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.
1. Knit & Purl – Avon, CT
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
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!
3. Black Sheep Yarns – Kent, CT
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.
4. New England Yarn & Spindle – Bristol, CT
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.
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!
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.
6. Nancy O – Ridgefield, CT
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!