot on it and says something like, "handknit for you by a crazy girl." You gotta love it!
Then you go to the second floor. On your way up, they have a little loft area that you can stop at and pick up a drink (coffee/water.) And sometimes, on this little landing, they LET YOU MAKE YOUR OWN BUTTONS!! I would take a trip back there just to make my own buttons if it weren't for one other thing that I LOVED about the store: the second floor.
You see, I accidentally entered the store from the second floor when I got there, and I was greet by spinning wheels, and lots and lots of roving. Then, I saw it. The YARN CLEARANCE SECTION! They have a HUGE yarn clearance section. It's worth a visit just for that part...really it is. But on to the spinning wheels - they hold a spinning meet the first Saturday of every month. The owner told me to bring in my wheel, and she will try to help me fix it and learn to use it! It's going to be really hard to refuse that offer, and that makes the 3 hour drive there so worth it!
So, that is my review of the store. I loved it. They were helpful, nice, knowledgable, and let me gawk at their store for about two hours. Definitely worth a visit if you're even remotely in that area.