Ordinarily I buy my yarn from Jill at Kaleidoscope (i DO consider her my LYS even though she's 300 miles away!) or online, direct from yarn companies.
However, I'm working with a few fabulous ladies who are test knitting my Dora shawlette pattern and thought it might be worthwhile for me to do a KAL with them. Well, of course the stashed yarn I wanted to use has become discontinued (WHY do I buy yarn on sale all the time?!?!). So I did some research on newer yarns and was going to go with some Classic Elite in one of their sport weights. I looked up local yarn shops on Ravelry and found one open until 6:00pm - perfect for me!
During the years I've lived in the area, friends have had mixed reviews about Accent on Knits, in Morristown...and have called them, on occasion, to see if they carry emergency yarn (they didn't). The owners are a husband and wife team...and Barry was at the register when I entered the shop. I was honest "hi, I'm new to your shop, can you help point me in the right direction?" And he was very helpful, telling me how the store is organized (by color...first time I've seen that) and that they offer first time customers a 10% off discount (how very nice!).
It was, quite frankly, a little hard to orient myself with this "by color" business. I found a yarn I liked in the mauve section, but then couldn't find it in the green section. I kind of like the idea of "here's the type of yarn AND the colors we carry" all in one place.
In the end I bought a bunch of Cascade 220, some sportweight yarn for the shawl and an alpaca lace. While checking out I got to chatting with Barry about my knitting, my test knitting for designers, and how I wanted to tech edit more often, etc. He seemed interested in what I was telling him...more so than some other shops I've popped my head into from time to time. I learned that their dog, a boxer, often came to the shop and that, because of their small jaws, they had a hard time playing with tennis balls (and often bust them open quickly). Barry and his wife also welcome bringing your children along while you shop (he must have spied my family waiting out in the car!). A perfectly nice way to spend some time after work, wouldn't you say?
While I may not always shop at AOK, it's nice to know there's a good shop, just around the corner, in cases of emergency or instant gratification.