Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Map Your Yarn Shop

With the summer travel season upon us–many folks will be looking to plan their road trips around their yarn shopping find an LYS in their vacation spot. A few new resources have just popped up.

MapMuse is gettng a lot of buzz today on e-mail lists probably due to a plug by crocheter Carol Alexander. This frappr-esque site shows you a geographical map with yarn shops listed. You can also see a list view. The initial stores were supplied by the folks at MapMuse–but they quickly added a feature that allows visitors to contribute site listings, so their directory has grown. It appears that you can’t search by zip code alone, but plugging in a city and state brings up a list of nearby stores. They also have pre-fab searches for major metropolitan areas. Searches in Seattle, WA and Washington, DC returned a very large geographical area. This might prove confusing if you didn’t know the area you were searching. I would appreciate a feature common to many online yellow pages which allows you to restrict your search to a geographical limit of a given number of miles.

Another web option is Google’s “local” interface–type in “yarn store” and a zip code or city and state and you’ll get a list–perhaps not as comprehensive as mapmuse because it doesn’t have the benefit of user input.

Luddites among us and those who travel without access to those pesky Internets will be pleased to know about another new arrival. The Knitters and Crocheter’s Travel Guide from Direction Press. (It also has listings for spinning and weaving resources.) This is a yellow pages of sorts–yarn stores can have listings or ads, and it’s organized geographically. Publisher Michelle Merin and her staff searched the country and the web do develop the most complete listing possible. For every state there are maps, ads and listings as well as a guild page that includes dates and times of local meetings. It’s a hefty tome–so it’s probably better suited for car travel than slipping in a carry-on. Nonetheless, I certainly intend to take this with me on my summer trip to the midwest.

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Yarn Store Road Trip