Tag Archive | LYS

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!

Crafting weekend

This weekend reaffirmed my growing understanding that sometimes it’s a good thing to do scary things. I met up with a blogging friend and a few of her friends for a crafting weekend. Meeting new people is intimidating for me, and given the extended nature of the plans, it could have gone very wrong if we didn’t hit it off. Thankfully that was not the case and today has been SUPER fun! Since she’s from out of town, I had to take her to my favorite LYS, Yarn Social.

img_6035And my bag of projects broke while I was walking up to my hotel room, so of course I had to get a new bag. And a little bit of new yarn maybe. And a pin. Whatever. It’s a rainbow sheep, of course I’m gonna buy it.

I originally had no purple yarn picked out. Instead, I had two pretty blues. Then I saw this gradient set hanging by the counter and well, you know how it goes. At least I put one of the blue ones back? I also will come home with a new project bag because my new buddy is super nice and made me a gift!

img_6038Isn’t that the cutest?? And oh yeah, we spent the day knitting and talking and laughing, and watching HGTV and a little bit of football (not by my choice but it was fine) and there was the cutest baby that I didn’t have to be responsible for. There was junk food and maybe a little alcohol and pizza. Tonight I get to sleep in a big bed all by myself. But mostly it was fun to hang out with like-minded people. I’m just so so glad I was brave enough to come. So the next time you’re apprehensive about doing something, maybe just do it?

I went to a yarn store

But I had a good reason, I swear! I’ve been working on my Spring Rain shawl with the Seaglass green and I’m obsessed with it. But I realized that the 24″ circular needles I started with weren’t going to be long enough for a full shawl. I have one pair of 2.5 interchangeable tips, and I found out that one of them is stripped and wouldn’t screw onto the cord. It just popped right off. Now, I couldn’t just STOP knitting that shawl, right? It simply wasn’t an option. First I tried to be good and went to Michael’s, because I’m rarely tempted by their yarn anymore. Sadly, size 2.5 is apparently not a common size, and they didn’t have it. I was going to have to go to a LYS.

I went to the closest LYS, which also happens to be the biggest, with two yarn stores combined in one huge brick building. So much yarn. I petted a lot of it, even carried a skein around for a while before putting it back. I was just there for ONE size of needles.

But.

One of the stores had a sale section. And in that sale section were needles! Addi needles, which I love! Well how about that?? They didn’t have the size I needed, but I found two other sizes that filled gaps in my needle inventory. Then I went straight to the ChiaoGoo circs, found the size I actually needed, and went to the counter, yarn free.

But.

They had a big display of new yarn up there, all spread out before the counter. Colorful new yarn, in bright pink and purple and green and blue and turquoise and it was all so PRETTY. And that’s how I ended up coming home from the yarn store like this.

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The yarn is March Hare, a worsted from Wonderland Yarns, in their new Luminous Collection. It’s super hard to photograph it well, especially since it’s pouring rain outside so I had to take the photo inside. But you can see their photos here, along with all the other gorgeous colors that I wish I had. It might be a cowl, or I might go a little mad and make a crazy colorful sweater with all of these.

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Bright, right? I may be entirely Bonkers, but all the best people are!

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!

Colorado Yarn Stores

I really only meant to go to one yarn store during our Colorado vacation. Looking back, I’m not sure why I thought that was reasonable, or even feasible for me. But that was my plan, and since I’d gotten in trouble at the Loopy Ewe the past two years, I was going to avoid them. Instead, I chose LambShoppe in Denver. It was in a cute but busy part of town, and the boys weren’t interested in joining us, so they dropped me and the girl off at the curb. The store was small but had lots of fun yarns, both big names and small. The saleswoman immediately asked how she could help me, and I cheerfully said, “Just let me look at the yarn!” I try to focus on local dyers when I’m buying vacation yarn, and I found quite a few choices. Unfortunately, the saleswoman was one of those who thinks she needs to engage every shopper frequently, and that bugs the crap out of me. Still, I found some good stuff.

But then! As I was pondering my choices on the table there, that same woman walked by and said, “Oh, you need to get out of your box and try something new!” She’d already annoyed me enough that I replied, “How about I do what I want?” I mean, seriously. Let a knitter pick her own damn yarn, am I right? Anyway, beautiful yarns, if not all local. The woman’s one saving grace was that she found me a second skein of the Manos Locura Fluo (the crazy neon one in the middle). I’m collecting skeins for a sweater!

I thought I was good and happy but then we went to Colorado Springs, and we had some extra time, and darned if we didn’t end up at another yarn store. Ewe and Me was a little hard to find, and the font is hard to read on the sign outside, but I’m so glad I found it! It was a BIG store, with a huge table down the middle with comfy chairs for the boys to sit in. The women chatted with me at first but then let me browse at my own pace. And the yarn! So much local yarn, so much gorgeous yarn!

