This past weekend (May 10th-13th) was the Western North Carolina Yarn Crawl! This was my first time "participating" in a yarn crawl - I went to three of eleven shops during the crawl, and one the night before, so let's count that one too! I know I've posted about some of these yarn shops before, but I thought, why not pay tribute to the entire WNC Yarn Trail in two back to back posts for all the stitchers among you? And while I'm at it, why not also include some yoga options for all you stretchers out there? So here we are - the definitive guide to the WNC Yarn Shops and Yoga Studios (and Bonus Stops), Part One.
Shops, Studios, Stops, Part One
I wanted to wait until after the crawl to do this post, so that I could share the stores I made it to and what festivities they had going on since I'd never been to an LYS during this type of event. Studios participating in the crawl have special yarn activities, merchandise and prizes, so partaking in a crawl is definitely worth it, but hitting every shop within four days may just not be possible. That's why we have the WNC Yarn Trail - a resource for visitors (and locals!) to find all the regional stores, and crawl them whenever possible.
I will be straight with you right off the bat - I have not been to every Yarn Shop/Yoga Studio/Bonus Stop on this list, but I get the idea that these places are pretty awesome. In fact, writing up this post is almost like planning my next couple day trips to yet visited places in my backyard! The intention of these posts is to get us excited for what's in store in the area.
This post will cover five of the eleven stops along the crawl, with the other six next week. Ready? The stops are in not in any specific order.
First stop on our yarn/yoga/bonus (or YYB) crawl is Brevard. With a population just under 8,000, Brevard fits right into the category of 'cute mountain town.' Despite it being roughly 25 minutes from my house, I have yet to get to the yarn store there (I know, the shame!) But I have been to yoga there, and I have two bonuses for you for Brevard, so forgive my fiber guilt!
Sun Dragon Art & Fiber
Sun Dragon Art & Fiber is located in downtown Brevard. They sell knitting and crochet supplies including yarn and notions, as well as art supplies such as brushes and oil/watercolor/acrylic paint.
For the Yarn Crawl this year, they had a daily giveaway drawing and specially dyed colorways from the local dyer, Daydream Dyeworks (Anderson, SC). They also had a pop-up shop from Twist Fiber Studio, and, (not yarn-related, but equally awesome) Fairy Hair appointments!
I took a peek at their calendar, and they've got a lot going on outside of the crawl too. They offer knitting and crochet classes, as well as knitting community hours - where you are invited to bring a wip and knit with others in the shop- with names like "Tuesday Evening Treasures," "Wednesday Morning Wakeup," "Thursday Afternoon Tinkerings," and "Friday Night Feast." I am a huge fan of alliteration, so these names are really jiving with me right now. Sounds like I've got to boogie on over to Sun Dragon during one of their meet-ups to see what this awesome LYS is all about!
Brevard Yoga Center
Brevard Yoga Center, with a robust schedule, and several teachers, offers an array of different classes. From Gentle and Restorative classes to Multi-Level Flow and Energetic options, there is something for everyone. They even offer a free Beginner's Yoga Class! If you're in the mood to try something different, they have Buti Yoga, Bellydancing classes, and Pilates! If you're in the area visiting, or don't have a yoga mat, (or went to Brevard to buy yarn, and then spontaneously realized you wanted to do some movement therapy!) you are invited to use one of their complimentary mats.
Brevard Bonus Stops
Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Forest, Gorges State Park - they're all at your fingertips from Brevard. Waterfalls, mountains and vegetation are the backdrop to hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding GALORE. Take a picnic, take your wip, and opt outside, friends!
Second bonus: Brevard Music Center's Summer Music Festival. Whether you like Symphony, Chamber Music, Bluegrass, Opera, Pops, Blues, and/or Dance, BMC has you covered. Their summer series of 80 performances takes place in their open air auditorium, and you can picnic on the lawn prior to the event. (You are also welcome to sit on the lawn to hear the music, but we typically get seats under the roof since we have our fair share of evening rain in the summertime!) In case you miss the short 10-week summer festival, there's still plenty of opportunity to catch a performance at the Brevard Music Center, Brevard College Campus, or in downtown Brevard.
I have never been to Franklin, NC, but they were voted the Top Small Town 2016 by Blue Ridge Outdoors, so it sounds like a 'gem' of a place. And I don't say that lightly, since it is known as the "Gem Capital of the World." With a population under 4,000, Franklin is one of the smallest towns on the WNC Yarn Crawl (it's basically tied with Weaverville, NC).
