Tag Archive | local yarn stores

A Mini Yarn Crawl

Today we return to regularly scheduled programming, and I will share knitting content. During my recent trip to visit the girl in Colorado, of course I had to visit a yarn store. But I didn’t keep it that simple. No, I went to FOUR yarn stores. When you’re 45 minutes away from Fort Collins, I think it’s just required that you make the pilgrimage. First, though, I drove to Wyoming. It was only an hour away and I’d never been, so it seemed fun. Well. Here’s downtown Cheyenne.

7F3949C7-0799-4AAA-84D8-CA37727F2BEAIt was very Western and not a big town and seemed a little…dreary. I did find a small bookstore/record store that was fun, and I visited the one yarn store. She had a lot of great brands, beautiful yarns, gorgeous samples. She had a lot of everything really.

It was too much for me. Too cramped and crowded, there was no organization that I could find, yarn was just stacked on the floor, and I couldn’t find any prices. I did find a couple of pretty skeins, but it wasn’t the best yarn-shopping experience. However, I went from there to Fort Collins, where I visited My Sister Knits for the first time, and guys,  it might be one of my very favorite yarn stores ever.

It’s in a beautiful residential neighborhood, in the carriage house behind a beautiful brick house, and you have to go through the white picket fence to get there. Then you hear the music as you walk past the chicken coop and you see a radio/speaker next to the coop, and you can’t tell me that it’s not there specifically for the chickens. Inside are two floors of the cutest, most charming shop, especially the second floor with the pitched roof and the big table right in the middle. The second floor had all the fingering weight/sock yarns, so that was where I spent most of my time. The women were friendly without being overbearing, the yarn selection was varied and amazing, and everything was clearly priced. They even had a dog, albeit a tiny one.

After that, I was just going to stop by The Loopy Ewe. But somehow I ended up navigating the car to Lambspun instead.

They had a huge shop, several rooms, with little nooks dedicated to spinning, needlework, and more. The yarn was spread throughout and it was fun to wander through and poke through the shelves, but I didn’t see a lot of great yarns calling my name. That might have been because I’d just been to two other yarn stores, but also I didn’t see a lot of indie dyers, which are my current obsession, and the sock yarn selection was pretty limited. I left there with just one skein.

From there I went to the Loopy Ewe, and that was my last stop for the day. I didn’t take any photos there, partly because I was tired but also because you don’t go there because it’s cute. It’s a nice shop, bright and well-lit, with lots of good seating areas, but you go there for the yarn selection. I was a little disappointed because I didn’t find a big selection of self-striping sock yarn, which is the one thing I really wanted from this adventure. Still, I came home with a fantastic assortment of treasures.

B74CD44D-16FF-41E7-9F47-26A513591A4C_1_201_aIt’s more than I meant to buy, more than I should have bought, but man do I love it all! I was especially delighted to find the Ritual Dyes yarns at My Sister Knits, and saw their cool Knitter’s Backpack in person. Al least I was able to resist buying one of those! I did add to my pin collection though.

65A062C4-71CC-47AF-AFE6-40DDCCB35EB1The Loopy Ewe pin is to replace the one the husband and girl bought for me last year that fell off my bag and got lost. The Ritual Dyes pin might be obvious, but it’s because I’m a Virgo. And I love to collect pins from the shops I visit, so of course I bought the one from My Sister Knits with their shop dog, Molly, on it.

Sigh. That was a fun little yarn crawl. Now I’m not buying any more yarn…until Knitting in the Heartland in April because I have zero willpower and am addicted to yarn. So the only thing I can do now is knit faster to use up as much yarn as I’m bringing in. On that note, I’m off to hopefully finish my Faded Boxy sweater today!

Yarn is my therapy

I haven’t decided for sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that I have a perfectly lovely yarn store less than 10 minutes from work. Maybe it’s both. Today it was a good thing, as I needed a bit of yarn therapy. Spoiler: I found it.

img_5124Both are sock yarns, one by Mudpunch and the other from Goosey Fibers. I’m totally casting on the Mudpunch self-striping tonight!

HOW does this happen?

As you all know, I got new yarn last week, after the husband came home from Colorado. It is beautiful yarn and I love it! But somehow, I STILL ended up at my LYS on Friday afternoon, buying more yarn.

See, I’d been itching to visit them for a few weeks, but they were hosting a trunk show over Mother’s Day weekend for a dyer new to me, and I wanted to check out her yarns. So I waited, not knowing the husband would be bringing me new yarn. And Friday came and it was a super long day and I really needed some retail therapy so I went. I just went. And it was good.

