November 02, 2005

Second installment...

So, when I left you, I had reached the Annapolis Valley, home of Wolfville and Acadia University and lots and lots of apples. Most importantly, however, (at least for our purposes) it’s also home to Gaspereau Valley Fibres, a lovely place that raises sheep and dyes its own yarn and sells lots of other peoples’ yarns as well. Finally, a chance to actually visit a yarn store in the maritimes!

After a couple of wrong turns I found my way there, and this is what greeted me when I stepped into the shop:


Lovely, isn’t it? And I particluarly liked one piece of decorative furniture:


I had a nice chat with one of the owners (I think it was Brenda, the owner of the farm and sheep) about yarn and the area and my strange desire to take photos of the place to put on my blog. I’m not sure she really understood why I’d want to do such a thing, but she didn’t seem to mind. They’ve got lots of stock, both the usual mid to high-range yarns and a good selection of local (i.e. Maritime) yarn. Tonnes of Fleece Artist and Handmaiden yarns, of course, as well as Briggs&Little and MacAusland’s from P.E.I., which is quite similar to the B&L. Unfortunately she didn’t have enough of the navy blue B&L for a sweater for Mark, which I’m intending to make in a very traditional pattern so that he can have a local-style sweater from local wool to remember his time in New Brunswick. But of course I wanted to buy some wool, and what better than to get some product of the farm itself? Look at this lovely wall of Gaspereau Valley Yarns, grown, spun, and dyed on-site:


I ended up going for a couple of skeins of a handpainted yarn; I think I’ll make myself a hat. It’s incredibly soft and gorgeous:


Oh, the little red and white ball on top is filled with catnip — must bring treats home for the kid, you know!

Once I’d saturated myself with yarn indoors, I went out to visit with the farm. Look, sheep!


These are Cotswold sheep, “an ancient breed from England, now endangered, which produces long, lustrous, curly fleece, sought after by handspinners” as the GV site says. There were also some chickens/roosters (like I can tell the difference!):


which I assume were not kept for any kind of fibre-making… feather yarn, anyone?

And inside the barn I found another friend:


and evidence of ongoing activity:


It was a lovely visit, and I would highly recommend the shop to anyone who’s in the area. I can’t wait to start on my new purchase…

Next post, I’ll finish up my travelogue with a few pictures of the sea, and then I’ll be all caught up. And maybe sometime I’ll have actual knitting to report!

P.S. Madhava is completely right, I took that picture because of the Stan Rogers song about the Rawdon Hills, the chorus of which has the line “The Rawdon Hills once were touched by gold” (there used to be goldmines there). I’ve known the song forever, but had never even realised where the Rawdon Hills were, much less driven through them.

Posted by Aven at November 2, 2005 01:36 PM

That truly sounds like it might be the perfect yarn shop. What a wonderful series of photos! Thanks.

Posted by: Cassie at November 2, 2005 05:35 PM

I’m so envious of your trip to this store. I don’t know if I’ll be out in the maritimes anytime soon, but this is great motivation to get out there again! Thanks for sharing your journey and pictures!

Posted by: Cheryl at November 3, 2005 12:11 AM

sigh take me take me! I want to be shopping for wool in the maritimes!

I looks like a great place. I can’t believe that is all you bought. You could all teach us some restraint!

Posted by: Dani at November 3, 2005 07:23 AM

I’ve actually seen a yarn with feathers in it.

Wow. It’s all so gorgeous.

Posted by: Lydia at November 3, 2005 08:59 PM

Love the new kitty picture in the sidebar. He seems to be enjoying his new digs :-)

Posted by: Ma Hatfield at November 4, 2005 02:20 AM

OOOOOOH… They’ve got their own yarn now? I’m feeling a yarn crawl coming on!

Posted by: Steph VW at November 4, 2005 12:26 PM