From Sewickley, Mom and Bethany headed straight into the city for stop #6. Naomi and I took a slightly more roundabout way. I wasn’t sure exactly when we make time to go down to East Liberty that week, but then Naomi solved it for me by getting conveniently sick.
I’ll spare you the details, but our poor peanut volunteered for a medical study, a side affect of which is that whenever she gets a fever, that means a trip to the ER. Nothing serious, and it turned out to be just some kind of virus.
You may be confused about how this leads to yarn.
It’s quite simple, really. The Children’s Hospital ER is really, really close to East Liberty, where you can find Natural Stitches. I may have been toting a baby who wished she was dead, but I couldn’t resist the gravitational pull of that much yarn. I got us some french fries, and over we schlepped. (The most exciting thing about this location? Same parking lot as the only Trader Joe’s for miles around.)x
You may wonder at the ethics of bringing a virally sick kid to a public place on a completely frivolous errand. If it helps, I pretty much felt horrible the entire time. I held her in my arms for the whole visit and would not let her touch anything. Her MO in yarn shops is to find the button tubes, so this was a challenge.
Mercifully, the ladies at NS were just darling about it. Despite having a sign on the door that says “No unattended children,” they are actually one of the most kid-friendly yarn stores I’ve been in. They have a bunch of toys hidden under the coffee table (which I wiped at hopelessly with a diaper wipe before we left). And when she saw my sickie, the lady behind the counter offered her an abandoned square of alpaca-wool to be a lovie.
But who cares about the niceness? We’re here for the yarn, my friends. And yarn they have got. They have many unique offerings for the region, but my favorite is their variety of lace. The owner is really into lace knitting, and they are one of the few stores around that has a really extensive supply (Though YU’s is also really good). This is also true of their sizeable collection of beautiful rovings, which is where I tend to gravitate. They also are reliable for having a good selection of Madelinetosh, and some other unusual gems like Kauni. But what everyone leaves remembering is the Wall of Cascade.
It’s hard to miss.
When I say I didn’t let Naomi touch anything, there was one small exception. We were walking through the roving section, when before I could stop her, her little hand darted out and snatched a big sliver off a hook. I took it back from her, brushed it off a bit, and said a little prayer over it that no one would get sick from an unsuspecting purchase. But then I noticed how beautiful the thing was.
Clearly, the only way to make sure no one got infected by it was to bring it home with me. It’s 8 oz of a Merino/Polworth blend from Blue Moon, and it was not cheap, but it was all my favorite things. Even miserably sick, my daughter has good taste!
Mom fell prey to the roving section too, coming home with her own selection of Polworth in autumnal colors. She also found the Barbara Walker books she’d been hunting down for a while.
Mom! We should spin these up together for something!
Appropriately, Natural Stitches provided a lace pattern for its contribution to the cowl. For an action-every-row lace pattern, it was not too open, and served to bring things back in a bit after the wide-open lace pattern below.
For our final stop, we point our noses east… far, far east!