Except there was no one there to make me feel guilty for buying so much. And the one friend I texted encouraged me to treat myself, so…I did. And I love my new bag and my gorgeous new purple yarns from Honey Girl Farms! She had a lot of pop culture themed yarns, lots of Game of Thrones and Outlander, but also a few Harry Potter. She’s got amazing project bags on her website; at first I wished she’d brought some but then I was kind of glad she didn’t. Anyway, I came home and played with yarn and I’m pretty sure I have an amazing fade begging to be knit:

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I would have cast on yesterday, but I’m trying to finish my test knit shawl. I’m in the last section but I’m afraid I’m going to have to frog about five or six rows, rows that are around 350 stitches. Somehow, my wine convinced me that I could fudge a lace pattern that was off by several stitches. I don’t think it went well but I’ll check on it tonight. I’m pretty sure I’ll be wishing I’d put in a lifeline at some point.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend, especially my fellow Moms!

Um, more yarn?

I had a hair appointment over the weekend (fresh purple, hooray) and the salon just happens to be very close to a LYS. A large LYS that I don’t visit very often. And somehow I let myself believe that it would be okay to go for a short visit. I would only buy one skein, maybe two. You guys know what happened, don’t you? Yeah. Because here’s the thing: I touched the yarn! And so much of it was SOFT!

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That Alpine? Yeah, it feels exactly like fur. And I love the feel of fur! How could I resist making a cowl out of that?? And right by the Alpine was the Wild, which is almost as soft and also has those amazing colors! They’re mostly acrylic, but I don’t care because they’re soft and pretty. And that yarn up in the top right? It’s also soft and fuzzy, a nylon/wool/alpaca blend, and it was on sale! It’s DK weight, so it’s thin and lightweight and will be all floaty. Okay, and those two skeins of red/green/blue yarn? That’s Happy Feet sock yarn and it was ALSO on sale! What decent sock knitter would resist sale sock yarn that feels good and looks good? Not this one, I tell you. Which is also how I ended up with that bottom skein…except it was not on sale. But it is beautiful and it’s Araucania Huaso, which is awesome yarn and so it jumped into my arms.

Am I doing very well on my yarn-buying balance? Well. Maybe better than it looks right now? Because there was a lot of yarn that I picked up and then put back because I didn’t love it as much. There was a lot of sale yarn I would have bought in the past just because it was on sale. So that’s progress, because I’m making mindful yarn choices at least. But yeah, I think I can probably take a break from yarn stores for a little while!

Road Trip, Part 3

Okay, post three of UNL road trip, are you ready? Thanks for following along! (You can read Part 1 and Part 2 to catch up if you like.) The girl was very kind and allowed me to drag her to two yarn stores while in Lincoln, and she was very happy as long as I let her use my phone to take artsy yarn photos, some of which are in these posts.

After Yarn Charm, we made our way to The Yarn Shop. Like Yarn Charm, it was hard to find, located on the back side of a strip mall so you couldn’t see it well from the road. Nevertheless we persisted, and were greeted by a long stretch of sock yarn on the wall. That’s a good start! I saw Biscotte Yarns, Araucania, Ancient Arts Fiber, some Malabrigo, and more brands I wasn’t familiar with. But since I’d just spent a good chunk of change at the previous store, I didn’t grab as many skeins this time. I kept picking things up and putting them back, mostly because of the guilt.

Like that 2-skein set in the top right photo? It was gorgeous, but I couldn’t justify $64. And those tonals in the bottom photo? I really wanted one of each color, but I managed to resist the temptation. Still, I walked out with four more new skeins.

The top photo is Biscotte Bis-sock because um, hello, that yarn is to die for. Then I had to get the pretty purple Arucania Huasco worsted; love their yarns, love those shades. The colors in the Ella Rae Lace Merino Aran (bottom middle) called my name, and somehow the wonderfully named T-Shirt and Jeans sock yarn from Ancient Arts ended up in my pile too. That was it, I was done…until I spotted the Addi FlexiFlip needles on the counter.

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Yep, I bought some. Can’t wait to try them! Have any of you tried them? What do you think?

One last fun thing: I found these socks in a little store downtown. I was tempted to buy both pairs they had, but in the end limited it to one. I love them so much.

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So yeah, I think it’s safe to say I conquered the yarn stores in Lincoln. Or they conquered me? I think I’m glad we didn’t have time to go to any more. Between the book stores and the yarn stores, I’m not sure I can afford to help pay for college anymore!

Road Trip, Part 2

Today it’s time for the yarn part of my Nebraska road trip story. (You can read Part 1 here: books, donuts & more!) I was excited because there were FOUR yarn stores in Lincoln, though I wasn’t sure we’d have time to hit all of them. I was right, we only hit two, but I did plenty of damage at just those two.

