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