"The quickest way to know a woman is to go shopping with her." ~Marcelene Cox
Yesterday was National Yarn Shop day. No I didn't know it was a thing either! What better excuse than to get together with friends and go on a road trip to visit a couple of our local yarn shops, drink coffee and talk knitting and crochet all day.
Gemma and I arrived early at our favourite coffee shop and started the day with a slice of homemade cake.
We were soon joined by Sam from betsymakes.blogspot.co.uk who had planned and organised the day and Penny, another crocheter from the Catchup and crochet group. We almost persuaded Katie to come with us, I could see that she was tempted but she had other commitments that couldn't be changed.
So four intrepid yarn shop explorers leapt into Sam's car and set off for Manfield Crafts in Rushden. Emma, an experienced knitter, set up the shop in 2007 after struggling to find a quality yarn shop locally. She was very welcoming and put the kettle on straight away. She is keen to share her knowledge of knitting and of her stock to beginners and accomplished crafters alike. She runs popular knitting groups and workshops weekly and even opens in the evening twice a month. I was very taken by the cute sheep and lamb knitting kits which, I think, will definitely be making an appearance on my shopping list when I next visit.
Inspired by the others, I bought these to attempt to knit a pair of socks. The Rowan for the cuff, heel and toe with the Mirasol Hachito for the rest.
After choosing our purchases, discussing patterns and trying out different types of knitting needle (carbon fibre ones please Santa if I can wait until Christmas) we piled back into the car for the second shop on our itinerary. We drove back down the A6, and out to All Stitches in Wilstead. Helen was equally welcoming and helpful. Offering a completely different range of yarn and patterns she has a large stock of King Cole brand but for me the more exciting was the range of cotton for crochet. Overwhelmed by choice I only purchased a couple of different types but will definitely go back when I have a particular project in mind.
This recycled King Cole Cotton Aran will probably make a crochet summer top.
By now it was gone lunchtime and we were getting hungry so it was back into the car to return to Fancy. Here we ordered warm flat bread with hummus, avocado and salad and shared our purchases. Of course, as soon as you get your yarn out of the bag it clamours to be crafted so inevitably samples were started along with the coffee and cake.
It was a lovely day. I have two new yarn shops to visit, come away with a wikipedias worth of new knitting and crochet tips and got to know my travelling companions much better.
Thank you Sam for organising the trip, can't wait for the next one.