Cottage Craft

Shortly after arriving in St. Andrews,  Cat Bordhi, Veronik Avery and I (having failed to find both a cheese sandwich and Lucy Neatby – though over the next three days, finding Lucy proved to be far easier than the elusive cheese sandwich) went for a walk by the sea. 

The town of St. Andrews By-the-Sea sits right where the name promises – on the edge of the sea on Passamaquoddy Bay, which is an inlet of the intriguing Bay of Fundy.  (If you don’t know about it, you should read about it. It’s a crazy place. The highest tides in the world, reversing falls, tidal bores, whirlpools… The ocean really shows off its best tricks in the Bay of Fundy.) It’s an old town, founded in 1783, and it has all the charm that implies.  We wandered along, looking and investigating, until we happened upon Charlotte County Cottage Craft Woollens.

This little building, sitting right by the sea, is the home of Canada’s oldest cottage industry, and was founded by Grace Helen Mowat in 1915, when she realized that the skills of the women around town were a "cash crop".  She created unique colours of yarn that reflected the countryside that surrounded her – which was a brilliant idea really – because it made the yarn tourist yarn.  You know how when you travel to a place you look for the perfect souvenir yarn? Yarn made in the place you’re at – something to remember it by?  Miss Mowat had your number in 1915, and not only did she provide this yarn, in her own signature colours, she had them woven up into unique tweedy yard goods. 

Fast forward a little bit, and what this lady has is a thriving business making all kinds of woolly stuff.  Cool bags, each one a piece of art –

Intriguing little dolls…

Any manner of wonderful stuff, but her best idea ever, was this:

Enough of the handwoven yarn goods (in a multitude of possible tweeds) to make a skirt, paired with heathered solid colour yarn to make a sweater that matched perfectly. With a pattern tucked in,  it was the New Brunswick answer to the twin set, and they were hugely popular.

Things have changed since Grace’s day,  but you can still make your own set – they still sell the beautiful handwoven yard goods, still in the original colours, and they still sell the yarn that matches.  A thinking person could put together their own co-ordinating set – but it wouldn’t have the charm of that boxed set.  (Cat, Veronik and I tried to convince the owners, Michelle and Evan, that such a set was still a good idea. Especially if they could re-create the original packaging – and include the vintage pattern.)

The shop also sells a ton of pre-knit stuff… sweaters, hats, mittens… little jackets and bags, and a ton of fashion forward capes and jackets made from the handwoven fabric.  

The whole time we were there some sort of party, complete with fiddle music and wine – raged in the backroom, with laughter and dancing, and the waves of the ocean out the window…

It was wonderful.  Michelle showed us the old swatch books – originally put together by Miss Mowat when she was deciding what fabrics and yarns to make- and we got to dig around in her old trunk, full of clippings and swatches and little wee things of interest – things that really belong in a museum rather than a shop by the sea – but really.. don’t they seem more at home there?

There was a lot that was great about Knit East, enough that if I’m asked back, I’d do it again in a heartbeat, but I have to say that the little history lesson I got by the sea was something I truly loved.

The only down side is that I might have convinced myself that I need a whole bunch of souvenir yarn, which I don’t feel bad about, not really.  After all Miss Mowat has been rigging the set-up since 1915.  I was doomed.

153 thoughts on “Cottage Craft

  1. Great post – thanks for sharing all that wonderful wooly goodness! 🙂
    I love that when reading your post, the first thing I thought of when you mentioned Passamaquoddy Bay was Pete’s Dragon. 🙂 A favorite children’s movie of mine, paired with a craft I love – your post REALLY made me smile today. 🙂

  2. Beautiful pictures! I was recently in the Maritimes for the first time ever and this post has brought back all those great memories. Now I’m off to check out a new wool site 😉 Looks gorgeous!

  3. I would soooo buy a boxed set. Just my kind of souvenir. I love tweed and enjoy a matchy matchy moment at least some of the time.
    Thanks for the post. Beautiful place and nice history lesson.

