Tag Archive | LYS

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?

Nerd Girl Field Trip

I’m lucky enough to have a fantastic indie dyer only thirty minutes away: Nerd Girl Yarns. Her colorways are exactly what you’d expect (Doctor Who, Harry Potter, superheroes, and much more), the colors are gorgeous, and the yarn is always a treat to knit with. In the recent past, she’s been primarily an online seller, without a brick and mortar retail location, but she’s in a new space now and had a Grand Opening this weekend. Of course I had to go, and I haven’t gotten to hang out much with Knitting SIL lately, so she joined me. We weren’t disappointed: the new location was beautiful!

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The wood glass-fronted cabinets are stunning, especially filled with yarn. She also carries a bit of tea, so we saw tea accessories too. When you first go in, you see a cabinet full of crystal teacups and flasks, each holding yarn.

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But as pretty as it all was, we were there mainly for one thing: yarn!

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Her selection of already-dyed yarn is limited, but it’s all tempting. There was pima cotton in bright pinks and oranges and yellows, plus plenty of merino in a variety of colors. There were also tie-dyed sock knitting bags, which I resisted (It was hard), and dyed wool for spinning. (Is that called roving? I don’t know.)

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There was plenty more bare yarn, and if I dyed my own yarn, this would be the place to go, since she had all different weights, plus some with sparkle!

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So what did I get?? This was my little impulse purchase, rainbow scissors up by the register. Love them!

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This is merino worsted in a color called Too English to Say Anything. I think I want to look for a solid or two to go with it.

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Originally my goal was to only buy one skein. But then I found this one, a fingering weight called Queen of the Amazons, and of course it had to come home with me.

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It was a fun little field trip in an otherwise busy weekend. I’m glad we were able to squeeze it in!

Colorado weekend

Guys, I have SO much to share today that I’m not even sure where to begin. (This is gonna be a long post, I think. Get a big cup of tea and settle in!) You know how the girl recently turned 17? Well, she seems to think that when she graduates high school, she’s going to leave us and go away to college. And despite a few misgivings, I think that’s probably for the best. She’s got a solid list of schools she’s considering, ones with strong music departments, and this weekend we drove out to visit the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. We’ve been to Colorado many times and love it, but had never been to Greeley. We left thinking it’s still a strong contender.

My only complaint was that you couldn’t see the mountains everywhere on campus! It had a nice small-town feel but with plenty of things to do and places to shop, and it’s maybe an hour away from Denver and Fort Collins and other bigger cities. The campus wasn’t fancy but it was pretty, and there was a ton of green space. There was even a dog park on campus! One of the reasons she liked this school was because they have a pet-friendly dorm. Sadly, the limit in those apartments is 40-pound dogs, and Grace is above that, so if she wants Grace with her later, she’ll have to move off campus. But it still means there will be tons of animals for her to play with. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to meet the flute professor, who was out of town, and that’s a critical piece of the decision, but it means we’ll get to go back if she decides it’s one of her top choices. We had a pretty good time.

Greeley even had an Old Chicago, which was such a treat after a long day’s drive. Yes, that’s my cool and tasty beverage right there. Wee thing, isn’t it?

Okay, now let’s get to the fun stuff! Who else uses any kind of road trip as a reason for yarn crawl? All of you, right? Because our time was limited, I was going to be good and only go to one yarn store: The Loopy Ewe in Fort Collins, because how could I be so close and NOT go? But as we drove through Kansas, I saw not one but TWO billboards for a yarn store in Salina, and we were planning to stop in Salina anyway! How lucky is that? (Lucky that I have a generous and patient family, for sure!)

A short detour found me inside Yarns Sold and Told, and what a lovely shop it was! Great selection, with both big names and small dyers, lots of colors, comfy couches, and as the billboard stated, they were very friendly. I wish I could have spent more time there. But I did pretty well in just under thirty minutes. I got a Baah Sonoma in Pink Tourmaline (pink might be one of the hardest colors to photograph well), two skeins of Ella Rae Cozy Alpaca (SO soft, I never would have thought it was mostly acrylic), and that gorgeous multicolor Ella Rae Lace Merino DK.

Then on Saturday before leaving for home, I finally made it to the Loopy Ewe! (Cue chorus of angels here) I feel like this should probably be its own blog post, but I can’t wait that long.

If you are ever near this store, you absolutely need to go. There was SO much yarn, so much gorgeous yarn from all kinds of companies big and small. The girl and I had a marvelous time and of course I walked out of there with WAY too much stuff. See?

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Yes, that’s a big bag, and yes, it’s very full. But see, it looks that full mostly because I bought a bulky hoodie (and a couple of fun little things).

And okay, yes, I bought too much yarn. Please remember, this is a safe place. No judging!

