A Strange Thing Happened in the Yarn Shop

There is, of course, no point going on holiday without checking out the local yarn shops and returning home with some trophies. Even Lovely Husband knows this, so he put up no resistance to tracking down the nearest yarn shop when we visited Monterey this year. Unfortunately when we found the shop, this was on the door…

Twisted Stitch Monterey

It was late on our last day in Monterey, so no chance to visit the suggested yarn shop. But I consoled myself with a glass of wine the thought there’d be yarn shops when we reached Santa Barbara.

The yarn shop nearest our hotel in Santa Barbara was Loop and Leaf – so named because it not only sells yarn, but tea and ‘teaware’. Now that really is my idea of heaven.


This little piece of heaven didn’t disappoint. Lots of yummy yarns hung all around and there was a lovely buzz about the craft table. The owner, Celeste Varner, was not only welcoming, she even settled Lovely Husband on a settee and kept him chatting, so he didn’t attempt to run off or drag me out too quickly.

Celeste at the Loop and leaf

However, despite such promising circumstances, a very odd thing happened. I bought a couple of notions I needed…

Knitting notions

And a copy of Vogue Knitting…

Vogue Knitting

I also made Celeste laugh by buying a copy of Pom Pom Quarterly – yeah I know you’re laughing too, but have you tried buying a copy in sleepy Devon? It’s 94.1 miles from my house to the nearest stockist.

Pom Pom Quarterly

However, although there were lots of wonderful yarns, I failed to buy a single skein. This really wasn’t like me.

Still troubled by this lack of purchasing when I got home, I put on my deerstalker and studied the facts of the case…

At this point I wish I had a real deerstalker to photograph myself in, but I haven’t. So you’ll just have to put up with the metaphorical one and settle for a pic of me in a witch’s hat – well, it is nearly Halloween.

Bekki Hill

Back to the facts…

Fact 1: The temperature in Santa Barbara was mid to high 20s and definitely not ‘sweater weather’  – but I’ve never let that put me off yarn buying before.

Fact 2: I didn’t have any specific projects in mind – like that would make a difference!

Fact 3: October 5th – 11th was British Wool Week. My visit was on October 6th.

Immediately I thought about Fact 3, my incredible detective powers recognised what had happened. Ever since I decided to explore yarn production back in May, I’ve become more and more passionate about British Wool. What I really want to knit next (when I get my current projects finished) is something cosy – and most likely cabled – out of British yarn. So what I really wanted to buy was some good old British yarn.

I know a lot of you work on stash busting and buying only what you really want or need. So all in all, I guess I’ve got you, my lovely fellow bloggers, to thank for this more responsible attitude rubbing off on me.

Thank you 🙂

Bekki Hill

30 thoughts on “A Strange Thing Happened in the Yarn Shop

    1. I know I may finally be growing up! Yes, blue thingy is stitch holder. Pom Pom has a mixture of stuff – lots knitting, but also cookery and a cartoon. Although haven’t actually read it properly yet.


    1. Hoorah for subconscious behaving 🙂 You’re absolutely right about budget – with that I try to remind myself that it’s a hobby, so quality rather than quantity is important. The conscience challenge I’m having, is if I knit for the girls – and some others – I know they’ll fling it straight in the washing machine with everything else and shrink it, so buying wool to knit for them is pointless 😦 You have a great weekend too xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve not heard of wool making people sneeze before. poor you 😦 I keep thinking when I have a minute, I’m going to have a look into the whole allergy thing. I know people can be allergic to anything, but there are so many different breeds of sheep out there, I do wonder if people are allergic to specific breads? Although I have no idea where to find those sorts of answers! x

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  1. Extraordinary! I must say I have suffered from the same malady when I visit fabric shops. I would have a particular project in mind but could not find something that embodies what I have in my head.. so i end up walking away with nothing which does flabbergast Mr D!

    Like the hat! Never realised that they make good thinking caps!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha! I’ve a dressing up box full of different thinking caps – maybe I should model some more of them on the blog 🙂

      I’ve certainly had that problem when I’ve a project in mind, but with yarn shops so few and far between, I also often end up settling for a yarn I’m not 100% happy with. Which, if I think about it, is a very good reason to buy yarns I love the look of when I see them then find a project to suit them, rather than the other way round.

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  2. I think Celeste kept your husband talking because she liked his ‘accent’ – although, strictly speaking, they’re the ones with the accent! Nice to shop unhindered though, even if you kept hold of your money for British wool. Always interesting to see what other countries have on offer.

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  3. Oh no, a closed knitting store..I would have needed a bottle of wine to over come that! But indeed: tea and yarn…heaven! British Woolweek looks like so much fun, I see it on different blogs. Imagine my yodeling when I discovered Jameson and Smith two ply ..on a stall during a wool gathering here in Ohio. The lady laughed and hugged me, when I bought the whole lot of a lovely green color…no knitting notions were bought that day;0) Great post and even as a witch, you are adorable! xo Johanna

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    1. Oh no! Don’t say that 😦 I would have gone if we’d found out the Twisted yarn was closed earlier in our holiday. Sadly I’m not certain we’ll travel to Monterey again – it’s a very long way from England 😦

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  4. What an interesting holiday you had. The wool shop you found in Santa Barbera looks wonderful. I can understand why you didn’t buy any wool, though, if you’ve set your heart on using British wool as part of your ongoing ‘quest’. Did you have a cup of tea there? Love your witches hat, by the way – a great alternative to a deerstalker. A fun post, Bekki. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Glad you like the hat – it belonged to one of the girls many years ago. Didn’t have a cup of tea – I’ve yet to find a cup of tea in America that tasted like tea and thought lovely husband had probably spent long enough in there too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank goodness you managed to reason through why you didn’t purchase ;-)!! Sounds like a lovely shop and owner too, still it’s nice to explore new shops home or away. Love to see what British yarn wonders you conjure 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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