I have always felt drawn to knitting stores. Maybe it is because my Chinese zodiac sign is the sheep/goat. Or maybe it is because there is something basic, earthy, and comforting about sheep wool yarn. No matter if it was washed and dyed, sheep wool still has that smell and feel of its protective lanolin. Good thing, because otherwise the yarn would not slide so smoothly through a knitter’s hands.
Some years ago, I took a trip to the sheep wool processing plant in Jamestown, SC with the Charleston Spinners’ Guild. Here large, heavy, dirty bales of wool arrive from far away places, such as Australia and New Zealand. Then the wool is washed at high temperatures, carded, and wound onto spools in pencil rovings to prepare it for dyeing and spinning. At this point it is still in its natural beige color.
Visitors to the Jamestown wool processing plant can buy wool spools on site and take them home for their personal use. These spools of clean wool are an enthusiastic spinner’s delight. Now the fun begins! Spinners can hand-dye natural wool with various plant and insect materials as well as metal additives to obtain the colors that they love.
But whether we spin and dye wool ourselves or buy yarn at a knitting store, there is nothing more comforting than a hand knitted, crocheted, or woven natural woolen item for every day wear or use.
Recently, I combined my love for photography and sheep wool yarn and visited The Village Knittery in Summerville, SC. It is a beautiful knitting store. I asked the owners if I may take some photos in the store, and they graciously gave me permission to photograph anything I wanted. So here, in response to wildsherkin‘s blog entry, A Trip to Dublin two days ago, I’d like to take you for a stroll through our local knitting store to let you experience yourself visually the cozy feel, brilliant colors, and gorgeous, hand-knitted items that I found there.