On the road--Oakland, California

My sister-in-law discovered A Verb for Keeping Warm for me, a yarn shop in Oakland, California. Click on the link above for more pictures of the inside of this gorgeous shop, or to order some of their luscious skeins online.
What's special about them? They have their own line of yarns they dye themselves using plants. They even have their own teaching garden of flowers they use for dyes. These are some of their own natural-dyed yarns:

I couldn't stop looking at the extraordinary colors! They also sell dyes, fabric, amazing buttons, and some vintage-style sewing patterns.  
Can you see the knit-covered branch in this lovely display?
The owner, Kristine Vejar, is in the process of writing a book (working title: The Modern Natural Dyer) due out in Fall of 2015. I'll let you know if I hear anything new from her--I can't wait to see it!

If you are in the neighborhood, there are two truly awesome little restaurants to choose from, right next door, with some outside seating: Actual CafĂ© and Victory Burger.

On the road--Sonora, CA

On the road with my dear husband. We visited By Hand in Sonora, CA, one of my favorite yarn shops.

The space was originally an old-time drugstore--note the beautiful woodwork! And notice how they display the yarn. By color:

And speaking of color, check out the name of this:
"50 Skeins of Grey"

Very friendly staff, not just crochet-friendly, a pleasure to shop there!

And proof of how we feel about our need for yarn:

If you're in the neighborhood (down the road from Yosemite), don't miss The Candy Vault for old-fashioned penny candy and exotic chocolates, and check out the many other amazing boutiques and antique shops, all within walking distance. Good prices, friendly people, and no chain stores!