  4. How beautiful is that place?!? I don’t even sew and I’m dying to get my hands on that twinset. Can you imagine living in a place like that, the beautiful and wacky ocean right there, with lots of knitting to do…I say that’s my goal for retirement!!

  5. Sounds like a wonderful experience…can’t get much better…history, wool, wonderful landscape, good friends, & knitters. What more could a gal ask for? Loved your photos

  6. Oh my gosh!! Color me green with tons of envy! I love the ocean and all things yarny! Sound like I really missed out. Very happy for you, though!

  7. @Rae Lynne – thank you so much for figuring out why “Passamaquoddy Bay” was so familiar!

  8. I was nine. We were at the Bay of Fundy, and my little sister and I ran ahead of the park ranger on our hike and picked up trash, incensed that people would leave anything to spoil such a beautiful, beautiful spot and wanting to fix that. I will have to ask my mother, a knitter, if we stopped at that shop too; if we didn’t you know she wanted to. Thank you for the beautiful tour!

  9. I had the privilege of living in New Brunswick for a short while and Cottage Craft became one of my favourite places for yarn. It’s beautiful and not expensive. They sold me my first (and only) sweater kit. I hope one day I’ll finish it!

  10. i would totally (and i don’t think i’m alone here) buy that lovely packaged yarn-and-fabric bundle! it’s genius! what are they waiting for?!?

  11. When someone has been plotting your yarny downfall since decades before you were even born, any yarn acquisition is taken as predestined. I’ve just made up this rule, but I quite like it. I think we should keep it.
    Seriously, I love reading about women like Grace Helen Mowat. I’ll bet she was absolutely fascinating, even beyond her woolen trappery.

  12. I love the idea of the twin set. I am nowhere near the Bay of Fundy, but I would love to take some of the yarns I really love and match them to a gorgeous fabric and see what I come up with. It is a lovely idea.

  13. The things you learn – I saw a programme about the tides in the Bay of Fundy and although I correctly remembered what country it was in I totally blew it on which coast.

  14. Truly beautiful. Wish I could just drive over….. It could happen. I’m still amazed at the AirCanada story of yesterday. I would SO fly them if they go where I’m going.

  15. Thank you for the great class on Saturday!!! We loved having you in our little part of the world. I knew I should have brought some of the Cottage Craft stash I had on hand for you 🙂 Next time, I promise!
    Come on back to NB anytime, we would love to have you!

  16. I’m trying to figure out how, as a teacher, you managed to find time to visit Cottage Craft while I, a student, failed to find the time!

  17. I had an English friend whose everyday wear was a kilt-style skirt with blouse and matching sweater (knit by herself). Her sweater pattern was a cabled yoke raglan style sweater – looks similar to the pattern Miss Mowat supplied. I always meant to knit myself one but never got around to it.
    You visit some of the most amazing places – thanks for sharing!

  18. Thanks for the photos! I actually HAVE a set that I inherited from my Gramma – pale green yarn with green/indigo tweed skirt length. It’s “good wool” as Gramma used to say. Not exactly stylish, certainly not sexy, but feels like you could survive anything with it around you. Gramma dressed exactly like that pattern leaflet the whole time I knew her.

  19. We went to the Bay of Fundy, saw low and high tides….fascinating ! We were disappointed that the museum at the park didnt explain why and how it worked very well. Luckily some googling on smart phones got us enough info to explain it to the kids.
    I missed that wool shop! I’d have been a gonner there, too!

  20. I think the wool-yarn sets are fabulous too; we could get some young sassy designers to come up with updated ideas for sets.
    Thanks for the photos. I’d LOVE to be feeling the cold of autumn set in by the Atlantic, and walking on the coast would be lovely, bracing.

  21. Your description of Cottage Craft Woollens would make a wonderful advertisement… It sure made me want to go there right now. It gave me a virtual vacation to a beautiful spot and since thats all thats in my budget right now…THANKS

  22. That pink skirt/yarn combo is GENIUS. I want to drive to where-ever this is in Canada and buy one. If she sold those on the internet it would be a huge hit. What a brilliant idea!
    We knitters need a Smithsonian (sorry, American reference!) size museum to capture all of these pockets of fiber history.
    A beautiful blog post – thank you.

