Thursday, September 30, 2010

North Island Wool Shop Review

My trip to New Zealand was quite excellent. I've drawn up a little map of where we travelled. Yellow = airplane, red = car, and black dots = yarn shop. I managed to visit 8 shops, so I thought I'd review them all. Overall, I was very impressed with the selection I found in all the stores. Prices and quality were miles ahead of that in the States.

I visited Stansborough first. It isn't really a yarn shop and the tours had ended three days before I arrived, but the lady who has bred the Stansborough sheep (which is recognized as its own breed) was very kind and gave us a mini tour. She also sold me some of their test yarn for yarn they hope to produce in the future.

The next stop was at Wellington's Knit World.
Parking: Bit hard to find as it is in downtown Wellington.
Selection: Excellent. Touch, Naturally, Zealana, Rowan and many many more.

In Rotorua, I went to the Woollen Mill at the Agrodome.
Parking: Pretty good.
Selection: Also pretty good. Touch yarn and Naturally could be found. Wide color selections.

In Tauranga I went to Creative Outlet. I came away with a bunch of merino roving. IT was the only place I actually found roving.
Parking: Hard to find due to it being in a well used shopping area.
Selection: Wide. There was yarn, roving (wool, silk, and mohair)

In Brown's Bay, near Auckland, I found Shore Wools.
Parking: Pretty good.
Selection: Look at the picture below. The place is packed to the rafters. There might not be a giant brand range, but there was an amazing selection within brands.

In Medford, near Auckland, there is a newish store called Crafty Knitwits.
Parking: Easy to find if you aren't around when the schools let out.
Selection: A good range of New Zealand and Italian yarn.

In Auckland, within the Westfield shopping center, you can find Masco Wools.
Parking: Not easy to find in Auckland.
Selection: Pretty good. Wide range of brands, but not a large range of colors in most brands. Although in Shepard's Wool, it looked like there was every color.

In Devonport, near Auckland, there is Wild and Wooly Yarns.
Parking: Great. You might not get a spot next to the store, but you will be able to find a spot further down the road.
Selection: Respectable
I did notice that the prices seemed a tad higher than other places. But with certain brands, it wouldn't be more than $.10.


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