Photo by Susan Stanton
(Long post and plenty o' pictures ahead...)
Yes, I know its not Monday (several of you have already called me on the carpet for not blogging about my trip on Monday). This crazy little thing called work keeps getting in the way. Perhaps I'll hit the VA lottery tonight - its over $130 MILLION! In the meantime, I have to pay the bills and blogging's not doing the trick just yet.
So four knitters decided back in Nov. that we needed a retreat, a penis free knitting retreat to be exact. We scoped out the possibilities and Asheville won out. It was only a little over 4 hours away, had multitudes of quaint B&B's, excellent food and most important - a high concentration of yarn shops. I must confess that this is the second penis free fiber retreat I've been on since the beginning of the year. I'll back track and tell you about the first one another day (Just wanted the F5 to know that I didn't forget).
Our three day trip began last Friday (hurray for the three day weekend). We stopped first at Circle of Friends Yarn Shop, a cute shop nestled in the very small downtown of Elkins. The shop had a great array of yarns including Debbie Bliss, Brown Sheep, Malabrigo, Noro, and Araucania. The staff was very attentive and friendly. While nothing appealed to me in particular (I was more in the mood for fiber than yarn), the others found quite a bit that they liked. We gave this shop 3.5 stars out of 5! A great find.
Next stop, Much Ado About Knitting in Lewisburg. While there was more selection than we have at our LYS (which isn't saying much), twasn't much to get excited about. A butt load of various and sundry novelty yarns. I did get to smell the Skacel aromatherapy yarns Meditation and Bravura. And it was nice to fondle Dale Yarns and flip through Phildar patterns. Was it worth the detour? Nope. A very disappointing 1.5 out of 5 stars.
With time ticking and no more shops to visit along the way, we decided to make a beeline for our lodging - Cedar Crest Victorian Inn B&B.
Cedar Crest B&B
How can you not love a place that greets you with the photo at the very top of this post? This is the cover of the Feb. 07 issue of the Laurel of Asheville Visitors Magazine. Take a closer look at the white specks in the left corner. Yep, those are sheep (sorry I couldn't enlarge the photo so you could see a close up shot of the sheepies). I LOVE this photo! It's by photographer Susan Stanton and is available as a greeting card in addition to prints. Visit her website - http://stantonphoto.com/ for more information.
Anyhoo, back to Cedar Crest. Built in 1891, this Victorian mansion is run by Rita and Bruce Wightman - the most incredible hosts I've encountered in many years. There was always something yummy in the parlour and the main house is as beautiful as a museum. We reserved the entire guest cottage for our stay so our late night gabbing wouldn't disturb anyone.
Cedar Crest Guest Cottage
We arrived both hungry and eager to play with fiber so we quickly unpacked, sat and knit for a while and made dinner reservations at the Corner Kitchen.
Don't let the name fool you. Corner Kitchen is far from "home cookin". They call it "comfortable Caromerican cuisine" and it did NOT disappoint. Located in the historic Biltmore Village, the added bonus of dining at Corner Kitchen is that its a stones throw from what would be our final destination of the weekend, Yarn Paradise (more about that in a minute).
Peeps, it was C.O.L.D. Friday night. We headed directly back to our cottage to find that the fire had been "set" for us - all we had to do was light it. This is a shot of the sitting room between
Cedar Crest Guest Cottage sitting room
our rooms. By the time we had our jammies on, it was roaring hot. S, being the sweetheart that she is, gifted us with a copy of Friday Night Knitting Club
to celebrate our retreat. I can't believe that I missed hearing about this book. I'm only a couple of chapters in but its still got my attention.
Late night knitting and spinning next to the fire
Sometime well after 1 am and after the fire had dimmed to a glowing whisper, we turned in. There was much yarn and fiber to be had on Saturday and we planned to hit the shops promptly at 10 am, when they opened.
Next post - more eating, lots of shopping and one real dud