  23. I love this place! On my first trip there to Cottage Crafts, it was my husbands and my 20th wedding anniversary. I bought stuff for my girls and yarn, lots of it….on my second trip there, my husband surprised me with a premade sweater that is my favorite of all time. This was a few years later…I found the yarn in storage that I had never used, it was the same as the sweater he bought me! This location is one of my favorites for a relaxing vacation. We love it and I never go without a trip to Cottage Crafts. We are from the states and LOVE the area. So peaceful and pretty.

  24. You make Cottage Craft sound such a lovely shop, it’s just a shame the mail order business has been such a disaster in the last few years. Orders placed and not received and very little communication from Evan. I really hope he has got his act together now as there is so much history and potential in the business.

  25. I can’t wait to see you in a twin set….
    Beautiful. Perhaps, one day, some of us will make it on our own.
    And I love the Bay of Fundy. Wrangell Narrows is a west coast compatriot, though with fewer world records.

  26. Whoosh – that is the sound of my being transported back by time machine to my childhood in New Brunswick, when having a Cottage Craft skirt and matching sweater was the height of chic. It is a beautiful part of the world.
    I do hope you had some fried clams while there – I miss them, although my hips don’t!

  27. My aunt bought a Twin Set for my mother back in the early ’60s. Mum followed the pattern and made the set. It was aqua, beautiful, and looked great on her. Thanks for a terrific post.

  28. What a wonderfull place. Reading that in the middle of my work day, in my gray cublicle- was like a little vacation.

  29. I have one of those boxed sets – sans the box – gifted to me by my mother-in-law, who purchased it in the 60’s, and then aged it in her craft zone. It’s a denim blue, and I treasure it even more now that I’ve seen pics of the Cottage Craft shop. Maybe some day it’ll become an outfit. Thanks for sharing!

  30. You could make the skirt and matching sweater to wear on your book tours! Make two sets in coordinating colors, so you can mix and match, and you’ll have four outfits. You’ll never have to worry about what to wear to your book events again.

  31. I’m pretty sure I remember this shop from my childhood; we used to stay in St. Andrews on trips from Halifax to the States. So many things lately seem to be calling me back to the Maritime provinces…

  32. I BOUGHT that boxed set at a thrift shop last year… in exactly that same pink color. The pattern was not included, but I was totally charmed by the packaging and had to have it. I may never use it, but will display it proudly. So nice to see where it came from!!! What a delight.

  33. Wowzer. What a woman and what a business brain that woman had! Sounds and looks like a fab place, and all the while I’ve been told (quite reliably) that you ‘North Americans’ have no history to speak of, and once again you have demonstrated another reason why I need to visit your fair country.

  34. I bought one of these kits when we visited Cottage Craft on our honeymoon in 1975. I finally had to throw out the skirt because it didn’t fit any more, but I had worn it a lot and felt really elegant while doing so. I’ve loved Cottage Craft ever since, and read the book about Grace Helen Mowat last year. Fascinating woman.

  35. That sabric/yarn duo set is sheer brilliance. If they don’t start selling those kits again, I’d be shocked! So lovely. It sounds like a beautiful trip.

  36. I have a handmade toy monkey from St. Andrews By the Sea that I bought on our annual NB vacation about 45 years ago. He has jointed arms and legs and is made of a lovely tweedy fabric. He cost $4.50, as compared to a doll with a removable sweater that cost $5.50, so being money-conscious, I chose him. He still looks good, and I see St. Andrews does, too!

  37. I have two sweaters made of yarn I bought at Cottage Craft. They are my absolute favourite sweaters and have been worn every year for at least 20 years — probably longer. Did you see their classic pullover/cardigan sweaters with the fair isle yoke?
    I’m so glad they are still in business and I hope you bought lots of yarn and we will see some great projects using it soon! Your story made me want to go there this afternoon.

  38. Stephanie, thank you for a wonderful time! I had the pleasure of taking your sock class on Saturday at KnitEast, and enjoyed every minute of it. Next time, we will be sure to have all your favorite foods readily available!