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We went to the most promising one first, called Yarn Charm. And we had to work for it! I put the store name into Apple maps and let Siri navigate, and when we turned into a remote industrial area I started to worry. There were lots of warehouses, one small strip mall of offices, and nothing that looked like a yarn store. Sure enough, when Siri announced, “The destination is on your left”, we were looking at a large expanse of open land. Um, what the heck, Siri? I found the address online, plugged into maps, and we drove 20 minutes back the way we came until we found the real Yarn Charm. And guys, I walked into Malabrigo heaven! And Madelintosh! And Blue Sky Fibers! And so much more to choose from!

I picked up yarns as I wandered, knowing I’d have to make some tough decisions in the end. It was hard, guys. Really hard. They did have a charming little table I could use to sort through my options.

I finally narrowed it down to the ones I couldn’t live without. The rainbow is Malabrigo worsted, the purple is Tosh DK, and the bottom is a stunning OOAK silk blend from Zen Gardens. It will be a special souvenir shawl, since it’s kind of UN-Lincoln colors.

Then I picked out two special souvenir skeins from local indie dyers, Indigo Boulevards and Lazy B Yarns. Both are sock yarns, and the dyer behind Indigo Boulevards was actually the one working the shop when we were there, so it was really fun to be able to buy her yarn.

Yarn Charm is where I got the fun “Knit Nebraska” t-shirt in the first photo. Had to get that, right?? This was a super fun yarn store, and if the girl ends up going to college in Lincoln, I’ll be sure to visit her a lot!

I do have more yarn to share (you can spot it in that first photo) but apparently this road trip is meant to be three blog posts, so I’ll share the rest of my yarn in the next post.

Not the Woolfest

Yesterday was the Winter Woolfest in Wamego, Kansas, and as of last week, I was planning to go. The husband and I were going to make a little daytrip out of it and hit some antique stores on the way. But then the weather got super cold and slightly unpredictable, and the people in my house had other things they wanted to do, and I decided I could skip the Woolfest this year. I didn’t really need more yarn, anyway.  So what did I do with my day instead? Can you guess?

Yep, I went to my LYS. Saturday came and I saw the photos of all the vendors on Instagram and all the pretty yarn and I felt a little sorry for myself. They had just added a lot of stuff to the clearance section, so I figured I could find a deal or two and satisfy my yarn craving. Well. Haha. That didn’t exactly happen. But man, I had a good time! I spent over an hour just walking the aisles, touching the yarn, admiring the yarn, imagining projects, pondering the possibilities, and trying to control my urge to BUY ALL THE YARN. I came away with two new Addi Turbo circs from the sale section, and a whole bunch of yarn.

I got two skeins of a silky sock yarn, Diversity by Plymouth Yarns. It’s an acrylic/polyester blend that feels completely different than wool and I think it’ll be great for warmer temperatures. I also gave in and bought another skein of Madelinetosh A.S.A.P. in Seaglass because I loved the first one so much. (You can see the Seaglass Cowl here.) These skeins went into my stash for future knitting. The rest of the yarn I got immediately went onto my needles.

Because I love the Seaglass color so much, I bought a skein of Tosh Sock so I can have socks to match the cowl. I started with a wide ribbed cuff while deciding on a pattern. Finally, this morning I chose the Marpleridge Sock from Kate Atherley’s Custom Socks book. I just haven’t gotten to the pattern part yet.

They’re not progressing quickly because of course I cast on other socks too. In the sale section I found some sparkly Stiletto sock yarn from Plymouth Yarns. I’ve used it before, in a different color, and think it’s so pretty. But they’re a little too itchy for me, so they went to the girl. Hence, these will also be socks for her. Just like the other pair, I’m using my favorite sock pattern, the Vanilla Latte socks. I’m sure she’ll be pleased.

Finally, my last new project was a bit of a splurge. I got it in my head that I wanted to make sock monkey socks; basically I just wanted to make socks inspired by the colors. It was super hard to find the right main color. It really should be a grayish-brown, or a brownish-gray, and ideally it should have some color variation and/or texture, like a heather or a marl, something like that. But I couldn’t find anything like that even at my huge LYS. The closest I could find was some Frolicking Feet in Raisin, a warm brown with subtle shade variations. I paired it with Cascade Heritage in Snow and White, and while it’s not exactly what I was picturing in my head, I think it’s close enough.

I’m using Hermione’s Everyday Socks for these, to give the body extra texture without making it too complicated. I’ll do a red heel, and a toe with both white and red. And the fun thing is that I’ll have plenty of red and white leftover to use for more socks, or as solids for when I want to do contrasting heel/toes with variegated or striped yarns.

Now I’ve got lots and lots of knitting to keep my busy during the next two days at home. We got fresh snow this morning and tomorrow’s a work holiday, so I’ll be found on the couch, snuggled up with a blanket, a dog or two, and some yarn.

Did any of you make it to the Woolfest? Was it wonderful?