Fun · Knitting · Memoir · Yarn

Live Free and Buy Yarn

Quite a full week. Arrived back in San Francisco from Boston last Thursday after my trip. There were Holy Week and Easter festivities over the weekend with friends, as well as a full day for Danny’s birthday. Full, but good.

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Wall Art by Danielle Spurge of The Merriweather Council, available at Circle of Stitches

And now onto more woolly things.

During my two-week New England trip I hit several local yarn shops. The majority of them I visited a couple of Saturdays ago, when my bestie and fellow yarnophile, Bethany, and I wound our way down from southern New Hampshire into Massachusetts to visit some of the shops participating in the Knit North Yarn Crawl.

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Hooked Knitting

We started a tiny bit late, but we still managed to hit a total of five yarn shops in the one day, which I think is quite impressive.

Our yarn-tinerary:

  • A Loom with a View in Newburyport – A small and full-to-the-brim shop, nestled in the sweet little downtown area. Very open and welcoming staff, and a beautiful view of the water to the left as you enter the shop.
  • Loom N Shuttle in Ipswich – Nice, open space with a very generous fabric selection in addition to the yarn on display. Great resource for a quilter.
  • Hooked Knitting in Essex – Surprisingly spacious with several rooms, including a whole room dedicated to clearance yarn. An excellent variety of yarn brands and pattern kits. The owner made sure to update us on all the shop’s events, workshops, and classes.
  • Coveted Yarn in Gloucester – A  real gem hidden behind a shopping plaza. SO MUCH YARN. If you need it, they probably have it. Lots of well-known brands as well as locally dyed yarns.
  • Circle of Stitches in Salem – My personal favorite on the crawl. Cozy, natural lighting, friendly, relaxed staff, cushy couches for sitting and knitting, beautifully dyed yarns and fiber, including the owner’s own line called Toil and Trouble (Bookishly Inspired). Located right on the wharf amidst other cool looking shops and restaurants.
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A Loom with a View

One of my favorite moments during the crawl was knitting at the luxury yarn tasting table at A Loom with a View. Such a fun and unique idea.

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A Loom with a View
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A Loom with a View

Here we are sampling some of the yummy alpaca, silk, and cashmere yarns and yarn blends that were on the menu. I’m sporting my mini version of the crawl’s official shawl as a headkerchief.

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Yours Truly Yarn Tasting at a Loom with a View
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Bethany Yarn Tasting at A Loom with a View

My haul from the crawl was modest but included some special finds.

Like this beautiful, squishy skein of 100% wool bulky weight yarn by Flat Rocks Yarn, exclusive to Coveted Yarns and hand dyed by the owner’s sister. Yarn name: Riptide. Colorway: Sailor’s Delight.

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At a Loom with a View, I bought a large stoneware button handcrafted by Rosemary Herbert of Maine Island Buttons

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…and a set of six hand carved Elm wood buttons by Favour Valley Woodworking, based in Henniker, New Hampshire.

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It was a really good day and such a lovely drive as we hopped from one shop to the other through several quaint small New England towns that I had never visited before. We had perfect weather, too. I was so grateful that the impending snowstorm that was forecast for that weekend decided to hold off until the next morning.

Bethany found a nice little stash of yarn for some gift knitting, including some lush evergreen colored Malabrigo yarn from Circle of Stitches. I was happy to take care of her purchases during the crawl as a way to pay her back for the lovely British wool treasures I requested, which she was kind enough to carry over, from I Knit London.

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I Knit or Dye Bluefaced Leicester Yarn: a hand dyed sock yarn and a natural, undyed DK weight yarn
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100% Wensleydale Wool by Wensleydale Longwool Sheep Shop: a peacock teal DK weight yarn and an eggplant purple Aran weight yarn

As you can see, I’m so excited that I’ve already got the Rose Red beret going with the Wensleydale DK yarn. (Ravelry link here.)

Bethany also snuck in these cuter than cute earrings as a surprise.

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There were two other yarn shops that I made a point to visit during my New England trip.

A couple of days after I arrived in Boston, I hunted down Newbury Yarns, a luxury yarn shop tucked away inside the Old South Meeting House, where everything is organized organically on the shelves by texture and color. It was my first time visiting the shop, and the owner introduced me to the shop’s own independently dyed yarn called DIPS. I purchased two skeins of her superwash Merino DK weight yarn in a variegated sky blue, which would be absolutely perfect for a baby sweater for a friend.

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A day or so after that, I took a long afternoon walk to Spinning Yarns in downtown Dover, New Hampshire, which was about two miles from Bethany’s family’s house, where I was staying. Spinning Yarns was my very first local yarn shop and it will always be one of my favorites. While attending high school in Dover, I was known to spend the majority of my summer job and allowance money in this shop. For old times sake, I visited the shop, located in the same storefront space in downtown, and I lingered like I used to do as a teen. I took my time to feel practically every yarn in the shop, while pouring over the pattern books. While there, I purchased a skein of local mill spun yarn called Highland Worsted by Harrisville Designs, based in Harrisville, NH. The rust/burnt orange color makes me think of the incredible, breathtaking fall foliage of this part of the country.

On my way out, it was raining pretty heavily, and I made sure to stop into another old standby to wait it out: Baldface Books, my favorite used bookstore, which has moved since I last visited. It is now conveniently located right next door to Spinning Yarns. Let’s just say, it was my kind of afternoon.

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Right, I think that about does it. So, I think I should be good on yarn for a while, huh? No more yarn purchases for the rest of the year!

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(Ha, right. April Fools!)

2 thoughts on “Live Free and Buy Yarn

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