I tried to pick yarns I couldn’t get at home, which meant I passed up some gorgeous Malabrigo and Lorna’s Laces. But that’s okay, I came home with fantastic yarn. Here’s what I chose, each row left to right:

  1. Loopy Legends sock yarn in Jennifer’s Sweet Inspiration. Had to get some Loopy yarn!
  2. Tumbleweed Yarn sock kit in color Confetti Kit (these will be my first socks with contrasting heels and toes!)
  3. Julie Spins Silky, a 50/50 silk/merino blend, in Carbonite. So soft, and such a beautiful, versatile color. This will be a shawl.
  4. Baah LaJolla in Berry Cocktail. I can get Baah at home but not as often and this color just grabbed me.
  5. Magpie Swanky DK. Merino/cashmere/nylon blend in color Night Rain. This was my biggest splurge. The rich color, the softness, oh my!
  6. Knerd String Fingering in color Hotter. I loved that this is from a Colorado dyer!
  7. Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock, color Rock Star. Because look at it!!
  8. Western Sky Knits Aspen Sock in color Poppyseed. This was brand new yarn I snagged from a tub at the counter, not even in inventory yet! Oh, the colors! Squee! I’m not sure yet if this will be socks or a Hitchiker. I kind of don’t want to hide the colors on my feet!

Whew, what a haul. I’m such a lucky girl. Can’t wait to start knitting ALL the new yarns! I did quite a bit of knitting while we were gone too, but that’s going to have to wait: I have yarn to play with. Happy Sunday, friends!

Pretty pretty yarn

Recently we spent a day in Columbia, MO. I knew of one yarn store there that we visit each time we’re in town, but on a whim I did a google search and found another one. I only had time to visit one LYS, so the new one won. It’s called True Blewe Yarns and it was marvelous! The selection wasn’t deep but it was delicious. They carried a few favorites, like Madelinetosh, Manos del Uruguay and some Cascade superwash but they also had some new (to me) lines like Holiday Yarns and Three Irish Girls, and I fell in love.

My husband found this yarn. It didn’t jump out at me at first because it’s not my usual combination of colors, but then I looked at the name:

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YES! It’s Wonder Woman yarn!! And I do adore Wonder Woman. So this was my first pick. It’s from Holiday Yarns and it will be either a long cowl, to wrap twice, or a shawl/scarf thing similar in size to a Hitchhiker. I had a hard time resisting the Twilight, Batman and Black Widow colors. You can check out all their yarns online here.

Then I had to pick a multicolor skein from Three Irish Girls because they were beautiful and felt good when I petted them. This was the winner.

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It’s Adorn Sock in a colorway called Piazza del San Marco and I have no idea what it will become.

I admired this color because…well, purple, but wasn’t going to pick it up until my husband pointed out how nicely it went with my dark purple winter coat. (Oh, yes, I know I’m very lucky to have a husband who helps me spend money on yarn!)

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It’s Holiday Yarns FlockSock, 400 yards of fingering weight. Definitely a scarfy-shawl thing.

Then my daughter found these scrumptious beauties and I loved them so much I had to have two! It’s like Malabrigo Rasta only SOFTER. AND you get 109 yards per skein!!

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The gray is going to become a big cowl (for ME) and the cream will become a hat with a BIG pompom (for…I don’t know who).

I had to quit after that but they liked me enough that they put my yarns in a nifty tote bag, and that’s happy because what knitter doesn’t need another tote bag??

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So if you’re in the Columbia area, I highly recommend you check out this jewel of a yarn store!

I Love Yarn Day

This past Saturday was I Love Yarn Day. Did you celebrate? You bet I did! I made an impromptu trip to my LYS, Yarn Mercantile (which is actually two stores: Knitcraft, and Angelica’s) and found some treasure!

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I already had the grays, but I found the dark pink at Knitcraft, and knew immediately I needed them so I could make this Color Block Bias Wrap. I have the original version and adore it. I keep it my desk at work and it keeps me warm and I get so many compliments on it. Why not make another version, right? I immediately wound the yarn and cast on.

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My only complaint with the original (and it’s very very minor) is that the bigger needles give it a very loose gauge, and it stretched out a bit with blocking and wear. So for this one, I’m trying smaller needles. I started with 10s and it’s much tighter gauge, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to get it as wide as I want. It might just be an awkwardly wide scarf, not big enough to be  a wrap. I can’t decide if I should see how wide I get with this (I’ll be able to tell when I reach the end of this pink) or if I should go ahead and frog and start over with 11s. I’m pondering. What do you think?

I also managed to work on Silverleaf this weekend! We went to a band competition for the girl (they got second, WOOHOO) that was about 90 minutes away. Yep, that’s prime knitting time.

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I have two rows left of the last garter stitch section and then I get to start the leaf section! I’m really hoping to get there in the next few days, if I don’t get distracted by my other WIPs.

Here’s my other purchase, this one from Angelica’s. It’s Frolicking Feet in Anemone Wildflower and I think it’s STUNNING. I’m pretty sure this will become a narrow asymmetrical triangular scarf. (Hm, Martina Behm pattern, maybe??)

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I know many of you probably celebrated at Rhinebeck, and I am very jealous and also can’t wait to hear about your adventures and new yarns!