Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Excursion Around the Bay

I have an aunt (and several other relatives) visiting at the moment. She's a brand-new knitter, and mom and I are so proud of how she's caught the knitting bug. She's lost her taste for acrylic novelty yarns, and is hardly seen to be sitting still without whipping out her project. Since Fredericton lacks a good yarn store, as does the city she's coming from, the three of us decided to take a road trip to Black's Harbor, NB, home to Cricket Cove yarn store.

I had only heard of this store before, but didn't imagine it to be as incredible as it was. Black's Harbor is a tiny community (pop. 950), where you'll find the Brunswick Sardine packing plant, the ferry crossing to Grand Manan Island and surprisingly, a store full of high-end, hard to find, and unique yarn. While the internet makes it possible to get your hands on just about anything, there is nothing like spending a few hours in a good yarn shop petting all of the yarns you hear about and read about in knitting books and magazines.
Mmm... tweedy wool. Top: Cricket Cove wool, Bottom: Briggs and Little Heritage

My aunt had a true knitter moment when, for the first time, she spotted a pattern from a book knit up in the wild. It had been a while (maybe a year and a half?) since I had purchased yarn, and I came away with some heavy fingering weight tweed wool (it had no label, so I'm assuming it's their own line of yarn) destined to become Selbu Modern, as well as some Arequipa sock yarn.

We were going to drive to St. Andrew's as well, but the pea soup fog convinced us to head home. On the drive back we randomly decided to stop at the Briggs and Little outlet/mill, in Harvey (yet another small town with a big yarn). The mill only runs during the winter, but the shop was full of dirt-cheap Briggs and Little. I picked some up to make a pair of thrummed mittens for a friend. I love this wool... it's tweedy, rustic, and smells like lanolin.
Traditional Thrummed Mitts at Briggs and Little

I asked the lady working there where the sheep were that supplied the mill with fleece. She told me that they need about 26,000 sheep to meet their demand. This all happens through the Canada Wool Grower's Association, so the sheep are scattered all across Canada. Briggs and Little happens to be the biggest buyer from them.
Briggs and Little Outlet Store, York Mills, NB

The car ride gave me time enough to finish off Nanny's Lorna's Laces socks. I really wanted to get these done, because I find the colors quite garish. This pair used exactly one skein, so much for getting it out of my stash! She will love them, however, so they're off to the gift pile until Christmas.

Anklets for Nanny, Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock


Stephanie said...

That yarn shop is amazing! I wish I could visit. Such gorgeous yarn.

Yarndude said...

Ooh, I've been hearing so much about Briggs and Little lately. What you got is all so beautiful! I can't believe that picture with a whole wall of yarn, it's gotta be a fair-isle-er's paradise.

Don said...

Hi Jess,

Glad you got some bonding time with family knitters. Nice to see quality yarn stores in NB. Keep up the great knitting.


thesleepysheep said...

I love the yarn wall. I'm definitely putting that store on my list of road trip shops. ^_^

Marie said...

Hee hee. Sounds like you're saying Nanny likes garish colours! Maybe she's breaking her understated dress mould by being daring with her socks?