Vermont: the yarn

p8106175.jpgLast summer, when my family went to Vermont for vacation, we stayed in the Northeast Kingdom. This meant that on the way up there, we passed right by Putney–so of course we stopped at the Green Mountain Spinnery. (And on the way back home, we stopped by one of my favorite restaurants in the world, the Miss Bellows Falls Diner.) This year, though, we went to the other side of the state, about thirty miles northeast of Burlington. Our route took us through the Adirondacks and on a ferry across Lake Champlain, far from the Spinnery.

p8106178.jpgBut of course that didn’t stop me from acquiring some yarn during my vacation! On a rainy Wednesday, my friends Gina, Katie, and Beth (who were vacationing with their families on the same pond we were on) and I drove to Essex Junction, just under an hour away, where we visited Kaleidoscope Yarns. Hands-down, it’s the best knitting shop I have ever visited. The staff was friendly but not in-your-face (and certainly not snooty or unwelcoming like pretty much every other yarn-shop owner or employee I’ve ever encountered). And the yarn selection was…well, let me just say that I am still amazed at my willpower. I was surrounded by amazing yarns (with no tacky novelty yarns in sight) and managed not to buy anything. I was sorely tempted by the Malbrigo and by Green Mountain Spinnery’s Sylvan Spirit, but I decided to wait until I had a particular project in mind before making any yarn purchases.

p8106180.jpgAfter a terrific lunch (thanks to a recommendation for a local restaurant from the yarn-shop staff), we headed to the Pine Ledge Fiber Studio, owned by Joanne Littler. Her in-home studio/shop is open only by appointment, and it took a couple of days of back-and-forth phone calls to find a time that worked for all of us. But it was well worth the trouble–what amazing yarn. It’s super-bulky stuff best suited for hats. The huge, hanging skeins Joanne had were a bit out of my budget, but she had a few baskets of odds and ends–ten yards here, thirty-five yards there–available at a discount. From those baskets (and the two giant plastic totes of other oddments that she brought out for our perusal) I managed to put together enough yarn for three hats: one for Jan, in blue (top photo); one for Sylvia, in purple and magenta (second photo); and one for me, in red and a russet autumnal mix (third photo).

p8106181.jpgSylvia has her own “knitting bag” at home–a small totebag filled with my yarn scraps and gauge squares. It also includes a giant crochet hook, which is just right for her version of “knitting” (i.e., poking at a clump of yarn bits held in her hand) but not something that’s likely to poke out her eye. Joanne had a few bunches of brightly colored merino tops, so I picked up an orange one for Sylvia to add to her knitting bag. (The fuschia one is going to my downstream Virtual Vacation Swap partner.)

p8216599.jpgA few days later, after the hike featured in the previous post, we stopped in a little shop attached to a nearby historical society. There, amid the books, jewelry, cards, and prints featuring the work of Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley, I found locally spun and dyed yarn. I had no idea how much I’d need for an adult-sized sweater, but figured that five four-ounce skeins of heavy worsted would surely be enough for something for Sylvia. I chose a subdued periwinkle blue that I think (hope!) she’ll like.

4 Responses to “Vermont: the yarn”

  1. Katie Jon 24 Aug 2007 at 12:04 am

    Lovely yarn. Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley seems pretty darn interesting.

  2. Ginaon 24 Aug 2007 at 1:20 am

    Love the color of that Snowflake yarn!


  3. Maggion 24 Aug 2007 at 12:46 pm

    needless to say, I love the blue yarns ……….. :)

  4. knittymamaon 26 Aug 2007 at 9:37 pm

    Wow that stuff is just beautiful. What a shopping trip!