Silver Threads and Golden Needles
Silver Threads and Golden Needles is the yarn shop serving the Franklin area. They sell a wide range of yarn, including "local alpaca yarn from a farm five miles away, a romney/rambouillet wool blend yarn that is raised and spun in town," and their own line of hand-dyed yarn. For the crawl, Silver Threads had special crawl gifts, daily prize drawings, and an exclusive hand-dyed yarn for sale.
In addition to yarn and notions for knitting and crochet, Silver Threads caters to other fiber artists offering classes in Weaving, Spinning, Tatting, Dyeing, and Needle Felting. Their "Knit Nite" is every Thursday from 4-6pm. Although Silver Threads is the furthest stop on the Yarn Crawl for me (1hr20min), the area's got enough to do to warrant at least a day trip!
Beyond Bending Yoga
Did I say a day trip to the area? Beyond Bending Yoga has a fall retreat (3 days, 2 nights) coming up, that sounds pretty divine! This studio reflects their name- they do a lot more than provide you with an avenue to make shapes on your mat. Their website boasts, "Adventure Yoga," "Ladies Night Out" workshops, and a special monthly series on Wednesday nights to celebrate hump day. Don't worry, they also have bending classes too - Vinyasa Flow, Restorative, Gentle - or you can book a private.
Something about the website tells me that the community of Beyond Bending Yoga is a fun one. I may just black out those retreat dates now...
Franklin Bonus Stop
Situated at the foothills of the Great Smokies, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it's no surpise that Franklin has some great hiking. But if you already hiked in Brevard, perhaps you need a refreshing splash near Franklin. How about some white water rafting?
The Nantahala River is a short distance from Franklin, and you can really choose your own (rafting) adventure here. There's fully guided rafting trips or you can rent your own raft or duck (inflatable kayak) and brave the water solo. You can also select an adventure pass - three activities in one, fun day. Choose among rafting, zip-lining, paddling, aerial adventure park, and biking. Check the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) for full details about these adrenaline-focused options.
The biggest town on the crawl so far- Waynesville's population is around 10,000. We've been a handful of times, and we always really enjoy its charm. Waynesville is out toward the Tennessee border, roughly 45 minutes from my hood.
Tia Dana is a new addition to the WNC Yarn Crawl. It's a specialty boutique that according to their website sells "French soaps, funny cards, beautiful baskets and yarn... lots of yarn!" For the Yarn Crawl, Tia Dana had two specials: Buy three skeins, get one free or 30% off your purchase of $100 or more. Not too shabby, if you ask me!
From their website, I gather that Tia Dana has an intro to knitting class, as well as a thrice weekly (!) community meet up at the store. In addition to the yarn they sell, Tia Dana carries handmade, American made and fairtrade items. It'll definitely be a stop the next time we swing out there.
Waynesville Yoga Center
Any yoga studio that has David Bowie's face on the homepage has to be rocking, right? Although his presence is solely on the site to announce some ch, ch, ch, changes to their membership, the vibe is definitely set.
Waynesville Yoga Center has some interesting classes on their schedule: Flow + Myofascial Release (this sounds amazing), Hot Stone Restorative (this also sounds amazing), Qi Gong, Barre + Flow, Buti and more. They also have the more recognizable yoga classes like Mixed Level Flow, Slow Flow, Gentle Yin. On top of their schedule of movement classes and workshops, they've also got massage, Thai massage, Reiki, and foot therapies. Where has this place been all my life?
Waynesville Bonus Stop
If you've browsed the goodies at Tia Dana, and moved/got bodywork done at Waynesville Yoga Center, chances are you're a little thirsty (and hungry?) Have no fear, Boojum Brewing is near. There are many, many (many, many) breweries in the WNC area, but Boojum is a particular fav. They've got great beer, and good food, and a deck with mountain views!
Candler is just outside of Asheville, with a population around 25,000 people. Since Asheville home prices are pretty steep, the population growth of Candler is around 61%. No wonder they have the largest yarn store in the Southeast!
Friends and Fiberworks
Friends and Fiberworks is one of the three (oh, we're saying four, right?), yarn shops that I did visit during the yarn crawl! Woo hoo! They carry 28,000 kinds of yarn. Needless to say, it's a little overwhelming to come here without a specific project in mind.
My mom and I were driving home from spending Mother's Day together, when we decided to pop into Friends and Fiberworks. The ladies were all very helpful and enthusiastic. We looked at yarns, and I squished a bunch, and then we came across these adorable baby blanket kits that come with a hugging stuffed animal. My cousin is pregnant, and I immediately thought of her, but I had already done some yarn shopping that day, so I didn't think to purchase one. My mom, on the other hand, overtaken by the adorableness of the gift, bought one to knit herself! She asked if I'd help her along with the pattern if she has questions (which I doubt she will!) and I can't wait to sit together with my mom and knit! That'll be a first for us. :)
We didn't see the special demonstrations, trunk shows, and kits that were a part of their yarn crawl festivities, but we did get to enter into their daily drawing. Which, even though we didn't walk away prize winners, finding this cute project for my mom, and the anticipation of us knitting together is a win-win in my books!
