Monday, September 29, 2014

2014 Western Connecticut Yarn Crawl

This past weekend was the Western Connecticut Yarn Crawl! Seven stores got together to plan out a cool weekend for yarn-folk up and down the western side of our little state. My mom and I spent two days driving around meeting some great shop owners and checking out some great shops.


Friday

1. Knit & Purl - Avon, CT

Western CT Yarn Crawl 2014

This is a great shop. My aunt heard about the yarn crawl and called me up to make sure I was going. She was really excited that Knit & Purl was a part of the crawl. Apparently, she stops in there often.

We were immediately welcomed, even though it was technically before the shop opened, and everyone setting up was so excited about the crawl. There was a great selection of yarns at surprisingly good prices. Mom ended up buying some alpaca there and it's a shop that we both want to go back to sometime.



2. In Sheep's Clothing - Torrington, CT

Western CT Yarn Crawl 2014

Mom and I have known about this shop for a couple of years now, but just have never taken the time to go looking for it. When we found it, we were both smacking ourselves for not having taken 2 minutes to look for it before. It's literally one storefront off of Main St. and I'm down in Torrington all the time for my weekly errands.

This one's a smaller shop and it's a little cramped in there, but there's a decent selection of yarn and there was a pleasant rack of spinning roving in the corner. Also, the shop owner let me know that I can order Ashford spinning wheel parts from her, which I might take her up on.

And here's the roving I bought there! And she threw in a needle gauge for free!

Western CT Yarn Crawl 2014 Western CT Yarn Crawl 2014



3. Black Sheep Yarns - Kent, CT

Western CT Yarn Crawl 2014

Oh my god, getting to this store was an adventure and a half. Firstly, our directions kept telling us to turn onto BlahBlah St which turns into Something Lane and all that, when it could have just said follow Rt. 4 West to Rt. 7 South. Then, the street name in the photo there? Old Barn Road? It's not particularly a road. It's more of a parking lot and it doesn't have a sign on the actual street. It's a little shopping avenue type thing. So we passed through the town shops, turned around, passed the "left" we were supposed to make, turned around, parked on the street, and then walked to the shop. It was a little ridiculous.

This was a great shop, too, with some great yarns. They were a little pricier than the other shops we had been to, but there was some great quality stuff there. The shop owner also ran a food drive at the same time as the yarn crawl and it looked like she got a bunch of stuff to donate to the food pantry, which is great.

I bought this really soft blue yarn to go with a green yarn for an undetermined color work project.

Western CT Yarn Crawl 2014


4. New England Yarn & Spindle - Bristol, CT

Western CT Yarn Crawl 2014

Ah, Bristol. This is my local yarn shop. I don't actually go in all that often because I'm trying to bust stash, but I like to stop in from time to time. Mom hadn't been there in a long time and was surprised at the new layout. It was nice to poke around. It's a small shop, but has some good staples. I picked up some orange yarn to do some undetermined color work with some red yarn I bought from their sidewalk sale a couple of weeks ago.

Western CT Yarn Crawl 2014




And that was it for Friday. We finished at about 3:00, which is not bad time driving around to all those places. I spent some time winding skeins for myself and mom into center-pull balls and then pretty much chilled out for the rest of the day.

Mom had to work on Saturday, so she worked and I did my weekend errands/laundry/whatever. And then Sunday, we resumed the crawl!


Sunday

5. A Stitch in Time - Bethel, CT

(Not pictured here because I forgot! Whoops!)

This is a great shop. We got a little lost on our way there, but it was a weird off-ramp issue, so... not our fault! But we weren't turned around too bad and were able to find the place easily enough once we got into Bethel.

Mom and I had a great time in this shop. It's set up with all these little nooks full of yarn on one side and needlepoint stuff on the other. In the middle of the shop is a counter with lotion bars and wool soap and stuff. I tried out a lotion bar which I liked and might go back to buy when I've got some more spare cash. I ended up buying one skein of yarn to go with a very similar yarn that I bought from a stand at the NY Renaissance Faire. The store owner also threw in a wool soap sample.

Western CT Yarn Crawl 2014 Western CT Yarn Crawl 2014


6. Nancy O - Ridgefield, CT

Western CT Yarn Crawl 2014

This shop was a combination yarn shop and clothing shop. The actual yarn selection was a bit limited and some of it was pretty pricey, but it was a pretty shop and was very busy when we went, which is always good. And the lady who stamped our passports was a Doctor Who fan, so that was fun! We had a brief nerd talk when she wasn't swamped. And they had cookies. Bonus!


