(Saturday was a really long day, involving visits to 10 LYSs. So, to avoid this post reaching novella status, I’ll be posting it in 2 parts – here’s the first half of Saturday).
Either I was wrong about traffic/navigation mishaps coming in threes (and instead, they come in fives), or two of mine from yesterday didn’t count.
The day started early. How early? My first thought, when my alarm went off at 5:30 am, was, “Do I really need to see more yarn?”
My second thought was, “Get it in gear, pussywillow. We’ve got a ferry to catch.”
‘Cause yeah – it’s yarn.
Why was I up at such a bleary-eyed hour? Two of the LYSs on the tour are so far to the north that you almost need to take your passport (for anyone wondering, the wait at customs to cross into Canada at around 9 am on a Saturday morning tends to be less than 5 minutes – I know because I saw the signs). While the LYS Tour runs from 10-8 on Thursday and Friday, it’s only 10-6 on Saturday and Sunday. Sunday I understand, but for Saturday, that’s kinda ridiculous. I know the extended hours during the week are supposed to be for people who work, but let’s be real – by the time people get off work, they have maybe 2 hours if they’re very lucky to try to hit some yarn stores, and they’ll only be able to get to any that are close to them. Saturday really needs extended hours (I know I won’t be the only one suggesting that to the tour organizers, so fingers crossed for next year), but since I only had 8 hours, I really needed to make sure I did as much traveling before the stores opened as I could. That meant heading north early in the morning and working my way back south.
On the drive up, I made the mistake of pissing off Wesley, my GPS. I pulled off the highway to get gas without telling him. As I was turning onto the Cook Rd exit, he informed me he was “recalculating” in his irritated British way, but I ignored him, pulled into the station, and gassed up. Getting back on the highway was a simple matter – exit gas station by turning right on a side road, turn right onto Cook Rd, turn right onto the I-5N on ramp. Not so fast, said Wesley – he wanted me to continue on that side road (crossing Cook Rd) for about a mile, do a U-turn in a roundabout, and then take a left onto Cook Rd. I ignored him and turned right onto Cook Rd. “Recalculating,” said Wesley – now he wanted me to pass the I-5N onramp, turn left onto I-5S, drive to the next exit, and turn around to get on I-5N. I ignored him again, and he finally gave up and directed me to Beach Basket Yarns & Gifts. Once there, I joked on Twitter about being afraid that he was plotting his revenge.
Don’t joke about a GPS plotting revenge. Just…don’t.
Beach Basket Yarns & Gifts, Birch Bay WA
I wasn’t the only one with the idea of starting in the north – there was quite a crowd of us by opening time. In fact, I chatted a bit with a couple groups, including a fellow LYS Tour blogger (you can check out her daily reports on the tour at f1bercat’s SlowKnitter, which I would highly recommend. Whereas my posts are more about the experience of traveling from yarn shop to yarn shop, her posts are much more in-depth reviews of each shop). We were destined to keep running into each other for the rest of the day.
I was reminded why I like Beach Basket – nice selection (I found something I had to have easily) and charming staff.
Wear On Earth, Lynden WA
This was a new stop on the tour, and I was rather intrigued to see them based on their write-up on the LYS Tour site. This was going to be the first combination consignment shop…
…yarn store I had ever visited (their motto: Save on clothes to splurge on yarn).
The yarn store part is tucked in the back…if you can call something the size of most full-sized LYS-only stores “tucked.” Took me a while to narrow the choices down in this place.
Stop #3 on my list for the day was Apple Yarns. Wesley got a bit of his own back here, and it was entirely my fault. I knew Apple Yarns had moved since the last LYS Tour…but I forgot to tell Wesley. So he took me to the old location. Fortunately, the new one is pretty close by, so I didn’t drive too far out of my way, but I know Wesley was snickering to himself. I figured maybe this was my actual 3rd navigation mishap – that clover leaf thing yesterday was more amusing than annoying.
Apple Yarns, Bellingham WA
If there’s a town that doesn’t get to complain about a yarn shortage, it’s Bellingham – Apple Yarns was one of 3 LYS I was visiting there. Once inside, I could easily see why they’d moved to this place – who wouldn’t want to knit a room full of that much natural light?
I also loved the quotes on the walls. I recognized some of them, but this one gave me a good (and slightly rueful) chuckle.
NW Handspun Yarns, Bellingham WA
Bellingham also gets lots of variety in what’s offered. NW Handspun Yarns is definitely the place to go if you’re a spinner; that’s what the upper floor is dedicated too.
But there’s plenty of interesting yarn (including handspun art yarn made by the staff) for sale on the first floor.
And I enjoy seeing what the tree looks like each year.
Mrs. Hudson’s Yarns and Teas, Bellingham WA
This was a new addition to the tour this year, so it was my first visit – and it was a bit tricky to find, tucked away with several other cute stores in a bit of an alley. I wonder how many LYS Tours can boast of two yarn and tea stores on their list. Apparently there’s a whole yarn and tea movement I’ve been unaware of until now.
I liked the Sherlock theme of the tea room.
And that was just half the day. Check back tomorrow for my continuing adventures…and learn how Wesley got his revenge…