I’ve recently become more and more interested in felting – nuno felting and needle felting in particular. While I was on Vancouver Island, I did a fair amount of shopping in yarn/knitting and fabric stores, and wanted to continue while I was in Tofino.
Unfortunately, Tofino has a number of galleries and artisans, but there weren’t a number of supply shops – which isn’t surprising, it’s a very small town on Vancouver Island that although isn’t ‘touristy’ (in the way that Banff has become, for instance), obviously has discovered the tourist dollar and there seem to be more restaurants and hotels then people. (I’m exaggerating, but there were a lot of restaurants!) I first saw a fabric store (which happened to be around the corner from a place where we took a whale watching tour) and wanted to head in, but was disappointed. They had a very, very small selection of quilting fabric, and even less fashion fabric. It’s obviously a VERY new store, because half of the shop itself was devoted to classroom space, and I can’t find them online at all. In the location where I would expect to find them on Google Maps, there’s a bake shop listed instead. (Approximately 421 Main Street). We were in and out within 10 minutes, though I can see it will be a charming space once it has the opportunity to establish itself.
Since I didn’t see anything there, I headed to a little shop on the next block called Knits by the sea – which also is a very small shop but seemed to be better established. (They boast on their website about being voted a favorite new business for 2010, so they’re pretty new themselves!) They carried mostly commercial wool, with a small selection of hand-dyed and spun skeins from local artisans. They didn’t have much in the way of roving (which was what I was more interested in for felting), but they did have a number of little needle-felted animals (ones that would be local to the region). I ended up picking up a kit for a North Pacific Giant Octopus. The kits come with the roving you’ll need, two felting needles, some thread and a sewing needle along with some beads for the eyes. Photo illustrated step-by-step instructions are also included. I’m certain that the label said that the kit was supposed to include a piece of foam to work into (to avoid pricking your fingers) but mine didn’t. Guess what I was doing while sitting in our hotel, watching the ocean the next evening? Yep.. pricking my fingers!
(Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I did try to email the shop to let them know – but the ‘info at knitsbythesea.com’ email from their website bounced back.. maybe they’ll find this post at some point?)
So… I’d like to introduce you to my new little 8 legged friend, along with his friend, a little starfish (which I made blending the orange and the white wool together with my fingers).
If you happen to know the name of (or even better, a website for) the little sewing shop around the corner from Crab Apple flowers – please let me know in the comments below!
Or, if you’re in Tofino, you can visit Knits by the sea (or if you’re not, they have online shopping too…)
Knits by the sea
Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0, Canada