Some Thursdays here on this blog I’m offering up my reviews of yarn sellers that I buy from. I like indie online dyers and that’s mostly what I’ll be reviewing since those stores are accessible to a wider swath of readers than any local store could be. However, I was so amazed and impressed with Grandma’s Spinning Wheel in Tucson that I just have to tell you about it. I’m embarrassed to admit that I forgot to take photos while at the shop so the photos shown here are just the ones available online.
About the Store
One of the things that most crochet-ers look for in their LYS is whether or not it’s crochet-friendly. This means not only that there are crochet-friendly yarn and hook buying options but also that there are crochet swatches to show off what the yarn looks like when worked up and that there is someone knowledgeable in crochet to answer questions and to teach crochet classes. Now I have to be honest in saying that I don’t really care about this feature too much. I don’t really look at the swatches in stores because I want to let the yarn speak to me itself. And I typically ask my crochet questions online, not at the store. So while it irks me that I’ve had noses turned up at me by people working at knit-focused stores who don’t know what to say after I say that I crochet, I don’t stop going to a store just because it’s knit-focused.
That said, Grandma’s Spinning Wheel is the most crochet-friendly yarn store that I’ve ever been. And more than this – it is felt friendly, weaving friendly and friendly to dyers and spinners! It was this comprehensive quality of the store that really won me over and made me want to encourage everyone to go there if they get the opportunity. The site is written in a knit-heavy manner but you don’t experience this at all in the store. You get to wander through two full rooms of yarn / wool / roving and see numerous swatches and finished pieces in knit, crochet and felt. There are blankets and art pieces on the walls, there are notions sold near the register, there’s just a ton to see and enjoy. It’s the kind of place that you can get lost in for hours if you already enjoy these crafts and the kind of place that would encourage you to try them if you haven’t yet just because the experience of being in there is so joyful. If I lived in Tucson I would take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about dyeing, spinning and weaving.
The staff members were nice and knowledgeable and made themselves available to us while we were browsing but they didn’t hang all over us or ask nosy questions, which I appreciated because I like to be left alone when I shop unless I need something.
About the Yarn
The other core thing that made me swoon over this store was the fact that they have an amazing supply of terrific yarns. There is a lot of variety in terms of what is offered and a big price range to meet any budget. You can check out the list on their site to see that the list goes on and on and on so it’s easy to find something (too much) that you’ll like. They have yarn names I recognized – this is where I picked up my Crazy Zauberball – but they also have a lot of unique, hand-painted beautiful yarns that I’d never seen before. Some of it is organized in cubbies, some of it hangs from ceiling displays, some of it hangs on the wall. It’s all touchable, which is important. I know lots of people don’t like going to a yarn store only to find the yummy yarns stuck in glass display cases where you can’t feel them!
Conclusion: If you’re going to the Southwest make sure to make a stop at this great place!