Monday, October 14, 2013


Short and sweet!

Some days, all you need is a great yarn shop and a good meal.  If your schedule in Atlanta only gives you space for a short yarn adventure, today’s DestiKNITion fits the bill.

After a stop in the nearby Starbucks (hey, no good day starts without coffee), head straight for:

The Needle Nook
2165 Briarcliff Road
Atlanta, GA  30329

I loved owner Arlene Jacobson’s instantaneous version of the shop’s 37 year history: “The yarn that ate the cross-stitch shop.”  Occupying a spot in Briar Vista shopping center for all its days, Needle Nook started out as a cross-stitch and latch hook shop but has evolved into a pillar of Atlanta’s fiber scene.  

Arlene has been in the craft long enough to build her stock by well-honed instinct rather than the latest yarn craze.  She’s passionate about color--right down to the store’s purple walls!  This is one of those vibrant stores where customers become friends and commerce becomes community.  Classes have stuck together as knitting groups long after the curriculum is over.  November hosts a not-to-be-missed Wine and Wool” knitting retreat--which unsurprisingly is sold out as of this writing.  Hey, there’s always next year...

The store has that “gathering place” feeling that never comes by accident, but careful attention to customers.  The staff will patiently help you solve your knitting problems seven days a week, and Arlene is fond of finding inventive ways to adapt tried and true patterns.

Here are some projects to feed your fiber muse:

Summer Breeze Poncho
Arlene says this one only works with Tahki Ripple--other yarns don’t have the necessary weight and drape to make this simple pattern work.  The poncho is on the store’s mascot mannequin, Rose.

Hiawassee Handwarmers
Needle Nook has been a Malabrigo champion since the company started, and this exclusive pattern set utilizes a single skein of Malabrigo’s Arroyo to give you both sets of mitts (or one set of mitts and you can whip up a scarf to match, if you prefer).  This will be our Knit-Along from Needle Nook.

Seaweed Shawl
This versatile pattern can be scaled up or down depending on your choice of yarn or needle size.  Arlene’s choice is Noro’s Taiyo cotton-silk blend.

Romance Ruffle-Collar Shell
The pretty ruffle takes this basic shell up a notch and utilizes the drape of Takhi Ripple.  Go neutral and let the ruffle do the talking, or choose a stand-out color for high impact.

Since the holidays are practically upon us, I would be remiss if I failed to mention that Arlene is the author of the Leisure Arts publication “Exquisite Beaded Ornaments to Knit.”  Stunning stuff!

If all that stitching and shopping has worked up a hunger, the good news is you won’t have to go far.  Right next door you’ll find:

Thai Chili
2169 Briarcliff Road
Atlanta, GA  30329

The menu boasts a large collection of well-deserved awards for great Thai food.  I found the service friendly and attentive without being intrusive.  My favorite dish--pad thai--was done to perfection.  You may want to take Arlene’s advice, however, and go for the Catfish Curry.

If Asian food doesn’t suit you, Arlene suggests you make the short drive to

The Red Snapper
2100 Cheshire Bridge Rd  
Atlanta, GA 30324
(404) 634-8947

Sure, it’s a seafood place, but believe it or not, Arlene says the star of the show is  the Tiramisu!

If you need to fill the rest of your day, head on over to the charming nearby suburb of Decatur, There you will find The Lime Tree Gift Shop and--more importantly--the Sheepish yarn shop! I was sorry my tight schedule did not permit me time to check these out, but they top my list for my return trip, you can be sure!

In my next post we’ll finish up my whirlwind tour of Atlanta and start on some great projects.

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