Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I have found my Pennsylvania yarn Nirvana.

No, not this:

It is this.

I've found The Mannings. I see The Mannings at Maryland Sheep and Wool every year. I've heard many people sing its praises. My reaction has been... eh. In the 9 years I lived in Gettysburg, I never made it out to The Mannings. I was convinced I had already been there and it was just a store.

I was mistaken. It turns out the shop in East Berlin, PA I had previously visited was Woolgatherings. I bought my copy of Knitting in the Old Way there.

The Mannings is situated on a lovely spot of land right next to Conewago Creek. It was the creek that caused us to miss it on first pass. Oo, look at the creek! And the cute bridge! Is that a house? Why are they building a house right on the banks of the creek? I see flooding in their future. You can juuuust see the white retaining wall of the new house under the bridge.

Vroom, right past Mannings. Such is the discussion in Brewgal's car.

Anyway, we completely bypassed the Mannings on first try. Made it all the way out to the main road where we saw a sign pointing back the way we came. We quickly deduced, in our Scooby-Doo sort of way, that we had missed the store. That, and the TomTom feebly saying (in its oh-so-cultured English accent, "You have reached your destination. Turn around.")

Thank goodness for the signs. Hello, Mannings? Love the signs! THANK YOU FOR THE SIGNS.

The Mannings is a barn-sized weaving/spinning/yarn store. There I met Ruth, a wonderful person who loved the store so much she got a job there on weekends. When she found out I had never been before, she gave me a tour. Gotta love a store that inspires people to work there in their spare time.

When I walked in I though, Ok, some books and some yarn. Cool. No no no. This was just the first room. The front room has the books, tools and sock yarn. The next room has the laceweight yarn and cashmere. Then there's a room of DK weight and chunky yarn. And a room of spinning wheels. At the back of that room, behind the table of knitters, there is a wall of fleece, helpfully labeled with the type and name of the sheep it came from. With a photo of the sheep. She encouraged the LB's to stick their hands in the fleece to feel it's "hand."

But wait, there's more! There was an entire room of weaving looms. They give weaving classes. This is in addition to the practice looms where you could try out a loom to see if you like it. Then I discovered the wall of discontinued discount yarn.

Holy crap. Discounted Noro.

I was dazed by the time I made it out of the store. I spent an hour there and I know I didn't see everything. I ran into a woman who used to drive out from Ohio just to shop at Mannings. And another who drove up from DC weekly for classes.

I see more trips to The Mannings in my future.

For lunch, we went to Appalachian Brewing Company. I had the Barley Wine and Brewguy had the Porter. Actually he had two. The first ended up all over me.

A toast!
Sploosh. A full pint of porter all over Brewgal. Soaking my jeans. Dribbling into my purse. Across my shirt. We've all had a beer or two spilled on us in the past, I'm sure. However, the experience of having a full pint of high gravity porter draped across my Levis in January, when the prospect of changing is nil because I've subscribed to the mantra of pack light and that means no backup pants, and baby it's COLD outside, tends to sour the outlook slightly.

Then I remembered Gettysburg now has outlet shopping. Hello, Old Navy!

Kudos to our server, Ben, who quickly helped up wipe up the porter-y mess and brought Brewguy a new glass gratis.

Here we see pint #2. Note that Brewguy is carefully keeping his wayward arms AWAY from this one.

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