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.
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!
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:
I appreciate that the store carries products from two local alpaca farms, Whistler’s Glen and Black Walnut.
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.
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!
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.
Here’s my #8 Passport stamp:
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 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.
So there we have it. Passport stamp #7!
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.
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.
Stamp #6 was duly collected!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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…
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 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.
The first stamp in my Passport!
Every year the knitting and crochet community in northeast Ohio puts on a fantastic “yarn crawl” called the Yarn Discovery Tour. Even though the Tour runs through September 24th, I wonder whether I’ll be able to complete the lofty goal of visiting all 15 shops. So much yarn…so little time…
There are many thoughtful details that have gone into organizing the Tour. I love that each passport page includes the hours that particular shop is open. The rules for the Tour are printed right inside the passport’s front cover. It’s all so handy!
The interactive map on the web page is brilliant!
I’ve filled my tote bag with patterns that I want to shop for. Now all I have to do it figure out where I’m going to store all those sweaters-worth of yarn.
Maybe I’ll meet some of you as we explore these local yarn stores!
Passport in hand, I’ll soon go on the Yarn Discovery Tour, learning more about the yarn shops in my new(ish) domicile in Northeast Ohio. I purchased my “Passport” from The Artful Yarn in Chagrin Falls. Any of the 15 shops participating in the Tour sell the Passports. The list is impressive! Even given more than two weeks for the Tour, I wonder whether I’ll make it to all 15. It sure would be fun! I’m already plotting my course for the September 6-24 dates.
I hope I can stay disciplined enough to bring patterns with me to shop for. I might begin with this pretty Acorn Trail cardigan from Amy Herzog:
It’s not always easy to find an entire sweater’s worth of yarn, so I’ll pick out some smaller projects too. I checked my “Favorites” list on Ravelry the other day and was shocked to find over 500 patterns! It’s high time to start whittling that list down! The Yarn Discovery Tour will be the perfect way to pair yarns with those projects.
Photo credit for Acorn Trail: Jonathan Herzog
Acorn Trail Pattern: on Ravelry and on Amy Herzog’s website
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!
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!