I swore there would be no more yarn purchases for a while after my Superbowl weekend in Raphine, VA, but this weekend my mom and I were both free to take a little road trip. Can you think of any better mother/daughter bonding activity than yarn shopping? We headed down to Asheville, NC and hit five stores. It. Was. Great. I didn't actually buy too awfully much, but it was such a fun day.
We hit Wilde & Wooly in Black Mountain first, getting there just as they opened their doors at 10, and spent an hour and a half there at least, just taking in everything that was there. There really was more than what you could see on one pass through. Lots of good standards, but the highlights for me was the complete line of Alchemy yarns (though I passed on buying any of them), some Lucy Neatby sock yarn (one skein came home with me), and lots of Rowan and Cascade yarns. The staff was friendly, but not pushy at all, and let us enjoy taking our time in the shop.
Next we went to Yarn Paradise in Asheville. I loved the address of this shop... All Soul's Crescent... kind of spooky, but neat. This shop was is a nice old house near the Biltmore. There were lots of yarns there, but they were very heavily into novelty and scarf yarns. I do like looking at them, but how many scarves do I really need to make? As far as other yarns go, they had lots of Noro, some Rowan, pretty much the full line of Debbie Bliss. They were having a nice sale on some discontinued Jaeger Albany, a 100% mercerized cotton yarn, so I picked up some of that for a summer top. I was definitely not as enthused about this shop as i was about the previous one, but I'm hard put to say exactly why. The staff there were a bit more aggressive in their sales tactics I think. I decided to make a poncho similar to a shop sample there, and wanted to use some Noro Cash Iroha. Unfortunately they didn't have enough of the color I wanted. The owner seemed to think there was no way I'd find enough of it anywhere, and seemed to think I should give up on the colorway (and I guess pick another that they had in quantity). Now, I'm all for supporting the LYS's, and I think I do my part in that for sure. But if I see something I want and have an emotional response to, and you don't have it, well, it seems that you can find anything you want somewhere in cyberspace. (And I did... thank you, eBay.)
We had lunch on All Soul's Crescent, and then went downtown to Earth Guild. This is a very interesting place; they have a reasonable selection of yarns, including some you don't generally see at more trendy sorts of shops, but also carry supplies for weaving, spinning, basket making, bead making, etc. It's a very crunchy-granola sort of store, but in Asheville, it just kind of fits in. There I bought a couple of pieces of scrap leather ($8.00/lb.), that I will use on felted bags I think.
Our fourth stop was in the Grove Arcade, also in downtown Asheville, where there is a little store selling local artisanal yarns and lots of scarves and things already knitted up. I bought nothing there, but my mom got a couple of hanks of a local yarn.
And the fifth stop was back in Johnson City, TN on the way back home, at Yarntiques. This is my most local LYS. I couldn't believe there were still knitters around the table there at 5:00 on a Saturday. We just dove in there quick to pick up an extra ball of something for my mom, and ended up chatting with the others for half an hour.
Anyway it was a good weekend of shopping, which meant not too much knitting since I was the driver for the day. I did manage to finish up both fronts on my Leaf Cardi though. Today I'll set up camp on sleeve island! It will be a good day for it too, since we woke up to the first real snow of the season this morning. Thank goodness, I thought we might miss out altogether this year. I'll leave you with the view out my kitchen window at breakfast.