Sunday, June 26, 2016

It's Quite a Yarn

Hey there, Friends.

Yesterday I got recruited to go on an adventure with my Mom. I was responsible for navigating our course and any parallel parking that might be necessary.  What was our adventure about?  I'm so glad you asked!

Yarn Shop Cruise Passport.  Yeah, you read it correctly.

My mother loves to knit and crochet, Friends.  She is involved in several different groups.  A friend in one of her groups told her about contest?  I'm not sure what to call it.  You visit all of the yarn shops in this passport, and at each location you get a stamp and a little prize.  Once you fill your entire passport by the deadline you are qualified to go on a cruise on the Hudson River, and win some other prizes.

I myself don't knit.  Oh, my Mom has tried to teach me, but it just isn't my thing.  I succeeded in making one scarf, and it was it was a hot mess: full of holes and saggy, all off kilter.  The recipient wore it at least once, so I count that as a win.

My role in this adventure was purely navigating and having a sense of direction. This is something I obviously did not inherit from my Mom.  In her mind if you turn right you will be going North -- doesn't matter what direction you were facing previously, right will always be North in her world.  I can't even tell you how many times we have had a version of the following conversation:

Mom: And I couldn't go back the normal way because of construction, so it took me forever to get home.

Me: Why didn't you use the Garmin?

Mom: Didn't have it with me.

Me: So just head towards the river.  Doesn't matter which side you are on, just head towards the river and you'll find a road you recognize, and then you'll know where to go from there.

Mom: But if I don't know where I am, then how do I know where the river is?

Me: Because it's the river!  It's a huge landmark!

Mom: But if you can't see it then you don't know where it is.

Me: OMG you were my Girl Scout Leader!  If you can't see the river, use the sun.  That will give you East and West.  

And it repeats.  It's an endless cycle of her not having a sense of direction, and me being flummoxed by the fact that she can't vaguely figure out which direction to go.  

Back to the point, Friends.

So, the yarn shops participating in this passport deal are all over the Hudson Valley. She and some of her knitting friends are going to visit 3 of them together on Tuesday.  She has already recruited my Dad to take her to the ones south of here because she doesn't like driving in all of that traffic. Yesterday we were visiting two shops on the other side of the river, and she needed my navigation skills.  I am also more familiar with the area as a lot of the parks I like to hike in are over there.  She has this all plotted out based on when the various stores are open.  This is serious business, Friends.

The first stop on our adventure?


Lucky enough we were able to find a parking spot quite easily, and my parallel parking skills were not needed.  

I noticed as were were driving that there were all of these horse statues in front of different businesses.  They are apparently part of the Gallopin' Around Saugerties Street Art Project run by the Chamber of Commerce.  They are pretty cool.

The unicorn was my Mom's favorite.

We also found this one nearby.

This one looks like it is made of chocolate

He was nicely color-coordinated with the building across the street

This liked this one a lot

This one is my favorite, of all the horses we saw.

After we were done horsing around (ha!), we made our way to the The Perfect Blend Yarn and Tea Shop.  

The Perfect Blend street front

Display in the shop

It was a very cool, pretty place.  My Mom got her passport stamped, and then she had a list of different yarns she wanted for various projects.  Mainly the list was to try and keep focused so she wouldn't just buy a shit ton of yarn.  

Not being a knitter myself, I was checking out all of the cool colors and designs.  They had yarn there from all over the world!  I had no idea there were so many different types of yarn -- and I don't just mean the thickness or colors.  There was yarn made from wool, cotton, silk, bamboo, mohair, alpaca, and even yak.  Yak yarn!  

Cozy scene, interesting looking wooden thing

So that's what it does!  Still not sure what it is doing, but at least I sort of get it now.

After my Mom had made her purchases, it was time to head back to the car and continue on our journey to shop #2.  Saugerties seems like a pretty cool place.  I'll have to go back and check it out when I have more time to just wander around.

Love Knot

We didn't get to far in our journey before we were stopped by a train.

There was some impressive graffiti on a few of the train cars, but didn't get a picture

Thankfully, it was not one of the super-long, 100+ car trains.  We were headed to a shop with a New Paltz address.  We drove through New Paltz, and the directions kept going.  We got there eventually, but it seemed to me like we were closer to being in Gardiner than New Paltz.  The boundaries around that area confuse me.  It has also caused chaos in Library Land, being between two different systems, but that is a long story and I don't want to bore you to death.  

We finally reached our objective: White Barn Farm Fiber Shop.

Like the name says: white barn

This place was interesting for different reasons.  Yes, there was lots of pretty yarn and colors.

Very cute display

It also had an area of local yarn.  Like really local.  The woman who owns the store also owns a flock of sheep, and it is the wool from those sheep that is in the local yarn.  There are also yarns from other people nearby, or yarns painted by people nearby.

Can't get much more local than that

I was also digging some of the funky decor.

Sheep in a hat...maybe of his own making

My Mom got her passport stamped, and while she was paying for her purchases I was checking out the bulletin board by the door.  My attention was drawn to a big handwritten notice, and I felt the information was important enough to take a picture to share here:

I hope it came out clear enough for you to read it, or at least to be blown up and read.  

And then we made our way back home, actually passing through Gardiner.  My Mom has been there before for the Cupcake Festival, but she still didn't really know where she was until she saw a pretty obvious landmark.

It's pretty memorable

It was a successful adventure.  I'm pretty sure my part in the great Yarn Passport event is now over, barring assistance being required to make it to other shops before the deadline.

I'm not a knitter, but I would recommend checking out both of these stores.  While it is all yarn, the selections available in each place were very different from one another.  Plus you get to do a little exploring and have a quiet, calm sort of adventure.

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