Every year in May, Asheville’s diverse fiber arts community comes together to adventure through the city and enjoy all that our local yarn stores have to offer. This year was no exception, as we were treated to an even broader variety of shops, spanning all corners of the county, as we took part in the annual Asheville Yarn Crawl.In all, nine stores participated in this year’s crawl, each offering special promotions, raffles, and surprise giveaways. The crawl is held on Mother’s Day weekend, falling on May 10th, 11th, and 12th this year. There is no charge to participate in the yarn crawl, and each participant is entitled to one free raffle ticket from each shop they visit. Participants in the yarn crawl are encouraged to try to visit all the shops on the crawl, in order to be entered into a grand prize drawing. My ultimate goal was to visit all nine stores in one day…and so I set off on my quest.
The first shop I visited was The Yarn Nook (1261 Smoky Park Highway, Candler NC). This was my first visit to The Yarn Nook and I was delighted with what I found inside. There were many friendly faces, graciously welcoming me into the shop, and offering help if I needed it. I talked with the owner, Linda, who was so excited to meet so many new fiber friends. I was interested to learn about the classes that The Yarn Nook offers, especially considering there was a class being held while I was in the shop. The Yarn Nook offers a great selection of reasonably priced yarns, including Berocco, Cascade, Debbie Bliss, and Noro, as well as many other great brands.
My journey then took me north to a new stop on the crawl, Echoview Fiber Mill (76 Jupiter Road, Weaverville NC). While I have visited Echoview before, every visit is fun, as they are always adding new and exciting items to the growing mill shop. Echoview offers yarns spun right there in the mill, as well as spinning fiber, finished hand-knit garments, fun felted items, and a variety of goods from local artisans. The staff is very welcoming of visitors and if you call in advance, you may even be able to schedule a tour of the mill in action. Echo View is a state of the art fiber mill, offering wonderful spaces available for group gatherings, as well as frequent fiber arts workshops.
I then travelled back to downtown Asheville, where I was able to visit three of the shops on the Yarn Crawl, all within a short walking distance of one another.
Asheville NC Homecrafts (1 Page Avenue Suite 134, Asheville NC), located in the historic Grove Arcade, caters to a variety of fiber lovers, including knitters, crocheters, spinners, and felters. Asheville NC Homecrafts carries a variety of yarns and notions, as well as an amazing selection of finished garments, hats, shawls, and quilts from over 70 local artisans. They have recently expanded their shop to include other treats, such as honey, chocolates, sauces, and salsas, all created right here in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I had a wonderful time talking about spinning and fiber festivals with one of the shop owners, Marie.
Purl’s Yarn Emporium (10 Wall Street, Asheville NC) has become one of my favorite local yarn shops. The owners, Elizabeth and Rik, are so friendly and accommodating. The shop has an amazing selection of unique yarns, local yarns, and even offers their own line of in house, hand-dyed colorways. Purl’s offers a great program, Purl’s Scouts, encouraging both new and seasoned knitters to build and strengthen their skills through classes and workshops offered in the store. Purl’s also offers several times weekly where fiber friends can gather to sit and knit, and even offers a men’s group knit night on Tuesdays (see their website for more details). I am especially fond of their ever-changing, extremely creative window displays.
Earthguild (33 Haywood Street, Asheville NC) caters to crafters specializing in traditional Appalachian handcrafts, including spinning, weaving, basket-making, pottery, leather-craft, candle-making, and rug-making. They also carry a wide variety of yarn, felting accessories, magazines, and jewelry making accessories. Earthguild’s knowledgeable staff is great at helping customers select the best items to complete their next project. They offer spinning wheels from Kromski, Ashford, Louet, Schacht, and Lendrum, as well as looms from Beka, Schacht, Toika, Louet, and Leclerc. Earthguild is truly a gem in the Asheville fiber arts community. Be sure to check out their in house hand-dyed yarns, weaving kits, and hand woven scarves.
My voyage then carried me east, to Black Mountain, where I visited Black Mountain Yarn Shop (203 West State Street, Black Mountain NC). Black Mountain Yarn Shop is a lovely, bright, and airy shop, located in the bustling downtown shopping district. They offer an impressive collection of yarns, including Koigu, Malabrigo, and Lamb’s Pride, as well as a great knitting bag selection from Namaste, Atenti, and Lantern Moon. They offer a variety of workshops, classes, and special events, as well as frequent times to gather to sit and knit. Black Mountain Yarn Shop offered a special door prize, The Orbit Scarf, to their first yarn crawl visitor.
I then returned to the Asheville area, stopping in at Yarn Paradise (6 All Souls Crescent, Asheville NC), and boy is the name fitting! I had never visited Yarn Paradise before, but it was such a treat to spend some time perusing all the lovely yarns they stock. They were having a special sale upstairs, with certain skeins marked 50% off. I was very impressed with the great variety of buttons and other notions they stock. Yarn Paradise also has an online store, so you can shop from the comfort of your home.
Next, my route took me south, to the area’s newest yarn shop, Kniticality (55 Robin Lane, Saluda NC). While they may be a bit off the beaten path, it is certainly worth seeking out Kniticality. They have an impressive selection of yarns and notions, and the owner, Amy, is simply a delight to meet. The shop opened about four months ago and is a welcomed addition to Western North Carolina’s yarn shop family. Kniticality offers many great classes and helps facilitate the weekly Sit’ n’ Stitch yarn therapy session, Thursday mornings at the Four Seasons Mall in Hendersonville. Stop in and enjoy the cozy fireside knitting lounge and knit anytime the shop is open. Also be sure to take a moment and savor the gorgeous view of the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains from their entrance.
Rounding out my fiber field trip was a stop at Friends and Fiberworks (800 Brevard Road, Asheville NC) in the Biltmore Square Mall. Undoubtedly the largest yarn shop in the Asheville area, Friends and Fiberworks has an extensive selection of yarn in almost every colorway imaginable. They also carry a variety of spinning fibers, as well as locally crafted finished goods. Friends and Fiberworks offers a bi-annual fiber arts retreat, featuring world-renown fiber artists, classes, workshops, and vendors so you can get your fiber fix. They also participate in many fiber festivals and expos held throughout the country, including Stitches South, Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival, and SAFF. Be sure to plan for an afternoon in the shop, to be able to really enjoy the variety that they offer.
There were many prizes to be won including lots of yarn, notions, patterns, and gift certificates.
Congratulations to all the winners!
As a first year yarn crawl participant, going it alone, I felt so welcomed by everyone at all the local yarn shops. I made many new friends and have developed a new appreciation for how lucky we are to have so many shops to cater to our fiber art hobbies. I’m already strategizing for next year…won’t you join me?