After a week-long vacation on Prince Edward Island I can honestly say it is absolutely AMAZING for knitters/crocheters/yarn lovers. I was floored at how much there was to see and do that was yarn related. When we first arrived and visited the tourist pavilion I did pick up the pamphlet for the “Fibre Trail“, and I will admit, when I saw it even I thought it was dorky. My husband and son REALLY weren’t interested in the Fibre Trail, so one day we divided and conquered – they spent the day at Sandspit, and I (with my parents) spent the day driving around the island finding all things yarny. We hit four different spots and it is way too much to fit in to just one post, so this is going to be a multi-parter.
Prince Edward Island Fibre Trail
First stop was MacAusland’s Woolen Mills. The building is fairly unassuming, and when we walked in the door we thought we weren’t in the right place. Why? Because you literally enter into the MILL, full of machines and whirring and craziness! But there was a little sign stuck to a wooden stairway indicating the store was upstairs, so up we went.
The first part of the store had huge bags of “seconds” for only $20. I looked at the “seconds” and I didn’t see anything wrong with them, they looked like totally excellent yarn. My parents tried to convince me to buy a bag of the seconds but I just kept thinking about how there was no room for a big bag like that in the house, so I passed. (I regret this.) There was also some sheep skin strips, obviously the trimmings from their larger sheep skins, but still totally large and perfect. I bought one for 10$ and plan on lining my Juno Slippers with it.
The second part of the store was the “real” store, with the owner there to answer questions and work the till. He was a pretty interesting guy, entertaining and personable. In the store there were walls of beautifully coloured yarns, tons of natural undyed yarns (greys and beiges and browns), and an assortment of finished items that had been made from their materials. Knit items, woven items, and things made from sheep skin (like moccasins), all of which were really nice. Their woven wool blankets were especially beautiful (so much so that my parents actually bought one). I fell in love with all the yarns, they were beautifully dyed in rich staturated colours, and they had a really nice texture to them. Not excessively soft, but still weirdly really nice. In the end I chose 3 skeins – natural grey, peacock blue, and bright sunshine yellow – and I hope to make… well, I don’t know yet. A hat/mitt set? a cowl? Something. I’m going to make SOMETHING out of this beautiful yarn. I see some stranded work in their future. (ETA: Yup, I made something pretty awesome out of this yarn!!)
As we made our way back out through the mill we did pause briefly to take in the complex mechanical operation they had going on there. This was the first time I have gone to (and purchased from) an actual mill, spoken to the people who actually make the yarn, and it was a pretty great experience. I really appreciated everything that went in to the yarn, and love that I saw the place where my pretty pretty yarns were made.
(View Part Two – Green Gables Alpacas/Julie’s Yarn Shop)
(View Part Three – Belfast Mini-Mills)