A Knitter’s Weekend: Nova Scotia

July 20, 2018

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  • You had me at “its always sweater weather”! Lovely.

    • Always sweater weather, you say? Next time in breaks 100 in Chicago, I am heading to Nova Scotia!!!

  • You don’t have to ask me twice. I want to come this Fall but Family stuff abounds, I’ve already pencilled in a date for next Spring.

  • OMG I love love love this post…and know every spot in it. BUT you forgot THE LOOP, Mimi’s amazing knitting shop on Barrington Street in downtown Halifax. It’s an incredible selection of gorgeous fibre but the best part of it all is Mimi. She’s inspired/saved/talked me through many a project.

    • Yes! The Loop is great and so is Mimi. And she’s a sewing, weaving, spinning whiz too. (Have you seen the new maritime-themed embroidery kits she’s got? ADORABLE.) Thanks for mentioning it. 🙂

      I’d have love to have included Have a Yarn in Mahone Bay, and the Lismore Sheep Farm in River John, and Tatamagouche Yarn and Company in Tatamagouche…. and I’m hoping that people will list their other local favourites, too! After all, there’s still half a summer to fill with weekend road trips!

      • I think you should do a separate article on the Northumberland Shore, starting at Mable Murple’s Bookstore, and ending at Deanne Fitzpatrick’s studio in Amherst.

  • Mahone Bay is a vibrant and woolly destination. Have a Yarn and Woolworks are my favourites. Plenty of places to eat as well and The Barn for specialty coffees.

    • You’re right, Elly! It’s my favourite destination if I want a quick trip out of the city on a Sunday afternoon. Just tried The Barn a couple weeks ago…I’m *still* thinking about the cinnamon bun I had there!

  • We’ve been going to PEI & Nova Scotia for years as a break from the hot Texas summers (although we’re now in NC). They are magical places!

    • I’m from Texas also. I come up almost every July. I’m from Greenville northeast of Dallas. Where are you from? Alice

  • Great overview of what NS has to offer for knitters, but I can’t believe you left out Mahone Bay — if you’re already going to Lunenburg, you should definitely make a stop in this town 10mins away for Have a Yarn, a picture perfect view of the three churches, and a tasty treat at The Barn Coffeehouse. I would also highly recommend Wool n’ Tart in Wolfville — same owners as Gasperau Valley Fibres, but a different selection of goodies and staff that are sweet as pie.

    • So many great destinations, so little room! 🙂 I also love Mahone Bay – I’ve bought many a skein at Have a Yarn and Woolworks is such a great addition. And don’t forget to get a cone at The Perfect Scoop on your way out of town!

  • WOW. Book me to Nova Scotia!

  • What an inspiration! Clearly there are more treasures to find in Nova Scotia than one article can possibly include. (Hint, hint! More articles = better! Yay!)

  • Lovely article – the maritime provinces are a jewel in Canada’s landscape. I invite you to also investigate the knitting heritage of New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland, not to mention the wonderful landscape and friendly folk who inhabit said provinces. Of course knitting opportunities abound in the rest of the country as well, such as southern Ontario where we live.

  • The timing of this is too perfect! We will be vacationing in Nova Scotia at the end of August for a week. I look forward to visiting all these sites. To keep the hubbo happy too will need to include some hiking. Any suggestions?

    • I’m not a big hiker but I’ve heard Cape Split (near Wolfville) is amazing. Have a great trip!

    • there are a lot of trails in Nova Scotia, for all levels of hiking. This site has a bunch of different resources with maps which should help. I’ve been to all of these shops within the last weeks (I live just outside of Halifax) and they are definitely worth a visit.


      • Brilliant, thanks Sonia!

    • Gaff Point at Hirtles Beach in Kingsburg. It’s just past Lunenberg, is an easy 7 km and the beauty is heartstopping! If you want to drive a little further down the south shore the Keji Seaside Adjunct, a national park, will also knock your hand knit socks off. Both are mesmerizing…

      • Now I’m thinking maybe I *should* try hiking….that sounds amazing (and it’s not too far from home!)

