Church of Our Saviour

21 Marathon Street | Arlington, Massachusetts | 781-648-5962

Knit One, Pray Too: Summer Stashing

One of the joys of being a full-blown grown up, vacationing with another one, is the luxury of turning every trip or sub-trip into an opportunity to explore someone else’s local yarn store. There are, of course, negotiations that must be entered into with the other full-blown grown up and I recommend trading off visits to bookstores with visits to yarn stores. It’s an excellent strategy because book stores usually have knitting sections. I have also found that iPhones and other such handheld devices have extended others’ lys browsing tolerance considerably. Time flies when you’re surfing for the latest app, checking weather online, or playing Scrabble!

This summer’s vacation ramblings provided some delightful yarn-scouting. Who knew Center Harbor, NH was home to an outstanding shop called Patternworks? Housed in a modest little shopping plaza not far from Lake Winnipesauke, the shop was filled with a wide array of choice yarns as well as a great selection of the faithful workhorses. Beautifully displayed with plenty of knitted-up items showing the final look, the yarns were collected in different rooms devoted to cottons, bulkies, all the various wools and other fibers, with a corner of lace weights. A well stocked alcove catered to the sock nuts. But best of all was the knitter who quickly jotted a simple lace pattern on the back of the bag when she rang up my treasure—just ‘cause she thought it would knit up nicely in that yarn.

Concord, NH is home to another fabulous shop called The Elegant Ewe. Chock o’block full and staffed by a clever mother-daughter team the day we were there, it boasts a terrific selection of lovely mohair, soy-based yarns, and stupendous shawl kits as well as the usual high quality beauties. A particular find was a pattern for a sort of poke-through scarf like the ones my mother made for each of us as children. I’m going to make it up in a gorgeous hand-dyed as soon as I finish this wretched baby blanket! That’s the blanket, of course, not the baby. I’ve just reached that point of wanting not to see apple green merino for a long time!

An unexpected find in Gloucester, MA was the Coveted Yarn, new shop owned by a young man who is new to knitting. What he lacks in knitterly acumen he makes up for in care and enthusiasm for stocking a fabulous range of gorgeous yarns from Chile to Italy to Green Mountain Spinnery. The rainy day we were there two women were hiding out, chatting up a storm. One was making a silent (!) retreat at nearby Eastern Point and other was waiting for her husband to comes to his senses and give up on sailing that day. The things you hear in yarn stores!

Now, the only little problem is where to stow the newly acquired summer stash!

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