A Law Amongst Us
I have mixed feelings about visiting yarn stores while traveling to new and exciting places. When people don't think they can survive a trip to Hawaii, or Florence, or South Africa without a yarn store, I worry about their sanity. (Yes, I realize that most of my family and friends worry about mine. To quote my sister regarding my new blog: "That is too funny!") But seriously, if you have a limited amount of time to see what you're going to see, and since most - if not all - of that yarn is either going to be carried in your local store or readily available online, I'd take the Duomo over yet more yarn any day. Plus, who really wants to knit on some tropical island paradise?
Then again, there is something so inherently local about a yarn store or a knitting group. (This archived Knitty article speaks well of it.) As someone rather too familiar with my local yarn store, the similarities and differences I encounter in others tell me something about a place. Then there is a connection made by discussing the jogless jog on the bus with a woman making a striped baby sweater - in contrast to your lace one. There is also something about bringing your own constant with you - as the scenery changes, so grows your lace shawl. And maybe the mountains to the west look a little like the border of Ene's shawl . . . or maybe the lighting on the ferry was poor. Either way.
This year I'm traveling quite a bit, including two recent trips of a month's duration. In situations such as that, it is delightful to find a knitting group welcoming of strangers, or stop into a yarn store that - no matter how different from your local yarn store - is really quite the same. On this particular trip to Seattle, I'm less of a tourist and more of a houseguest. While we've been tramping about seeing some of the sights- famous and historical - most of our activities are more personal. A friend's party. Dinner with her boyfriend. Cookie baking with the girls. Christmas shopping. The best coffee shop. The Russian piroshke shop. Several used bookstores. Family visits. Yarn stores fit in quite nicely between the bookstores and piroshkes.