Hi folks, time for another blog post.
The shop continues to build up a dedicated contingent of absolutely wonderful customers, and we frequently have new visitors telling us they just had to visit having been told about us. We can’t begin to tell you how good that feels!
Work progresses nicely on the new yarn. It has now all been spun and is due at the dyers this week. Teri has been putting in a great many extra hours with all the phone calls and negotiations, my work comes a bit later when we actually get our hands on the stuff. You’ll see what I mean in due course…
In the meantime, it is of course holiday season, and even budding yarn shop owners need a break. It was my turn first, and so I headed off to the west coast of Scotland with the rest of the family.
We spent a week in Wemyss Bay, taking the ferries out to visit Bute and Arran, walking in the woods nearby and visiting Glasgow for the museums.
Although I found inspiring landscapes and even the odd field of sheep, I struggled to find a yarn shop, and we all know that to have a Good Holiday, one must find some souvenir yarn, plus I manged to finish my holiday sock knitting in record time and hadn’t brought any spare yarn with me. I know of, and have visited, The Yarn Cake in Glasgow, sadly we didn’t have time that day to visit again (if you are in the area it’s well worth a trip, find out more here - http://www.theyarncake.co.uk/). We did visit The Tenement House (http://www.nts.org.uk/Property/Tenement-House/), The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (http://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums/kelvingrove/Pages/default.aspx), and The Hunterian Museum in Glasgow University (http://www.gla.ac.uk/hunterian/). I found a huge amount of interesting objects and have duly noted them for future use in some project or other.
L-R: Detail of fireplace in The Tenement House; box bed in the sitting room of the Tenement House (does this scream Yarn Storage to you, or is it just me?); detail of a painting in Kelvingrove Art Gallery; more tiles from the Tenement House; a small rill leaving an impossibly coloured bed and one of the ceilings in the Kelvingrove.
L-R Sheep spotted on a ramble near our campsite, breed anyone? Just one shot of some the most wonderful views I saw.
Through diligent research, and a dose of determination I did find “Edith’s “ (2 Gilmour St, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire, G83 0DB) in Alexandria, as we were en route to Loch Lomond so I was able to replace my sock yarn. I had a lovely chat with the lady herself and she told me about another little yarn shop in Drymen, not far from where we were, and very happily on the way to the next campsite.
This shop turned out to be Craic n Yarns, run by Pat Strong (http://www.craicnyarn.com/). I had a very lovely time talking to Pat. It turns out she set up in business about the same time we did, and has a very similar set of guiding principles, she even stocks almost all the same yarns as us! We exchanged a lot of thought and ideas, gave each other advice and shared our experiences. I found myself some souvenir yarn, hand dyed locally by the owner of the sheep whose fleece makes up the yarn itself ( http://strathearnfleeceandfibre.co.uk/).
Happy Holiday Souvenir Yarn :)
I also found a whole load of yarn from New Lanark Mills, and I exhausted my pocket money on a selection of colours. Pat has quite a long-standing relationship with New Lanark, and was able to tell me a lot about the place and about their yarn, and also gave me a shade card as I was very interested in the tweedy colours. I had known something about New Lanark, having looked it up while Teri and I had discussed where we might get our own yarn spun, and we have it marked down as a place that really needs a KnitClub visit some time (for purely educational purposes of course!), now I knew more, and that meant it got added as a final excursion on our way home.
A view of New Lanark Mills from the steep path down.
I didn’t have time to visit the mill properly, that would take all day, but I saw enough to decide I have to go back and have a proper look. I did pop into the gift shop, found more colours of yarn to supplement my haul from Craic n Yarn, and after a chat with the shop manager got the contact details for the visitor centre manager who oversees the wholesale side of the yarn, so watch this space!