Saturday, June 25, 2011


Sometimes, it just pays to cross the river.
I’d done an episode on Louisville late last this year, but on my way to the Southern Kentucky Book Fest in Bowling Green this spring I discovered the tiny but charming town of Jeffersonville Indiana.  This is one of the reasons I love DestiKNITions; I find little gems like this, and I get to share them with you.
My reason for discovering this southernmost exit off Indiana’s I-65 is, of course, the yarn store:
Grinny Possum Fiber Arts
326 Spring Street
Jeffersonville, IN  
This store’s large, coffee-colored open space is bathed in natural light and has that “gathering space” feel I love in great yarn stores.  Curious creature that I am, my first question had to be about the store’s name.  “It’s my husband Jerry’s nickname,” said owner Ann Merriman with a smile.  Born from her spinning background, the store as a nurturing feel and a resident golden retriever with his own Facebook page.  The back terrace is just begging for knitting alfresco, too.  

I think it’s clever how the right side of the store stocks delicate hand-wash fibers while the left side hosts sturdy washables.  I think it’s brilliant that she has the instructions for the Kitcher stitch--which I can never memorize--printed on the back of her business cards.  

I spotted loads of socks and a wide selection of cool gadgets (the way to my gadget-girl heart, surely!), including Hot Off the Lathe’s splendid crochet hooks and the irresistable Puppy Snips by Hiya Hiya.  
Some projects to consider are:
Lariat from Knitters Magazine
Ann took this published design and worked it with a host of different colors for a dazzling project.  I don’t wear necklaces--I wear scarves--but this could make me change my mind.

Crochet Cowl
Done up in one ball of Fibre Company’s merino/silk/alpaca blend Organik, this will coddle the neck of anyone you love.  Here in Chicago, the winter winds motivate us to take our cowl’s seriously, and I like the herringbone-ish, ribbing-ish texture of this piece.  Good Christmas gift knitting, don’t you think (and it’s not to early have such thoughts!)?
Waterfall Beaded Scarf
I’m a pushover for beaded knitting--it’s like wearing scarf and jewelry in one accessory.  The lush colors of Soysilk by Southwest Trading Company make the perfect counterpart to the shiny beads.
Our Knit Along from Grinny Possum comes from Ravelry.  Pimpelliese is a free pattern that can be done up in either Terra or Organik from Fibre Company.  It’s my first shawlette, and I’m looking forward to casting it on in the lovely lime green I choose from her vast selection.  Sure, I wish I could post my knit-along installments from her lovely back door terrace “suitable for parties,” but remote will have to do.
Wandering a small midwestern town is one of life’s perfect pleasures, especially when you’ve got hints on where the goodies are.   And believe me, goodies abound within easy walking distance.
You only have to meander across the street to discover why Ann relocated Grinny Possim in 2004 “to be closer to the candy.”  You’ll agree the minute you step into:
Schimpff’s Confectionery
347 Spring Street
Jeffersonville IN  47130
Your sweet tooth has found its heaven in a whole bunch of ways, the most surprising of which is the Chocolate Coke.  How can you resist something owners Jill and Warren Schimpff describe as “a liquid Tootsie Roll”?--a dead on description, by the way.  My skepticism dissolved in the first delightful sip, and I’ve craved another ever since.  Family owned for no less than four generations, the store makes their own everything.  The redhots come from a 120 year old recipe--I liked them and I don’t even like redhots.  The Modjeska, a caramel dipped marshmallow named for the famous 19th-century actress, is simple yet divine.  You can feed your brain, too, as the store hosts a Candy Museum packed to the gills--or is that wrappers--with facts and artifacts.
Quick, before all that sugar wrecks havoc with your waistline, duck into:

Petunia’s Boutique
420 Spring Street
Jeffersonville, IN  47130
An inventive selection and a fun atmosphere ensure you’ll find something nifty to bring home.  I was visiting just before the Kentucky Derby, so the hat selection was unlike anywhere else in the world.
No DestiKNITions trip would be complete without coffee, and we’re fortunate there some awesome caffein nearby at:
359 Spring St 
Jeffersonville, IN 47130
(812) 218-0611

The lovely spot recognizes we like a little desert with our java, and I had several people name a diverse list of favorites including the carrot cake, a blueberry bar, and lots of tasty sandwiches.  Some nights feature live music, too.

If you need a gift, head to the very unique
Lavender Hill
360 Spring Street
Jeffersonville IN
The Derby hats in here made me drool, as did the lovely gifts and artistic floral arrangements.  This felt like the kind of place that would do the most original, inventive things for your wedding--I got a peek at owner Carolyn Minutello working with a bride and was quite impressed.  I haven’t yet needed a Derby Hat, but if I did....

Two other shops recommended that I did not have the opportunity to visit but seemed great from peeking in the windows:
437 Spring Street
Jeffersonville IN  47130
“Local memorabilia, art, jewelry, purses, home accessories, beautiful greeting cards and many more Choices.”
CCF & Crafts
249 Spring Street
Jeffersonville IN  47130
“Fresh flowers, gifts and collectibles, balloons, home decor, and specialty gift baskets.”
Any day would do, but MOST ESPECIALLY if it’s a Thursday, there’s no question where you need to end your day.  It’s at:
Adrienne & Co Bakery and Cafe
129 W. Court Avenue
Jeffersonville IN  47130

Don’t you dare set foot inside a fast food joint with this restaurant in town--even if your budget is so tight it squeaks.  Thanks to the jaw-dropping $.09 Spaghetti Thursdays--yes, you read correctly, nine cents--there’s no reason to eat anywhere else in the zip code.  I had a plate of very good spaghetti, meatballs, caesar salad, and iced tea for $5. And the crowd is as pleasing as the price-tag.  

Top off your meal with massive cupcakes and you’re sure to go home happy.  I know I did.
I enjoyed my afternoon in Jeffersonville immensely, and I suspect you’re experience will be the same.  Next up?  This girl from the City of Big Shoulders cast on the charming Pimpelliese shawlette.

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