I saw small dyers I’d only followed on Instagram, like The Lemonade Shop and Artistic Yarns by Abi, plus ones I’d never heard of. I bought six skeins, I think, plus that fabulous mug. And another size 5 circular needle for shawls. And maybe an enamel pin.

That was plenty, right? It really was! I would have been happy to leave it at that. Except on Sunday the boy and I were on our own, and we went to Longmont to check out a guitar store. And there happened to be a yarn store a few doors down. Sigh. Three more skeins went in my bag. But one of them was Dragon Hoard Yarn, who I’d just started following on Instagram! She was doing a trunk show there so of course I had to grab a skein.

That’s how I ended up with this beautiful, extravagant assortment of yarns to feed my stash!

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Now, let’s see if I can restrain from buying more new yarn for a while!

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!

1307 Days

When I marked my Playful Stripes blanket as finished last night, Ravelry told me it had been 1307 days since I started it. Definitely my longest WIP ever, and I’m SO happy it’s finally done! The extra blue yarn arrived Friday but I didn’t get around to knitting with it until last night, but I got it all knit up that night. Today was my weave-in-ends day, which took about an hour and a half, and to heck with blocking, I’m calling it done!

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What a fun blanket I have for fall now, or even chilly spring evenings, maybe out on the deck! The yarn is Blue Sky Yarns Organic Cotton Worsted and I used eight colors, probably around 1800 yards or so. I’d have to measure my leftovers to be sure and I don’t care to to do that. It’s super soft but it is fuzzing up and pilling a little, so I’ll probably have to shave it periodically. I’m just so relieved to have this project finished.

Now I can focus on the test knit sock until my review yarn shows up. I’m still feeling like more of a monogamous knitter at the moment, no real urge to cast on something new. Which is even more surprising given that I went to a new LYS yesterday! It’s only been open about two weeks so they’re still building their inventory, which may be why the yarn wasn’t really calling to me. It’s a lovely store, full of squishy couches and beautiful furniture like sideboards and cabinets, so I’m confident it will grow up to be a favorite LYS for that area. It’s a little farther away for me so I won’t get there too often. Yesterday I left with only one skein.

Yep, it’s another skein of Manos del Uruguay Alegria in Locura Fluo! I was tempted to buy all three they had but restrained myself. I have no idea what this will be but it’s easily one of my favorite yarns so I’m delighted to have more. Plus I got a cute little pin to add to my collection!

Hope you all had a good weekend too, whether it was productive or lazy!

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!

Retail therapy

Yep, as most of you probably knew I would, I visited the yarn store for a little retail therapy yesterday! But honestly, by the time we left the house, I probably would have been okay staying home. I’d played in my stash and cast on a new cowl, and the knitting was helping a lot. Still, it’s hard to turn down a yarn store adventure, and the boy was happy because we were going to the guitar store after the yarn store, and I couldn’t disappoint him, right? Anyway, I think I did pretty well.

Only two skeins of yarn, though I touched many other pretty skeins! This is Woolfolk LUFT and I was so excited when I found out they were carrying it. I have a little cowl in navy LUFT and wear it all the time; it’s lightweight and soft and not itchy at all and I love it. I’ve been needing a basic gray cowl, so this will be perfect. I bought yarn specifically for a project! Crazy, no?

It’s not a great photo so you can’t see how gorgeous that hot pink fur pompom is, but it’s kind of amazing. It’ll go on a gray hat, once I figure out which yarn to use for said hat. And I couldn’t resist a couple new pins for my collection. “Weirdos unite” might be my favorite!

Weekend Highlights

Did I mention the girl is home for winter break? She got back in town Friday night…and drove straight to her old high school to see her friends in a choir concert. The next night she went to another concert. But we got a little bit of visiting in there too, and yesterday she spent the whole day with us. It was a pretty good weekend, I have to say.

Friday night and Saturday had a lot of pupper time while knitting, which is the best, plus I finished my Growing Leaves cowl and pinned it out to dry. Hope it blocks out nicely!

Sunday, we drove to Weston, MO, a cute little town with a great downtown. We had lunch at our favorite cafe (but our favorite waitress wasn’t there) and we went to the yarn store (which was CLOSED). But at least we bought fudge and saw Father Christmas. And I was so disappointed about the yarn store that my people took me to Yarn Social again to see the Treasure Goddess‘s trunk show so I got new yarn anyway, haha! I even ran into a local Instagram friend there!

I finished the weekend with a family viewing of The Santa Clause and casting on a new project, which I already love.

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I hope you all had an equally lovely weekend!