Not long ago, I was in Ocean, New Jersey. Of course, I had to check out the local fiber selections. I was only able to make it to two stores. Below are some pictures of the shops and what I thought of each one.
First up, Carriage Yarn (you can also find them on Face Book)
This little shop is located in a small shopping center. When I went in, there were some ladies sitting around a table chatting and enjoying yarn. I was immediately welcomed to the shop. Although small, this store is jam packed with lots and lots of yarn. From what I saw, the majority of their yarns were synthetics. To be fair, I was on a bit of a time crunch, and so did not have the opportunity to look at every single yarn, so she may carry some that I just didn't see. I enquired about Araucania Ruca Multi, which is one of my all time absolute favorite fibers. It's made from sugar cane and is an absolute dream to knit and wear. They did not carry this yarn, however she did have Sugar Rush by Queensland Collection. I did not purchase any because A)It comes in fairly small skeins, and B)I feel that, while made from the same materials, the Araucania is superior. But that's just me. Believe it or not, I did not buy anything at all. As I said, it seemed that the majority of her yarns are synthetics - now, I am not saying that synthetic yarn can't be nice and soft and pretty, but I have come to prefer 100% natural fibers for the most part, or natural fibers blended with only a small percentage of synthetic material. Nothing in this shop caught my eye as must have. If you are in the area, stop by because there may well be something you like. And it is always nice to meet fellow knitters! I would likely stop by again, even just to sit and chat with my fellow fiber enthusiasts. For more information about them, visit their web site or Face Book page using the links above, or visit them at the location below.
895 West Park Avenue
Ocean, NJ 07712-7205
Phone: (732) 493-3334 Fax: 732-493-3370
And now, House of Yarn and Needlecraft.
What to say about this shop.... the owner is Dolly Griffith. Now, I don't want to be rude, but I would not likely revisit this shop. First and foremost, I was not welcomed when I entered, and I was not asked if I was looking for anything particular or needed help. I did not see any natural fiber yarns, and most of the shop was not very orderly or neat. It was rather cluttered. In fact, I would almost go so far as to say it was a down right mess. A lot of the yarn seemed to just be placed haphazardly around. Now, Dolly is an older lady, and perhaps does not have the energy to keep things in order, I don't know. Like I said, I don't mean to be rude, I am just stating the facts of the place as I found it. That being said, she has an awesome collection of back issue magazines and pattern booklets!!! I have never been to a shop that had such a large selection, and if I were to go back, it would be to peruse these items, even though there seemed to be no order to them, they were all mixed up. I was interested in getting my hands on some Helens Lace, from Lorna's Laces. She had none, and I am not certain she even knew what it was to be honest. (Not that I expect any shop owner to be familiar with every single yarn on the market, that is unrealistic of course. But I think Lorna's is one of the more popular yarns so.....) Whenever I have asked for a particular yarn in my LYS, and they did not carry it, they offered to order it for me, or were able to suggest something similar. Dolly did not. True, I do not live in the area, however she didn't know that, and I felt a good business person should at least offer to order something for a customer. Anyhow.... The lady who was in the shop with her was making a fantastic lady bug blanket (I think it was crochet) that I wish I had thought to ask for the pattern. It was so cute! I think you can see a little bit of it in one of the pictures below. I did not purchase anything in this shop either, and was not impressed in the least with the place. Won't go back should I be in that area again, either. Sorry Dolly, your shop gets a thumbs down!
The store is located at:
227 Main Street
Manasquan, NJ 08736
Hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 10 AM - 5 PM