Thursday, August 28, 2014


Cars and yarn...

My favorite words when my husband is considering traveling to a car show?  “There’s a yarn shop nearby.” Imagine my delight when we were making plans to attend the Midwest Z Heritage Fest—a regional car show for Nissan/Datsun Z-car enthusiasts like my husband— in Aurora, Ohio and I discovered a yarn shop right in town!  DestiKNITions powers, engage!

Longtime DestiKNITters know I’m a fan of going out for breakfast, especially to a good bakery.  I was pleased to find an excellent spot in Aurora:

Pumpkin Seed, Sweets and Treats
238 East Garfield Road
Aurora, OH 44202

I’m a pushover for a good lemon bar, and this one was scrumptious.  This spot is more than just a bakery, it’s also a coffee bar as well as an event venue—you can host a shower or a small wedding reception right here.  Baked goods, some exquisitely frosted cookies, and a selection of chocolates are all here to tempt your tastebuds (you know I’m a fan of dessert for breakfast).  T’Cakes, the other half of the business, handles custom occasion cakes.

Next head to our yarn fix for the day:

The Knit Shop
226 Chillicothe Road
Aurora, OH  44202

The no-nonsense name reflects owner Edie Tait’s straightforward approach to knitting—offer quality products and spot-on technical advice.  After all, she’s been in the business for over 20 years, so she’s learned what works.  

The shop is a small, multi-roomed house with two fireplaces and packed to the gills with fibers and sample projects.  Every object you see in the store is knit by Edie herself—she’ll also “knit for hire” if you need to outsource your latest unfinished project, by the way.  
A renowned fair-isle master with a strong eye for color and a vast knowledge of fibers, Edie has a diverse selection stocked to suit her customers.  “I fill the store with an eye for quality and a good knitting experience,” Edie says, so you know you’ll come away with something that works, not just the newest fad yarn.  While she does design, Edie’s preference is to adapt patterns to suit her tastes.  “I don’t think I’ve ever worked a pattern exactly how it's written.”  That means she’s eager to put her vast technical skill to use for you, giving lots of help to customers whenever they need it.  

That doesn’t mean there isn’t fun and whimsy here—ask to see the baby booties and the golf club covers—they’re amazing!  And if you’re a needlepoint person, this is THE place to score hard-to-find Paternayan yarn.

Some projects you should consider:

Blue and Green Cardigan and Boxy Tee
Both a design of Edie’s, this sweater takes any tape or ribbon yarn like Katia’s Rumba and works it into a season-less, eye-catching sweater set.  Ask Edie’s advice for color combinations, or stick with a solid for a more subtle effect.  Either way, the texture’s the star for these pieces.

The Wedding Top
Made by Edie for a special occasion, this gorgeous top is a special occasion all in itself.  Look at the splendid stitch work and the graceful, fluttering trim!  Stick with a light colored fingering weight silk fiber to get the best effect and drape.  This one strikes me as a family heirloom in the making.

Glam Scarf
This fringed wonder works up in 250 yards of any fiber, but Edie offers a kit if you want to ensure great results.  The versatile pattern could be light and draped or warm and lush, depending on the fiber you choose.

In my hometown of Chicago, we take our neck warmers very seriously.  Who wouldn’t want the luxury of this angora wool blend around their neck on a brutal January morning?  Again, you’ll want to pick two skeins of a light color to show off the cable work.

Ulta Alpaca Afghan
This sample uses sixteen different colors of Jameson Simply Shetland, but you don’t have to go to such extremes if you don’t want to.  In true Edie adaptation fashion, she reworked an existing Sonoma Mountain Wrap pattern to become this stunning linen stitch afghan.  Wouldn’t that make a great gift (for someone you love enough to stitch up an entire afghan)?

Shoulder Wrap
Sometimes the design makes all the difference.  Edie designed this wrap to be more square than most, allowing it to sit nicely on the shoulders.  Another highly adaptable piece, you can make this heavyweight for warmth or lightweight to fend off summer air conditioning.  This will be our knit-along from The Knit Shop, so I’ll be working it up in 600 yards of Juniper Moon Findley Dappled merino/silk blend with a touch of Kidsilk Haze for the accent stripes (I didn’t go for the “sparkly” accent stripes of the sample).

Stocked your knitting bag?  You won’t have to go far to get a little more shopping—as a matter of fact, you don’t even have to move your car if it's a nice day like I had.

178 S. Chillicothe Road
Aurora, OH  55202

Head to the big red barn just down the street for an amazing accessories store.  You’ll find familiar names like Trollbeads and Vera Bradley, but also some new finds.  They had some of the most amazing, inventive umbrellas I had ever seen, and a collection of very artful handbags.

The Secret Garden
196 S. Chillicothe Road
Aurora OH  44202

Sometimes you walk into a store and you just know you’ll want to explore every nook.  This “antiques and uniques” store is an inviting combination of old and crafted items from fifteen different co-op members. I was particularly drawn to the vintage items, the wood carvings, and the delightful Bijon dog who serves as the store’s mascot.

Ready for lunch?  I recommend you end your Aurora adventure at:

Mad Jack’s Grill & Pub
204 S. Chilicothe Road
Aurora, OH  44202
Given the name—and the reputation for great burgers—I was expecting something a bit more “tavern-ish” than the casually elegant restaurant inside.  The phrase on the website says it all:  “comfort food with a twist.”  You know I set great stock on how a restaurant handles a solo diner, and the service here was top notch.  Not a big burger fan, I opted for the Pan Seared Salmon Salad and was rewarded with an excellent meal.  

There you have it—a charming, fiber-filled, delicious half-day in Aurora Ohio.  Who knew it held such treasures?  Well, now you do!

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