As many of you know, last week, I went on a fabulous cruise to Bermuda! And as with anywhere I travel, I’m on the hunt for yarn stores, with locally-crafted or somehow unique fine yarns as my ultimate goal.
I’ll skip to the chase: you’re not going to find any beautifully-crafted lovely yarn in Bermuda (or, if you do, please let me know, because you deserve a sleuth-award!). However, I found three places to buy yarn (big-box store brands like Lion Brand, Red Heart and Patons), and I found visiting these shops to be revealing about Bermudans and their yarn culture. And isn’t that what traveling is about?
Before I set out, I always do a bit of research… I google for yarn stores (isn’t that how we find everything, these days?), I check Knitmap.com for listings, and check out the LYSs listed in Ravelry. Not much popped up on the radar.
After lots of poking around, I found one blog post mentioning a yarn store in St. George’s, Bermuda and one forum post mentioning a department store that had a yarn/fabrics department. So, off I went!
Gibbons is a brightly-colored (as are most buildings in Bermuda) department store in Hamilton, Bermuda. The city isn’t very big, so if you’re ‘in town’ (as the Bermudans say), you’ll be within a couple blocks of the store. It’s one street off of the main shopping street (Front Street).
The yarn selection contains a fair bit of what you would expect to find in a JoAnn’s in the US: Red Heart and a variety of acrylics. Because it’s so warm in Bermuda, there’s not a large selection of wools.
Like the buildings, you won’t have any trouble finding a selection of great, bright colors! And, you’ll certainly find a selection of crochet hooks, needles and pattern books at Gibbons… everything you’d need for a project!
Betty’s Needle Crafts
Location: 17 Duke of York St, St. George’s, Bermuda
I stumbled upon Betty’s while walking around in St. George’s… it had eluded me in my pre-vacation internet search. Inside, it was a quaint (read: sorta crowded, sorta old-skool knitting) yarn shop that also contained some additional crafting materials, like sequins and the like.
There wasn’t a table to sit & knit, so I got the feeling it was a ‘stop and pick up your yarn’ sort-of shop.
Location: 22 Clarence St, St. George’s, Bermuda
I had found Needles Etc online during my research, but unfortunately, they were closed when I arrived (at about 11am on a Wednesday… the store hours didn’t help to clarify the situation). I grabbed some photos from the window:
The store looked really beautiful, clean and bright (well… would have been if the lights were on), and I think it would be my favorite spot of all the yarn shops I found. I spotted some Paton’s yarn, but because I couldn’t go inside, I didn’t get a good survey of what other brands they carried.
And, in the Commonwealth tradition of yarn shops, they carried needlepoint/cross-stitch as well as crochet/knitting supplies.
Funniest Product Award
What do Bermudans do with all that yarn?
Safe to say that the knitting/crochet tradition in Bermuda isn’t the same as in the US… but they do something utterly fabulous with all those bright colors of acrylic yarn!
Bermuda is home to the tradition of Gombeys, a dance that dates back to African slaves who were moved to the island. They dance and wear fantastic bright costumes…
… which wouldn’t be complete without yarn-fringe!
Aren’t they fantastic?!?
Of course, I don’t mean to imply that Bermudans don’t knit or crochet… they do (I’ve seen them on Ravelry, and I saw knitted and crocheted finished items for sale in the Bermuda Craft Market in King’s Wharf, Bermuda. But, the Gombeys really stand out as being different!
Have I said that I love traveling?