Purple Lamb is a fiber store on Etsy, linked here. I have found that Etsy is a great source of fiber material, but it can be a little overwhelming. Purple Lamb, however, is a great place to shop. I have purchased some, and plan to purchase more, of Ms. Hanson's beautiful art batts. They arrived quickly, were well packaged, and most importantly...they were BEAUTIFUL. They have been a true pleasure to spin. I'm playing with one called "Rainy Day" right now on my new bulky flyer and cannot wait to share it when it's done. The owner and artist of this shop does a wonderful job blending colors as well as making a cohesive concept. I find that some yarns, wools, and batts have snappy names that grab your attention but when you actually look at the item, it is hard to discern how the name is connected at all. That is not the case with Linda Hanson. Her concepts are clever and the colors and materials she chooses really demonstrate the concepts well.
While I have only purchased art batts from her, she does have yarn, scarves, and finished fiber garments available in her store. She has recently started an art batt monthly subscription, as well. In addition to all of this, she also maintains a website at www.purplelambfiberarts.com and has a presence on social media. (I enjoy following her Instagram.) Also, as a perk, I have noticed she runs a fair number of sales on her goods, and who doesn't love a sale?
I believe her fiber journey mirrors a lot of ours out there. Right down to balancing an artistic journey with kids and family. I am really happy to support her shop when I can and in some small way maybe help to feed her own fiber habit so she can keep creating beauty for the rest of us.
Bottom Line: Check out Linda Hanson's Etsy store called Purple Lamb. She has some real show stoppers there. And it's always nice to support small businesses and artists, especially when they deliver quality products.
Local Yarn Shoppe Review
I just returned from a visit to my parents. It was long overdue but I was very nervous to make the trip with my two toddlers. An eleven hour drive with nothing but you, a one-year old, a three-year old and the open road can be quite scary. My husband and I had kept planning to arrange a time when he could get off work to come with me, but unexpected and unavoidable things kept cropping up, so I put my big-girl panties on, loaded up the car, and ventured forth solo. Now that it is all done and I have made it back home, I feel quite proud of myself. High five to me. It was a lovely visit, too. My kids got to meet their great grandmother, their great great aunt and spend lots of fun time with their grandparents. Family is a very special thing.
However, a visit is not a visit without scoping out a local yarn store. And the Saturday after I arrived at my parents' house was World Wide Knit in Public day, so there was a ready reason to convince my entire family to pile in the car in search of yarn. (My dad was not thrilled, but he lucked out and found a new guitar store. So really, everyone was a winner here.) I did a search on the internet and found Bella Filati was not far off, so it was there that we went. And I am so glad we did. That yarn store is so happily situated it is almost unreal. The street where Bella Filati find its home is filled with the cutest local shops you've ever seen. In truth, it was all luxury shopping, but it was all very special. It is not every day you can find a place that has a local book store, local yarn shop, local ice cream parlor, local furniture gallery, local music store...the list goes on. In the age of big box stores and the internet, it was quite refreshing. And that was just the knitting store's location; the store itself was lovely, too.
The inside of the store was well-organized and spacious. I have commented before that I enjoy a snug knitting shop, but this store clearly was organized with the social aspects of knitting in mind. The proprietor of the shop hosts multiple social knitting groups a week, offers knitting tutorials and private lessons and also hosts classes from visiting designers. It is important she have space for people to sit and work. There was a ton of natural light pouring into the store, too, which made choosing yarn colors that much better because you could really see.
Another thing I liked about the store was that for every sample that was on display, the owner of the shoppe made the yarn that was used in a well-organized display where you could easily find nice color combinations and alternatives to the pattern. There was not a huge selection of yarn considering the size of the store, but all the yarn that was available was very nice and of high quality. The prices were very reasonable, too.
Bottom Line: This store is well worth a visit if you are in the area. The shop owner was very knowledgeable and had a very pleasant disposition. The store was bright, clean, and cheerful. Perhaps most importantly, the yarn was lovely.
817B Regal Drive
Huntsville, Al 35801
I cannot put in words how much I love this store. The proprietor is a friendly, unimposing, knowledgeable woman who seems to care about her customers as much as her store. On the shelves with her beautiful yarn selection are the projects of customers hanging proudly, showcasing not only new patterns but also the yarn that made them. It is a very tactile place, and that is wonderful.
I stumbled on this store quite by accident when I was about two weeks from having my second son. Needless to say, I was about the size of a house and was the type of pregnant that makes people nervous...like I could pop at any moment. My husband, the sweet man that he is, wanted to take me somewhere that would distract me from my very pregnant state of being. He saw online that this store was open. What we did not know was that it was having its grand opening in its new location the day we chose to check it out. (Really, that meant there was a tray of cookies out for incoming knitters. I cannot say no to a cookie on a good day. I certainly cannot say no to a cookie when I'm pregnant.)
While it was clear the store was still getting itself organized, I was very impressed with the selection and loved the setup. It is my ideal sized knitting store. (Is that a weird thing to love? I am not a fan of huge spaces for knitting stores and sometimes you can be a little too cramped. Like the story of the Three Bears, the size of this store is just right.)
Fast forward a little less than a year to Knit in Public Day 2016 and I found myself once again within the cozy walls of this fine establishment. This time I was significantly less pregnant and probably a lot calmer overall. The store seems to have hit its stride already, offering great yarns, great company and a lot of fiber knowledge...and fixed heddle looms! How fun. I hope to become a regular at this fiber shoppe, though my schedule with my tiny tots does not allow me to get out to the yarn store as often as I like.
There is a website for the store at www.fiberartwork.com and there is a group on Ravelry that is very active. Please check out both.
Bottom Line: This is one of my all-time favorite knitting stores. This should be a must on your list if you live in the Tennessee Valley.
Yarn /Fiber Store
Myrtle Beach, SC
I had the opportunity to vacation with my family in Myrtle Beach, SC this past month. It is a popular vacation destination, and I am happy to report it has a lovely yarn store for those of you knitting while catching a few rays. It took some convincing to get my family in the car and away from the beach to drive to, yes, a yarn store...but really, it was very close to the popular hotels and boardwalk and easy to find. The store itself had much to offer. The selection was decent, there seemed to be a good client base as demonstrated by the ladies sitting around a central table knitting away, and the store was spacious. (I actually prefer a smaller space, but I can definitely see the benefits in expansion.) The thing I loved the most about this store was the number of knitted items around the shop that showed exactly how a particular yarn would look knitted. It was wonderful. I always hate when I spend money on a skein thinking it will look and drape one way only to find I was sorely mistaken. The shawls, scarves, shirts and blankets posted around the establishment were placed near the yarn they were made with, allowing the shopper to really touch, feel, and see what their own project my end up looking like. It was wonderful! The staff was also very friendly. The woman working when I was in their allowed me to browse uninterrupted but was there at the drop of a hat when I needed assistance. It was my ideal shopping experience.
There is a website, linked above, with more information about the store hours, products, and expertise available.
Bottom Line: If you are vacationing in or near Myrtle Beach, you should take the time to check out this store. It is a great shop with a lot to offer and an ideal location to pick up yarn to make that vacation project. If you live near Myrtle Beach and haven't scoped out this local business, you really should, it's worth the trouble.