Friday, August 12, 2011

Yarn Shopping in Santa Barbara

This week we are enjoying a much anticipated week-long vacation in Santa Barbara. We've passed through the town quite a few times when we traveled to and from Los Angeles and San Diego areas, but never spent much time to explore. This is a beautiful city, with Spanish style architecture everywhere, and a huge downtown leading to the ocean. We rented a small bungalow that's built on top of a garage. The home owner listed it on TripAdvisor, and the week rent for this nicely furnished two bedroom one bath apartment with full kitchen is much less than any hotel I could find, no brainer!

Of course, what's a vacation without yarn shopping! So far I've visited three shops in Santa Barbara, with more planned on the way home. Here is my experience so far, good and bad.

Loop and Leaf is a block away from the main drag (State St.) in downtown. Very cute little house turned yarn shop which also sells its own tea blend. The shop is pretty small (cozy/cramped). I got in an hour after they opened. There were two ladies sitting in the living room knitting, they barely acknowledged when I walked in, which is fine as I usually enjoy to be left alone. There was a class in one of the rooms, I heard one of the ladies telling someone it’s ok to go in as the class was ending and there were a lot of yarn in that room. I tried to go in to look at the yarn, twice, and was stared back like I was an alien. the other room was the tea room with yarn, books, etc., but someone kept vacuuming in it. Couldn’t get around her. I was quite disappointed at the experience as I was really looking forward to visiting this shop.

Cardigans is a little ways away from downtown, also a very cute house. I went there in the late afternoon but not close to closing time. Another class in session in an area full of yarn and books, but I was able to check out the rest of the shop (more than half). Quite a bit of high end stuff, nice displays. 

Knit and Pearl Boutique is also in the downtown area, away from Loop and Leaf (it’s a very large downtown). The shop is slightly bigger, very friendly staff. Fortunately there was no class in session when I visited, so it was very pleasant. On the other hand, their table and chairs are set up away from the yarn displays, so visitors won’t be in the middle of a class. They had Mission Falls and O-Wool, among other things, on the sale rack. Super :-)

Happy Fiber Arts Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blog and leave me a comment!


WonderWhyGal said...

Great reviews! I've been to some shops where I was ignored or almost treated rudely which was a super disappointment. Sorry you were treated that way. It really is fun to visit shops other than your usual. For me, I always appreciate my favorite shop even more.

Melissa Plank said...

How nice that there were three yarn shops in close proximity! I hope you found some fiber goodies to bring home with you.

Kathryn Ray said...

I've been to Santa Barbara a couple of times. It's beautiful there.

Isn't it interesting how the people and layout of a shop can provide such a different experience.

Dutch Hollow Acres said...

OH bummer about the poor customer service. There are some snobby knitters out there.

Spinster Beth said...

It doesn't sound as if you bought any yarn!

Heather Woollove said...

It's disappointing when you walk into a shop that seems to be a 'closed clique' of knitters and you feel like you interrupted their gossiping or something. Sighhh.
Too bad some shop owners don't try for a more customer-friendly staff who might even introduce you to several 'regulars' while you're visiting!

Pooch said...

Looks like a wonderful yarn crawl. How disappointing that you encountered rude people along the way.