  39. Thanks for reminding me about this wonderful place – my husband and I visited and I bought one of their sets of lovely green fabric and matching yarn in the early 1970’s. The sweater is now being used by my nieces – I’ve lost track of the skirt but I remember it fondly.

  40. OMG! I was there once! As soon as I saw the picture the memory came rushing back and I just had to share it.
    Since I “graduated” my first elementary school in the 3rd grade, to mark every graduation since (I have PhD – so this was a lot of times), my Dad and I would take a special trip, just him and I, to wherever I wanted. When I finished college, I wanted to go to the Bay of Fundy to see the flowerpots. So, we drove up there from Connecticut and I was knitting in the car all the way. At one point, we stopped at this shop, I bought knitting needles and hand made flip top mittens, which I still occasionally wear even though they have a big hole in them.
    It was a great trip. I have a great Dad. A great Mom too – after all, she taught me to knit :).
    Thanks for the memory!

  41. Oh, my goodness, vintage knitters like me would go ga-ga over such a kit! Too bad you weren’t able to win them over with the idea. I absolutely adore that combo kit in the boxes you showed! What a piece of wooly history.

  42. There was ALWAYS at least one hand knit sweater under the Christmas tree every year & it was ALWAYS knit with this wool! Usually a yoked sweater with the yoke knit by my great aunt & the plain body knit by my grandmother. This wool stands the test of time – I’ve still got my sweaters (all over 20 years old now)!

  43. Two of my aunts used to knit for Cottage Craft and a third aunt used to organize their knitters! St. Andrew’s is a beautiful place.

  44. As soon as I learned to knit, in about 1960, I knit one of those New Brunswick sets every year for several years and they were the mainstay of my wardrobe. I still have one of the sweaters. The sets weren’t in a box and were sold at my lys in Alabama, USA, but were the same thing. I loved them.

  45. Reading this post had me stop and run to my closet to check something. Incredibly, I was right.
    The handknit woolen tweed cardigan I rescued years ago from the thriftstore bears a vintage label reading:
    “Handwoven Cottage Craft Tweeds & Yarns”
    (100% Wool/Laine, Product of Canada, St. Andrews, New Brunswick)
    Now, I don’t know if it was made using the yarn from one of those box sets (it certainly has a vintage highneck style and silhouette) or if it was purchased as a finished sweater at the shop… but how fricking cool is THAT???!!!!

  46. I would give my eye teeth for a set like that! I want someone to make the skirt for me (a-line please) and I will make the sweater. What would be better for a cold weather person who teaches at a college than a tweedy skirt and a sweater? Sigh. Could I have pink, even? Well, maybe I am too old for it, but I am going through a dark pink/maroons phase and…maybe grey would be better. Or a grey tweed with just a tiny touch of pink? 🙂
    Wonderful. Jealous. Thanks for the photos!

  47. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in a town where knitting has been an important part of the town’s way of life since 1783?
    I know what I’m doing with my usual birthday check which just may arrive the end of this month!

  48. OMG…I so want the skirt and sweater kit! And the vintage pattern…to die for! Retro is so in style right now (Mad Men, Pan Am)..they should definitely consider putting the kits together again. Add my begging to the pile, pretty please….

  49. I loved St. Andrews when I visited on a tour years and years ago — before I began to knit, or I am sure I would have purchased some souvenir yarn at that lovely shop.

  50. Whoa, somehow I thought I was the only one shopping for souvenir yarn while travelling. brought back some great memories of dds and I fondling every skein in a small shop in Cognac as we looked for something local. of course everyone else was bringing home cognac…

  51. There really is a place named Passamaquoddy!? That is so awesome.
    Cottage Craft is even better, but I’m so stoked that Passamaquoddy is a real place!!

  52. Dear Steph: If you ever see Veronique Avery again please tell her that I love her with all my knitterly heart and think she’s the best designer ever. Her and Nora Gaughan. Maybe better not tell her my name since I sound a little crazed.

  53. Thank you for the pictures of Cottage Craft. I had bought yarn from them at a Stitches market years ago and it is now a lovely Central Park Hoodie. You never know when the perfect pattern for that souvenir yarn will come along.

