Oh, it seems like ages since I've been able to post anything about knitting! This ties right in with my adventure stories from New Orleans...
If you're ever planning to visit that city (and I know that Sharon will be), be sure to make time to visit The Quarter Stitch. Here's where they're located:
The Quarter Stitch
630 Chartres Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Not only does the shop enjoy a terrific location in a historic building just off Jackson Square in the French Quarter, but its huge word-of-mouth reputation for amazing customer service is well deserved. The wonderful ladies who work there will spend as much time as it takes with you to make sure everything is exactly right (I experienced this in spades with a needlepoint canvas once) -- and if you get home and find yourself running short of a yarn, just call, mail them a snippet, and they'll come up with more of the exact fiber you need. They give impromptu lessons. They match yarns and find patterns. In addition, the way they package your purchases really describes the concept of lagniappe ("a little something extra").
Jody and I have been visiting The Quarter Stitch for years -- it's always a part of our "must-do" list for all of our return visits. For folks who don't knit, they stock a number of needlepoint canvases (prices include all the yarns, which they will help you match to your liking), and they have a back room filled with cross-stitch charts -- some from local designers or depicting local scenes.
Another stitching friend of mine and her husband also have placed The Quarter Stitch on their permanent New Orleans "must-do" lists. She stitches, and her husband ties his own fishing flies. They both find the exact fibers they need at the shop.
But oh, the yarns! The folks who set up the displays have wonderful color sense, and they carefully place different kinds of yarns near each other according to shade. Of course, you'll pick up a ball of yarn here, a skein there, and you'll already have projects for everything you see. Sure, they have inspirational samples everywhere you look, but the sheer color will give you creative adrenaline rushes.
Again and as usual, I didn't leave the store empty-handed. I came home with a skein of Colinette Tagliatelle merino tape in the Lilac colorway, and another skein of locally hand-dyed boucle yarn in a sort of wine colorway. Jody, generous soul, bought me two skeins of Prism Dazzle in the Orchard colorway.