Monday, August 6, 2007

Discovering jewels

I found a JEWEL in the Connecticut River Valley this weekend. There were many contenders: the lovely, unpretentious B&B we stayed at, Riverwind Inn; the old school French restaurant where Poem-man and I actually got to speak French, Restaurant du Village; the fancy inn where we enjoyed the gardens and elegant food, Bee and Thistle Inn, and the lovely Goodspeed Opera House (unfortunately the production was the fake paste gem of the weekend.)

But the jewel of the trip was Yarns Down Under. Poem-man and I got lost and annoyed driving around the River Valley and as we (unbeknownst to us) neared our B & B, I saw a little sign for the store with an arrow pointing down a road! Woo hoo! Dust flew as a hung a yoouuie (as I call a u-turn) and on we went. I had read that there was a yarn store in the village we were staying in and I assumed I would find it on Deep River's small main street area, but I hadn't, and had thus decided I wasn't really going to go looking for it since I hadn't planned on any yarn purchasing during the weekend, but THERE IT WAS, the place around the next bend that would make our getting lost worth it! We drove on a small road, parked in a gravel driveway over looking a small golf course, and I turned to Poem-man and said if it's scary or small we'll leave right away. We made our way past a golfing office and down some stairs becoming more unsure that this was the right thing to do and walked into a YARN HAVEN! Really, this is a yarn store for Knitters, capital K and double Ts!

All the yarns you haven't seen in person are there, including the great Simply Shetland stuff, Bear Mountain sock yarn, Claudia HandPaints, every kind of Schaefer yarn, all kinds of Rowans--everything! This is a store for people who knit, really knit. What do I mean by that? Well, there's great quality yarn of every kind of fiber, but it's not yarn for the sake of yarn (and expensive yarn at that, i.e. Purl Soho). The store is organized by fiber and weight but is delightfully crammed full of yarn enough to feel like you'll keep uncovering wonderful yarn after yarn. Sheila, the owner (on the right), and Sheryl (Cheryl? Sherri? sorry!) were great people to ask questions of and talk to who really knew their stuff. There are kits they've created for particular projects, yarn spun and dyed (I think) of local purveyors, tons of books, well just everything! I even got a back issue of Interweave Knits (2004!) that I had wanted. I wish I had been more prepared to really shop, list of yarn needs in hand. For instance, I'm thinking my next project is a EPS sweater with a fair isle-ish yoke and this store would have been the place to put that together, but I wasn't prepared. All I bought was some Noro Kureyon for a felted purse (see in my I wanna Knit list). I would go back in a heartbeat to shop. And, they have a knitting retreat next summer---must get on bandwagon! Or perhaps an Autumn trip to this area with a few knitting chums, hmmm?

Well, the wedding afghan has seen no progress since Friday since I was away during this weekend and it is a at-home project not meant to be dragged around in the heat. More excitingly, here's the happy couple recipients-to-be of the afghan! It was a joyous, thoughtful, meaningful wedding and reception. I love weddings! I'm re-inspired to work on the afghan! On the other hand: 1. They're young. 2. It's too hot to enjoy an afghan right now. 3. They know the afghan is coming. 4. Ms. Manners says I have up to a year to give a wedding gift. I'll get it done!

And look we all got mini-wedding cakes for dessert!


nicolina said...

i wanna go! i wanna go! so many yarn retreats, so little time!

Code Purl said...

Hmmm...invite Penelope to wedding--->get wedding afghan (eventually)...what's your address?!

WEBS is great, btw. Skip the nice looking but regularly priced yarns in the front and head straight to the warehouse in the back. It's a bit like yarn shopping at Home Depot but the deals are amazing. Definitely come prepared though with project ideas, gauge, and yardage as you are sure to become overwhelmed and start buying random balls of this or that. The store clerks are all really nice and helpful...No NYC yarnbitches here!