Thursday, October 19, 2006

Did Ya Miss Me??? Beware--heavily photo & link ladened post!!

Well...I'm home--but I'm STILL on vacation! As you know we took a camping trip to Asheville, NC...the trip down (Saturday) was beautiful--Sunday we decided to hang out around the camp and enjoy our first day, and it was a gorgeous day--


After setting up camp and resting for a while we decided to trip into Asheville to visit Earth Guild and other galleries and shops...Even Jack likes Earth Guild...yipee! They were virtually out of their natural dyestuffs...so I'll just have to go with the ones I have stocked up on! I oohed and ahhed over the looms and wheels but I'm still waiting on the new Kromski Sonata to come out before I decide what I want!
The old Woolworth store next door has been transformed into a Arts & Crafts Gallery and the crafters change often so each time you visit there's something new to see!
Then I decided to give a yarn shop a second chance...
Oh...I should explain...I'm somewhat of a Yarn Shop critic! I used to work as a Mystery Shopper years ago...not for yarn shops but grocery stores. Anywhoo--I use those skills to critique yarn shops, because I used to work at one....and I know how I liked to treat my customers--I'm BIG on customer service. Now, I don't like to be "hounded" and followed around being shown every item...but I do like to be greeted when I walk in the door....being asked "if there's anything I can be helped with" is nice, but knowing the person working there who is willing to help if I need it is the clincher! So be prepared...with each out-of-town visit I make to wherever I go...you're going to get a "critique"! Though it may not mean alot to most...it's my own way offering others the shops they will probably enjoy!

SO--Purl's Yarn Emporium (no website to link to) on College St is the yarn shop I spoke of before...last year I visited and was VERY disappointed in the customer service...the shop is beautiful...arranged by color--each wall unit flows in color, good choice of buttons and patterns, the needle and notions selection could be better...but the customer service was non-existent! On that day I was in the store for 20 minutes or so...there was not another soul in the store except for the person (unknown if it was the owner or not) sitting on the couch knitting and chatting on the phone (obviously a personal phone call)--NOT once did the person acknowledge my being there! I left without making a purchase---my personal protest!!

This time...no difference except for the person working the store was not the same as last year, sat behind the counter never said "hello," "can I help you," not a word to acknowledge my presence! I even sat in the pattern section looking like I needed help finding a pattern!

My grade--FF++. I will not waste my time and give them a 3rd visit!

On Monday the gentle rains came--so we took a road trip to Cherokee (you can also find a link here) and visited the Cherokee Indian Museum and a few "Indian Owned" shops...I have this thing about when I'm visiting there...where my money goes! I've been a FREQUENT visitor of the Reservation since I was 3 years old...my grandparents took me on my first trip and we went practically every year thereafter! It's very hard to describe my feelings for these Native people...It's very hard for me now to visit since the casino's came...In my opinion they are a double edged sword, I know they create jobs for the Cherokee...but it also can and does create problems! I'm not a gambler...I can't even part with a dollar to buy a lottery ticket, it's a silly "thing" in my eyes...so if people are crazy and rich enough go gamble on the Reservation...it's revenue for the Cherokee! I prefer to go to the "Indian Owned" gift shops and buy crafts made by the Reservation Natives...the money goes directly in the crafters pocket!!! Sorry...rant finished!






From here we traveled on back stopping in Dillsboro...at one of my favorite BBQ restaurants! GOO---OOOD!! I also went back to...



The Yarn Corner (sorry no website to link to)
They carry a lot of "froofy" yarns, some basics and sock yarns, also a good selection of needlepoint canvases & cross stitch designs! She's a MAJOR "Vera Bradley" retailer...if you're into that sort of thing--I prefer to make my own! VERY nice ladies working there, greet you when you arrive...offer assistance if you need it--they get a good mark from me!



Monday night and into Tuesday the rains POURED!!! Knitting, reading and sleeping are on the agenda for the day...but we interrupted that to visit Black Mountain where I knew there was a great Knitting shop...I visited there last year and loved this shop! Great size, Great selection...great people!



Wilde & Wooly...(website still up and running)



Notice the sign in the window...when pulled up front and I saw the sign...the empty hollow and dark building...well Jack had a hard time consoling me! Here it was raining cats & dogs...I was so looking forward to spending lots of time shopping and knitting....and they're out of business! We walked down the street to a little Antique store, I asked the lady in there what happened and she had no idea...she said about 3 months ago they just closed...no warning and no explanation!
Oh well...we trudged about, jumping puddle after puddle to the shops we enjoyed last year.


I have a very good man...he puts up with my "fiberholism" actually enables it by taking me to all the shops I list, and consoles me when the shop is closed or gone for good! Booo-hoooo!












So we celebrated Oktoberfest by eating at the little German restaurant next door...Berliner Kindl---VERY GOOD food and BEER!







Beer helps....





Knowing I was in serious need of a "fiber fix" he rushed me to Biltmore Village on the south side of Asheville to a favorite yarn shop....








Yarn Paradise--appropriate name don't you think!




Cute huh? Every room is filled to the ceiling with yarn! Good yarn!!




I was very reserved in my fiber purchases...I bought a couple of patterns and a couple of skeins of koigu, we were doing some Christmas shopping while there so I needed to stop thinking of myself but the smell of good fiber, chatting with the ladies in the shop really made me feel much better!





So...what did I buy? I found the Knitting Kit I've been looking for...my 4 year old niece has asked me to teach her how to knit--be still my heart! So I've been searching for the same kit I bought my daughter....found on our Black Mountain visit...the book "Knitting Nell" is one I ordered before I left and my koigu--for socks of course!




Look what else arrived home....














I know this is getting really long...so I'm going to show you a couple more things! The rest I'll post later!

New "Sheepies" I bought---






He came with the name "Laddie"









and...


No name yet...maybe "Droopy"?? Check out the eyes!



Good to be home....I'm supposed to be busy doing laundry...So I better get at it! I'll post more about the trip later on--

Are you ready for the Blogiversary contest?? We are under a week to go!!

Keep on Knittin' & Spinnin"!!!!

4 comments:

KnitNana said...

What a fun trip! And great photos...glad you did find a place to indulge if only a little bit! The sheepy's are adorable, I especially like Droopie!
See you in a couple weeks!
(((hugs)))

gourdongirl said...

Welcome home.

Sounds like you had a great time. Bummer about the yarn store closing. But at least you managed to indulge your passion whilst away.

The sheep are cute too.

Chat soon. xx

Pooch said...

Really enjoyed your pics. I must admit that Laddie stole my heart! It's all about his eyes! Is he the cutest or what?!

Knit on!

:)

Aprilynne said...

Great trip, great sheepies, great hubby =)

All the yarn shoppe talk... and I'm starting to get all shopping deprived - lol - I can shop vicariously thru you - ha