George Washington slept in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, more than once. So did Lord Fairfax.They were not the only ones to seek the reportedly curative powers of the area’s mineral springs. Adventurers, gamblers, and card sharps and found their way to the little town’s eateries and saloons. That is all in the past. Today, Berkeley Springs is a grande dame with few enticements for high rollers in search of a party town. The good thing. What this grande dame of West Virginian towns lost in rakishness throughout the years, it gained in sedate charm. Folks from all over the country still come to stay at its spa. Some give in to town’s Victorian charm and end up staying for good.
Ellen Kardell’s Pocket Meadow Farm yarn shop, on 19 N. Washington Street, contributes to Berkeley Spring’s charm. Kardell is a transplanted Washingtonian who traded the city life for the quieter pace of a tiny farm in Morgan County, West Virginia where she balances the roles of entrepreneur with that of a farmer whose chickens and sheep are oblivious to the fluctuations of the fiber market.
Her Washington Street shop–she has a shop at her farm– is a knitter’s paradise. Its inventory includes luxury, classic and natural European, South American and Asian fiber as well as farmspun yarns, fibers and rovings produced in West Virginia. Check out her site, www.pockemeadowfarm.net for a detailed list of her products. If you travel to charming Berkeley Springs, be sure to drop in. I challenge you not to fall in love with the $750 hand-woven red coat pictured above. If your budget does not stretch all that far, you can score a bar of homemade soap, Kardell’s hand dyed yarn or a skein of rainbow-colored Mini Mochi yarn with enough yardage for a scarf. The latter is a steal a $8.50. Sign up for a knitting class, join the Pocket Farm knitting group and tell your friends that there’s much more to Berkeley Springs than mineral water.