Seattle was the perfect yarnista holiday, exactly what I needed. I had just finished correcting the first semester exams and was looking forward to my first time off since starting the job in September. So I packed up my two sock wips, a skein of lace and the requisite patterns to accompany me. I threw in an extra skein of sock yarn ‘just in case’ I ran out. There was certainly no need for that – I should have kept the space to bring more yarn home. My plan was to relax and knit my way around the cafés of Seattle, touring the yarn shops and museums. I did have some work to do but nothing too onerous, a few hours a day.
I did my research in advance, by reading two articles from Knotions and PomPom. My biggest adventure was taking the ferry out to Churchmouse Yarns on Bainbridge island. I had checked out the Churchmouse group on Ravelry and knew this was a must-do for any fibre craft enthusiast visiting Seattle. I felt like a celebrity when people I’d contacted online came over from the office to say hi. Everyone was so welcoming and I spent half a day there chatting and knitting and admiring all the beautiful yarn. The yarn there was the absolute epitome of luxury. There were two huge antique bookcases with little baskets of yarn on the shelves. An exquisitely curated exhibition of the most rare, unique and artisan yarns. There was a huge selection of Rowan yarns, which are always lovely to behold, alongside lots of gorgeous alpaca yarns (pity I’m allergic). The Handmaiden display was just divine, with the most beautiful sample cowl. I really want to try Seasilk someday. When I saw a skein of Socks-that-Rock, though, I couldn’t put it down. Well, I put it down long enough to pop next door for a delicious muffin in the bakery. I also picked up a really cool DPN-holder and a little hook/needle tool. Knitting in the sun on the ferry back to the city topped off a wonderful day.
I read so much about the lovely neighbourhood Ballard and it had been recommended by a few Seattlites I’d met, so I hopped a bus out there one day to visit the Tea Cosy. It came highly recommended by the yarn-guides to Seattle I’d read, and with good reason. I received a warm welcome to a relaxed and friendly local yarn store. The first step was a full browse of the shop. It was overwhelming with so many beautiful yarns, many of which I had not been exposed to before. The Madeline Tosh especially had me swooning. And the people could not have been more nice! I spent half the day sitting at the round table in the window, joined by various other knitters chatting and drinking tea. It was a wonderful day. I know I said that I was going to try and knit up my lace this year, but some MadTosh Lace simply had to come home with me.
I happened by Stitches on my hunt for lunch one day. It’s a fabric and notions mecca, especially for buttons. They had a great selection of Cascade – something I really wanted to try. I was really tempted by the hand-dyed long-striping yarn, especially the Sea-hawks colourways for the Superbowl the next day. However a solid green sock yarn with 25% nylon by Cascade simply could not be refused. I came away with a great lunch recommendation too.
I visited a few other places too but these are the highlights for me. Overall it was a lovely trip, lots of knitting and tripping about. Non-yarn highlights included the Chihuly Glass Exhibition, the Pacific Science Centre and the EMP music museum.