West Asheville Yoga
I'm not trying to pull the wool over your eyes- there isn't a yoga studio in Candler. West Asheville Yoga is closeby, and is top-notch, so it's definitely my pick for yoga in this area.
I have taken numerous classes at WAY. I've done workshops and series, kirtans, and cacao ceremonies. It's a sweet neighborhood studio with excellent teachers, and engaging offerings. I'd go there more often, in fact, if they had a 6am class. One of my favorite classes is called UNWIND: Rolling Therapeutics and Yoga, taught by Cat, the owner. She is extremely knowledgeable, and will guide you on a yoga journey, then slowly help you work out all your fascial tension with therapy balls. I need that class right.. about.. now..
West Asheville Bonus
Since you're already in West Asheville for the yoga, I'm going to recommend you stop by Flora. And if you do, will you take me with you? (Please!?) I discovered Flora by way of Instagram, and have yet to visit. It's green, and alive, and so darn cool looking. It's basically a florist with a boutique that also has a coffee shop inside. I don't have the need for a florist at the moment, but I want to sit among the living, green, beautiful things and drink some coffee, perhaps knit a bit, and then buy some green things that Takk won't eat so that I can bring the beauty home.
Although this town was named after one of its orginial settlers, John Weaver, it also happens to have a fiber past and present. With a population, like Franklin, just under 10,000 this little town won't leave you milling around with nothing to do.
Echoview Fiber Mill
I dedicated my local yarn shop post three weeks ago to Echoview Fiber Mill. This place is something else. It's a sustainable fiber mill that designs and knits clothing, produces local wool, offers a bounty of workshops, sells home wares, notions, jewelry, and more. It's where you'll find me every other Wednesday night for craft night. That's why I technically visited a fourth yarn store this past week, even though it was the night before the official crawl began.
For the Yarn Crawl, Echoview had a 35% off sale, as well as a daily drawing to win a basket of goodies. (And they are GOODIES, let me tell you!) If you want to not only visit a yarn store, but also a boutique with local/handmade/American-made gifts, a running fiber mill (tours every Friday), and a craft community, go to Echoview. Goodies are to be found no matter what day it is!
Weaverville Yoga Studio and Asheville Community Yoga
Obviously, the only one of these two that is in Weaverville is Weaverville Yoga Studio. But, Asheville Community Yoga is within a stone's throw and is one of the most popular yoga studios in Asheville, so it's worth a mention.
Weaverville Yoga is a quaint little studio off the main street downtown. I've walked by it, but once again, have not yet practiced there. They've got a number of different offerings, not limited to yoga including a book club, Tai Chi, Dance lessons, and kirtan. Of course, the yoga is there too, with several daily options.
Asheville Community Yoga is a "non-profit center for individual and community transformation offering donation-based yoga, Qigong, mindfulness based programs, meditation, workshops, introductory immersions, teacher trainings, continuing education, yoga in Spanish, and yoga for seniors and kids." Ya, that's why I had to include it - it's pretty amazing.
Dylan and I have gone to a couple of classes at ACY, but since our last visit, the campus has expanded. They have upwards of 21 classes a day (!!), and they're all 'pay what you can.' It's a wonderfully welcoming place with great energy, full classes, and charitable vibe. One of my favorite things about the studio is that they do monthly community volunteer projects, as seva, or selfless service.
Between these two studios, you're bound to find a class to stretch at in the Weaverville area!
Weaverville Bonus Stop
There's a buzz about this place, and since I had you already checking out Flora in West Asheville, my pick for the place to bee in Weaverville is Wild Mountain Bees. You can probably guess what they sell, (everything honey-related), but this place can also help you start your own hives! They'll set you up with a hive kit, a colony of bees, tools, bear fencing, bee suits, and more! And if you're a new bee, don't worry, they've got classes in Beginner Beekeeping and Hands-On in the Hive, as well as classes to learn what to make with your newly acquired honey like: Herbal Honey Infusions, DIY Balms and Salves, DIY Mead making and more.
To Be Continued...
That wraps up five of the eleven towns on the WNC Yarn Trail / Yarn Crawl list. Are you eager to get out there and explore?! I sure am! Next week, the post will cover the other six stops - three of them are in downtown Asheville alone! But there's plenty of yoga and bonus stops along the way too, which I'll be sure to weigh in on. If you have other bonus stops in any of these towns, please share! Until next week, happy (yarny) trails!