The first shop I went to was KnitWitz. There were two ladies knitting, and a little boy, about 9, in the shop. The little fella was home sick from school, sort of. He had broken his arm, and was having a rough day, so he went to work at the knitting shop with his Mom. One of the things I really liked about this shop was the play area they had for kids. A lot of shops have a basket of toys, mostly for toddlers, but this shop had a good sized play area, with two of those low to the ground video-game raocker chairs, a cozy plush rug, and a TV with a VCR. It was tucked away in the corner so that the kids could have thier own space while still being supervised. They could watch a video (Star Wars was the flick du jour that day), and lounge. There were also knitting needles and yarn for those kids who are interested in giving it a go.
The shop had a nice selection of yarn and patterns. There were baboos, mohairs and silks along one wall, a cabinet full of baby yarn, and another wall of merinos, alpacas, and wool. I started chatting with one of the ladies who was working on socks. She expressed a concern that the toe would be too pointey for her because her foot is square. I told her that was the best thing about knitting your own socks, you can make the toe fit your foot! I saw the lightbulb come on as she realized that she didn't have to follow the pattern exactly! It was really fun! Well, at this shop, I got some baby yarn, and the perfect yarn for an exchange I am doing. I bought 2 skeinseach of Sirdar Tiny Tots in baby blue with dark blue and white pips, Plymouth Dream Baby in blue white and yellow, Wendy Velvet Touch in pink, white and spring green, and Wildfoote sock yarn. I also got 4 skeins of bamboo in a dark lime green.
I got this great pattern for a tube top made from 2 skeins of Cascade Fixation and the yarn to make it. Of course, this is not a pattern for me, but something for someone else.
These patterns are for me. Yet another sweater that I will probably never get to, LOL, and a pair of socks. They had this adorable scarf pin, and I just had to have it because it has a ladybug on it :)
This little fella was too cute to pass up! He is made from real alpaca, and although it looks like hide with fur, I have been assured that is not the case.
The second shop was A Stitch In Time. As I entered the shop, I realized that I had been here several years ago, before I learned to knit. They have a huge selection of counted-cross-stitch and needlepoint patterns, canvases, threads, wools and accessories in addition to an impressive yarn selection in the back. Even though the yarn section is very small, they manage to have lots of variety neatly organized and arranged. I purchased a cross-stitch pattern.
During our week in Orlando, I went to Sip & Knit. This was a very nice shop, with three large rooms filled with knitterly goodness! In addition to the three rooms, there were lots of accessories, buttons and bags in the foyer area near the cash register. Although I was tempted to buy all sorts of wonderful things, I was mindful of my commitment to Stash Along, and only purchased two skeins of Wildfoote sock yarn and two patterns. I really like these patterns - they are Danish patterns, and I don't often see European patterns in my LYS.
So I used my free day for March early on, then took a strike in Stash Along just a couple of days later. YIKES! I'd better stay out of the yarn shops for a while!