  54. Screech.
    Last time a friend spent time with Maritimers, she brought Screech – in itty bitty bottles, dang it – back here with her. Shocked by no mention of Screech in the post, just…shocked. And so pining for a trip to St. Andrews! Thank you for all the pix and info. jdu

  55. Oh My! I’d bought matching sweater/skirt sets from a local mill store in the mid 60’s, but I’ve never seen anyone sell fabric and yarn. I remember patterns that showed matching sets, but there was never any indication as to where you could get the fabric, only the yarn. We were just so hard-done-to in the pre-internet days. Really, it’s a miracle we survived at all.

  56. Perhaps you could update their ‘skirt and sweater’ look with some bespoke trousers, and you make the sweater. How neat would that be.
    Back in the early 80’s I had a twinset skirt (with inverted front pleat) and sweater set. I thought I looked so cool – helped by getting the one-and-only-job-I-want to the interview, so it became a talisman. Just me putting together random pieces.

  57. I’d love to go there! It would be dangerous, though. I have such a set of fabric and yarn, purchased in Scotland in the ’70s, in a lovely rust color. And I’ve always been afraid to make it up because it might become outdated…

  58. Such perfect timing! I went to the Wiki page you linked to, and found a photo of the sandstone rock formations (the flower pot rocks). Immediately emailed it to my earth science student’s families, since we just talked about sandstone and conglomerate rocks in class yesterday! Thanks for supporting education 🙂

  59. Just in case the shop owners stumble on your comments, +1 for the lure of the boxed set. Love that!

  60. Thanks for the pictures of the old home province. Have been in ON for two years had forgotten how pretty New Brunswick looks in the fall!! Also forgot how great that shop is too!

  61. I so want to visit the Maritimes – and this post just continues to cement that yearning. I’d have come back with some “vacation” yarn too.
    I can almost smell the Bay from the photos. Sigh.

  62. Ah, Cottage Crafts. That always seemed to be the starting point of our St. Andrews wanderings when I went with my family as a child. Pre-knitting days, I’m sad to say. I must go back next summer when I’m home again.
    And, for jdu, Screech is from Newfoundland, which is not actually a “Maritime” province in this sense. NL + PEI + NS + NB = Atlantic provinces. Maritimes = NB + NS + PEI.

  63. Omg! My grandmother had a rose coloreed set. And I bet it was from there I wonder where it is, I remember her giving it to me in the 80’s but I don” t think I ever wore it

  64. What a wonderful place! I’m sure that yarn is beautiful. There should be more women like Grace Helen Mowat in this world. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  65. I for one would pay a whole bunch if they did in fact recreate the vintage sets and sell them by mail order. I am probably not alone.

  66. I found some Cottage Craft yarn second hand. As I do when I find these “local” yarns, the first thing I do is hit the Internet, where I discovered the amazing history. Living in the Pacific Northwest I feel lucky to have found these skeins to experience.
    I appreciated this post with its pictures and additional information.

  67. On Twinsets:
    Back in the 60’s I made a suit and matching sweater from yarn and wool dyed to match. I think it may have come from Sears or Pennys. I still have the sweater.
    I found a twin set at Goodwill. The sweater was complete except for the neck. There was only 1 yard of fabric (enough for a 60’s A shaped skirt). It had the original patterns. I wish I had saved it. I gave it to a knitting relative who could finish the sweater and wear it.

  68. Those bags and skirt/sweater kits are as charming as can be. The prices are so reasonable! There may be a sweater kit in my future. (And when I say may, I mean there is one in my future.) Thanks for the great post.

  69. I bought that kit 19 years ago when we visited NB with our young children. That brought back a lot of memories seeing your post. Thanks.
    PS Glad you got your passport back. Only in Canada eh????

  70. When my grandmother died years ago I inherited most of her yarn and patterns. Included in the stash was a partially knit tweedy purple sweater and matching fabric. We always wondered where she got it, as she spent several years of her adult life in that part of the world I think you’ve solved the mystery for us! Thank you!

