We lived in Atlanta for nearly 4 years before I went to a yarn shop.
I can hardly imagine it. Ugh.
Of course, in the pre-internet age, I'd have died. But I made do with shopping via the web, and I never buy anything the first time I see it anyway, so I can stretch a purchase out for over a year between first thinking of something and the time I finally buy it.
But then, the Mad Crocheter took me to Knitch. And if you live within driving distance, you should go. They're having some cool guests this fall, including Stephanie Pearl McPhee, aka The Yarn Harlot (9/19/07). Later on (not sure when) there's a book signing with Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably. I really may need to go, Fassett was very important to my knitting development.
But this is making me think of other great places. Or maybe it's the 101 degree heat. One of my all time favorite places was the Yarn Basket in Portsmouth NH. It's this TINY little place, and its just jammed with stuff in a way that is awe inspiring; both in the selection Elaine offers and the fact that she gets so much stuff into so little space and you can still see everything.
Up by my mom in Norwich VT there is Northern Nights (no website yet, but (802) 649 2000) and Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm (her stuff is really amazing, and I don't think she has enough pictures on her site to do her work justice, but you can go to her farm or catch her at all kinds of festivals in NH, VT, etc.) and Green Mountain Spinnery in Putney VT (nicely redesigned site).
Some of my old favorites have shut down - the Spinning Wheel in Dover, NH and Clothworks in Norwich VT.
I miss the NH Sheep and Wool Festival - I don't think there is anything really like it down here in GA (somebody please correct me if I'm wrong!). I keep threatening to haul the whole family to it if we can just move back north . . .