Let’s just say it was himself’s turn to pick the road trip and I would go along for the ride. So what did he choose …the Old Mill Day’s in Port Gamble, Washington. Yup, that would be chainsaw wood-carver’s. Well OK then. The drive was beautiful and the town is charming. It is a company owned mill town founded in 1853. The homes and buildings are all historic with many open to the public.The town was busy and streets were crowded. There was a Tea Room and a General Store, a Book Store …….But then…..the crowd parted and behold there was a YARN Store!
I ran to the entrance opened the door to the most beautiful jewel box of yarn your eyes could ever imagine. The walls are covered with skeins of yarn, there is fiber in trunks, and on tables. The colors were just stunning. Then I discovered the magic. All the yarn and all the fiber is hand dyed by the owner, Heidi Dascher. Her eye for color is amazing. Tucked in between all the dyed yarn and fiber there is an all natural collection of yarn and fiber, often with the photo of the source, including the sheep, its name and farm location. How cool is that!
The store is dark and as your eyes adjust you see the building still has the historic charm. A wood stove to keep you warm. A corner to tuck in and sit and knit or spin. Heidi spins as well. Little bits of fiber and needles with yarn on them are tucked here and there so you can play with the bits as you touch and select. Heidi encourages you to take a few skeins outside to see the colors in daylight. The sun hits the wool/silk I selected and wow……you know that one is going home with me. Even himself gave me the thumbs up.
Himself and I have gone back many times since that first visit. It is one of our let’s take a little drive places that allows himself to wander around the town and me to touch yarn. A perfect day for both of us.
And I almost forgot the most important part. Be sure to look for Grace. She sits or sleeps very regally in a vintage chair covered with a sheepskin. And Grace always wears pearls.
The store, the owner, and Grace just Enchanting!
The Artful Ewe
32180 Rainier Ave NE
Port Gamble, WA
If ever there was a “Cheers” of yarn shops this is it. They know everyone’s name….. I have a special place at the Thursday night table. This is where my daughter took me five years ago and said “I think you should start knitting again.” So you see it is a very special place for me.
But it should be a special place and stop for you as well. Yummy yarns are everywhere…. Rowan, Shelter, Shibui, Blue Moon, Socks that Rock, and the largest selection of cashmere I have seen anywhere. Plus all the help are incredible knitters that can fix anything… and trust me…. they have saved me a multitude of times!
Then the tea…. custom blended just for them. Churchmouse Summer and Churchmouse Winter are delightful. They always have a wee pot on ready for your tasting pleasure.
It is not a quiet store. There is always someone at the table doing a little knit of something…. a class going on…. group discussions of what pattern, what yarn, and what color looks best on me. And plenty of opinions for all of the above. A fun, joyful place where everyone loves what they do and those that shop here or knit at the table know how privileged we are to be so close to this very special store.
Don’t miss taking a moment to look at their window displays. They change with the season and the Christmas one is planned out months ahead and is revealed the morning after Thanksgiving.
John and Kit have branched out from their small shop to the internet world, but do not believe for a moment it has changed them or their shop. They love what they do and it shows…each an expert in their own side of the shop. Kit for yarn and John for tea. Look for the man in the store wearing the beret and I can guarantee you it will be John.
I hope to see you Thursday evening for a little knitting….. we will soon all know your name!
Churchmouse Yarns & Teas
118 Madrone Lane
Bainbridge Island, WA
Himself found this shop for me. First, it is tucked into an old schoolhouse that has been gracefully restored. Some of the school rooms and hallways are intact. But then the store… think of a library, but instead of books rows and rows of yarn.
You walk in this space and immediately want to be quiet and just absorb all the beautiful yarn they have. The owner quietly walks up and asks if he can assist, I say “No, I just want to enjoy and wander.” Off he goes and leaves me on my own… no hovering…. and wander, I do.
I walk thru row and row of bookcases… yarn cases. All labeled, easy to read, clear about yardage. There are beautiful samples of knitted objects here and there. The pattern I ask… “my wife’s” he replies.
And when himself joins me and helps me select a little yarn, they are magically there to assist. “The firewood is my favorite color” she says. “Let’s take it to the window and open the skeins and line them up to get the best color match for you. Would you like the pattern as well?” she says. It is her pattern. “Yes please.” He clarifies, “We are in the yarn business… so we do not sell patterns, but provide them when you buy the yarn.” “Can I wind that for you?” she asks. They take turns serving you in a conversation they have done for years.
I take one last turn thru the store and notice corners where chairs are tucked and people are having one-on-one teaching sessions. A treasure of beautiful yarn and a darling husband and wife team. I will be back….. because himself said I should.
Bad Woman Yarn
1815 North 45th Street
Seattle, WA 98103