Shops in Seattle
June 12, 2010 11:49 AM   Subscribe

SeattleFilter: We're going to be in Seattle in the first week of July and are looking for some specific recommendations for shops.

We'll be staying at the Hampton Inn Downtown (a few blocks away from the Space Needle) and are looking for Recos for the following types of shops:

-Record Stores (vinyl)
-Knitting/Yarn stores
-Used/Rare books
-Vintage/Antique stores
-Vinyl toys (Kubricks, Stickfas, etc)
-Any other cool, unique, hip, fun stores (We already know about Artie McPhee and have read the comic book thread here)

Mrs. TBS is a hardcore knitter, so she is looking for the best places for yarn (she loves the fancy stuff). Mr. TBS is also looking for the best Whole Bean coffee to bring back to IL.

Thanks for your help MeFites!
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
i'm into the same kinda stuff, and whenever i go to seattle i hit up the fremont district. has some great little shops, bookstores, etc. there's a women's boutique i love called les amis - one of those joints you go in, look at all the lovely stuff you cant afford, and then run away! plus, when you are done shopping, you can go visit the troll!
posted by fillsthepews at 1:12 PM on June 12, 2010

For yarn, you have SO MANY options. There are a ridiculous number of yarn stores in western Washington; I know not why.

Assuming you're only going to make short forays from downtown, Tricoter is a short bus/taxi ride away, and is super upscale. Like, frighteningly so. It's also one of the few physical shops where you can buy Blue Moon Fiber Arts "Socks That Rock," which she may find exciting.

There's also So Much Yarn which is a nice little shop with a good supply of the basics, and fancy stuff too. Walking distance from your hotel, more or less.

If you want to make a trip over to Bainbridge Island by ferry (which I recommend) be sure to stop in at Churchmouse. (The other local store that has BMFA yarn.)
posted by ErikaB at 1:52 PM on June 12, 2010

Check out for info on Seattle, especially the crafty, foody stuff (she's a knitter, too!). Plus, her husband is in a band, so she's probably up on all the vinyl record store stuff, too.

I've emailed her a couple of times about random stuff, and she always responded. She's cool like that.
posted by wwartorff at 3:48 PM on June 12, 2010

Vinyl: Bop Street records in Ballard. Also the two big indie CD stores, Sonic Boom and Easy Street, have a decent amount of Vinyl.
posted by matildaben at 6:13 PM on June 12, 2010

What kind of used/rare books are you looking for? Seattle doesn't have as many bookstores as it used to, but that's still a kind of wide request.

Re coffee, it's a matter of taste (ha ha), but I really like the stuff Vivace, on Capitol Hill, serves; I assume their whole beans are also good. If you'll be poking around Fremont, Lighthouse is there.
posted by hattifattener at 6:55 PM on June 12, 2010

Fremont's got a ton of wonderful vintage shops. I can't remember names, but if you just wander around in the cute business district, you'll find them.

For vinyl, and for music in general, I can't say enough good things about Wall of Sound. I just came back from there about twenty minutes ago, actually-- and I am now in proud possession of a collection of J-pop Serge Gainsbourg covers and a comp of this sort of thing. The store is small, but it's lovingly curated, and the owners are extraordinarily knowledgeable.

Conveniently for you, it's located next to Le Frock, which is a wonderful vintage/consignment store-- and about a block from Area 51, Spine & Crown Books, and Blue Bottle, all of which are worth a visit.

For more book recommendations, it'd help to know more specifically what you're interested in. We've got some killer specialty shops in town.

For vinyl toys, check out Schmancy downtown. While you're in that area, you'll probably want to check out Roq LaRue. I suspect it will be to your liking. The Square Room is also neat, though it's on Capitol Hill, not downtown.

Ditto the recommendation about Les Amis, above. Lord is it ever lovely-- and it's flanked by other charming and somewhat more affordable places. Frankie/Burnt Sugar is a dream, especially for shoes.

Local coffee, as you might guess, is a subject of heavy debate. For me, the clear winner is Vivace, but there are compelling arguments to be made for lots of other places, including Stumptown.

Finally, if you like cheese, you should really have a look at The Calf & Kid. It is a tiny cheeseshop near Wall of Sound &c, and it is superbly badass. (Full disclosure-- the owner is a dear friend of mine.) Several of the yummiest and most fascinating things I've eaten this year have come from there.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 7:00 PM on June 12, 2010

The other yarn shop I'd recommend is Little Knits. I think they primarily do online sales, but they have a small shop in West Seattle with a different feel than those mentioned by ErikaB (which are all great, by the way, and Churchmouse is probably my favorite). LK doesn't always have a predictable color selection since they seem to specialize in closeouts, but the prices and specialty yarns are worth checking out.
posted by pril at 9:37 PM on June 12, 2010

Response by poster: On the matter of books, we're looking for used book stores, mostly; ones that you might be able to find vintage copies of 1984 (Mr. TBS is a collector of all things Orwellian) or other works of classic lit.

Thanks for all the recommendations on yarn shops. Tricoter looks like it's right up my alley! Churchmouse and So Much Yarn also look tempting.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 9:52 PM on June 12, 2010

Yarn at Weaving Works.
posted by janell at 11:30 PM on June 12, 2010

For vintage Orwell, Spine & Crown will be a good place to start. The other places I'd hit for sure are B. Brown & Associates, Magus Books (in the University district), and Wessell & Lieberman. Wessell & Lieberman, IMO, is really something special.

Here's a pretty descriptive and up-to-date list of of the used and antiquarian bookstores in town.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:39 AM on June 13, 2010

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