Wednesday, March 28, 2007
A Southern Yarn-A Knitter’s Journey to Asheville
I’ve just returned from a mini-vacation to Asheville, NC, a yarn paradise—in fact, that is the name of one of the yarn shops there. The Asheville area has everything I like in a vacation –good weather, pretty scenery, a cosmopolitan city with lots of art and entertainment, and most importantly, good yarn shops. The Chamber of Commerce even prints a brochure called “The Fabric, Fiber, Bead Trail” to assist the knitting tourist with finding places to leave her (or his) money behind. I used the brochure to find my way to 4 shops in the Asheville area. I loved them all, but managed to keep my money in my wallet (only because my stash currently exceeds the capacity of an entire closet).
I appreciate all handicrafts. Besides knitting, I dabble in jewelry making and collect pottery, and Asheville has an abundance of those crafts as well. The city has a unique history of promoting rural folk crafts through craft guilds and folk schools. We visited some gorgeous galleries. I was especially impressed by the Allanstand Craft Shop at the Folk Art Center, The Southern Highland Craft Guild, and the New Morning Gallery.
I liked every shop I visited, and realized that each had something different to offer. If I lived there, I don’t know if I could have a single favorite. My visit was brief, but here are my impressions:
In Grove Arcade
-Small shop, not a huge yarn selection, but nice.
-They offer finished crafts for sale. Lots of knit hats and accessories were on display; and it seemed to attract local knitters who were looking to both buy and sell.
33 Haywood Street
Toll Free: (800)327-8448
-A full-service craft shop, in business since 1970!
-In addition to yarn, they sell dyes, beads, polymer clay, looms and weaving supplies, spinning wheels & more.
-Friendly owners told me about the classes they offer.
-Lots of yarn on cones(good for weavers, but also good quality for less money).
-Had their own line of Dragonfly Yarns-special died cottons and chenille.
-Emphasis on high quality knitting yarns over novelty yarns.
Purl’s Yarn Emporium
51 College Street
-Colorful and bright,I loved the way yarn was arranged by color rather than type.
-Friendly male clerk.
-Eclectic clientele--lots of college students and 30-somethings, male and female.
-Nice selection of books and novelty yarns.
-Cozy sitting area for their knitting nights.
6 All Souls Crescent
-Quaint building in the Biltmore village.
-Cozy knitting table, a knitting group was in session. I was warmly greeted by very friendly owner and her loyal customers.
-Great selection of yarns, both basic and novelty.
-Nice selection of unique buttons.
-Lots of finished objects on display to inspire you!