On my way to my grandmother's yesterday, I stopped off at Shirley's Yarn & Gifts (Rte. 1 in Hancock, Maine, if you ever find yourself in the neighborhood) to see what they had on hand. They've got some really nice yarns and the staff are all very friendly, so I always enjoy visiting there. Anyway, just before I could ask, one of the staff pointed out to me that they had just gotten in some Malabrigo yarn, which I've been dreaming about for a while now and really obsessing on recently. If you haven't seen/touched it before, it's a wonderfully soft merino singles yarn, all handpainted. It's kind of like a yarn version of heroin - one touch and you're addicted. It's the kind of yarn that makes you want to strip down and jump naked into a giant vat of it...really! It's...well, you get the picture.
Location, location, location...one of our knitting groups folded after a few month, the other is still going strong. I think there were several factors involved, but location was the biggest.
One was held in a well-lit cafe (there are extra lights that get turned on when the knitters are there) with two comfy couches and plenty of room to pull up additional chairs (different kinds of seating is a plus). The cafe has a good menu with lots of choices (food and beverages, sandwiches, salads, coffee, wine, beer, etc). Music, but not so loud that it makes conversation difficult.