Eye Spy: Holiday Knitting and Southern Comforts

Three weeks ago, I was in Atlanta to visit family. Normally, I have a habit of always bringing way too much knitting with me on a trip, and never being able to finish it. This time however, I wanted to be reasonable, and decided to bring just one small project along with me, a baby hat I had just started on for a friend. This turned out to be a terrible mistake, as only 3 hours into the trip I realized that I was already nearly finished. Lesson learned: Never underestimate the knitting productivity achieved on a long flight with plenty of layovers!

Regan Aviator Hat nearly complete and only one day into my week-long vacation

After spending a couple of days relaxing while enjoying a good game of football and eating (this was American Thanksgiving, after all), my knitting project was finished.

Photo credit: @maria.cappelle 

On the bright side, this provided me with the incentive to check out Atlanta’s knitting scene, so I could stock up on some more supplies.

Ponce City Market

Our first stop was to the Ponce City Market, a historical spot that dates back to the late 1800’s. Natural springs found at the location of the marketplace were believed to bring youth-restoring properties, and so they were named by an Atlanta physician after the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon (according to popular legend, Ponce de Leon discovered Florida while searching for the fountain of youth).

Since then, the area has evolved and transformed from an amusement park (originally built around the natural springs in the 1920s), to a City Hall, to a Sears building and finally to the Ponce City Market.

Locally brewed kombucha from the Ponce City Market

It was here that we came across Topstitch Studios, a cute shop that immediately caught my eye with their beautiful display of sewing machines. Although yarn and knitting supplies were nowhere to be found, it was still a perfect place for some window shopping, and reignited my desire to pick up sewing again.

Photo Credit: @topstitchatl

Krog Street Market

Next on our list was the Krog Street Market, whose history also seems to mingle with that of the Ponce City Market, dating back to the late 1800s. Instead of natural springs and amusement parks, the history of Krog Market began with cooking ware. To be more specific, it was the site of the Georgia Stove Company, which opened in 1889 and was a factory for pot-belly stoves and iron-pans (disclaimer: I had no idea what a pot-belly stove was when writing this post so I looked it up – this article managed to satisfy some of my curiosity). For a brief while in 2008, it became the site of Tyler Perry studios, where 16 movies, 14 stage plays and 5 television programs were produced. Finally, in 2014 , (which is the same year as the Ponce City Market), the Krog Street Market was opened. 

Not far from the Krog Street Market, I came across the Craftivist, a knitting and yarn shop that had just opened up earlier this year. 

Gorgeous samples on display of the Kune-Kune and Briochealicious shawl patterns

After some serious debate and much decision making (to knit a sweater, or not to knit a sweater), I ended up purchasing two skeins of fingering-weight Malabrigo yarn for a potential brioche hat project. 

Yarn and craft beer are my two favourite things to buy as personal souvenirs 🙂

This small purchase was enough to keep me busy flying back home. I must admit, however, that now back home with my endless amount of unfinished projects, that I have simply added in another unfinished project to the mix. I managed to cast on and knit a couple of inches in brioche of the Vintage Prim hat pattern before deciding that my gauge was off and losing my motivation to continue working on it.

Instead, I have the Rift sweater that is keeping me busy. I am nearing the finish line, despite having come to a couple of road bumps along the way. Unlike two years ago, when I knit a full sweater at record speed (I wasn’t working at the time), this year I am taking my sweet time from start to finish, having started this pattern several months ago. I love not being stressed about knitting for the holidays! I learned my lesson last year when I promised one too many siblings that I would knit them their gift (this sweater was one such gift, and was promised almost one year ago). Even as I near the finish line, it is important not to lose focus. Procrastination always seems to come out of hiding as soon as I let my guard down …

Rift sweater … nearing the finish line. Still much blocking in store.

Are you a holiday knitter who gifts knits for the holidays? If so, how is your holiday knitting coming along? And if not, why?