7. Westport Yarns - Westport, CT

After a quick pit stop at The Gabbers' new apartment, we went to the last shop! Westport Yarns is a pretty small shop. It might have been the smallest of the shops and was definitely the most expensive, but Westport is rich people country, so it wasn't unexpected. The Gabbers ended up buying a ribbon yarn from the clearance bin, which worked out.

The yarn shop was busy and the shop owner was courteous, but it seemed to me like the other patrons weren't thrilled to have crawlers in the shop. I was getting some annoyed vibes off of a couple of ladies in there. I don't know if the patrons were just sick of yarn crawlers getting all up in their local shop or if my T-shirt and jeans were too low class or that I'm dude-identified in a primarily lady space or what. It didn't seem like they minded The Gabbers or my mom, but I didn't feel welcome in the shop after a few minutes.



But we didn't stay long. We were starving and wanted food, so we skipped out of there and got some Five Guys.

And then we dropped off The Gabbers and trekked back up home.


A successful crawl! It was really fun and we're planning on doing it again next year now that we know the ropes. The Gabbers said that she might take that Friday off and do the whole this with us next year, so that'll be fun.


Next Yarn Event: Stitches East!



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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

2014 Coventry Farmers' Market - Fiber Fest

Yesterday was my first official yarn event of the season! My family and I headed out to Coventry for the Fiber Fest theme weekend of the farmers' market!

2014 Coventry Farmers Market


I love this farmers' market. The Fiber Fest booths were fewer this year, but it was nice to walk through the tents and see some familiar yarn-folk and meet some new ones. My mom was keeping half an eye out for a yarn to match the yarn in the cowl she was working on because she needed another skein and ended up finding the exact match from the vendor that she's pretty sure she bought the original skein from! It was hilarious. She couldn't remember where she'd bought the yarn from and she had lost the label, but it all worked out.

There was a lot of lovely yarn and wool to touch everywhere. And the regular vendors for the market were great, too. Our favourite jam and pie folks weren't there this year, but we made a stop at the fudge stand and the new cannoli truck. There was a lotion bar and handmade chapstick stand that I grabbed a card from which I may end up buying from online. It was a great trip.

2014 Coventry Farmers Market


And The Gabbers brought Audrey the corgi to the market, which everyone loved. It was hilarious. Audrey doesn't particularly like other dogs and generally won't be social with them, but there were dogs everywhere. She avoided all the dogs her size and smaller and wanted to say hello to all the giant dogs. GIANT DOGS. A gorgeous black St. Bernard and an Irish wolf hound and another giant black dog whose breed I can't recall... But she didn't want to stick around too long once she'd greeted the dogs and all the big dogs were disappointed that they didn't get to play.

Frankly, I think it's Audrey's ploy to make other humans pay attention to her. Folks love looking at the little corgi sniffing out the dogs five times her size. And she got plenty of human attention, too.


2014 Coventry Farmers Market


We didn't end up eating at the market, which is normally our tradition, but Dad had it in his head that we'd find some kind of outdoor cafe thing to eat at. We ended up eating Taco Bell in a park in Willimantic, which is fine, but I missed eating great food truck sandwiches. We then met up with Pickleface at college to drop off some stuff and catch up on his new college-ness and get ice cream. It was good times.

I worked on my Event Socks during the car ride, but didn't end up getting very far due to dog in the car and some elbow pain, but I did finish the gusset and did a couple of rows on the foot. So that's progress!


I didn't end up actually buying any yarn at the market. I did, however, re-establish my roving stash for spinning:

2014 Coventry Farmers Market 2014 Coventry Farmers Market

Some white alpaca and a big ol' blend of alpaca/BFL/merino stuff that's really soft. I'll probably spin these together.


2014 Coventry Farmers Market 2014 Coventry Farmers Market

This is some gorgeously dyed BFL that I had to have. It's beautiful. I'm including two photos because I needed everyone to see both sides of this skein.


2014 Coventry Farmers Market 2014 Coventry Farmers Market

And these two braids are lovely as well. I think I'll be spinning these separately because I don't think they'd quite work as combo-plies, but that green is really calling my soul and I love a good autumnal red/orange/purple.



Next yarn event, Yarn Crawl!



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