Travel implies a need for stash acquisition, at least for this knitter. Niki, who frequents KnitTalk on Yahoo, helped me this time when I mentioned I was heading to North Carolina. Even though I was going to the Asheville area and she lives 4 hours away, she was quite helpful in recommending yarn stores in the area.
The closest town to Montreat is Black Mountain, which used to have a cute yarn store on the main street Broadway -- no more. Although the website is still active, the store is something else, and the phone number disconnected.
So the yarn crawl had to head to Asheville. The local tourism bureau, because of the folk craft nature of the area, has a tri-fold flyer on fabric, fiber and bead stores in the area. After looking at that and comparing it to the list Niki gave me, I headed to Purls in downtown Asheville on a Saturday morning when I was heading out of town. Purls was listed as a store that focused on natural fibers.
As soon as I parked (conveniently across the street and only $1 on Saturdays) and walked in, I knew it was a good choice. The store is organized by color, which gives the store an immediate arty look. The guy (who was helpful when I called for directions) was great -- helpful without being intrusive. And it turned out that when I picked up this:
it was his very own handspun yarn.
But I also think that one of the reasons to buy yarns while traveling is to find things that I haven't seen at home. Why buy stuff I can do at home (and support the folks I need when I'm trying to figure out a pattern)? So, I asked the helpful guy for stuff that is new and I found this lovely wool merino from Peru:
which is Mirasol Hacho, and is a wonderful bouncy yarn with a wonderful twist. I can't decide what to make -- mittens, socks, a hat? Oh, I am very happy with all of these purchases.
The final part to this experience was as I left, I was able to get some great lunch ideas, and had the best bowl of soup at a place called The Laughing Seed!