Seventeen yarn shops and approximately 531 miles of driving all over Northeast Ohio in 6 days! There were 3 days when I only went to one shop so the vast majority were covered over 3 days. Whew! I can't bring myself to admit how much I actually spent, suffice it to say that I was required to spend at least $10 at each shop to get my passport stamped and I more than met that requirement.
I have to say we are extremely fortunate to have so many shops in this area and each one of them has something unique to offer. For instance, one shop focuses on catering to small independent yarn companies, another is loaded with specialty yarn and a third apparently offers us a glimpse of the past. I kid you not, the books on display were copyrighted in the 1980's and the newest magazine was dated 2009. I can't remember the name of the shop off hand, I've just taken to calling it the Flashback Shop. If you ever do the tour you will know immediately which one it is because the books will look like this...
There were vast shops with mountains of yarn and tiny shops who barely took up a corner within a larger business. Some shops were very orderly and others... well, not so much. Each shop provided us with a pattern and many were patterns that I would definitely make, a few of them I even bought yarn for on the spot! Then there were some that gave you faded photocopies of patterns with no photos... the Flashback Shop's pattern was for a striped cardigan, no photo, no yarn requirements... I threw that one away.
And the ladies!!! Lots and lots of happy ladies, laughing and shopping and oooohing and aahing and petting the beautiful yarns. The shop keepers (with the exception of a couple) were welcoming and helpful and interested in hearing what everyone was working on or what was next on their list.
Needless to say, I look forward to this event every year and wouldn't miss it for the world. But I think I need to start saving now for next year's tour. :-)