In August, we spent a week’s vacation in Nova Scotia, our first big road trip as a family. Words can’t describe what a beautiful province it is; the ocean, the beaches, the mountains…pure heaven! We found this beautiful little place by the ocean, with several parks and beaches, where we spent our days collecting “treasures” and splashing in the waves.
We spent a day touring Cape Breton, but it was too rainy that day to do much, so most of it was spent in the car taking pictures. Our day trip to Halifax, however was lots of fun for everyone, and we even got to sneak in a bonus trip to the beach on our way back to the cottage.
If you’ve never been to Canada’s east coast, it is easily one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. It has rolling hills and rocky cliffs, ocean breezes and beautiful beaches. The hiking trails are gorgeous, the roads are scenic and no matter where you go, the people are so friendly and welcoming. The artisan scene is amazing there, and makers of all types can be found in waterfront stalls, specialty shops in the villages and cute little shops off the country roads.
One would think I had done it on purpose, but it just so happened that the cottage I had booked for us for the week was just outside of Tatamagouche, which has not one, but three spectacular yarn shops, each with their own special niche.
I managed (just barely) to keep it together and not buy everything I could lay my hands on, but I did come home with some beautiful local treasures. I was like a kid in a candy store, so I totally forgot to take photos of the shops while I was there, all the more reason for me to make a return visit! These are some of my great finds!
Tatamagouche Yarn and Company
This beautiful little shop is located right in the town of Tatamagouche. It is a large white house that has been converted into a shop and carries a large selection of high end imported and local yarns. It was warm and inviting, like shopping in a friend’s living room.
I was specifically looking for local yarns that I couldn’t find elsewhere and I was not disappointed. There was a large selection of yarns from the Halifax area, but the one that caught my eye just so happened to be from a dyer not to far from me in Ontario (Knitting Wolf Luxury Yarns), but it featured a colour scheme inspired by the colours in a photo of Tatamagouche at Sunrise sent to him by the owner of Yarn and Co. It was love at first sight, the colours were so vibrant yet soft, the yarn was so luxurious and squishy, and I loved the Ontario/Nova Scotia collaboration; a bit of home, and a bit of one of my favourite places in the world.
Titled “October Sunrise over Tatamagouche”, it has such rich Jewel tones I just had to take one home. I made a light and lacy scarf out using just the one skein and I love it! Even though its just a sock weight yarn, it is surprisingly warm and oh-so-soft and squishy! I am hoping to get the pattern written down so I can share it sometime soon!
Lismore Sheep Farm and Wool Shop
I drove to the farm, located just outside of River John, with my three year old on a very rainy Saturday.
We headed to the Visitor Barn first, where they have a full informational display on the processing of wool to make it into textiles, including samples of wool that you could try carding yourself. There were also a few happy little sheep there that you could pet that were so silky soft and already had me thinking of warm sweaters and cozy blankets. My little guy didn’t want to touch them, but he had no trouble touching everything else when we moved on to the store. The bright red building is so cheerful and inviting, especially on a dreary wet day. Inside, the store is spacious and inviting, with little niches and corners everywhere to wander through and discover new treasures.
The selection was enormous, from their own line of yarns and roving, handmade products, sheepskins, and other local artisan goods, and their prices were unbelievably good (like, I had to seriously restrain myself and remember that they offer shipping for later, lol). I bought enough materials for two pairs of thrummed mittens. I am still deciding if I am brave enough to try them in knitting, it’s something I’ve always wanted to be good at, but does not come easily to me at all, I’ll share my progress on them once I get started.
Check them out at www.lismoresheepfarmwoolshop.com, they offer most of their products online and ship anywhere in North America.
This was my last stop on what had inadvertently become my ‘yarn tour’. This shop was so super cute, in the upstairs of a garage on the owner’s stunning oceanside property. There was a fabulous selection of yarn, roving and knitting/spinning tools.
I quickly scooped up a double handful of some beautiful hand dyed yarns in yellows and purples (ok, I took everything she had left) and then had a great chat with Faith about yarns, fibre arts and the Fibre Festival that had just started on my very last day of vacation. I will definitely have to plan next year’s vacation around it, as it includes 8 days of spinning, dyeing and all kinds of other yarn crafty goodness while celebrating a Sisterhood created by a love of the fibre arts. They can be found at www.sisterhoodfibres.com where you can get info on all the upcoming workshops and events.
While I really enjoyed each shop for their own unique offerings, this was my favourite stop, and I wish I’d had more time to spend there to shop, talk fibre and learn more about spinning, weaving and dyeing, which are all on my crafting bucket list.
So my family vacation and yarn tour was a huge success, and I definitely look forward to going back next year. If you are ever in this beautiful little corner of Nova Scotia, even just passing through, I strongly suggest you put this on your ‘must visit’ list!!
(I am not affiliated in any way with these shops or products, and this is not intended to be a review, however I do absolutely recommend checking all these places out and buying lots of yarn!!)