I Can’t Argue with Fate

My local yarn shop, Firefly Fibers, is amazing. When you can get sweater quantities of 99% of your favourite yarns 10blocks from your doorstep any knitter would be a fool not to support that business. When you also teach classes & knit samples & enjoy the comraderie of a fabulous group of knitters there, it only further strengthens the resolve to aid in the success of this business in any way that you can. A lot of people ask me, “Do you ever shop anywhere else for yarn?” The answer, quite simply, is usually not. Let’s be honest, why would I?

I have written about it before here on the blog, but there are standards I hold sacred when it comes to my yarn. Knitting is my passion, but — as much as I could rationalize that it is —  it is not necessity in the way that food & shelter are. Because of this, I am able to allow my knitting & the yarn that I use to be… special. For me, it is not just any yarn as long as I have some — I want to feel good about where the yarn comes from. Granted, I don’t always buy the fanciest yarn and I simply don’t know every detail of each yarn’s origins nor do I necessarily want to. Sometimes it is enough to purchase yarn from a shop that I believe has good things to offer the crafting community.

Yes, the vast majority of my dollars go into my local shop because it is close & fabulous. The truth, though, is that I regularly have students who drive an hour or more to take a class at Firefly Fibers and Alisa meets so many people who travel across county & state lines to visit her shop. For this reason (and because I love yarn…. a lot), when I travel, I pop in at their local yarn shops when I have time. Knitters are fiercely loyal, though, and I am often asked if I feel disloyal shopping at another lys. I will admit it always feel strange because I am so at home at Firely Fibers, but I like meeting other knitters and seeing new interpretations of a yarn or design. I like that I sometimes get to see & try out new yarns.  Speaking of new yarns, let me tell you a story.

This Sunday, my husband & I promised to take our kids to the Milwaukee County Zoo. We left early & stopped for coffee at my favourite local coffee shop.20130307-131514.jpg

Here’s Mr Knitting Sarah looking dignified with his cup of joe. See how you can’t see through the car window? That’s because the roads —  and subsequently our car — are coated in salt. It has been so snowy here! In any case, it was a chilly morning with just a hint of moisture so that all the trees looked as though someone had hit them with the glitter stick. It was just lovely.

We made our way to the zoo where I snapped just a couple photos.

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Jellyfish!

20130307-131529.jpgMr Knitting Sarah sporting his British Sheep Breeds Hill Country Hat while he admires a Common Goldeneye.

20130307-131536.jpgMy son making a classic goofy smile in front of the jaguar cubs. The Zoo was holding a contest to help name one of the cubs. My son & I researched & submit our suggestion: Wiley (because it insinuates a sly nature & has ties to water — did you know jaguars are one of the few cat species that like water?). It was such fun! If you want to see the cubs, check out the zoo’s webcams. If the cubs are active, they are pretty stinking adorable.

After exhausting everyone at the zoo, we popped into a bookstore. Sometimes it’s just nice to go to a big bookstore & browse, isn’t it? Both my kids are voracious readers and took the opportunity to sit & read a spell while waiting for dad to finish browsing in the big people books.20130307-131543.jpg

I am so proud that they are both such good readers. ❤

As we were leaving the bookstore, I realized that we were within a couple miles of Brookfield’s Cream City Yarn Shop. My husband graciously offered for me to take my time browsing while he & the kids read & snacked in the car. I walked into the store & there before my eyes was Quince & Co. yarn. There was some shock & I’m sure some sort of gibberish fell out of my mouth. Little did I know that Cream City Yarn Shop had recently become one of only a couple flagship shops for this American wool that is spun in New England. I was ecstatic to see that one of only a couple companies that works with American wool finally decided to supply an LYS in the Midwest, so that we can see & touch these lovely yarns. Congratulations Cream City Yarn Shop & thank you Quince & Co!

