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Crazy Aunt Purl's Top 10 Best Spots of 2006 To Get Your Crazy Yarn Lady On

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Crazy Aunt Purl is the true-life diary of a thirty-something, newly divorced, displaced Southern obsessive knitter who has four cats. Because nothing is sexier than a divorced woman with four cats.

We were stoked when Zach brought her to our attention this fall and doubly stoked when she said she would give us her list of LA yarn emporiums...

Los Angeles has more yarn shops than any place on earth. That is probably not a real fact, but it sounds plausible and I'm sticking with it.

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I was pretty convinced I would never have the patience or coordination to knit, but when I got divorced and found myself alone with four cats and a growing Cabernet problem, knitting became my new obsession. For one thing, you can do it in your pajamas while drinking wine and watching bad Tivo. Sexy! But you can also do it in public, wearing four-inch heels and drinking wine with the eclectic, lovely, gorgeous and talented women (and
men!) of the West Hollywood Stitch 'n Bitch group.

I had no idea that knitting would both help me meet people and also make me broker than a three-dollar bill. Yarn is not cheap, folks.

But you know what they say: Love is expensive. Love costs.

This list is not in order of which yarn stores are best-to-worst, but it is ordered by how much money I have spent in each one.

1. Unwind
816 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA
Unwind is light and airy and you can sit and knit and chitchat without anyone pressuring you to leave or buy anything. I adore owner Stephanie Steinhous and the whole staff there is real friendly and never makes me feel like a weirdo.

2. A Mano Yarn Center
12808 Venice Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90066
Cute store, awesome yarn selection and really nice ladies running the show.

3. Stitch Cafe
12443 Magnolia Blvd, Valley Village, CA
The Valley is the coolest place on earth for so many reasons. For example, we have your porn industry, your movie studios, and your eleventy-two fabulous yarn shops. Stitch Cafe has all sorts of gorgeous yarn, and plenty of fiber for hand-dying, too.

4. Stitches From The Heart
3306 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA
A fully nonprofit store that sells yarn, needles, books and has classes, too. Ana and Brandi are a hoot and a holler, too, and will help you with anything from yarn selection to coming up with just the right pattern for any skill level.

5. Yarns Unlimited
828 Pico Blvd Ste 1, Santa Monica, CA 90405
I LOVE this store. I'm not very high-maintenance when it comes to yarn shopping. I like to browse and meander and touch everything in the store before buying a single thing. This place is stocked floor-to-ceiling with amazing yarns, everything from affordable acrylic blends to butter-soft alpaca.

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6. Lani's Needlepoint
12416 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604
Super-cute store on the Boulevard in Studio City has a fine selection of unusual yarns, classes in both knitting and needlepoint, and this is the shop where I learned to knit my first stitch and walked out with a shocking amount of yarn for a scarf that I ripped out no less than 16 times.

7. Yarn Garden
437 E Tujunga Ave., Burbank, CA 91501
Cute shop with excellent prices on Noro Transitions (a yarn you will swear is the fiber equivalent of chocolate-covered-sex) and they have an adorable garden patio where you can sit and knit and chitchat with other Valley knitters.

8. SuperCrafty
Not a brick-and-mortar store, but my friend Allison runs this yarn shop through her eBay store. She is honest and helpful and puts customer service above all else. If you're an Internet shopper, SuperCrafty is your online yarn pusher extraordinaire.

9. La Knitterie Parisienne
12642 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604
Be prepared to feel your credit cards vibrate when in this little corner of yarn fabulousness. Floor-to-ceiling Rowan, Debbie Bliss, and whole corners of pure alpaca. Bonus: Merrill Eig, the guy who invented lighted knitting needles works the counter most mornings!

10. This is rather a cop-out for a top ten list, but anyone who reads my online diary knows I never quite make it to number ten. Most of my Top Ten lists stop at seven. If you want a full rundown of all the local yarn shops in the Los Angeles area, check out the Stitch 'n Bitch L.A. website.

top photo by noricum