A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I went on a sort of cook’s tour of New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, stopping at yarn stores and used book stores along the way. I knew there was a knitting store in New Hope, PA, but had never been able to find it. However, having acquired a Blackberry, I was able to Google up directions while on the road and track down the shop.
Fast forward a few weeks. Husband decides we should have bought the book on midieval clothing and armor from the shop in Lambertville. Sunday weather is nice enough (finally!) for a drive. Maybe we should go to Lambertville and New Hope? That’s fine, dear, we can visit that nice knitting shop again. So, the deal was struck and we set out.
After acquiring the book, we set off up into Pennsylvania. If you are not familiar with eastern Pennsylvania, it has some really lovely architecture. New Hope is a mix of Colonial, Victorian, and modern built to blend in. Along the highway is built up, but generally lacks the sprawling strip malls that New Jersey is famous for. Rather, the Pennsylvanians will restore and preserve an older house and make it a focal point of a shopping area. The colonial houses tend to be either fieldstone or clapboard and really do stand out when they are restored. It just makes for a so much more charming effect than miles of sterile big-box storefronts.
Twist Knitting and Spinning is located on Route 202. If you come from New Jersey, you can either come in on 202 or, if coming from Lambertville, come over the bridge to New Hope and stay straight; you will hook up with 202 a little ways outside the town. Route 202 is also called Lower York Road at this point. Stay on 202 for about 5 minutes. You will come to a hilly stretch and the shop is on your left, just after the crest of a hill. It is on the intersection of Aquetong Road and there is a light at that intersection. The light is a good thing if there is traffic, because it will give you a chance to navigate the narrow parking area.
Once safely parked, however, you find yourself in front of one of those lovely, preserved Colonial buildings. Does this not look like the ultimate front for a knitting shop? :
Anyway, if I had a knitting shop, this is exactly the type of window I would want! And look, it is just bursting with knitting and spinning loveliness! Once inside, you realize exactly how much loveliness there is:
The original fireplace has been converted into display space. It is bursting with mohair, cashmere, and other fine yarns from makers like Madeline Tosh, Rowan, and Debbie Bliss.
The shop is cleverly laid out to take advantage of the small space. Every nook and cranny is filled with the most wonderful yarn.
There was even this gorgeous Lady Eleanor wrap from the “Scarf Styles” book on display.
And, if you wanted buttons, you came to the right place:
There is a nice selection of needles displayed behind the checkout counter. Believe me, not an inch of space is wasted here! A largish space is set up like a living room with comfy chairs and was filled with knitters. I did not bother them for a photo, as they seemed so happy to be chatting on their projects and I had already burst through them a couple of times with yarn and roving from the back room.
A little back room is filled with spinning supplies, a loom, books, yarn, and a discount shelf full of treasures. A woman was peacefully plying yarn at wheel and looked so relaxed, I also suppressed the impulse to whip out the camera.
I actually had a goal for this trip, which was to secure some Rowan Kid Classic for a pattern I’d just seen in one of the One Skein Wonder books. It turned out that Rowan is discontinuing this yarn and Twist had it on the discount shelves, so I happily bought enough for several projects.
Cissie, who was overseeing the shop and the knitters, cheerfully kept me supplied with shopping bags, weighed out my blue-faced leicester roving, and directed me to the shop’s Ravelry group while she rang me up. A most successful and pleasant yarn run! Twist is one of those LYSs you find, wish you lived closer to, and then realize it is probably better you don’t because you would never be out of the place.
Used books and yarn stowed safely in the trunk, we returned to the little Village of New Hope. If you have an opportunity to visit Twist Knitting and Spinning, make sure you head up the road and visit the village, too. There are some great restaurants. Our old standby, Karla’s, was packed, so we headed to the other side of town to the Triumph Brewery. We figured beer and a burger, but were again pleasantly surprised. We ordered the microbrew sampler — 30 ounces total of all their brews — and wound up ordering off their dinner menu just because it all sounded so good. That’s when we found out how good the food is here. It will be a tough choice the next time we visit as to which spot to eat at!
If you are nearby and looking for a day trip, I can’t recommend this enough. If you are nearby and looking for a good LYS, don’t hesitate to look for Twist! It will definitely be worth your drive.