  71. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely story. I didn’t know that places like this still exist. In the hubbub of even small city life, the personal touches that go into making a life human are greatly missed. You are so lucky to have found the Cottage Craft Woolens and to find out it was still viable after all these years. We are richer by knowing about it.

  72. It’s so nice that you featured Cottage Craft. A wonderfully talented coworker, who taught me the art of knitting, knit her granddaughter an Aran sweater with yarn from Cottage Craft. And we live in Indiana! The sweater is beautiful and yarn is such a nice find. The price, even with shipping, is quite affordable.

  73. I grew up near Saint John, and trips to St. Andrews were commonplace. I loved the place, but not for the yarn shop. That came later. I haven’t been to St. Andrews for a dog’s age (living in Nova Scotia now), but my mother retired to Grand Manan Island, so I think on my next trip to visit her, I shall have to make a side trip (or take her, come to think of it, she’d love it too)! Thanks for sharing this – I can almost SMELL the wool!

  74. When I was a little girl, I had a recorded story that I listed to over and over, and at one point, one of the characters aboard ship hollered, “Passamaquoddy ahoy!!!”
    I thought Passamaquoddy was made up. Now that I know it’s not (and I’m mostly recovered from feeling stupid about that), I feel an overwhelming urge to drive up the New England coast and see it for my own self.

  75. When I worked for a yarn shop in New York in the late 70’s and early 80’s we sold wool yarn by a yarn company called Brunswick (that I thought was based in the US). Back then you could order yardage to match your yarn so you could make a matching skirt. Could Cottage Crafts have been the source of what we were ordering for customers? I agree with others that this idea could become popular again with all the people that have taken up sewing again.
    Loved your post – it was like taking a mini vacation!

  76. Let’s wish that we had the figures to match those vintage patterns. My shape has change over the years, but my vintage pattern size would be somewhere around an 18 or 20. Yup. Sizes have changed.
    Yes, I do souvenir yarn….didn’t know anyone else did, though. Hahahahahaha

  77. Ok! This is just wrong! Now all I want to do is GO THERE!!!!!! LOLOL. What a wonderful place.

  78. Another reason to go back and visit that area again. Honestly, I could watch the tides go in and out all day, every day, around the Bay of Fundy.

  79. Resistance is futile. I’m a long way from Newfoundland, but I really want to go to that shop! With a spare suitcase. Awesome

  80. As a proud citizen of Matchy-Match Town, I would love a coordinating skirt and sweater set. That would be a dream gift to receive. I hope those wonderful ladies are reading these comments and see a fast way to empty my wallet of its spending money.

  81. 1. Miss Mowat related to Farley?
    2. I’m moving there. Home my husband decides to come with.

  82. As if I didn’t already want to see the Maritimes. . . that matching yarn and woven fabric. Old (50’s and 60’s) issues of Vogue Knitting ran ads for that sort of thing, but I had no idea that anyone still offered it!

  83. Once my kids are grown and we can do our big travel plans, I’ll have already worked out all of the places we’ll visit based on posts like this. And, just think! I have all of this time to save up yarn money! ^_~

  84. Now I finally know what to do with the leftovers from my last fleece. I’ve still got enough to weave yardage for a skirt, and spin the rest for a sweater. Yeah!
    (You know you’re a fiber nut when this is your idea of a “knock off” 🙂

  85. What a stunning place. I have always wanted to see it. Will KnitEast be held there again next year?
    Enchanted by the twin set, too … but what caught my eye above all was that loom. The exact same loom sits in the possession of my young niece, whose mother died of breast cancer, who inherited from her mother, who inherited it from hers. Four generations of weavers. It really warmed my heart to see that little loom in the shop.

  86. My mother had one of those skirt and sweater kits in a beautiful tweed of green. You brought back some happy memories of her making it up and wearing it when I was a very young child. Thanks and may I add my vote to the others calling for them to produce those lovely kits again.

  87. Thanks for bringing back memories. The first shawl I ever made was one of their kits purchased with my babysitting money when I was in my teens. It lasted for years and got used for many dress-up occasions with our girls.

