Travel Yarn Shop Crawl with Barbecue

One October we set out on a car trip from Louisiana to Birmingham, Alabama.  We were going there to attend a convention, but DH had a quest:  Dreamland Barbecue.  There once was a Dreamland in Baton Rouge, and DH and his work group loved nothing more than lunch at Dreamland.  Sadly, it closed, and has been sorely missed.  No other barbecue joint approached its recipe and smokey ambiance.

So it was with hope for a barbecue lunch that DH readily agreed to a morning yarn crawl.  Birmingham is draped over some mountainous hills and valleys.  The main drag goes up and over, and as we came down the far side I found the first shop on my list in a strip mall.  While it wasn’t one of those dreaded yarn stores that one sometimes stumble across, I didn’t find much to purchase, either.  The highlight of this stop was a children’s bookstore in the same strip.  We found delightful books for our grandchildren for Christmas.  The payoff was when the clerk asked “How did you find our store?” and I answered “You have the good taste to be in the same building as a yarn store!”

The second store, Knit Nouveau (, was back up and over, returning part way toward downtown Birmingham.  It sits in a delightful, vintage development known as College Town. I bought my first Euroflax yarn, which Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark, the shop owner, advised me to “whack against a newel post 4 or 5 times to limber it up”.   We visited some time with  Mercedes , speaking of cabbages and kings, horses and yarn, and oh, yes, barbecue.   She sharred the Dreamland passion, and gave us good directions on finding lunch.  Providentially, we were but a few blocks away.

Yesterday I bought Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines (the second book).  There, smiling out at me from the roll of designers, was Mercedes.  Makes it kind of personal, having passed a good time and shared barbecue passions.