No use crying over a dropped stitch. Tempe Yarn & Fiber has your back. For knitters of all levels, this is the place to come not just to buy supplies, but to learn new skills. On any day of the week, knitting groups meet at the store (including one specifically for dudes on Sundays), and the friendly staff is willing to help you tackle your latest knitting dilemma at any time of day. Or, if the issue is too large, they will happily direct you to one of the many classes offered to get you back on track. If you're a knitting pro, you can take it to the next level and learn to make your own yarn: Tempe Yarn & Fiber offers multiple classes on spinning and dyeing as well.

When savvy sprinters and cross-country junkies want the rundown on a great pair of footwear, they jog over to North Phoenix's Runner's Den. This locally owned shop has been a go-to source for running retail in the Valley since 1978 and with very good reason. Being runners themselves, the staff at Runner's Den are fanatical about footwear. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a longtime customer looking to try a new brand, the sales associates at Runner's Den will go out of their way to find the shoes that help strengthen your stride and save you from injury. But be warned, with such careful analysis and enthusiasm for running, you will be asked to run around the building or, at the very least, jog in place at the store. From shoes and sweat-absorbing socks to fitness apparel and various types of electrolyte goo, Runner's Den remains the ultimate destination for die-hard cardio addicts.

Landis Cyclery

One of our favorite things about Landis Cyclery is the staff's inverse proportion of knowledge and conceit. That is, the guys and gals who work at Landis know their cranksets from their derailleurs without the accompanying attitude we've found at other bike shops. Being both street- and dirt-friendly cyclists, we have higher-than-average maintenance and upgrade needs. Real-wheel cassettes, new RockShox forks, general repairs and tuneups, tires and tubes, fresh gloves — those sorts of things. We like to visit all four locations, but love the mid-size stand-alone shop at Southern Avenue and the Superstition Freeway best — mainly because it's been there longer than the freeway. In fact, the company was founded in 1912 and is still owned by members of the Landis family (who aren't related to infamous doping cyclist Floyd Landis). With this level of service and community support — the chain supports a number of local cycling events — we expect Landis to be around for another 100 years.

Jackalope Trading Post

When Go-Kat-Go giddy-upped and left its Melrose Curve digs, some big changes happened. First, the owners changed the name to Jackalope Trading Post. Second, they set up shop next to downtown's destination dive bar, the Bikini Lounge on Grand Avenue. Here, in their historic home, the good folks of Jackalope Trading Post have fine-tuned the theme of their eclectic hand-me-down goods. Kitschy throwbacks to the Southwest's yesteryears fill the small space and keep shoppers' wandering eyes busy with vintage mechanic patches, antique kitchenware, distressed road maps, and retro resort key tags. Individually, the items at the Jackalope Trading Post are chaos, but collectively, they call upon time and a place that hipsters, roadtrippers, Arizona locals, and Americana lovers can all appreciate.

Meat Market Vintage

In its second year as a brick-and-mortar shop on Mill Avenue, Ben Funke and Cory Martinez's Meat Market has further solidified itself as a go-to for hipster-approved vintage finds. That means Garfield engineer caps, teensy men's running shorts, plenty of cheeky T-shirts, and buttons emblazoned with phrases like "God, World's Greatest Father." Of course, it's not all jokery. The shop consistently brings in highly sought-after items like immaculate tooled leather bags, gorgeous dresses, killer cowboy boots, statement jewelry, and fur coats (you'll find faux and real when the weather's cool). And don't let the hipster designation deter you. The owners are mega-friendly and love chatting about their quirky finds.

Looking for something unique but don't have much to spend? Head to downtown Peoria, to an antiques mall with an endless variety of goods at reasonable prices. These stores are packed with dolls, old-fashioned baby cribs, curio cabinets, bronze and Asian art, end tables, antique dishes, rustic furniture, and endless tchotchkes. Home to Home Furniture just opened its door between the two Resale Mall stores and also offers an eclectic mix of wares — a picture frame turned into a serving tray perfect for breakfast in bed, a four-fold Japanese room divider, vintage candy containers. The trio of shops increases your odds of finding exactly what you wanted, even if you didn't know you needed it until you saw it. It's worth a drive from just about anywhere.

Cleo and Clementine are the alter egos of designers Monique Martinez-Sandoval and Jennifer Wood. The two assembled the alliterative monikers as the name of their boutique, where shoppers will discover indie bridal wares and assorted fashionable finds. After having run Etsy storefronts Ouma and Mignonne Handmade, respectively, and gaining popularity in the online realm, the pair combined forces to launch the shop. The brick-and-mortar Melrose outpost hosts wedding dresses, party frocks, bridesmaids' get-ups, retro-style rompers, dainty and daring accessories, and handmade headpieces. It's a must-see for ladies readying to walk down the aisle and gals on the hunt for unique pieces.

Frances

For some, good fashion sense comes naturally. For others, it all boils down to knowing where to shop. For both, in Phoenix, the destination is almost always Frances. The local boutique with a flagship location off Central, and now a satellite store in Biltmore Fashion Park's Union, is the go-to spot for creative gift-givers and trendy shoppers, offering an ever-changing selection of local, handmade, and bigger brand-name fashions. Whether you're shopping for your girlfriend, best man, baby, or the home, you can see all around that Frances owner Georganne Bryant prides herself on carefully selected whimsical styles and subtle standout pieces. From delicate statement accessories and hand-printed greeting cards to vintage-inspired fashions and Anthropologie-esque home accents, Frances' collection of highly coveted indie retail is as enviable as its pre-Pinterest displays. Lucky for you, Frances is not stingy with its style and offers seasonal DIY workshops throughout the year to help you re-create the stores' handcrafted cuteness at home.

From Greg Eveloff, the dapper gent behind super-sophisticated gentleman's apparel shop The Clotherie, comes Bonafide Goods. The city's self-proclaimed first-ever micro-haberdashery is less intimidating than it sounds. It's small and carries covetable men's clothing that beautifully blends dandyism with ruggedness. (And, yeah, you'll find a few bow ties.) With an eye toward upscale Americana casual, the shop specializes in such well-made, timeless pieces as shirts, jackets, and ties by Billy Reid, large-face Tsovet Watches, and San Francisco-made Tellason Jeans. Whether your wardrobe needs an Esquire-approved makeover or you want to invest in a few quality pieces, Bonafide has your back.

We may never go to the mall again — at least, not till our kids outgrow Love Child. How about a GapKids dress for $4? Or Abercrombie & Fitch jeans for under $10? On our last visit, a pair of hot pink Vans had an "as is" tag, so we asked the clerk what was wrong with them. It took her minutes to locate the tiny pinprick of ink on the side of the shoe. "That's cool," we said. "We'll take 'em!" We love everything about this store — the location (between Changing Hands Bookstore and a Trader Joe's), the easy-to-browse setup, the selection, and most of all, let's be honest, the price.

Best Of Phoenix®

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