When faced with a disappointing experience, like the time Jac and I went to New York for her birthday and were let down by the ghost town that was Lily Dale, we’re not afraid to cut our loses. Just like we did then, we find the nearest place to get a half decent cup of coffee and search out a good yarn store. Then we rub those sweet sweet fibers on our cheeks until we feel better and purchase way too much yarn. But what do you do when the thing that brought you disappointment was yarn?
Over this past weekend, Jac and I drove up to northern New Jersey to attend the New Jersey Fiber Arts Festival. We had been looking forward to it since we both of us had a laundry list of things we needed. Plus, we’re scouting out festivals for Lattes & Llamas to attend next year with our new yarn bases and notions (coming soon!!!). I’m sad to report that my trepidation about the show set in at the door.
I don’t mind paying a few bucks to get into a festival. Although, I appreciate it when ones like the MD Sheep and Wool Festival and the Homespun Yarn Party either suggest a $5.00 donation or have free admission, I don’t feel as if it should cost the same amount to get into a small show as it does to get into Rhinebeck. But then they handed me a cheap tote and Jac said she thought a part of the proceeds went to some charity. So, I shrugged it off and went back to being excited about the prospect of new yarns.
The show was really lackluster. It’s not that there wasn’t any good yarn, because there was. My opinion of the show itself does not reflect my opinion of the spinners and dyers that were there selling. It’s just there was hardly anything to see. It took us less than 15 minutes to make a full circuit. There was no variety. For literally the first time in our lives, we attended a yarn event and bought nothing but a cookie (which, to be fair, was delicious).
On the upside, the local spinning guild gave me a lesson and that was super fun. I’ve been playing around with spinning since last Christmas, but I haven’t actually bought my own wheel yet. I’ve been thinking deep thoughts about picking up a Louet, and I probably will after the baby is born. One of the spinning guild members saw me creeping on her spinning and invited me to take a seat and try it out. She was awesome, and it salvaged my mood.
So like I said at the beginning, Jac and I are pretty good about rolling with the punches when our planned entertainment doesn’t pan out. After leaving the Fiber Arts Festival, we went to the car and regroup. We still had a laundry list of things on our to-be-bought list and figured we had driven all this way, so we may as well check out the local yarn store scene. Google maps informed us that Close Knit Yarns was just a few minutes away, so we called to make sure they were open. After a brief debate of whether to go to Starbucks before or after yarn shopping, we were off.
The employees there were super fun. Gus, pictured above with Gail Zimmerman who was wearing one of his designs, was absolutely adorable. Aside from being really interesting (click the link on his name, he’s pretty cool), he also provided me with spectacular customer service. I was on the look out for some yarn to make a hat for my aunt who is undergoing chemo, and he helped me pick out some Berroco Alpacan Mist and Shibui Baby Alpaca.
If you find yourself in northern New Jersey, stop by and say hi to Gus and get some yarn. For those of you that care about these things as much as we do, there is a Starbucks around the corner from the store. There’s no reason to be under-caffeinated while you’re there.
Our next scheduled stop is Maryland Alpaca and Fleece Festival in November where we will have a booth. Post in the comments if you know of a show in the PA area we should check out. I wanna catch ’em all.