I have mentioned it in the past, but I have a soft spot for this yarn. Not only are all the yarns named for birds — really, this can’t go unnoticed in my family — but it is American Wool, raised in the West & spun in the East. On top of this, Quince & Co is based in the beautiful Portland, Maine region where once upon a time I visited on a trip up to Acadia National Park and thought to myself it would be a really lovely place to live. Oh, and I have a quince tree as the centerpiece of my front yard. Nothing sells me on yarn like good associations.

As I browsed the selection of this new to me yarn line along with the others in-stock at the shop, it seemed like no coincidence that earlier in the week when Kate Davies introduced her Sixareen Cape pattern I had thought to myself, “I think I’d like to try this with a Quince & Co yarn. Maybe when I finish my current big class test knit/sample project I will order yarn for it.” This no joke & is such an exception to my norm — generally speaking if I can’t purchase locally, I don’t buy the yarn. Could I ignore this act of fate?! You’re right, I could not!

With the help & patience of the lovely staff at Cream City Yarn Shop, I mixed and matched colorways in Finch, Quince & Co’s fingering weight wool until we found the perfect fit for me. This is the final selection.

20130307-124114.jpgrosa rogusa, snap pea, storm, river, & glacier

I’m so glad I was able to stop in & I can’t wait to cast-on!

Many thanks to the ladies at Cream City Yarn Shop for all their help & for making me feel at home away from my home lys! If you are in the area, give them a visit — they have a lovely little shop happening over in Brookfield!

For hours, directions, contact info and all that good stuff, click here.

10 thoughts on “I Can’t Argue with Fate”

  1. That yarn looks lovely and the colors are vibrant. Oh my, I want to touch. Have to find that store. Yarn raised and spun in the USA – that is even better. Have family history of Aunts working in the woolen mills in Cedarburg and Grafton. Oh and I bet the cubs were cute. They can be so silly when playing. Your lucky children!

    1. The shop is really nice — a different approach & look than Alisa has at Firefly Fibers, so I actually think they compliment each other pretty well. It is my new fave in the Milwaukee area.

      Check out the cubs on their webcam — we spent about 15minutes this afternoon watching! So fun!

  2. What are you making with it? I have wanted to see that yarn. I too love yarn shops! I share your favorite, although it’s more challenging for me to get there! I have to live through contact other ways. I have found that I like to scope out other shops (otherwise known as SPYING!) LOL….

    1. I am going to make Kate Davies’ Sixareen Cape.

      LOL! Oh, Wendy! My yarn shop stops are pretty innocent. I like to see lys’ doing well — it’s good for knitters to have local shops they can rely on. I remember a time when I did not have Firefly Fibers so close & I don’t want to wish that on anyone! While, of course, there is no doubt that I spend a lot of time promoting Alisa’s shop through classes and samples (and this blog), I think it’s fair & good to give a shout out when there are other places doing well, too. It’s ALL good!

  3. Lovely yarn there, and one of the thrills of finding a new yarn shop is finding new yarns there. Our local shop is great, but carries a very limited range, so I can be loyal to them for my basics and still feel free to browse elsewhere for more fun stuff!

    1. I actually have 3 yarns shops relatively close to my home — the closest is about 10blocks, the farthest about 15miles. I think the close proximity of shops makes those of us who live in the area very sensitive to shop loyalty. I do really enjoy meeting new knitters and seeing new spins on things. Mostly I love that the richness of fiber shops in the area mostly expels any desire to shop online for yarn. Why shop online when you can see & touch in person?!

      1. I agree about the community feel of a shop where you and other customers (and the staff) share a common interest. But I do also like buying beautiful yarn from people whose operations are too small for much other than craft events and selling online. Sometimes a bit of a gamble, but sometimes amazing!

      2. Oh, I absolutely agree. Indie dyers and spinners are in their own league – I was thinking more about buying the bigger brands (think Malabrigo, Quince & Co, Spud & Chloe, Rowan, etc). Thank you for clarifying – I certainly still buy from indie folks online and at special events and I probably always will!

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