Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Shopping my brains out in New Hampshire

Shopping my brains out in New Hampshire

So we've been in New Hampshire for a few days, which just seems to be Mecca for quilters and knitters. I even saw an official road sign directing drivers off a highway to a knitting shop (unfortunately my chauffeur/DH didn't see it).

My first yarn experience was when DH spotted Nancy's Alterations and Yarn, across a side street from the Conway Scenic Railroad. The owner was very friendly and stayed open late while I browsed. It's a small shop but had a nice selection and variety by British standards, yarns like Plymouth, Lamb's Pride, Malabrigo, and lots of others. I fell for two exquisite skeins of lace yarn by a company I wasn't familiar with, Ella Rae, made in Italy. Extra fine merino, incredibly soft, hand dyed effect, think it was $26 a skein, will make a lovely shawl.

Today we drove an hour south to Keepsake Quilting, a place I have wanted to visit for almost 20 years. It didn't disappoint, fairly large although not as big as Hancocks of Paducah which is my main American quilt shop experience. Fabric is arranged somewhat randomly so it was hard to find things on my list. Some is by genre, ie civil war, but then there will be civil war fabrics dotted randomly around the shop in themed displays, or in colour families as well. Not much flannel, almost no fat quarters, limited books or patterns. Lots of fabric though and I was able to drop a few hundred dollars crossing things off my shopping list. I benefited from a 15%off coupon which I earned by bringing a little Halloween quilt to show and tell with. I also picked up hard to get notions like steam a seam lite, fusible batting, etc, a new Turning Twenties book 'around the block', an iron storage pouch that you can put a hot iron into, a Marti michel kaleidoscope ruler, two calendars, some gift cards, and I can't remember what else. I was very good at fabric shopping and only bought for existing projects, nothing new.

After a spot of lunch, I dove into the yarn shop next door, Patternworks, which had some gorgeous yarn. Very wel stocked, loads of names I recognised from American knitting magazines and even some yarn from Maine. I had a brief but intense love affair with some Art Fibres beaded and sequined lace weight, absolutely gorgeous but $50 a small skein. i bought two skeins of Lambs Pride bulky to try the felted boxes in the Mason Dixon book, some kollage square dpns to try, a Stitch Fixer set, some coiless safety pin markers.

Then we drove another hour south to Henniker to visit Quilted Threads, a lovely shop with very friendly staff. This was more of a traditional quilt shop. I picked up a bit more fabric, some lengths of continuous zipper, two jacket patterns as gifts, and a pattern for storage cubes. I wanted some machine quilting DVDs but they only had a couple. I got a great blue fabric to try Hawaiian appliqué and the assistant recommended an online course by Nancy chong with the quilt university on Hawaiian appliqué that she had just done.

On the way back, we were just in time to stop into Close Knit Sisters at 1976 White Mountain Highway in Conway. A dedicated knitting shop, they had quite a wide range of Cascade yarns, some Plymouth, Regia, Berroco, Galway, and lots of other stuff. I didn't find it as inspiring as Patternworks and didn't buy anything, although I was tempted by again some Ella Rae Lace Merino.

Other than that, we've seen some gorgeous autumn colour, rode the cog railway up to the summit of Mt Washington in the snow, sampled clam chowder and tonight I had a boiled lobster, yummy.

I've downloaded an iPhone blogger app which lets me upload iPad pics so here are the quilts I saw at LL Bean.

1 comment:

Sue said...

Glad you're having fun!

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