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YDT Shop #10 – Harps & Thistles

September 24

harps-thistles_1

The Harps & Thistles Yarn Emporium was shop #10 on my Yarn Discovery Tour. At the outset, I decided that 10 shops would be enough for this year, so this was also my final stop.

The Emporium’s dinosaur is a good representative of the whimsical nature of the store. It’s filled with a large selection of colorful yarns.

harps-thistles_2

The end of the line, stamp #10 was added to my Passport and I was entered into a drawing for the special gift basket for anyone visiting 10 shops. Some intrepid knitters are going to all 15. I’m impressed! I had a wonderful time getting to know Northeast Ohio shops that I wouldn’t otherwise have known about. It’s been a great Tour!

harps-thistles_passport

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YDT Shop #9 – Long Tail Knits

September 22

 

Long Tail Front

It was stop #9 on my Yarn Discovery Tour, and judging by the happy knitters gathered around the table I am not alone in really liking Long Tail Knits. Owner Jeannine Hausch was welcoming and very knowledgeable. As she showed me around the shop’s yarns and spinning supplies, I was impressed by some special lines she carries. For one thing, I am a complete sucker for cashmere. Long Tail Knits has its very own line of hand-dyed fingering weight yarn in a luscious blend of merino and cashmere, with a bit of nylon thrown in for stability. The yarns are shown off on displays with original shawl designs:

Long Tail collage

I appreciate that the store carries products from two local alpaca farms, Whistler’s Glen and Black Walnut.

Long Tail alpaca

I went slightly nuts in this store. Not only does Jeannine carry high-quality yarn, but also she has a few garments for sale. I bought a gorgeous little alpaca-blend Peruvian stranded jacket which I simply must have for winter. I also…you guessed it…bought another sweater’s worth of yarn. Jeannine introduced me to the Cestari line. Not only is the yarn beautiful, it’s entirely made in the USA. I can’t wait to get stitching with it!

Finally, the shop offers all kinds of open knitting times, workshops and events. I don’t know how they keep track of it all!

They kindly added stamp #9 to my Passport.

Long Tail passport

YDT Shop #8 – The Designing Woman

September 21

Designing Woman

 It was easy to find The Designing Woman in Fairlawn. It was stop #8 on my whirlwind Yarn Discovery Tour. I was amazed by the number of manufacturers represented there. For pattern junkies like me, there are also binders filled with all kinds of patterns. It would be impossible not to find a project and the yarn to go with it at this store!

Designing Woman

I had a nice time being helped by a very friendly and knowledgeable staff member. We found some lovely, soft lace yarn for a pattern I took from my queue. I was concentrating on finding yarn, but the store carries a selection of fabric as well.

Designing Woman yarn

Here’s my #8 Passport stamp:

designing-woman_passport

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YDT Shop #7 – Cornerstone Yarns

September 20

Cornerstone Yarns

Shop #7 on my Yarn Discovery Tour reminds me of a phrase I love – “small but mighty”. Cornerstone Yarns is a little shop with a fun array of yarns in Brecksville.  I enjoyed meeting Kathryn, the owner, whose many beautiful shop samples reflect her decades of knitting experience. I always enjoy meeting knitters who have such a depth of knowledge.

Cornerstone Yarns samples

Cornerstone carries a nice selection of yarn, with a good mix of fun self-striping and self-patterning yarns, and also good solids. I found yarn for yet another sweater. This time it’s a bright red dk weight Nature Spun by Brown Sheep.

One of the hard-to-find yarns that Kathryn carries is Kauni. Swoon! I will definitely be going back to this store to pick up a Kauni pattern and yarn. Cornerstone’s Facebook page is a good way to keep up on their current hours.

