This shop has a lot going for it. Not only is it just a lovely spot with good service, it's near a lot of other fun shops, so people like me who are into a lot of crafts can have a full day.
It's very difficult for me to get to this store - no evening hours, ever, just one window on Saturdays. But when I can make it there, it's usually a quite enjoyable experience.
It's hard to explain why I didn't give higher marks to this store. It's beautiful, but I've had problems at least half the times I've gone in. It was the first LYS I ever stepped foot in; I was going to be taking private knitting lessons and needed a ball of yarn and a pair of needles, but couldn't get waited on to save my life. My husband, who waited just inside the front door, still refers to it as "that snooty store, where they wouldn't wait on you." I gave it another chance after I learned how to knit, but my experiences have been really hit or miss. After I found other stores to shop at, this became the one I hit only if I was driving by or meeting a friend (because it's equidistant between our homes).
If 3 of the 4 comments didn't have the same message (wow, the store has really changed) it be a little more believable. And they all sound like ads.
It's amazing how much yarn they've crammed into the tiny space! I've never had a negative experience there. I dropped in a couple of weeks ago, literally a minute to closing (construction delay), and they were gracious and helpful. I needed yarn for two projects, but didn't want to delay them any more than I have to, so I just grabbed one. One of the associates encouraged me to take a couple of minutes and walked me across the hall to find the second yarn.
If you're local, I'd suggest signing up for their newsletter. They have sales ALL THE TIME. They also offer "yarn tastings" and have a frequent shopper program.
For fabric people: the quilting section has been greatly reduced.
I don't know about the perfect LYS, but what will get me to return to a shop is a combination of atmosphere, customer service and selection.
Atmosphere is a pretty hard quality to define, but it involves lighting and organization, as well as decor. It doesn't have to be fancy: bright and open = good, without heavy perfumy smells. Samples up-to-date (my niece fell in love with a sweater at a shop and it turned out they'd only had a couple copies of the pattern and wouldn't ever have anymore. Time for that sample to move on!) Customer Service is key for me. I like to be greeted, asked if I need help, and left alone if I say no (and helped if I say yes). Selection is a combination of things, including store hours (if they're never open in the evenings - even one a week - I can't select yarn, can I?). I'm all about substitution, so a store doesn't have to carry every brand ever made, but a nice selection at varying price points.
Bonus: I love it when owners/associates are actually attempting to keep up with trends. Maybe they can't carry every tool, and they certainly can't be walking encyclopedias, but if a brand of needles has been on the market for a year and they still haven't heard of it... Haven't heard of knitty.com? You can't pretend the internet doesn't exist in this day and age!
Yeah!!! I hardly ever win anything. I'd say "never," but sometimes (like now) I do. Thanks!!!