Knit fast, die warm

I don’t often get out to local yarn stores. I know, I know: shock, horror, the collapse of the institution, etcetera. The thing is, I live in the ass end of nowhere that is 70s era American suburbia, and I don’t get out much. Instead, I buy online from…wait for it…local yarn stores. They’re just not local to me, except in the more abstract, internet-as-global-community kind of way. When I get the chance, though, I do like to stick my head into an actual bricks-and-mortar store to admire the yarn in person and geek out with fellow knitters using my voice, rather than my keyboard. If such a chance arises while traveling, well, souvenir yarn makes for some good, guilt-free stash enhancement.

I’m in Vancouver at the moment, visiting friends and family, meeting the niece and nephew for whom I’ve been knitting for the past couple of years, and sorting through my storage locker, which contains far more than it really should. (Nothing says, “I own too much crap” like boxes full of stuff you haven’t missed in five years and will now have to move 4300km.) I’m in East Van, to be precise: my old stomping grounds and hands-down my favourite part of Vancouver. Imagine my delight when I discovered that there is now a yarn store — Baaad Anna’s — right near where I used to live, and mere blocks from the place where I’m staying. Obviously, I had to go check it out. Immediately.

I showed up at opening time, and knew straight away that this was my kind of yarn joint.

Clearly, this is where bikers buy their yarn.

I mean, really. Inside, the rather lovely Caitlin ffrench showed me around, pointing out the local yarn and spinning fibre in which I’d expressed an interest. I waffled for a bit — should I try to find that second colour to go with the souvenir yarn from Asheville? Should I buy yet more spinning fibre? Does buying yarn from Uruguay in an East Van store count as yarn tourism? Then, in a basket on a table, I found them: the perfect yarn souvenir skeins.

Locally dyed using West Coast plants; lovely colours; hand-written, hand-sewn tags. Nice.

It turns out that these skeins are dyed by Caitlin herself, who also teaches solar dyeing at the shop. How freaking perfect. Not just a souvenir of Vancouver, but a memento of meeting this delightful woman.

Caitlin ffrench shows off some solar-dyed yarn in progress.

Souvenir yarn: it doesn’t take up much space, you know you’ll use it for something, and it’s not another bloody mug.

Words to live by.

2 Comments

  1. I want her hair!! I’ve gone down the bright artificial red route, but now I feel dull……
    If you ever come over to the UK, I’ll go souvenir yarn shopping with you…… just sayin’
    I’m lucky enough to have 5 LYS’s within 20 mins of me without even looking at the big stores. And I have one of the biggest LYS’s in the UK around 30 mins away 🙂 I am aware I’m super lucky, so don’t hate me! I’m due a trip to the london stores soon too….. and yet I still feel that I NEED to get to Baaad Anna’s now I’ve seen these photos! xx

    1. She does have the coolest hair — I share your hair envy. One day we will make it to the UK and bring you Red Hots and you and I will go yarn shopping. For days. I have a feeling that my UK souvenir yarn shopping will require its own suitcase, though.

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