On Thursday, I got an email from Doug. There was a yarn tasting at the Flaming Ice Cube in Ohio on Saturday, was I interested in going? He’d also managed to get a hold of a few other folks, on short notice, who could head out to Ohio early Saturday morning.
What’s a yarn tasting? If you know, you can skip this paragraph. If you don’t, then read on. A yarn tasting is when a yarn shop offers short lengths of many different types of yarn to try out. You can make up a small swatch of the yarn, finding out how it works up. There’s usually a variety of fibers, textures, and weights. Its nice to be able to try out a yarn that you might not normally have bought. The idea is, of course, that you will then go and buy lots of yarn. Which I typically do.
Doug was able to find three others to drive out with him: Diane, Rebecca, and me. We met up at the Camp Horne Giant Eagle and then set off for the wilds of Ohio. We only made one stop along the way. Doug, knowing that one day the machines will rise up against us, decided to check the map to make sure his GPS wasn’t leading us astray.
We arrived at Flaming Ice Cube, finding the shop fairly easily. The Flaming Ice Cube is a yarn shop and a vegan café. There were tasty veggie wraps, snacks, and vegan muffins and cookies for us to munch on during the presentation, all from the café. The shop is a nice size and has a good selection of yarn. It has lots of knitting accessories and books, but very few crochet hooks or books. Once the folks hosting the yarn tasting realized there were several crocheters present, I have to say that they did make an effort to be inclusive. Even going so far as to get some crochet hooks with different types of handles for us to try out.
There was an extensive selection of yarn samples for us to try out. For several of the samples there were also items made out of the particular yarn. Included was also a catalog showing the different colors some of the yarn was available in. We ended up not sitting together, but in a way that worked out. I enjoyed talking to the new people around me, comparing notes on what they thought of the yarns and hearing their comments on the ones that they had already made projects from.
At the end, there were door prizes. I won a knitting needle gauge, which I handed over Rebecca, since I don’t knit. I was amused that the only prize that was exclusively a knitting prize (the others were a mug, a journal, and a bag) went to one of the few non-knitters. The Universe does enjoy its little ironies. The prize did end up with someone who could use it, so its all good.
Presentation and playing with samples all done, we were turned loose on the store.
We all managed to find some yarn we liked, and Diane bought a very colorful bag. I got a less colorful bag, with a funny statement printed on it. We can all use more project bags. We decided that it was time to eat. Since we’d had a light lunch from the vegan café, we decided to try some place else, as tasty as the food had been. Out to the car we went and we fired up the smart phones and gps, looking for what was available. We decided that a place called the Stonebridge Grille sounded good. While Doug was pulling up the directions to it, Rebecca pointed to the building about 25 yards in front of us. Yep, it was right across the parking lot from the Flaming Ice Cube.
Diane was excited to discover that on the menu of Stonebridge Grille was a fried baloney sandwich. Filled with childhood nostalgia, she ordered one. Doug, who hadn’t even tried baloney until he went to college, was curious enough to order one, too. Rebecca and I went the more traditional, and boring, route with burgers and fries. Diane seemed a little disappointed that it was a thick slice of baloney, rather than thin deli-style slices, but she said it was still good. Doug didn’t seem too impressed by the fried baloney, although he agreed that trying new experiences are part of a proper road trip. The desserts were great. Rebecca and Doug split a piece of a rich, Godiva chocolate cheesecake. I had a peach cobbler that was far more peachy goodness than cobbler.
With lots of new yarn and full stomachs, we headed back to Pittsburgh. We all agreed that Doug’s idea of a spur of the moment yarn tasting road trip had been an excellent adventure.