When I am traveling, I like to search out new needlework stores. Every buyer is different, so you never know exactly what kinds of things you will find. I knew that most of the board members on the retreat this weekend would be spending Saturday afternoon looking at antique stores in Ventura. I like modern furniture and don't collect anything except books (especially cookbooks and science fiction) and needlework stash, so I planned to just stay in the hotel and stitch. However, I did track down two needlework stores in Thousand Oaks, just off 101 that I could stop at on Friday afternoon. Unfortunately we got a later start than I hoped and the traffic from Pasadena onward was much, much worse than I feared. We didn't get to Thousand Oaks until just after 5 p.m., but my husband said that I could take the car and go out again Saturday afternoon. And fortunately my stitching friend Elayne would rather check out needlework stores than antiques. She was looking for some basic 10 count needlepoint fabric. When we were both in Calgary several years ago, she bought a large canvas with iris and had started to collect all the threads for the project. But she was still unsure exactly how much thread to buy and how many strands of silk to go over such a large count canvas, since she mostly stitches cross stitch. She wanted to practice before starting the project, rather than frogging insufficient coverage or running out of silk.
So after breakfast we both headed to the first shop, Eva's Needlework. The website promised lots of hand painted canvases, but it was obvious from walking in the door, that this was a knitting and crochet store. We should have brought our knitting friend, Liz.
It's not that there was no needlework, but the selection was meager and threads were all pushed in the back of the store and hard to get to. I didn't even see any stretcher bars that I was looking for. Although they had a small supply of blank canvas, it was 12 and 18 count, not 10 count. This store was a disappointment.
Edited: 6 July, 2009: I just learned this weekend that Weaver's has closed. That is really unfortunate as it was a wonderful store.
The next store. Weaver's Needle and Frame did not look very inviting from the outside. It was hidden in a strip mall behind an In-N-Out burger stand. Although there was not much to see in the windows, there was a notice of EGA meetings on the front door. This sounded more promising.
And when we stepped inside we knew this was where we would spend a lot of time. To the left of the front door was a selection of canvases for needlework. They were mostly modern designs and there were dozens I could have bought on the spot. This picture shows only half of the Rainbow Gallery spinners. I am sure that they had EVERY color of Splendor. And for me, Designer's Dream! I had fallen in love with this 100% wool thread while working on the reindeer in Winter. I knew I would walk out with several cards of my new favorite thread.
But wait! There's more. To the left and in back were dozens of interesting cross stitch patterns. There was a gigantic table to the right in back with several canvases in progress with excellent specialty stitches. Along the back wall and right wall were every color of Caron, Weeks Dye Works, Gentle Art, and other specialty threads. Of course, they had Elayne's 10 count canvas. And they even had some very small stretcher bars for me. If I ever move back to California, I'm going to move right next to this store. What did I buy? Pictures tomorrow!