As a knitter, I make it a point to stop into local yarn stores whenever my husband and I travel. Small locally owned stores are generally a great place to find specialty yarns and accessories that are harder to find at chain stores like Wal-Mart and Hobby Lobby. Unfortunately, contrary to what one might expect of a locally owned business, not all yarn stores are welcoming or comfortable to visit. Sometimes it’s the size of the store that makes it hard to maneuver in. Sometimes it’s the feeling that you’ve interrupted the employees who can often be found knitting during their work day. These types of stores are all too common and one of the biggest gripes myself and my fellow knitters seem to have.
On a recent trip to Overland Park, KS, I was fortunate enough to find a great yarn store. The Yarn Shop and More sits out of the way in a small plaza in this Kansas City suburb. My husband found it online and mapped it for us. He found several good reviews of the store, so we chanced it. I don’t always rely on reviews, but in this case, they were spot on.
As we entered the store, we were greeted immediately by the clerk. She was in the middle of chatting to another customer but took a second to welcome us before finishing her business with them. Once that customer was gone, she didn’t hesitate to ask us if we were looking for something in particular or if she could help us with anything. We told her we were just browsing, and she gave us some key points of the store, such as how it was organized and where to find the books and accessories. Then she let us shop with the offer of help at any time we needed it.
The store is spacious and easy to move around in, and the public restroom was a bonus. The yarn was sorted by fiber and color to make browsing more cohesive and specific yarn quests quick and easy. Special displays were set up in the middle of the room, one of them dedicated to sock knitting. There was also the knitting table that seems to be a staple of the Local Yarn Store (LYS) to welcome local knitters and knitting groups.
Books and patterns were kept in their own little alcove along with a table where patrons can sit and look at them. In the same alcove was a clearance section for the frugal yarn buyer. This section was small, but the products were good quality, some being marked down for a little bit of fading. Accessories were kept just outside the cashier counter. The Yarn Shop and More had a nice collection of knitting and crochet tools. The needles themselves were kept behind the desk. In many yarn stores, this could pose a problem and may be one of the store’s shortcomings. I love browsing knitting needles, so this limited me somewhat. This could also pose a problem in the more unfriendly LYS. Since the clerk at The Yarn Shop and More was friendly and helpful, this experience wasn’t bad at all.
The prices at the Yarn Shop and More are reasonable compared to other LYSs. I bought a set up interchangeable circular needles for around $60. The specialty yarns started at 5.00 a skein. Even the more expensive fibers are slightly lower than other places. I was able to pick up two skeins of a soft nylon blend for less than six dollars on clearance.
If you’re in the Overland Park area, I definitely recommend you take a look at The Yarn Shop and More.