Hi there! I just moved to England from Pasadena...shame we didn't find one another sooner!
There are a couple of nice yarn shops in Pasadena. Skein on Walnut is fantastic as is Elegance Yarns at 1039 Green St. The owners of both stores are very helpful and are willing to order nearly anything you can't find. If you find yourself in WeHo, check out The Knit Cafe ( www.knitcafe.com
). That's the place I'd go if I won the lottery
If no luck finding a knitting buddy at any of the above mentioned, check out http://www.stitchnbitch.org/snb_groups.htm#ca
to find the group nearest you.