silkroadcascadeThere was one thing I really missed when I became a new mom: the camaraderie of the people at knit night. Now that I am a stay at home mom with small children, it's nearly impossible for me to get to knit nights. My husband comes home late and by the time he gets here I'm too tuckered out to rush out to knitting. I rarely even visit yarn shops because I always have my children with me and while most LYS owners are happy to see me, I can tell that young children make them nervous and for good reason.

Imagine my relief when local mom Michelle Stibbs opened up Silk Road, a shop specializing in fair trade products and started carrying yarn. She opened up her store for free knitting on Wednesdays and has been welcoming parents with young children. She frequently has her children with her and has a playroom in the back of the store. My kids play with hers and others while I attempt to make progress on my knitted sock.

I won't lie to you. This isn't your relaxing knitting group that brings you a sense of calm in the middle of a busy week. There are frequent interruptions; trips to the bathroom, refereeing arguments between children and chasing after wayward babies. There's one thing I get here that I don't get at home: the sense of friendship between knitters, a sharing of needles. It presents the hope that one day there will be the more traditional knit night for me (which they do have on Tuesday nights)

Michelle has some yarn and needles for sale including Cascade and Misti Alpaca as well as the Knitters Pride needles. The fair trade gifts are worth the trip alone. I have my eye on some pot holders and a tablecloth made by a woman's collective. There's also locally-made soap, natural skin care products, coffee and tea. It's pretty much everything I would want for my dream craft room.

silkroadIf you're a mom in the Bay Area and you're desperate to get your knitting fix bring your kids to Wednesday morning knitting at Silk Road starting at 11am. Michelle is super friendly. She sells wares from local craftspeople, and even sells the quilts she makes in the back of the store (at very reasonable prices). There's a lot of talk about babies and breastfeeding and diapers and eating, but we really wouldn't have it any other way.

Silk Road
1412 Park Street
Alameda, CA 94501

Open knitting: Tuesdays at 6 and child-friendly knitting Wednesdays at 11.

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