On my way to Stitches Midwest (more about that in the next post), I made a side trip to Valparaiso, Indiana. It’s always nice to break up a long drive with a fun distraction. Since I can’t knit and drive at the same time, a side trip to a yarn shop is the best alternative.
When I first got off of the highway, the corn and soybean fields take me back in time. My years of living in the first small patch of countryside just outside the suburban sprawl of Indianapolis left me with a very specific idea of Indiana. Apart from a few cities, it’s pretty much corn and soybean fields broken up by sleepy small towns. Indiana is a special place for me. It’s where I began my married life, adopted my first dog and resurrected my interest in knitting.
Back to today, Valparaiso is an easy journey off of I80/90 and I94, just 20 to 30 minutes and well worth the time. I was expecting another tiny town like the ones I was used to in central Indiana, but Valparaiso is more of a small city. All of the big box and chain stores you could ever want hover just outside of the thriving downtown, with its many shops, restaurants and green spaces. My destination for the day was Sheep’s Clothing, located right in the downtown area. If you visit in the summer, just look for the giant flower pots lining the outside store front – gorgeous! There are so many things I want to tell you about this shop, I don’t know where to begin. It’s a nice amount of space with very good light even in the back of the long and somewhat narrow space where the sunlight cannot reach. Lighting is so important when you are choosing colors. It’s one of those things you might not notice when it’s good, but you definitely notice when it’s bad. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable. One woman was helping (I’m guessing here) a relatively new knitter figure out a pattern. There seemed to be a lot of thought put into the yarn selection. I found a yarn that contained rayon linen, not a rayon and linen blend but rayon linen. When I asked what that was, the other woman working (the owner I, I think) explained. I looked it up later, the answer was pretty spot on. I fell in love with a couple different Erika Knight yarns I had never seen before. Luckily for my budget, there was not enough of the one I really wanted. They can special order though, and I may just do that. The needle, accessory and button (yes, some places still carry buttons) section was well stocked with a wide selection of each. It always makes me a little sad when a shop doesn’t carry books – I love books! Not a worry here. Sheep’s Clothing stocks a great selection of books and magazines; and not just the current issues but also older titles. I walked out with 3 magazine issues I somehow missed in the past months. Long story short; if you find yourself in the area, add Sheep’s Clothing to your list of places to visit.