  88. My mother made me an outfit like that when I was in my teens. A tweedy green skirt and a matching knitted sweater. It was my favourite outfit for a long time.

  89. In Sudbury, we had the already produced Kitten skirts(that would be pencil skirts) with the dyed to match sweaters-before you were born. However, that blog post does it. I’m going to plan on Knit East next year. I hope I can persuade Josee to go again. I’m sure she thoroughly enjoyed her time there this year considering she had a class with you and one with Cat. Pure heaven.
    Cheers and red wine, Hazel.

  90. Oh my – what a stroll down memory lane. My first Brunswick outfit was a cardigan in Mediterranean Heather sport weight with the matching wool fabric for an a-line skirt. It was the first of many coordinated Brunswick outfits I made for me, my sisters and my grandmother.
    In fact, I think that first skirt is still kicking around somewhere, 49 years later.
    Thanks for the look back! I’m glad to know the yarn and fabric are still available.

  91. When I was in High School, late 60’s, we vacationed in that area. Both Mom and I got the yarn and skirt set. I wore that sweater to death and loved it even more. It finally gave up the ghost about 10 years later, and I still miss it! It was a really awful color for me, but it was sooo warm. Great memories. Glad to know they are still around! Thanks for brining back a good time with my family.

  92. As Jinny posted above ,there have been serious issues with Cottage Crafts’ mail order business.
    Check out their group on Ravelry for details.

  93. We’re on vacation next week and I just sent my husband the link to their site with the screaming headline :Road Trip !!!

  94. Please, please, please re: the post written by Jinny above – read the Cottage Craft Group Threads on Ravelry. There are serious problems re orders, stock, etc. Please – buyer beware!

  95. As someone who knits and sews…I would be all over that skirt and yarn box…I LOVE the idea of it. In fact, I’m scheming over what I’d make with it if it were mine now. That color pink is just so divine. What a dreamy idea. Someone needs to package fabric and yarn like this now. Would sell like pancakes on a cold Sunday morning.

  96. Having grown up on obscure Disney movies, you had me at “Passamaquoddy.” (Passamawhaaaa? QUODDY.)
    That shop looks wonderful. Thank you for the virtual tour.

  97. When I was a teenager, my mother bought a set of fabric and matching yarn, made me an a-line skirt and a beautiful cabled v-neck, much like the vintage photo in your post. Very cool! Brings back such good memories. I’m hoping to spot you at Rhinebeck, Harlot!
    Blogless Mary Lou

  98. I had one of those sets! Bought it in Montreal (I think) in the early 1960s). The fabric was a lovely tweedy green with similar yarn for the sweater. My mother made the sweater for me and I sewed a lined A-line shirt.
    Made a wonderful outfit, and I had forgotten about it until reading your blog. How great to hear that they are still in business and apparently thriving.

  99. Somebody gave me a kit like that back in the day. I don’t know if it was from Nova Scotia or from Scotland, but I do recall it contained enough yarn for a nice sweater for a size 8, and a half-yard of the skirt fabric. Kind of a nasty thing for a chunky size 16 gal to get, but I did enjoy my nice woolen vest 😉

  100. Lordy!
    I had one of those sets too. I think everybody did, back then. Mine had a no waistband A-Line bias plaid skirt, mostly white with a pink overplaid and a pink Mohair (naturally!) Cardigan to match it. I think it probably did come from Penny’s.

  101. Souvenir yarn….I have eight enormous skeins for Cottage Crafts…in the sweetest soft pink and lavender ever!

  102. Beautiful. Gorgeous. Lucky! Jealous!
    P.S. Are you coming to Denver on the book tour? I highly recommend my LYS Lamb Shoppe and Tattered Cover bookstore. I you like Mexican and margaritas…I’ll treat at El Diablo (less than 10 min away!).

  103. Yes, Miss Mowat is almost certainly related to Farley Mowat. If not closely then perhaps to Oliver Mowat, the third premier of Ontario back in about the 1860s. Both are from the same small parish in the north of Scotland where I grew up and where the Mowats originally had a castle almost 1000 years ago. (two of my great grandparents were Mowats and I’m related to both Oliver and Farley Mowat. Must go down to the basement and dig out my family tree and see if I can find mention of her!