Cornerstone Yarns

So there we have it. Passport stamp #7!

cornerstone_passport

YDT Shop #6 – Crochet Innovations

September 19

Crochet Innovations front

While crochet may be the emphasis in expertise for stop #6 on my Yarn Discovery Tour, there are plenty of delightful yarns to be found for any yarn lover at Crochet Innovations. I like that the yarns are arranged by fiber. As a designer one of my first considerations in matching yarn to a new design is to find the right kind of fiber content that will work for the design’s season, stitch pattern and drape.

crochet-innovations_3

Despite several attempts to learn to crochet, I am terrible at it. My hands seem to have a mind of their own; they refuse to do anything but knit if they’re holding yarn. I do love to add crochet edgings to knit pieces, though. So far my edgings have been very simple. At Crochet Innovations I found just the right book on crochet edgings, and hope that I can graduate to fancier stitches if I study it.  If I still can’t get the hang of it, I know where to come for lessons.

crochet-innovations_2

Stamp #6 was duly collected!

crochet-innovations_passport

YDT #5 – A Milestone – The Artful Yarn

September 18

Artful Yarns Front

The Artful Yarn in Chagrin Falls was shop #5 on my Yarn Discovery Tour. It’s the closest store to where I live, and feels like “home”. Part of my affection for the store is that when I had my trunk show and taught a class the owner and staff made me feel so welcome. Their enthusiasm and kindnesses made both events fun for me.

One of the many things I love about The Artful Yarn is that Cathy always brings in new yarns. She carefully considers which yarns to carry, explaining, “We support fair-wage, fair-trade companies and those that foster ethical treatment of animals and responsible disposal of dye.”

The new-to-me yarn I found during this trip is Baah Ram Ewe. I found just the right colors to make the Passerine Hat that’s been in my queue for a while.

Artful Yarn

I like the way The Artful Yarn is set up. There is a dedicated class room, which means that when a class is in session there isn’t the distraction of being in the middle of a store where people are shopping and asking questions. One of nicest areas is a super-comfy sitting area for “In the Loop” gatherings, where knitters hang out and knit together several times a week.

Artful Yarn

On the Yarn Tour, every time you get your Passport stamped you are entered into a drawing for that particular shop’s prize basket. Stops number 5, 10, and 15 are special, as you’re then entered into even bigger prize baskets. I sort of planned it so that The Artful Yarn would be my milestone stop #5, since I knew it would be especially fun. The staff member was excited about adding me to the list for the big drawing, and even celebrated the fact in my Passport!

Artful Yarn Passport

posted under Events, Yarn Shop | 1 Comment »

YDT Shop #4 – River Colors Studio

September 17

river-colors_1

Stop #4 on the Yarn Discovery Tour took me to Cleveland’s west side. River Colors Studio is an amazing place. It’s enormous, with an astounding range of yarns. This picture doesn’t begin to convey how big the store is; there’s a whole additional room in the front.

river-colors_6

I can always find what I’m looking for here. From high-end to lower priced yarns, with every kind of fiber and blend well represented, this is like Mecca for knitters. I found a sweater’s worth of Rowan Hemp Tweed, a yarn I’ve been excited to try. For stranding, there’s shelf after shelf of Jamieson’s Shetland 2-ply in scores of colors. I received excellent help from the staff in picking out colors for a hat I’d like to make.

There’s even a wall of heavier wool for stranded sweaters.

river-colors_5

One of the things I love to do when going to River Colors Studio is visit the Blackbird Baking Company next door for wonderful baked goods. (I’m partial to their focaccia.)

Here’s Passport stamp #4!

River Colors stamp

YDT Shop #3 – Fiber Addiction

September 16

Fiber Addiction storefront

Don’t you love the name of this store? Fiber Addiction, as well as being an accurate description of the knitting obsession, is a nice new store in Chardon, Ohio.

I love meeting yarns that are new to me. I hadn’t seen the Queensland Collection brand before. The store has a terrific selection of these yarns, in many enticing colors. They also carry all the colors of Cascade Heritage sock yarn, so I found exactly the right colors for some stranded mittens I want to make.

Cascade Heritage Sock

The shop carries a good variety of yarns covering all the basic yarn weights. I was sorely tempted to buy some beautiful lace yarn, and will hurry back when I’ve found just the right pattern…somewhere in my huge queue!

