Happy April! That means it’s time for the 11th Annual Minnesota Yarn Shop Hop! I didn’t get to go last year because I learned about it too late, but it looked like an amazing adventure. Plus, last year’s theme of Inspired by Literature would have been an incredible experience for this book nerd.
This year’s theme is Inspired by Music, which I am equally excited about. I’m always involved in music somehow, whether I’m playing in band or bell choir, listening to music, or getting stuck with a song in my head.
Since this is my first year participating in the Shop Hop, I’ll be posting every day about my experiences the day before. Let’s dive right in with Day 1!
I packed my Shop Hop tote with my EZ Pass passport and the notebook where I’d planned my routes the night before. Werner the traveling gnome is my navigator for this weekend, so I put him in charge of the GPS.
Stop #1: Unwind Yarn Shop in Burnsville
The group welcomed us and told us “we’re doing it our way!” They were joined by a cardboard cut-out of Frank Sinatra himself. The whole store was decorated with giant playing cards.
Pattern: “The Pattern Your Way” by Lynn Kindem, which can be made as a scarf or a cowl.
Yarn: Sun Valley Fibers 80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon in colorways Tuxedo and Red Velvet Lounge.
I was torn for a while but ultimately chose Red Velvet Lounge. Tuxedo self-patterns beautifully that was hard to put back on the shelf!
First impressions: A beautiful, spacious store filled with wonderful yarns and friendly staff. Would love to visit again soon!
Stop #2: Twisted Loop Yarn Shop in Prior Lake
Here, we were welcomed at check-in by a cardboard cut-out of the one and only David Bowie!
Pattern: “Labyrinth Owl Hat” by Jenni Krosnowski
How could I possibly resist this kit? Inside the owl-themed project bag is one skein of yarn, two black buttons for the hat, and a Labyrinth Survival Checklist. The checklist includes a Retractable Range Finder (tape measure), Energy Rations (Milky Way Minis or another mini candy bar), a Portable Map with “You are here!” Ball (marble maze game), and a “Riddle Solution Pin” (“Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave”). I also bought a silver owl progress keeper, also by Daisy Girl & Company to go with it.
First impressions: Smaller but filled to the brim with awesome yarn and inspiration, and it shares the building with the Prior Lake Library! I can’t think of a more perfect pairing.
Stop #3: Lakeside Yarn in Excelsior
The store was celebrating Louis Armstrong and his song “What A Wonderful World.”
I love the story behind this pattern. In her designer notes, Cynthia writes that the colors are “reminiscent of faded polaroid photographs,” many of which are on display in the back room with the yarn and store samples.
Yarn: Aegypte three-ply fingering 50% alpaca, 25% silk, 25% linen by Phydeaux Designs & Fiber. Pattern kits each come with 1 skein of Wonderful and a choice of Skies of Blue, Clouds of White, Trees of Green, or Red Roses Too.
I spent the whole day muddling over which colors to pick and ultimately chose Red Roses Too. Can’t wait to make and wear it!
First impressions: I’ve visited this store several times, so this won’t count as true first impressions. This is a cozy store with lots of room to explore and be inspired. The first thing you see is a “living room” space next to a beautiful fireplace. They always have lots of shop samples to admire and always know how to find the perfect yarn for your project. I love that we get to see Lakeside’s past Shop Hop designs before arriving at the back room to see this year’s design.
That’s all for Day 1. Stay tuned for Day 2! Happy hopping!