Hedgehog Knits

Adventures in knitting from the eastern edge of Canada.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


Today was the big day, the day of the quest for souveneir yarn.
Since I have a few free days in northwest England this trip, I asked the folks at the Manchester office to suggest somewhere to go on a day trip. Chester came up repeatedly, described as a beautiful city with lots of history and fantastic architecture. York was also considered, but my very short Google search did not turn up any LYSs in York's city centre, so the decision was easy (I'll save York for the next time I'm over).
Chester is only one hour from Manchester via the Arriva (north Wales) rail system. To be honest, hearing all of the Welsh place names announced on the train made me wish that I was venturing a little further on, over the border. But I'll save north Wales for another future trip. So many destinations, so little time!
Chester has ancient stone city walls and Roman ruins all over the place, including an amphitheatre that is still under excavation. The core shopping district has these two-tiered shops, with an upper walkway running along the second storey. So many fabulous little treasure troves, mixed in with fancy designer shops, pubs and cafes. I bought a couple of kitchen gadgets at Lakeland, found a fantastic deal on a trench coat at an end-of-season sale (alas, the end of the season for needing a fairly warm rain coat will not be ended yet when I return to St. John's, even if it is springtime in England!)
And then finally, I made it to Stash Fone Yarns, tucked in a little alleyway.
You can see just a smidge of Chester Cathedral in the background there - it's just around the corner. I totally forgot to take a photo inside the shop. As I'm sure you can understand, I was a little occupied with admiring colours and petting various skeins of fluffiness.
The store is actually very tiny, but I am told that they will be moving to a more spacious location in the near future. You probably wouldn't be able to fit more than 7 or 8 people in the place at one time, but luckily I had the place to myself this afternoon for full maneouverablity. They have full collections of Louisa Harding, Debbie Bliss, and Rowan squeezed along one wall. Notably, the Rowan yarns and books are far cheaper than in Canada, even considering the exchange rate. I'll have to keep that in mind for future projects.
In the end, though, I stuck with unique yarns that would be hard to find anywhere else. Here's the haul:

A set of those cute little 5" brittany sock needles, Knitglobal bulky alpca in "blue twist" (this line is naturally died), Fyberspates 100% silk laceweight (hand-dyed in northern Wales), and two little 50g skiens of four-ply from Clwyd Vale Alpacas in northern Wales. I spent a while trying to decide on a couple of colours of this last yarn, but then realized that the skeins were labelled with the individual alpaca's names. I couldn't resist - my two skeins? Hansel and Gretel.
All in all, it was a great day. I got very tired after all the walking and carrying my loot around, so I appreciated the solid hour of sitting and knitting on the return train journey. Now that I mostly understand how the rail system works here, I'm seeing a lot of possibilities on the map for future jaunts.

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Blogger Marianne said...

What a lovely daytrip, all your photos are wonderful and I really enjoyed reading your account.
The yarns are gorgeous, that laceweight!!! I'm with you, Hansel and Gretel... no way could I have resisted them either :^D

9:55 p.m.  
Anonymous Kaylen said...

Sounds like you had such a nice outing! I love the yarns... very pretty. Do you know what are you going to make with them?

I stayed in York for a few nights a couple of years ago.... very nice town. My bf and I had a great time there. Definetly a good choice for a day trip in the future!

- Kaylen

7:20 a.m.  

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