Fiber Addiction wall

The third entry in my Passport:

Fiber Addiction passport

YDT Shop #2 – The Flaming Ice Cube

September 14

Flaming Ice Cube front

 My stop #2 on the Yarn Discovery Tour was in the Boardman/Canfield area near Youngstown. When I first looked up The Flaming Ice Cube on the internet, I thought, “Huh? I thought this was supposed to be a yarn shop, but here’s information about cafés. What gives?”

Well, was I ever in for a wonderful surprise. While the downtown Cleveland location is indeed a café, the Boardman/Canfield location offers not only delectable food, but also delectable yarn. I am so excited about this yarn store! While it may not be large, it makes up for it by offering a beautifully edited selection of very nice yarns. Classic Elite, Blue Sky Fibers, and Skacel are some brands I don’t see everywhere. There was also a bit of Malabrigo and Madelinetosh as well as a few Berroco and Cascade mainstays.

Flaming Ice Cube interior

I was assisted by a super-friendly staff member who had just the right combination of enthusiasm and knowledge to make my shopping trip fun and successful.

I got into serious trouble here in the HiKoo Simplicity section. With so many unusual and pretty colors, can you blame me for buying three sweaters’ worth?

Flaming Ice Cube Simplicity

As you can imagine, all that yarn discovery excitement left me hungry. When I was done shopping I headed into the café section in the front of the store for lunch. As the website says, “Our goal is to serve the best tasting food around – and it just happens to be vegan.” The food was out of this world!

And here’s Passport stamp #2…

flaming-ice-cube_passport

 

YDT Shop #1 – Knit Wits

September 12

knit-wits_2

My first stop on the Yarn Discovery Tour was Knit Wits in Salem, Ohio. When I stopped in there was a table surrounded by friends knitting together and sharing lunch. I loved the camaraderie, and was made to feel welcome.

A display showed off some lovely shawls, including some from the StevenBe trunk show. The shop was very excited to have Steven Berg (StevenBe) himself coming to teach classes on September 12-13.

The magenta shawl in the photo was the free pattern given to Discovery “Tourists” and was designed to use lots of different yarns – a perfect stash-buster.

Knit Wits shawls

Knit Wits carries a large variety of yarn, with a good selection of all the weights. Cascade, Berroco, Plymouth and many other brands are well represented here. Beyond yarn, the shop carries lots of fabulous bags, needles, pattern books and all kinds of notions.

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The first stamp in my Passport!

knit-wits_passport

Trunk Show at The Artful Yarn

August 4

I’m delighted as can be to have the trunk show for my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues featured at the beautiful shop called The Artful Yarn in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

ArtfulYarn Trunk 1

I hope you’ll come by and see the sample scarves from my book and browse the store’s beautiful yarns.

I will do a book signing during OTN (On The Needles) Rally Day in the store on August 13th from 12:00 to 1:30. If you can’t make it to the book signing, but would like an autographed copy of my book, you can purchase the book ahead of time, leave the book with the staff at the shop, and I’ll be happy to sign it for you. Please be sure to leave a note saying how you’d like me to make out the inscription (“For Mom” or “To my Best Knitting Buddy” or “Happy Birthday to Lisa”). You can pick your autographed book up later at your convenience.

Yarn Discovery Tour and Travelling Stitches

September 6

I adore the North Coast Knitting Guild in Northeast Ohio. It’s a very active group, with all kinds of activities and lots of very talented knitters. The Guild regularly offers fantastic workshops. Today I was lucky enough to take Candace Eisner Strick’s class on travelling stitches. She has a unique way of working some of the stitches so that the left- and right-travelling stitches match each other better than in the traditional method.

Right after class I embarked on my very first Yarn Discovery Tour. I’ve heard about it for years, and am determined to finally participate. Knitting on the Square (affectionately known as KNOTS) in Chardon was my first stop on the Tour. I’ve been looking for a variegated yarn in fall colors, and scored big time with these lovely skeins of Dream in Color Smooshy in the “Flight of the Maple Seed” colorway. Serendipity!

Dream in Color yarn, Smooshy

 

KNOTS is a warm, inviting store owned by the very talented designer Kate Jackson.  I can’t wait to go back!

Having procured my YDT passport and my first stamp, I have “only” 16 more to go. Good thing we have until September 20th!

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