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:

Asheville Home-Crafts
In Grove Arcade
PH: (828)350-7556

-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.

Earth Guild
33 Haywood Street
PH: (828)255-7818
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
PH: (828)253-2750

-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.

Yarn Paradise
6 All Souls Crescent
Biltmore Village

-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!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Next time be sure and check out Black Mountain Yarn Shop in Black Mountain, NC...maybe 15 minute drive from downtown Asheville. It beats all other yarn shops in the area!