  • I was in Halifax and Lunenburg and Mahone Bay just three weeks ago. happy memories of sunshine, seafood, friendly folks and Adirondack chairs!

    can i also add to the list of stores the WoolWorks studio run by Heidi Wulfraat on the outskirts of Mahone Bay. lots of hand dyed yarn as well as supplies for knitting, spinning and weaving.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed your visit! WoolWorks is fabulous – and Heidi’s hooked rugs are so beautiful!!

  • O my gosh! What a perfect place–after looking at Google maps I do think Austen could maybe do a series.Thank you!

  • This brings back memories of our holiday in May when we visited Halifax and Lunenburg. We visited lots of the same places and I have my yarn from the Mariner’s Daughter ready to knit a shawl.

  • I love Nova Scotia. It’s time to visit again. Thanks for the added incentive.

  • The Lunenburg County Fibre Trail is brilliant for those of us who love local yarn!

    • What a great resource – thanks for sharing, Melissa!

  • A great reminder of my days spent in Nova Scotia last summer. Loved all the yarn shops you mentioned including The LOOP and Have A Yarn in Mahone Bay. It was a memorable trip.

  • Please put a Knitters retreat together. I am checking on prices for next year. You could be our wonderful teacher and guide.

    • Wouldn’t that be fun? Great idea!

    • ooooh I”m in!!!

  • I’m in Halifax at this moment! My suitcase is bursting with fiber. Weve visited most of the places you mentioned plus lots of sheep farms in NS and PEI. Wonderful places, friendly people, fabulous wool. Taking great memories back to California tomorrow.

  • Sounds wonderful. Would you be interested in planning a trip for a group of 8 in June of 2019?

  • This is so informative! NS has been on my list for quite a while, and now that my itinerary is all planned out, I just need to book it. Thanks

  • Be sure to bring EXTRA sweaters! One July 4th holiday weekend a couple of decades ago, it dropped to 28-degrees F one night when we were in Halifax! That night we’d layered on every piece of clothing we’d brought with us, and our very first stop next morning was to quickly buy the first fleecy tourist sweatshirts we could find! It had been 98-degrees when we’d left Massachusetts for NS, but Nova Scotia is lovely even when it’s chilly.

    Massachusetts still holds many annual memorials to mark the catastrophic Halifax Explosion. It was a truly huge and horrific event that hasn’t been forgotten in Massachusetts, either.

    Don’t miss the chance to have some Digby Bay scallops while in NS! I’ve had great lobsters and clams lots of places up and down the eastern seaboard, but the scallops in NS are beyond superb! If you like scallops, you MUST have some while there, or maybe for every lunch and dinner.

  • I’ve been to Niva Scotia 3 times and still I couldn’t get enough! It’s an enchanting place. I highly recommend a trip there. xoxo

  • I would love to make this trip to Novia Scotia as described. When is the best time of year to go there?

    • September – the air is cool enough to be comfortable and the ocean is still warm enough to swim in.

  • I spent several weeks over a period of several years going to the Lunenberg Folk Harbour Festival. I loved Nova Scotia! The coasts are stunning, Halifax was so fun, the seafood delicious (second the scallops recommendation).
    Unfortunately I was not as much of a knitter then and did not know of any of these marvelous places. Looks like I’ll need to make a return trip!

  • A perfect weekend I’d say Austen! I wish there had been time to visit Heidi Wulfraat WoolWorks Studio in Mahone Bay. Heidi is a graduate of the City and Guilds of London (creative textiles) and has won many award for her work with fiber. She has a spinning and weaving studio, and offers quilting & knitting supplies too!

  • I am glad to see others have mentioned Have a Yarn. You were so close to Mahone Bay. I grew up in the area, but now live in Florida. When I get home I always go to the shops you mentioned, but Have a Yarn has been around for as long as I can remember. Although now they are in a larger location a couple of doors down from their old building.

  • Will there be a similar retreat in 2019? If so, how do I sign up? Thanks!