Zürcher Stadler, Lyssach

I’ve ventured far out of my way to visit craft shops before, some of which were rather off the beaten track, but I’m not sure any have proved quite as impossible to get to Zürcher Stadler. This isn’t so much because it is in the middle of nowhere, or because the sat-nav can’t find it, but because the road network leading to the place has a strategically placed no entry sign that seems to make it impossible to enter the estate where the shop is. I won’t say how we overcame that particular obstacle but plan your visit and route in advanced.

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Knitting and Stitching Show 2018, Harrogate

From November 22nd to 25th, Harrogate Convention Centre was transformed to a den of fibre and fluff for the annual Knitting and Stitching Show. For those of you not familiar with the Knitting and Stitching Show, it’s a convention hosted at several sites in the UK, with the biggest being at Alexandrea Palace in London, features teams of suppliers, workshops and demonstrations for all things knitting and stitching.

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Starting Venus (several times)

After I’d pulled it all apart in a bit of a rage at the airport, I have finally managed to progress from the first section of Venus onto the fans! Who would have thought it? I have restarted this pattern three times now and, probably out of sheer bloodyminded stubbornness, I am determined I will get to the end. Occasionally, I succumb to taking a scorched earth approach to mistakes in crochet, mostly because frogging is a lot of fun, rather than fixing things or working around them, but maybe this is the final time I’ll restart this shawl for no good reason!

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Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles

Somehow I wasn’t so laden with lovely new fabrics after my tour of Berkeley that I couldn’t find the energy for my final stop, the Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles. Really I should have gone earlier in the day, as it’s actually only about a fifteen minute walk from Stonemountain and Daughters but it is very conveniently located near Ashby BART station so my tired feet could escape back to SF relatively easily. Even more convenient considering how many extra bags of embroidery supplies I ended up with from here!

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The Black Squirrel, Berkeley

After a visit to Stonemountain & Daughters Fabrics, I headed towards the water and The Black Squirrel, a store promising yarn, fabric and excellent design. This was not the most logical way to do my trip (I should have headed to Lacis first as it’s less than a fifteen minute walk from Stonemountain) but I didn’t realise this until afterwards. Poor planning on my part! I was curious though to see exactly what The Black Squirrel was all about.

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On Gifts

The subject of handmade gifts is always a topic that generates a great deal of feeling in the crafty community. There are the horror stories of people demanding blankets from colleagues they barely know, then ‘generously’ offering to cover the cost of materials to the tune of £10, or ‘can you spin my cat/dog/deceased relative’s hair’ requests. In fact, the problem is so common that Ravelry has an entire group dedicated to people who ‘knit only for themselves ‘and for people who bless us and hand us boxes of expensive chocolates, or money’.

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I always love the idea of handmade gifts. If I had time, everyone I truly appreciate would get at least a handmade birthday gift every year. Maybe even one designed especially for them. However, the reality of the processes is more along the lines of i) nearly forget birthday until last minute ii) panic, iii) try and be as thoughtful as I can last minute.

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