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Growing up in Oklahoma

Thank you all for weighing in yesterday in the comments. I hope it didn't come across that Michaels was not a perfectly acceptable place to buy yarn! I truly think it is -- but I don't look forward to a trip to Michaels with much anticipation nor do I feel delighted when I leave. Compare this to my yarn store trips . . . which I usually DO look forward to and enjoy.

I always count my knitting anniversary as December 2003; however, I learned how to knit in the 70's in Oklahoma when I was a Girl Scout. My mom bought my yarn and supplies at TG&Y in Del City, Oklahoma. At the time, I know they carried Sayelle and Wintuk (both brands have been absorbed in to Caron International). I bought pink and navy blue yarn and learned the knit stitch -- that was the extent of my knitting experience until recently.

As a knitter or crocheter, you should buy what's affordable and appealing to you -- no matter where you CHOOSE to go to get it. However, if you want to get more out of your hobby, I suggest visiting your local yarn shop. You're not obligated to buy anything but it might be a worthwhile (and possibly fun) experience.

In the U.S. your alternatives to yarn stores include Joann, A.C. Moore, Hobby Lobby, Michaels; you can sometimes find odd lots of yarn at Tuesday Morning and Big Lots. And of course, there's always Wal-Mart (though it's my understanding they are going to eventually phase out the fabric department -- which if you read between the lines is a boon to smaller businesses that cater to niche markets).


Although I didn't comment yesterday I (think) understood what you were saying and as a person without a LYS was not at all offended. It takes two hours to drive to the nearest Michaels but even though Walmart does carry some yarn I don't buy any there - ever. I save up as much of my yarn shopping till I go on vacation and buy in abundance from as many yarn stores as I can. I think of my yarn as souvenirs much of the time.
The best thing about shopping at a LYS for me is watching all the interpersonal stuff going on and I wish it was something I could experience whenever I want.

Grrrr! I hope WalMart's phase out of their fabric dept. IS a boon to small businesses, but what about the ones they drove out of business in the first place? And now they're promoting a "celebration center" for party supplies and decorations? Funny, our new WalMart is located right across the street from Party City. What happens when Party City goes out of business - will WalMart then discontinue their celebration center? Sorry for venting, but I hate them. HATE them.

Ack! Say it isn't so! If WalMart phases out their fabrics, I'll have to drive nearly an hour to get some things I consider very basic supplies. Our rural town isn't big enough to support a fabric store on its own.

Ah, TG&Y! :) It was located right by OTASCO in my neck of the woods. One of my last memories of being in TG&Y was my friend Julie's brother, Kent, buying her a Peaches and Herb audio cassette for her birthday in there! lol!

Brenda, there's not a Hancock or Hobby Lobby near you?! :-) What about a quilt shop?

Our TG&Y was next door to OTASCO as well.

Nope, there's not. They don't move into towns with populations of 7,900. :-)

Lincoln, NE, is 45 miles away. They do have a Hobby Lobby (made my day to see that Oklahoma chain migrate north!), a Joann's, a Hancock and a Michaels. Here, we have WalMart and Pamida. We just got a Walgreens, but they don't sell fabric, sooo... :-( Our downtown businesses are more service-oriented than products. Lawyers... accountants... hairdressers... banks...

Ah...TG&Y. My sister used work at the TG&Y when we lived in Slidell, LA. I used to love to go there, because they had a little of everything.

And Walmart...I don't go there unless I just cannot find what I need ANYWHERE else, but if they stop carrying yarn, then my mother will not have a yarn source in her small town. They have put everyone else out of business. Just one of the reasons I don't like Walmart.

Michaels is my preferred source for bib cotton. :) But yeah, if I hadn't started going to some local yarn stores, I wouldn't have met Jeanne and who knows whether I'd even be blogging now. The social aspect of getting together to knit or take classes at a local yarn store was critical for me.

That said, there are some stores I've been into that I'd never go back to again - I was treated rudely or soundly ignored or the staff was condescending. Not going to reward bad business practices. :)

You've stirred some wonderful memories of growing up in Oklahoma. My grandma and I would visit TG&Y and she would always let me choose something for myself. I remember her buying yarn there too. I called it Toys, Games and YoYos!! You are so right about enjoying an experience and just going somewhere. These smaller independent shops are always more knowledgeable and helpful. There is a small camera shop that I would rather trade at even though it is much more of a drive. They appreciate my business and above all treat me like I would treat someone needing help seeking knowledge.
Oh, and I loved OTASCO too.
Thanks for the memories.