Picture this! (And boy, do I wish I had taken a photo!) A little hole in the wall in a residential area of Pawtucket, RI - just on the border of Providence's tony East Side. It's called Oak Hill, a mix of HUGE old arks of homes, many rehabbed and restored to glorious beauty; many fighting to stay alive and well. But it's a favorite spot of mine, a lovely juxtaposition to the brand new (well now it's 7 years old!) home we in which we currently live in NC. But that's another story!
Nestled within this neat community on a corner - right around the corner from one of my dearest friends - is Wayland Yarn Shoppe (no website, no FB, just a tiny yarn-filled haven/heaven!) I ventured in to find a small group of knitters around a table amidst a formidable collection of yarn - EVERYWHERE!!!! Along the walls, in baskets, on the floor, as far as the eye could see (not that far, because the place is SMALL), layers upon layers of yarn.
Some knitters go for the well-organized, orderly display of yarn - by color, or type, or composition. I LOVE a yarn shop that looks a little disheveled, with lots of yarn from eons ago or recent past, discontinued styles, and most importantly......sale bins or baskets. The owner was amongst the knitters at the table. When she acknowledged me, I let her know that I was looking for sale yarn, that I wasn't looking for quantities of anything, and that I wanted to pour through her baskets and bags of discontinued or discounted yarn all over the place. I think she was a bit dismissive at first, but once she realized that I was quickly amassing a small fortune in yarn (perhaps her day's sales record!), she was genuinely interested in ME and in helping me find what I needed (er.....wanted!)
Anyone who knows my work understands that I can't buy wholesale, I never want quantities of anything, and I look for whatever is reasonably reduced (50% or more) to add to my already prodigious stash! AHEM.......do I really ever need more yarn???? Well, this was a gold mine! It reminded me of my time in Charleston at Knit, when I discovered, by chance, their sale room - a WHOLE ROOM at 75% off.
Well, in the middle of my making a huge mess all over Wayland's already messy configuration, having placed yarn in a pile on the floor of skeins I was seriously considering, my cell phone rang. I have to check my caller ID, because I never know when my husband might be in a cardiac crisis. This call showed "Restricted." So I answered it. It was a prospective career counseling client - never want to miss those calls - calling from NC and needing quick turn-around on a resume. Well....here I was sitting on the floor amidst 20+ skeins of yarn, with six strangers sitting around a table knitting, watching me trying to juggle phone, paper, pen, yarn, and more. With the mess on the floor, I didn't dare just run out of the shop, but I did talk long enough to get his number, explain that I was in RI at the moment, would be back in NC on Saturday and could probably meet with him on Sunday! OK, that satisfied him! And yes, it's DONE!
I fully expected my friend, Bev, from around the corner to pop through the door, but she didn't appear. So I drove by her house, saw no activity, drove down her street but turned around. As I stopped at the stop sign in front of her house, who drives around the corner....but Bev, AND she was talking on the phone to our mutual friend, Barbara. We all screamed, of course, and so I was ushered into Bev's wonderful home with all manner of artisan, hand-crafted artwork in many mediums! I LOVE her house, so it was an added treat to see her new acquisitions and renovations!
And so.....my new yarn got stuffed into my suitcase - amidst all the other soft goods I managed to acquire while in RI. I expanded the suitcase and then squished it down and unexpanded it. It worked, but it weighed a ton! Loving my stash, my friends, and Wayland Yarn Shoppe (112 Raleigh Avenue, Pawtucket, RI 02860; Farida Ferrario, Owner/Designer, 401-726-4696. If you're looking for something special, call Farida!