From yoga and yarn to cute coffee and tea shops, Black Mountain has a little bit of everything for stitch and stretch lovers. And don't worry, it also has beer, nearby hiking and other delights, too, making it the perfect destination for a day trip (or longer)!
Stitch at Black Mountain Yarn Shop
We're fortunate in that we live less than 40 minutes from Black Mountain and all of its fun activities. Even so, in the six years I've lived here, I've only been a couple of times. Recently, the allures of Black Mountain have been working their magic on me, and I have the feeling we'll be traveling there more often, as it's the perfect 'day away' destination.
One of those allures, of course, is its stitch-friendliness. The approximately three street downtown of Black Mountain has one of the best yarn shops known to me, that is, Black Mountain Yarn Shop. Now, I know that I have little reference for what it takes to be the 'best yarn shop,' but of the several I've been to in the past two years, this one is ranking #1 for me right now.
For starters, it's got an incredible location - right there on W. State Street, next to one of, if not the, most popular restaurants in Black Mountain, Trail Head Restaurant and Bar (we haven't been to the resto yet, so I can neither confirm or deny its reputation, but it's always packed). There's (free!) street parking on all the main streets, and nary a single spot is a far walk to the yarn shop if there's not an open spot directly in front.
Now that we've covered the location, let's get into the real goodness of this yarn shop - the insides! In saying 'insides' I fully mean both the products sold therein, and the smiling faces that greet you as soon as you walk through the door. I have been to the shop (only) twice, but have felt a warm welcome both times. That, to me, is big. (Especially because I feel a small amount of overwhelm when I go into a shop not knowing what I'm looking for, and half the time, not knowing what I'm doing.) There is absolutely no pretension here, especially if you're a beginner and you have all the questions!
Since I have been getting more involved on Instagram, I've noticed a lot of popular yarn brands in other people's feeds. This shop has them all, along with all kinds of functional and fabulous notions. I have yet to try any of the IG-famed yarns, but I have quite enjoyed perusing the stock and recognizing skeins up close and three dimensionally, rather than in square picture form on my phone! I'll name drop a few here that I particularly have my eye on: Hedgehog Fibers (Cork, Ireland), Madeline Tosh (Fort Worth, TX), Quince and Company (Biddeford, Maine), Woolfolk (Portland, Oregon), and YOTH (Woodinville, WA). And don't think I'm skipping out on some 'local' yarns too - Black Mountain Yarn Shop carries Hey Lady Hey (Carthage, NC), and Junkyarn (Raleigh, NC) among so many more brands from near and far.
On my most recent trip to the shop I didn't purchase any yarn, but I did splurge on a travel-friendly Fringe Field Bag by Fringe Supply Co. and an adorable yarn bowl to tame my wiley yarn balls at home. (I typically don't like to shop, but I have poor restraint in yarn stores!) If you haven't already, check out Fringe Supply Co. via the link above - it's a small, women-owned company selling, 'nice things for makers.' Black Mountain Yarn Shop carries a lot of their nice things.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I first went to Black Mountain Yarn Shop to attend one of their bi-monthly Knitted Knockers groups, which was wonderful. They also offer weekly stitch sit-ins, crochet and knit clinics, and other classes and events. Every day in July (save Tuesdays), for instance, there's something going on at the shop. If only I lived within walking distance!
By now you're feeling it, aren't you? The itch to hop in the car (or plane!) and take a trip to Black Mountain? Well, just you wait - that's not all that this town has to offer. Merely a couple of blocks away there's, you guessed it, Black Mountain Yoga Studio. (This would be a wonderful town to get a Stitch and Stretch group started, right?!)
Stretch at Black Mountain Yoga
It's true that I've only ever been to a limited number of yarn shops in my life, but yoga studios? Oh, goodness! I have been to a bajillion of those! And Black Mountain Yoga is a sweet little studio, for sure.
It's in an old bank - you can totally tell when you pull into the parking lot. And if you couldn't tell from the look of the building on the outside, well, inside the yoga space there's a giant vault door! I like to think that this is a way of seeing that the practice of yoga is like investing in yourself. Or, that a yoga practice is rich with benefits, or something like that. To my knowledge, they don't play off the whole bank thing, but I had to add my two cents. (Ha)
I have been wanting to go to Black Mountain Yoga for a long time, but it never really fit right with my schedule. When Dylan expressed interest in going there, I hopped on the opportunity! When you walk in, there is a nice welcome/check-in area, as well as a small boutiquey area and a sauna. (Yes! A sauna!) Black Mountain Yoga's offerings include several types of classes, workshops, trainings, as well as massage and yoga therapy. We were there for a Mindful Flow class.
As the regular class room started to fill up, a member of the studio walked over to the partition and opened up another small area so that everyone would have ample practice room, which I thought was pretty neat. (Practicing as sardines is cool and all, but, sometimes you need a little personal space!) The main room was light-filled and tastefully decorated with yoga-inspired decor. It's the kind of room I just felt energized by being in.
We really enjoyed the class, and if our experience wasn't enough to get us to return to the studio, they emailed a survey afterword which entitles us to a free class. So guess where Dylan and I are headed this weekend? :)
Already looking forward to that second class, and to Namastay-ing in Black Mountain for a little fun afterwards too!
Around Black Mountain
Why not add grabbing a tea/coffee/local brew and taking in some mountain vistas to your day trip itinerary while you're in and around Black Mountain?
On our little excursion, we went to Dripolator Coffeehouse (just a little ways away from the yarn shop). They roast their own coffee on site, and have been doing so since 1999. Dylan actually bumped into a friend, so as they chatted, I enjoyed my beverage and got in a couple of rows.
If you'd rather tea, I can highly recommend Dobra Tea. I've only been to the Asheville location, but I imagine it is just as wonderful in Black Mountain (and I just discovered that they have other locations in other cool towns in the USA.. of course they do!) Their tea menu is extensive, people. And their tea pots are all unique and wonderful. In Black Mountain, you can enjoy your tea with some nibbles inside or out on the patio. If you're lucky, you can even score a table where you sit on pillows on the floor. (My favorite way to enjoy tea at Dobra!) I'm not going to lie, I drink a lot of tea, even in the dog days of summer. Dobra offers a unique experience that I'd say is not to be missed if you're in the area (and like tea a lot).
This weekend when we head up for our free class at Black Mountain Yoga, we plan on taking a lunch picnic to Lookout Brewing. We're craft beer drinkers in this home, and since there are sooo many craft breweries in and around Asheville (Beer City, USA), we've got to try them every chance we get. Lookout opened in 2013. They pride themselves on using all non-GMO ingredients, and 75% of their beers use local ingredients. I'm pretty sure it'll be awesome. (When is going to a brewery not awesome?)
And finally, (for this post at least) nature! We looked up some hikes nearish to Black Mountain and settled on Craggy Gardens on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's not exactly in the back yard vicinity (about 40 minute drive), but it's super popular and we'd never been. Despite being so super popular, we found some nice long stretches of trail to ourselves. Unfortunately, it was really misty at the viewpoint, so we didn't see the vista, but any time spent in nature is time well spent in my opinion.
Well, there you have it, folks! A day in the life of Black Mountain! Like most small mountain towns, you can fill a day, a weekend, or longer with the numerous activities, but if you've only time for a quick stitch and stretch, this town has got you covered!