Sunday, March 27, 2016

On the road again....

Local road trips are the perfect activity during a stay-at-home vacation week.  I gathered the girlfriends yesterday and showed them three spots that were in Blount County. Two of our stops will be covered in another blog but for this one I want to highlight the new yarn store in Maryville - the Hook and Needle.

Kristy opened the shop last November.  It is located behind Sullivan's and has a great parking lot across the street.

It is a small shop but is decorated adorably and packed with all sorts of fiber goodies.  The main emphasis is on knitting and crocheting but weavers can easily find something that would work nicely on a rigid heddle or table loom.  This was proven as fact since all of walked out with a bag of inspiration.

There is a cute and comfy sitting area along with a table in the back that is used for classes.  An old phone booth provides a unique spot to highlight the gorgeous yarn.

As with most small towns a couple of us ran into people we knew.  The atmosphere was one of smiles and excitement.  This is one road trip that will have to be repeated - and soon!

Until the next adventure - stay warped,

Friday, March 25, 2016

Alpaca Show

When most couples get together they say one of two things - either "we are so much alike" or "we are complete opposites".  My husband and I are the latter.  Fortunately there are a few things we enjoy together.....movies, books and (as I call them) critters.

A couple of weeks ago Sevierville was hosting the Southern Select Alpaca Show.  Not only was this a great critter event but it was free !

Do not confuse these darlings with llamas.  Totally different critter.  These guys are originally from South America - many in Peru.  They are sweet and gentle. (I have met a few llamas and they are a lot snobbier plus they spit).

Some are fluffy - others have fur that looks like string.  We met one owner who answered all of our questions and  gave us a kind of Alpaca 101 course.

They communicate through humming.  They don't like the top of their heads scratched instead you should rub their necks.  They are pack animals so you really shouldn't have just one.  It doesn't take much land to have a small herd either - a few acres is fine.  And they love cool windy weather.  All of the stalls had fans and usually the alpacas were right in front of them.

Of course they also turn their fur into gorgeously soft (and expensive) yarn.

This was a different sort of road trip - one with the hubby instead of the girl friends.  However it was a beautiful drive through the mountains, a fun morning learning about a new critter and of course there was still the connection to yarn!

Until I hit the road again - stay warped,

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Pattern Hutch

I love it when a simple road trip turns into a new discovery.  It's even better when that discovery is accompanied by laughs, sunshine, good friends and shopping.  All of these things were present during a recent trip to Pigeon Forge.  Now if you are a local I'm sure you had visions of congested traffic, scores of tourists, noise and lights as you read the words Pigeon Forge.  However, this discovery is thankfully off the beaten path and down a country road where the sounds of the city are forgotten.

As we approached The Pattern Hutch we saw the iconic symbol of relaxation - rocking chairs on the porch.  The front door was open to let in the beautiful day and I could already see the abundance of creative possibilities waiting for us inside.

If you ever want an inspiration this is definitely where you should go. Embroidery, punch needle,    felting, doll clothes, aprons, pillows - I even think I saw some woodworking patterns in the back. Fabric, wool, thread and tons of these ideas already made up and on display so you can see what it will look like when finished.  I should really say what it should look like when finished because I am in the middle of my first needle punch project and it sure isn't looking like the finished examples - ha ha! 


Be prepared to be tempted.  Three out of the four people with me actually made their purchases and then found an additional purchase before we made it out the door.  (Yes, I was one of the three.)  I'm not sure if Cindy, owner and proprietor, was happier to see us arrive or leave - it was quite the event.

Cindy would love to give classes if you have a small group that would like to tackle something together.  She also encouraged us to come by and hang out....those rocking chairs look like a great place to enjoy the sun and some embroidery. 

Till the next time I hit the road - stay warped,