The best thing about traveling is getting to shop at exotic yarn stores and the southeastern corner of Iowa was very exotic, indeed. We found several string emporiums vying for our attention, but in the end only 4 made our iteneary. I see another Iowa yarn crawl in my future.
Immediately on our arrival in Iowa City we were on the look out for a yarn store and in three shakes of lamb's tail we found ourselves at Crazy Girl Yarns ( http://www.crazygirlyarnshop.com/ ). Crazy Girl Yarns has two locations, one in Coralville and one in Cedar Rapids. We went to the Coralville location, because Coralville is a suburb of Iowa City. I didn't know Iowa City was so cosmopolitan. Crazy Girl was a nice yarn store, large with a good selection of Noro, Cascade, and Mirasol yarns among others. The store had lots of space and tables to sit and knit. I was very impressed by the variety of knitting books as well, they even had one section of books labeled "SAUCY." I bought some Noro and a book called Knit Green. A very determined woman was knitting at one of the tables with the help of the store clerk. The woman was chatty and I even helped her fix a mistake. We spoke the language of knitting like we were old friends and that made me feel good about Iowa knitters.
Next we headed to The Knitting Shoppe ( http://www.knitmap.com/locations/the-knitting-shoppe ) and trust me we would have never found it if we had not had a garmin to guide us. The parking lot was very full and the car next to us had two adorable little knitted critters in the backseat that I had to ogle.
Once inside I asked who had the animals in the car and a woman told me her latest project was to work through Knitted Wild Animals: 15 Adorable, Easy-to-Knit Toys by Sarah Keen. She almost made me want to knit a purple rhino. The shop was very crowded with loud friendly knitters. Yarn was in shelves almost all the way up to the top of the 10 foot ceiling. It was a little overwhelming to know where to look and I kept tripping over other knitters. The shop felt more like a party than a business, and we were hail knitters well met, I LOVED the atomshere of this shop. I bought Liberty yarn and Natalie bought some delicious alpaca yarn for a sweater pattern she als bought at the shop. She loved the yarn so much she went back the next day and bought more.
We did wedding stuff and on our last morning in Iowa City we went to Home Ec Workshop ( http://www.homeecworkshop.com/ ). What a sweet shop! The shop has, a fabric room, a yarn room, craft lab, and snack counter. The selection of yarn was smaller than the other shops, but they had chosen well. The Madelinetosh and clearance Mirasol Tupa kept subliminally saying, "Buy me." I spent most of my time digging through the clearance bin finding green Tupa (9 skeins) making sure to get it all so no other knitter would be tortured with only one lone skein of the perfect green color and not another to match in sight. I would also like to say the couch was particularly comfortable there.
We also were able to stop by R. Rabbit's Fiber Studio in Cedar Rapids. I have to say this shop was very small. They had packed the shop with yarn, fibers, looms, spinning wheels, books, and state winning knitted items. One of the State Fair 2nd place winning shawls was hanging on the wall. The yarn had been hand spun and then knitted into a very complicated lace pattern and only won 2nd place. I can only imagine what won first. As with every shop we had been to the knitters were so welcoming and ready to start talking yarn. I will say it again, I think a second Iowa yarn crawl is in order.