Saturday, October 19, 2013


A little bit of everywhere...

On our final day, we’re zipping to several different places to catch up on some tips and squeeze in a last adventure.

I love to go out for breakfast.  Your dollars always go far this early in the day, and I feel so productive for being up and out and on the move.  My local contact took me to:

OK Cafe
1284 West Paces Ferry Rd NW  
Atlanta, GA 30327

The atmosphere is a fun mix of southern hospitality and power breakfast.  Not surprisingly, the food is good, not especially healthy (although there were healthy options if you want to make your companions feel guilty), and plentiful.  Great coffee--refilled nearly instantly--rounds out the experience.  Dig in--we’re going all over the place today and you’ll need your energy.

Every yarn store is different.  I can visit six in the same city and each will have its own character, its own focus.  Some are sparse and sleek, others are cluttered and cozy.  The fun is that I learn something new from each one.  I learned some amazing things from our next fiber find on the far edge of the city:

Yarning for Ewe
3220 Cobb Parkway  
Suite 102
Atlanta, GA  30359

The star of this store is the exclusively imported silks from India.  Vijay Fibers was born of owner Betty Shah’s passion to bring the rich world of Indian silk to American knitters.  Betty and her daughter Maansi run the store straight from their own crafting hearts.  “I only sell what I use and what I like,” Betty says.  It’s a nice touch that each fiber has a musical name.

The woman knows her silk.  I got a fascinating, full-hour lesson on the different kind of silk worms and how the harvest of each species’ cocoon yields a fiber with distinct qualities.  Equally fascination was how the Shah’s Jain faith impacts their knitting.  The Jain faith values all living things--even silk worms--so Betty won’t knit with or wear silks created from harvesting methods that might harm the worm.  So often we only think of sheep or goats in knitting--I enjoyed expanding my knowledge of fiber sources.

You’d be hard pressed to find a more enthusiastic Addi needle advocate.  The store’s selection is massive.  When Betty likes something, she makes sure you know!

If you respond to a firm but patient teacher, this store is for you.  Betty will let customers start on anything they want, no matter how many tries it may take to master the project.  “It’s just knitting.  Nothing is hard, it just takes longer.  Rip it out and start over.”  That requires a whopping load of patience!  Somehow, though, Betty’s brisk approach makes you believe--I get the feeling nobody fails on her watch!

Here are some projects to catch your eye at this store:

Pebble Beach Tee
A great beginner project that goes beyond the standard scarf or hat, this design shines in the color and texture of Classic Elite Sprout.  You’ll not only master yards of stockinette, but a few other skills as well.  The ribbon trim ads a spiffy touch, don’t you think?

Malabrigo Uroboro Cowl
From the Malabrigo Book 4, this Stephen West pattern takes one skein of Malabrigo Rasta to create a truly distinct accessory.  Make sure you ask for the helpful pattern tweaks to make your knitting easier.

Molly’s Scarf
One of the store’s most popular patterns, this ruffly scarf uses Classic Elite Liberty Wool to craft something beyond the basic rectangle.  If you’re looking to learn short rows, this is a perfect project for you.

AK Traditions Dolls
I found these knit-able, dress-able dolls from Australia absolutely charming.  You won’t find these anywhere else in the area, and can’t you just see one hugged in the arms of some little girl you love?

Darjeeling Shawl
You may have seen this in the Interweave Knits Spring issue.  While I don’t have a picture to show off yet (don’t worry, it’s coming), this lacy shawl is a stunner, and the perfect way to show off Vijay’s Serenade yarn.  The drape promises to be fantastic.  I chose to knit mine up In a beautiful, slightly shiny china blue.  I’m certainly looking forward to this as our Knit Along.

Fiber finds in hand, it’s time for a treat.  Luckly, Maansi knew just where to send me:

Paolo’s Gelato
1025 Virginia Avenue NE
Atlanta, GA  30306

My 2011 trip to Italy sold me on the virtues of gelato (it wasn’t a hard sell, believe me).  With 1/3 the fat of ice cream and yummy flavors, this authentic Italian treat is the perfect segue from yarn-shoping to boutique-shopping here in the snazzy “Virginia Highlands” neighborhood.  Of course, I had the chocolate with a very nice cup of coffee to match.  You can also get crepes here, too.  Sounds like lunch to me!

Other Highlands stores I liked:

  • Urban Cottage for creative, trendy housewares, accessories and gifts
  • Moxy a small boutique with chic clothing and some nifty handbags
  • Daokta J’s for a energetic mix of clothes
  • Festivity chock full of loads of accessories

There’s a whole neighborhood of interesting, trendy places along Highland Avenue just perfect for an afternoon of browsing and window shopping.  Pick any of the area’s many restaurants to round out your day, and you’re all set.

There’s a lot more to the Atlanta fiber scene that I could manage in my short visit.  I’m already planning to come back as soon as possible so I can introduce you to more of the city’s yarn delights.

Stay tuned next as I cast on our first Knit Along--the Mapes Shawl from Lovin’ Knit.

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