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Up until a couple of weeks ago, Orlando itself had zero yarn stores. Crazy, right? Only big-chain craft stores bulging with Lion Brand and Red Heart. And the only reason we have one with an Orlando address now is that the shop in Winter Park moved. |
if you’re looking for something more memorable than craft-store yarn for knitting while the kids are snorkeling around Typhoon Lagoon or while sitting on the deck of your cruise ship, you won’t have to drive too far. Unfortunately, the shop closest to DisneyWorld closed last year, so you’re going to need a car to connect with yarn. Since Orlando has no real public transportation to speak of, the odds are you rented a car for your vacation anyway (or drove to Orlando), so leave the hubby and kids at the water park and head out for a little knitters’ and crocheters’ version of R&R with Planet Purl.
Our first stop, and my favorite LYS, is Knit!, in Longwood. Knit! is a featured shop on Planet Purl and you can find more info, a map, and travel tips here. IMarney Gibson, one of the owners, is really a dying breed – she helps knitters with projects no matter where they bought their yarn and doesn’t charge for her assistance. Her love of the craft and her bright, cheery shop have an inspired a devoted following.
On one of my many visits, Marney was opening a Fed Ex box that had a few works-in-progress on their needles. One of her customers was on vacation in Michigan, got stuck and couldn’t figure out how to fix her mistakes, and Fedexed the mess to Marney to fix and Fed Ex back! She was busy getting the package ready to ship back when I left. Now that’s customer service. Out-of-town visitors and newbie knitters are as warmly welcomed as the shop’s lucky regular customers.
Marnie’s stock changes regularly based on what’s new and interesting. She always has a nice selection of baby yarn, sock and laceweights, and has a big selection of Tahki Cotton Classic and Cascade 220. You’ll also find some premium yarns, like Tilli Tomas and Artyarns, some great eco-friendly yarns, luscious alpacas, soft merinos, and just enough glitzy stuff in case you decided to whip something up for your cruise. Forgot your needles? No worries, Marney stocks a comprehensive selection of Addi needles. And of course you’ll need something to carry your goodies. Marney feeds my Lantern Moon basket habit regularly as well. She stocks plenty of magazines, books and patterns if you need some inspiration.
900 Fox Valley Drive, Suite 106
Longwood, Florida 32779
Tue – Sat: 10:00-5:00
| ||SIP 'N KNIT|
Next stop is Sip ‘n Knit in Maitland. This shop still shows up in listings in Winter Park, although it moved years ago. So if you see a listing for it in Winter Park, save yourself a disappointing detour and head straight to Maitland to find this shop.
The location in Maitland is a bit difficult to find . You’ll probably need a GPS or a really detailed map to find it. So print one off from Google maps or RandMcNally.com and head out for some shopping. Look for the Publix Supermarket on 17-92 in Maitland at the corner of Horatio Avenue and drive behind it. Swoope Avenue looks like it’s the alley behind the grocery store, but it’s really home to Sip ‘n Knit.
The shop looks like an old concrete block home from the outside. From the inside, it’s an ocean of yarn. The front and back rooms are all yarn, with a room in between for books and accessories. Yarn brands include: Alpaca With A Twist, The Alpaca Company, Artyarns, Aslandtrends, Berroco, Brown Sheep Yarn Co., Cascade Yarns, Claudia Handpaints, Colinette Yarns, Conjoined Creations, Crystal Palace, Dark Horse, Elizabeth Austen, Ella Rae, Farmhouse, Gypsy Girl, Hand Painted Knitting Yarns, Hanne Falkenberg kits, Jade Sapphire, Jojoland, Laines Du Nord, Louisa Harding, Mirasol Collection, Mountain Colors, Noro, Plymouth, Queensland, Rio De La Plata, Sirdar, and Tilli Tomas. Check the bargain bin in the back room for some great deals.
Sip 'n Knit
150 N. Swoope AvenueMaitland, FL 32751
Fri & Sat: 10:00-5:00
| ||THE BLACK SHEEP|
Our next stop is The Black Sheep, formerly in Winter Park and now in the northeast section of Orlando. The shop is probably 90% needlepoint and embroidery, but it has a pretty back room filled with yarn, kits, and accessories. Yarn brands include Bouton D’Or, Anny Blatt, Filatura di Crosa, Wisdom, Plymouth, Reynolds JCA, Queensland Collection, Universal, Louet, and Fiddlesticks. They also carry Namaste bags and every size and configuration of needles from Skacel, Hiya Hiya and Clover. If you’re looking for some holiday knitting, they also carry Judy’s Colors kits for Christmas stockings.
The Black Sheep 1322 N. Mills AvenueOrlando, FL 32803(407) 894-0444
| || |
| || Four Purls|
Our last stop is central Florida's newest shop, Four Purls. Located in the town of Winter Haven and about a 30 minute drive from the Disney attractions, It's a quick hop off the interstate, especially if you're headed out to Busch Gardens in Tampa. And the best part of the drive is that it takes you right past a central Florida legend, The Barn, a collection of buildings that are are veritable treasure trove of decorator items and antiques. If you're here during the Christmas holidays, The Barn is especially worth the trip.
Four Purls looks like an unlikely spot in a semi-industrial area of Winter Haven. Don't be fooled, though; inside is a great selection and one of the friendliest shop owners I've ever met. With almost every shade of cascade 220 and a good number of the 220 Superwash colors, standing in front of the rainbow-like display can't help but inspire you. Brands carried include Louisa Harding, Ella Rae, Noro (including every color of Kureyon), Di.Ve, OnLine, Bollicine, Gedifra, Manos and Queensland. The shop is open most days from 9-2, late on Tuesday and closed on Sunday. Call ahead for current hours, though!
Four Purls 701 6th Street SW
Winter Haven, FL 33880(863) 662-8288
|erikka3 | 11/16/2010|
|Looks good. I've visited all of 'em except for Four Purls. I'll make my way to that shop sometime soon. You're absolutely right about Marney. She is a lovely woman with such good vibes. I'd like to make it in for one of the fun classes. Some of the other LYS can be a little intimidating for a newbie.|
|karenb | 03/05/2009|
|Just what I have been looking for. We are off to Orlando and Disney March 12/09.|
Thank you so much for posting this, I would never have found some of these shops.