February is a great month to travel to brush away the winter blues. I recently went to visit my daughter who is attending college in Vancouver B.C., and I took the opportunity to check out the yarn shops in this innovative and friendly city. The Canadians have a deeply rooted knitting culture based on tradition and sourced by the many sheep farms with wonderful wool to draw from. I planned the yarn shop visits as a clever way to soothe my heartache of having my sweet pea only for a short visit while spending comforting time with her in the presence of soft colorful yarns and creative inspiration from Vancouver B.C.
I have knitted since I was very young and for the past 10 years, my interest in knitting has become more about the qualities of the yarns and fibers and the creative aspect of knitting than following a pattern. It is an amazing craft that ties together ancient instincts for self sufficiency and modern artistic sensibilities. The use of natural fibers to create amazing knitted garments is something that women of all ages are drawn to and for good reason.
Three Bags Full yarn shop in Vancouver B.C was my favorite, with its positive and creative atmosphere.
Yarns at the Three Bags Full yarn shop were organized according to weight to allow knitters to easily find yarns and to browse and examine different fibers without feeling overwhelmed. I ended up falling in love with a sturdy yellow linen yarn, which I will knit into a short sleeve top to allow me to welcome spring in my own personal way.
At Gina Brown's Yarn shop in the upscale Kitsilano neighborhood, an assistant told me that yarn shopping follows the seasons and that the most popular yarns right now are colorful art yarns for scarves. Baby kits are also very popular.
Saying goodbye to my daughter, I was happy to note that she has at least three of my knits in her possession. A Catskills Merino beanie in her favorite colors that she wears when it is cold, a sweet vintage inspired cardigan of soft alpaca, and a cropped sweater all of which she says make her feel safe and think of me. I taught her how to knit when she was little, and she still remembers even though she has not yet caught the bug. Next time when she visits us back in New York City, I will show her what I made from the bright yellow linen yarn bought in Vancouver B.C.
I write about my passion for creative knitting with an international vibe. When I am not in the Catskills, I work at the United Nations in New York with people from all over the world. I worship at the altar of natural fleece and bathe in the softest merino and alpaca wool.