  104. wonderful post! i’ve been using cottage craft yarn for some time now and am completely in love. it is everything i think a yarn should be, and i feel perfectly happy when i knit it. i hope you do as well. 🙂

  105. Oh my goodness! My mother and her knitting friend made these twin sets for me! I remember loving and wearing them to death. I sew and knit, and would love, love, love to get my hands on one of these kits!

  106. Reversing Falls is great! I was there a few years ago with my family and we went on the Jet Boat Ride. What a thrill it was until we saw the next boat after us go out and flip over! If I ever get back there again, I’ll have to look up that shop- how quaint it seems.

  107. Ah, St Andrews! It’s as lovely as I remember it–thanks for taking me for a stroll through some favorite memories–I visited there in the mid-1970s, and it was just as charming then. I remember the tweeds but wasn’t a knitter back then. I’ll just have to mark it as a vacation destination for next summer…

  108. I too had one of those “kits”. Mine was loden green and I wore the matched sweater and skirt when I was in college. Would buy it again today if available.

  109. Reading this post, I have traveled back in time to my youth when my mother, now in her 80th year, would make up kits for herself. She was stylish and warm, far from St. Andrews in southern Alberta.

  110. “You know how when you travel to a place you look for the perfect souvenir yarn? Yarn made in the place you’re at – something to remember it by?”
    Um, no, I didn’t know I did that…but now I realised that of course I do exactly that.. Thanks for pointing that out 🙂

  111. I don’t even particularly like pink (can’t think of a single pink item in my wardrobe, including underwear) but I would buy that skirt +yarn set in pink if I could get my hands on it. I would kick myself for it later (and I would have to buy another set in a color I would actually wear) but that’s how incredibly awesome that set is. Most brilliant tourist-yarn marketing EVER. I would order a set without even having the honor of visiting St. Andrews in person. (I’ve been drooling over the picture of the kit since Veronik first posted it, but the pictures of the modeled skirt-and-sweater sets are KILLING ME.)

  112. i live in arkansas and my parents live in nova scotia 6 months a year and arkansas the other 6 months.i stayed in st andrews by the sea last summer and loved the town but was disappointed in the yarn grandmother used to buy the yarn and wool sets and make outfits for me when i was a teenager. pretty cool the shop is still there!

  113. How fantastic this was tom read, but not as good as being there I think. I must find a way to go there one of these days! I think that being in your blog could possibly increase their traffic. Surely everyone who reads it will want to add it nto their list!!! Plunk! Onto my bucket list it goes!

  114. This post truly tugs at my heart. I love The Bay of Fundy with the 20 feet tides. I would love to visit this shop. Thank you Steph.

  115. I knew there was good things down that peninsula!! we motor from NH to Cape Breton several times a year, always crossing at Calais/St Stephen. It drives me nuts – my husband crosses that border and it’s peddle to the metal all the way to port hood. Next trip I’m booking a campsite at KOC for a couple of nights. Thanks for letting us know. But Remember:
    Fundy’s long and Fundy’s wide,
    Fundy’s fog and rain and tide;
    Never see the sun or sky,
    Just the green wave going by.
    Gordon Bok

  116. My sister and I enjoyed the event, the city, and your talk on Saturday night. You are such a gifted speaker which puts a smile on many faces. You make it fun to laugh at dropped stitches, run through the streets with a turned heel, and shop the aisles for Bacon powder..

  117. I used to LOVE Cottage Craft! I too was at knit East with some friends visiting from Toronto. I wanted to show it off to them. I had a very different experience than you. I recommend folks check out the Ravelry group for Cottage Craft, before making any on-line orders.
    Other than that, we had a fantastic time in St.Andrews! Visited lots of other amazing places along the bay and did a trip to Briggs and Little where we were treated to a tour of the mill! We had so much souvenir yarn that I was afraid it all wouldn’t fit in the car!
    Thanks for the entertainment Stephanie, you are a gifted story teller! Better in person that on your blog or books.

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