For the past week, I’ve been staying with my parents in Niagara Falls, Ontario. They have an old old house, tudor and brick, with floor boards that creak, antique furnishings, and an attic fit for a dreamer, like me. I love everything about it, except that it’s so far away from me most of the year. In fact, I sleep better here than in my own bed back in B.C.
When Mom and Dad aren’t showing my boyfriend and I around (yes, there’s more to this region than the falls!) or filling us with food (I’ve eaten more this week than all of last year, I’m sure), I sit happily knitting my Coraline cardigan, listening to the many clocks in this cozy edifice tick-tock tick-tock away. I’ve made some progress. My girl is growing up.
People don’t generally take adult sweaters as vacation knitting, but it’s been perfect for my visit, as it’s mostly stockinette stitch, so it’s very easy to just pick up and knit or purl, depending on which side I’m on, and then throw to the side when something comes up. Sure the yarn took up some room in my suitcase, but I don’t need much clothing, so it was not a problem. And I suppose this is a good sign that knitting has become a habit to me, a way of life, a necessity.
As a knitter who lusts after knitting-type things, I have found the past couple of days to be very fruitful. It began with a visit to a local bookstore, which possessed a knitting and needlework section that was very healthy. I grabbed Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard, for practical type reasons, and then, out of sheer lust, I grabbed Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush.
Ever since, I’ve been flipping through it’s gorgeous pages daydreaming of surrounding myself in luxurious lace shawls whilst bemoaning the lack of lace or light fingering in my stash.
Always practical, Dad suggested I look up some local yarn stores. I, always impractical but very agreeable to ideas I like, of course, complied.
Only one shop caught my eye and drew me thither: Stitch.
Located on the snug and picturesque Main Street of Jordan Village, about 20 or 30 minutes from Niagara Falls, Stitch is so much more than a yarn store. It is, I think, deep down, a philosophy. It’s a crafter’s haven, an experience for the senses, as advertised, a sanctuary.
Now prior to arriving there yesterday, I was on a serious yarn diet. I was trying to knit from stash, to control my habit, for financial as well as spatial reasons. Well, that nonsense went right out the window the second I entered Stitch.
The subtle and soothing scent of patchouli-esque aromatherapy enveloped me as I walked in. A preliminary scan was more an impression of beautiful colours and textures: yarn in all different sizes and shapes set against real wood, solid country home furnishings, everything oozed welcoming.
There was another customer, a lady named M___, who was so warm and friendly to me, as was the lady I presumed to be the owner of the store, J___. And so helpful! I should have asked her name … well there’s lots I should have done. But I was light-headed, very much in awe, and I’m afraid my attention was considerably directed to the yarn.
I didn’t know where to look first. But since my only clear thoughts, other than “I WANT IT ALL!!” were “shawls” and “Estonian lace.” I asked for lace-weight wools. And J___, who was all patience and exuded a pure and tranquil love of the craft and materials, took me around the store pointing out appropriate yarns.
So many choices, hard to pick only a few from them all, but I finally narrowed down my choices to these three beauties:
Malabrigo Sock (3 ply merino) in the colorway Archangel.
Americo Flame (5 ply 100% Pure Cotton) in a pale blue.
Skacel Primera Collection, Divine (10 ply silk, cashmere, alpaca) in an aubergine shade
(okay this is more of a dk or worsted weight, but it was too soft to suddenly get picky)
My only regret is that I didn’t take some photos of the shop– I hesitate to even call it a shop because it felt more like a home that just happened to have shelves, cabinets, hooks and baskets of bounteous yarn on every wall of every room. It was the type of haven that knitters like me dream about. I think I will have to go back every time I visit my parents. Or perhaps I should just move out here. A wonderful yarn shop is a good reason to move, isn’t it?