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:
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!
I am officially the Luckiest Girl in the World. I just got back from a wonderful trip to Portland, Oregon. The train ride between where I live and Portland is just under 24 hours, so I booked a bedroom. I loved having my own little world in which to knit, read and sleep. What could be better?! The scenery through the mountains was unbelievably beautiful. On the trip home we were in the mountains at night and the trees, snow and mountains were illuminated by a full moon. Heavenly!
I made the trip in order to take two workshops from Jared Flood, who many of you know as brooklyntweed. I’ll tell you all about the workshops in a later post. But first I just have to sing the praises of the fantastic shop that put these workshops on.
Knit Purl is wonderful knit shop in downtown Portland. The staff is knowledgeable, kind and helpful. As you approach the shop’s door, the pretty colors invite you in…
Once inside, you’re surrounded by alluring displays of yarn. The selection is incredible, and I found several yarns I previously didn’t know I couldn’t live without. My newest Favorite Yarn Ever is Kauni. I fell in love with the suble shading from one color to the next. You’ll be seeing a LOT of Kauni in my future projects!
The shop is an inviting place to sit, knit and drink tea. You’re surrounded not only by gorgous yarns, but also by terrific sample pieces on display.
If you’re in the Portland area, I hope you’ll visit Knit Purl. If you want to see the yarn offerings in their online store, you can go to the Knit Purl website. Also, you might want to check out the wonderful newsletter put together by the talented Sara. The newsletter mentions some workshops that I’m sorely tempted to head back to Portland to take. How about learning sock techniques from Lucy Neatby? Sounds like a lot of fun! I definately need to clone myself so one of me can be here enjoying the deer and other wildlife and another of me can be in Portland taking all these great workshops.