Monday, June 09, 2008

Blair in North Carolina Yarn Shops

I am guest blogging from Hickory, NC today. I've been away on business for two weeks (one more week before I go home). Yvonne asked me to check out some yarn shops around Hickory, and do a little guest blogging.

My coworker and I paid a visit to four yarn shops nearby:

Wildskeins, A Strand of Purls, Hollybee Yarns, and Chix with Stix.

We stopped by Wildskeins in Hickory first, after our GPS had us go about 5 miles in the opposite direction. After arriving, we met the proprietor as we took photos of the exterior (also making sure to snag a shot with the Linux penguin in the shop window next door), who thought it surprising and odd that a husband would go yarn shopping and blog for his wife. And why not?!

Anyhow, inside, we found a small, cozy shop, stocked with many popular brands of yarn. I found a lovely skein of Paca-Peds HT. The proprieter, Brandi, was down to earth, and after explaining what we were up to, chatted us up for a bit. Before leaving, we got a picture of the pretty store-bird.

We traveled to A Strand of Purls, also in Hickory. This shop is a little larger, and accordingly has more yarns in the store. There were several women knitting when we came in, who thought we were awful nice going yarn shopping.

Laura, the proprietor of A Strand of Purls, shared with us that her shop is very new, just about a year old. With the export of furniture manufacturing jobs from Hickory and Lenoir to China, she and her husband decided it was time to look elsewhere for employment. Laura decided to open up A Strand of Purls; her husband is still working in furniture, until he can find something more long-term. I wish both of them good luck!

I ended up with a ball of Filatura Di Crosa Superior silk & cashmere blend yarn.

We made a quick jaunt over to Valdese, NC to HollyBee yarns. We thought this was an outlet for Peaches and Cream yarn, but it turns out they actually sell the same yarns made for RedHeart and Lion Brand yarns. The woman we spoke to showed us all around, pointing out all the yarns she had, some acrylic, some cotton, and some wool. Not much in selection, and they do not carry any brand other than their own; however, if you want a deal and you are in the area, you may consider stopping by. Most balls are $1.

At the same time, she was asking if we'd be interested in buying her shop; they have been trying to close and retire over the last year, after Wal-Mart told the yarn mills the shop was purchasing from to stop selling yarn to the shop, or they'd stop selling the yarn. However, it seems that even with that request met, for the most part, Wal-Mart in the area has stopped having craft sections altogether, as we soon learned when we visited Chix with Stix.

Chix with Stix is located in downtown Lenoir, NC, in the back of She*Sha's. I'm new to this concept, of a store within a store, but it was fairly cute. If you need some yarn or needles, this shop will suffice in a pinch.

We managed to hit Chix with Stix right before closing, and while classic cars were pulling into downtown Lenoir for a classic car rally. According to the person working at Chix with Stix, there is a car rally every other weekend during the summer in Lenoir, alternating with a flea market downtown. There was live entertainment, and many families out, possibly enjoying the summer weather (I find it too hot and muggy).

If we had but more time, and more knowledge of the area, we'd visit more shops. Everyone we met was friendly, and helpful, and willing to have a chat with a stranger.

Before I go, I must post photos of our treasures:


Lavendersheep said...

Yay! Thank you for posting dear! I can't wait for you to come home so I can see you and the pretty yarn in person!

Bobbi said...

Blair's a keeper!!!

Anonymous said...

Way to go, Blair. Most men would get off the plane with a tee shirt but you know the way to Yvonne's heart. You got lots of kudos at knitting today...I think we're all jealous. Welcome home. teri

Anonymous said...

You are right about Lenoir being muggy. Has anyone told you about going to Boone or Blowing Rock? We are about 15 miles from Lenoir. You can go to the Blue Ridge Parkway and stop at the Moses Cone mansion to get local crafts made by Highland artists. Boone is a hippy town with a lot of restaurants.

britney said...

nice post and thanks for sharing...
Entertainment at one stop

Ashley Arruza said...

Thank you for posting this, I will be moving to Hickory soon and now I know which shops to look at.