Sometimes when I'm visiting a new city, things just click. While on a business trip this week, I was able to take the morning to really dive in to all that Asheville had to offer for fiber enthusiasts, and it totally clicked for me! I would have loved to stay for a whole weekend (or week!), but in a morning I was able to take in so much.
I started my morning by driving about 15 minutes outside of downtown Asheville and went to Echoview Fiber Mill. (Well, technically, I started my morning at Izzy's Coffee Den. Such a good veggie bagel!) It was a pretty quiet morning there, and I could have spent hours in the storefront looking through all of their naturally dyed yarn, roving and batts. They also carry a great array of wool products, felted wool dryer balls, hand-knit socks and accessories.
They only give tours of the mill on Tuesdays, but they had a great viewing area above the storefront where you could see the whole process from start to finish, from the bags of fleece to the piles of roving. It was my first time at a fiber mill and it was too awesome.
My next stop on my trip was to Earth Guild in downtown Asheville. They have every tool you could ever want as a handcrafter, from spinning, dyeing and natural dyeing, carding, knitting, crochet, sewing, and pottery, as well as a selection of yarn and books. I went there specifically to buy some natural dyeing materials, and the woman who worked there was so helpful in assisting me with the materials I would need to mordant and dye cutch and indigo. I was especially taken with their window set up where their floor looms and spinning wheels sat waiting to be purchased. That is a dream I'll be able to fulfill someday, I hope!
My final stop of the morning was to Asheville Home Crafts a few blocks away in the Historic Grove Arcade, a sweet yarn shop with a great selection of yarn and fiber from the Asheville area, including some Romney roving that the shop owner had brought in from her farm that morning! Asheville is such a cool mix of being deeply agricultural and also with a great urban scene (I didn't eat a bad meal the whole time I was there!).
I have also heard great things about Purl's Yarn Emporium just a few blocks away. Such a dream to be in a city where there are 3 yarn stores within walking distance of each other!
By far though, the best part of this fiber adventure was meeting up with Jennifer (@jaykay_knits)!! We originally connected early this year via Instagram, where I fell in love with her beautiful knitting projects and life in the mountains. She is even sweeter and more awesome in person and we had so much fun chatting for a few hours over lunch. Be sure to check out her blog and her Instagram for wonderful peeks into her wonderful knitting and life in Asheville! She and a few others were actually planning a crafty meet up on Saturday and I was so bummed I had to leave on Friday afternoon. This little fiber community of ours is so great, and I can't wait to come back and visit with Jennifer and so many others soon!
Asheville has my heart and hopefully the goods I brought back will last me until I get to visit next! :)