The life of a Gypsy – Appleton, Toronto, Baltimore

January 14, 2009 by admin

So… as I mentioned… I’m on tour with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  It’s a great group of people a fun show to be a part of.. and a really cool flying car.  What more could a gal ask for?  I’ll tell you – really great yarn stores all over North America!  I’m slightly limited cause I don’t have a car… but I do have two rather long legs, so I’m making it a mission to see as many yarn stores as I can.  So far… I’ve been to three that I absolutely loved!  

    First – Iris Fine Yarns in Appleton Wisconsin.  Seriously LOVELY!  I failed to really pay attention to the map I had and ended up walking about 45 min in the wrong direction in a snow storm.  I ended up calling the hotel shuttle to get me cause I was frozen… IT WAS SO WORTH IT.  The owner was so helpful and she had the greatest method of organizing yarns.  First of all… it was packed with yarn, patterns, needles, hooks, felting items, loads of beautiful samples, and even a sale section.  A lot of times when I visit yarns stores with a selection like this the skeins literally fall off the shelves. However her husband came up with a great method.  The walls were covered with wide open shelves.  In each of the shelves was a wooden plank (basically a drawer with no sides) with 2 rows of long pegs.  The skeins of yarn were stuck through the large pegs so that you could pull out the “drawer” without loosing any yarn.  What a great way to keep the store organized!    I bought a pair of giant (size 17) Lantern Moon needles – that I love – and a few skeins of yarn. Some of which she swatched for me while I looked so that I could see if I’d really like it.  The broach I made for my Grandma (that is pictured in my last post) is one little project I made with that yarn.  I should also mention that there is a HUGE selection of books and patterns in the back that I unfortunately didn’t have time to dig into.  I highly recommend this shop. 
   SECOND… Romni Wool in Toronto, Canada. I MEAN COME ON!!!! This is, hands down, the largest selection of yarn I have EVER seen.  Seriously.  It was about a half hour walk to get to this spot… it was FREEZING and I went twice. I would have been three times but they were closed on Sunday.    This shot that I’ve added is just of one part of the top floor.  There is also a large sale section downstairs.  Now, when I say large, I mean large.  The first time I explored the sale section I ended up missing half of it because I didn’t realize what a maze it was.   I have a huge list of yarns that I purchased here.  I’m at a coffee shop in Baltimore now so I’ll have to update the list later,  but off the top of my head I picked up… 
     Debbie Bliss Como  – in black and white (which I made into a neck/earwarmer for my dad)
     Trendsetter Bolero – in Ocean Water (which I made into two headband/neckwarmers – one of which I wear almost everyday… the other should be arriving at my friend Ashley’s house in the next few days)
      Trendsetter Bolero – in another pink/orange colorway that was on sale… must be discontinued.  (it’s now more neckwarmers that I plan on selling)
      Trendsetter Venus – in Blue Lagoon – which I was so in love with… but kind of dissapointed as I started using it.  I knit a very loose scarf, and as I went through the skein I kept coming up on KNOTS.  Why do they do that?? It was rather pricey and so many beautiful textures, but I might as well have bought several different skeins for the scarf. At least that way I could have woven in the ends.  Now I have all of these little bumps each time the color changes. Grrr… but I made it for myself, so it doesn’t really matter.
     OK – so that’s a small start to the list of great things I found at Romni Wools.  I should also mention that I stopped at Americo Originals on my way to Romni.  It was a nice sized shop with lots of beautiful very natural looking yarn.  They were all very helpful, but I didn’t end up picking up anything at this shop.
    THIRD – The most recent shop I hit up is in Baltimore, Maryland.  It’s called A Good Yarn.  In researching this shop I found several warnings… VERY SMALL SHOP! MOSTLY A TEACHING SPOT!  But, of course, I managed to do some damage.  Lorraine, who owns the shop was so helpful.  I do need to mention that this is not a shop geared to crocheters, BUT I brought my friend Trey with me to pick out yarn for a crocheted afghan, and Lorraine was more than happy to help us even though she admitted she does not crochet, nor does she want to learn : ). hahaha.  I am doing my best to convince the yarn crafters of the world to do both… but I’m still often hit with resistance on both sides.  I think there were maybe 5 or 6 brands of yarn in the shop… mostly wool.  One of my favorite finds was a section of brandless natural undyed handspun yarn from a farm in Bemidji, MN.  It was very reasonably priced and I got several skeins so I could embark on a felting experiment.  I felted my first bag but it didn’t turn out exactly as I had hoped.  I think the hooks I used were too large – AND – I didn’t think about the fact that different stitches would felt differently.  Duh.  (I did attach a needle felted try I had made in December, so that made me happy)  This shop has “help session” all day on Friday, so I might stop by this week with a list of questions.  I’m still fairly new to Knitting… and while I have help from the most fancy knitter I know, Liz (who is amazing and plays the Baronness), it’d be cool to get lots of little questions answered.      
    YEOWSA!  THIS IS THE LONGEST POST EVER.  Now, at least, I’m caught up.  I’ll try and update more frequently to avoid psychotically long posts.   My next stop is Dayton, Ohio.  From what I can tell a shop called “The Yarn and Needle” is really close to my hotel.  I’m a little worried that they aren’t listed on (which is my usual go-to for finding yarn around the world) but maybe I’ll have to add them once I check it out.  
     I’d love suggestions for Yarn in Dayton, Ohio.   


  1. Lindsey says:

    I love you Mahoney.

  2. Sara Kirby says:

    Hey, glad to see you made it to a shop in Baltimore. A Good Yarn is one cozy shop, but it was my first Baltimore LYS as well. If you are ever here again try to get to Lovely Yarns in Hampden, Baltimore!