Silly me, I didn’t think to post a picture of the yarn I bought while on vacation. The light blue Patons came from Fabric ~ Yarn in Vermont, the KPPPM sock yarn from Patternworks in NH and the Khroma yarn from Knit Wit in Maine.
We drove up Route 1 in Maine to our hotel on the Pemaquid Peninsula, and on our way we missed quite a few yarn stores. They were either closed, or in one case, the numbers jumped from 200 to 500, so 208 wasn’t anywhere we could find. We also went past this other place which I never did get a chance to go into. The store called The Ducks is listed online and in the phone book as a yarn store, although it looks like a private residence to me. And what’s with the giant paper mache dragon floats in the front yard? If someone has ever been to this store, please let me know what they actually sell. I’d really like to know!
The next day we went to Acadia National Park. The town closest to the park is called Bar Harbor, which is a very touristy town with souvenir shops galore. And there’s also a yarn store called Bee’s. In theory I don’t mind combination yarn stores, such as yarn and sewing, yarn and needlepoint, yarn and quilting, but yarn and candy?? What’s that all about? Apparently it was a candy store first, then at some point someone had the strange idea to sell yarn along with the candy. Not so sure about that one…
This store was filled with a jumble with stuff, including candy, a room with greeting cards and another with yarn. There was yarn just all over, in baskets, on tables, etc. Then there was a basket on the floor full of very random yarn, all different types and brands, but the basket wasn’t labeled. Was this sale yarn? Discontinued yarn? Is it yarn they’re getting rid of because sticky-fingered kids touched it after they ate the candy they just bought? There was also a display of really nice sock yarn behind glass in the candy room that I couldn’t actually find anywhere for sale in the store, and by that time, I was just to overwhelmed with the absurdness of it all to ask. I probably won’t go back to this store, sadly. However, I’ve read some really glowing reviews of this store online, so you can either take my review or leave it. It’s just my little opinion.
I already mentioned in a previous post that we went to the Winters Gone Alpaca Farm in Wiscasset, Maine. There’s an alpaca store on the farm where she sells clothing made from alpaca yarn, and does custom sweater orders. She also sells dreamy soft handspun yarn from her alpacas. Each is labeled with the name of the animal it came from, and there’s a picture of that very alpaca next to the yarn on the shelf. I guess with 22 colors of alpaca fleece and over 100 shades within these colors, she needed to be very specific about which animal the yarn came from. I will definitely keep her yarn in mind for any future projects.
Another store we visited was The Knitting Experience Café store in Brunswick, Maine. From the description I read, I was expecting a knitting store with a full service café next door. Their “café” turns out to be a big coffee maker/espresso machine behind the check out counter. But in any case, they had the one thing all the other knitting shops were lacking: a big, comfy couch. Why would anyone open a knitting shop without a couch? First of all, people will show up just to sit on the couch and knit and subsequently buy more stuff without realizing it, just because they’ve spent their entire afternoon sitting there staring at luscious yarn. It’s also a nice place for non-knitting spouses to sit while the knitters shop. Anyway, this was a cute store, though not the “café” I was expecting.
Now for the best yarn store I’ve ever been to in my life, without question. It’s called Halcyon Yarn in Bath, Maine. Wow, this was an amazing store. If you ever get to Maine, I strongly urge you to visit this store. They have everything for the knitter, crocheter, spinner and weaver you could ever dream of. I had no idea the company sells mainly through their catalog. I’d never heard of them until that day.
Just take a look at this aisle of cones and hanks and skeins. They had aisle after aisle packed full of yarn just like this, and all the major brands of yarn you can name plus ones I never heard of. It was a giant yarn warehouse.
They also have roving for spinners and rug yarn for weavers, as well as knitting, crochet and weaving books and DVDs (I bought the Knitting Around DVD, finally), and drop spindles, felting and weaving tools, etc, etc… This store is just a sight to behold. I literally wandered around the store with my mouth gaping the entire time. I could have stayed there all day just taking in the colors and textures.
On the last day in Maine we stopped at the Pine Tree Yarns store in Damariscotta. It was a teeny tiny shop in an old building in the central part of town. She was selling some beautiful hand dyed yarns from someone named Elaine Eskesen, and some gorgeous locally hand spun angora/merino yarn.
Then we said good-bye to Maine and started our drive back home. So if you haven’t figured this out already, I’m a coffee addict. On our drive back, I suggested to DH that we stop in Keene, NH, for a cuppa. Not only did I want some coffee, but I was being sneaky, knowing there was a knitting store in Keene. It was on my list. I’m so sorry we couldn’t have spent more time in Keene. It was a super cute town with a bustling main drag. And there was an overabundance of coffee shops. Really, I couldn’t decide which one to go to! So after having a surprisingly good cup of coffee, I asked Markus if we could drive down Ralston St. He’s one smart cookie and figured out right away where I was going with this… We stopped by the New England Fabrics and Decorating Center. On first glance, I was disappointed because I thought it was just an ordinary fabric store, but they also sold upholstery fabric, sewing patterns and yarn. A really decent selection of yarn, too, not Red Heart or the like, but Malabrigo, Lopi, Brown Sheep and some really exquisite cashmere stuff… So it was well worth the trip.
So that’s it. My knitting vacation. Hope you enjoyed my reviews. I’ll be back later on in the week to show you some more sock blank items that Lisa, aka. Knitsburgh has made with 2 sock blanks. She’s super quick. I’m still working on the Starry Night socks…