The 2013 Northwest LYS Tour, that is. (Formerly the Puget Sound LYS Tour; apparently they’ve decided it needed a new name since 2 of the LYSs this year are almost in Canada, nowhere near the Sound!)
I love LYS tours. I love them so much that last year, I did 2 of them…on the same weekend. By the end, I’d visited 29 yarn stores, traveled more than 860 miles, spent almost 40 hours traveling and visiting LYSs, and took 7 ferry rides. It was crazy, it was exhausting, it was stressful…and it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had.
That said, I was pleased to see that this year, the South Sound Yarn Crawl and LYS Tour were on different weekends (whew!). I happily planned on doing both again…and then had to give the SSYC a miss when I ended up with other plans. I’m certainly not complaining, though.
The other plans ended up being welcoming my husband Steve home from a 8+ month deployment onboard USS JOHN C. STENNIS. I’ll take my husband over yarn any day (he might be surprised to hear that, but it’s true!).
We spent the first week of his post-deployment leave on vacation, and then the last several days just starting to ease Steve into the new household routine. But for his last day of leave (he’s back to work Friday), I really wanted to start the LYS Tour. I figured I’d leave him at home, take the kids to school, and be back in time to pick him and them up. But as we got to talking, he mentioned maybe heading down to Kent, WA to The Grape Adventure, a wine store with an awesome wine club (we had our last month’s selection to pick up). And maybe we could have lunch there too, he suggested. I reminded him about my LYS Tour plans, and then I looked at the map.
Darned if there wasn’t an LYS in Kent. It was on.
So, after dropping the kids off, we both headed south. For the first time (not on a ferry), I was actually getting to knit while traveling on a yarn crawl.
And that was because of my awesome designated driver (every serious knitter has one, Steve informed me).
Today was supposed to be gray and rainy and miserable…you certainly couldn’t tell that by our trip across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
The Knittery, Renton WA
Our first stop was a bit north of Kent at The Knittery. The Knittery was on the tour last year, so this was my second visit…which good, because I entirely forgot to take any pictures at the store, so I snagged last year’s indoor shot.
(No outdoor shot again – sorry, Knittery!)
I did take a shot of my haul, though.
That fun yarn is destined to be a new design – I’m thinking a summer shirt of some kind. Lexie has already agreed to wear it…naturally, since it’s pink and purple.
Makers Mercantile, Kent, WA
Then we turned back south to Kent for my first visit to Makers Mercantile. In retrospect, it’s embarrassing that we almost couldn’t find it in the business park. Why? Well, the outdoor shot required me to use the panoramic function on my camera.
And that’s not even all of the indoor space – they have an enormous lounge with tables, chairs, and couches, as well as 3 separate classrooms. In the back, where the blue wall is? That’s the cafe. Despite the fact that we were heading to lunch from here, Steve almost lost the battle against some delicious baked goods.
Oh, and by the green wall?
Yeah. I heard angels singing.
It was lunchtime by then, so we zipped over to The Grape Adventure, which is a very short hop from Makers Mercantile. If you’re doing the LYS Tour and end up in Kent around noon, and you don’t feel like another fast food meal and/or you are at all interested in wine, I can’t recommend them enough.
Do yourself a favor – get the cheesy bread appetizer (it’s life changing. No, really). But don’t eat it all when it comes – save some. For your entree, get the steamed clams. When they arrive, dip the cheesy bread in the sauce with the clams. The 14 Hands Chardonnay is an excellent complement. You can thank me later.
Before we started eating, Steve and I did a time check. We had to be back home in time to pick Jeffrey up from school, and as the next closest LYS was in Seattle, that would be pushing it. Or…we could have a leisurely meal, enjoy each other’s company (alone for the first time since he got home), and then make a few fun stops for the DD on the way back. We chose the second option.
After loading up our wine, we headed to 7 Seas Brewing in Gig Harbor, WA. Or, at least, we tried to. I’d never been there before, but Steve had…and we were both quite surprised when he pulled up to the building to find…a distillery. Heritage Distilling Company, to be exact. I did tease Steve, a spirits drinker, about “accidentally” finding a distillery, but it turned out when we went in (after all, we were there…) that 7 Seas had moved after Steve deployed. So Steve got a bonus spirits tasting before we headed to brewery’s new taproom location.
We enjoyed a taste of all the beers on tap and then decided to call it a day. Not a very successful one judging by the yarn crawling (2 out of 24 stores), but massively successful as a great day for a husband and wife to reconnect.
LYS Tour stats:
- LYSs visited: 2
- Miles traveled (round trip): 125 miles (LYSs only)
- Time spent traveling and visiting LYSs: 3 hrs, 29 min
- Ferries taken: 0
- Yarn purchased: 10 skeins