Tag Archive | LYS

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!

Vacation Knitting

Whew. I’m home from a long weekend vacation and I’m pooped. I’m so glad I decided to take today off; I’ve got a quiet day home alone to catch up on puppy cuddles, laundry, and yarn stuff.

So first: the puppies. We had to board them while we were gone and we missed them terribly. I picked them up first thing this morning and Grace was super excited to see me, but my good pupper Jack didn’t want to come see me. He kept backing away and barking. The nice lady said it was because of the smells, but I think he was just too freaked out. Thankfully, when Grace ran over and jumped on me, Jack came to his senses and came to get his cuddles. We had a crazy hour or so once we got home but now they’re both exhausted and sleeping, one on the back of the couch behind me, one at my feet. Life is good: puppies are home.

Now, YARN!! I went to two yarn stores. The first, Knitorious, was fantastic: big, well-organized, great selection of brands and colors, friendly without being pushy or overbearing. The girl went in with me and even she was so caught up in the yarn-love that she bought herself a skein. What did I get? Let’s see:

img_7097Malabrigo Mechita in this beautiful rainbow color. I’m thinking Hitchhiker Beyond.

img_7096More Malabrigo, Mecha this time. Not sure, but maybe fingerless gloves to keep at work.

img_7164Brio!! I love this yarn and hadn’t seen this black and white version before. This is going to become a Darn Knit Kinetic Cowl for me!

img_7095This might be my favorite. Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Black Velvet. Sock Head hat, here I come!

The second yarn store I won’t name because it was not good. At all. Very small. It had a ton of empty shelves and the selection was really limited. The acrylic section was the biggest and was the only yarn with multiple color ways and multiple skeins of any color. The “good” yarns were maybe two or three different brands, which I wasn’t familiar with, but they were pretty enough. But there were just a few skeins of each, one of each colorway. I found one skein I liked but it wasn’t priced. Nothing was priced. There were no signs on the shelves. Finally I found price lists on the top of the shelving unit; my yarn wasn’t on there. I asked the woman working and she showed me the sheet. I looked again, and said, “I’m sorry, I just don’t see it on here.” My yarn wasn’t on there so she had to look up the price. Maybe it’s not a huge deal, but it is one of my pet peeves at yarn stores. I like to be able to see how much the yarn is without asking all the time. I like it when the skeins are priced but I get that takes a lot of time, so I’m okay with labels on shelves. But if you make it too hard for me to find the price, I’m going to give up because it’s awkward for me. Anyway, I won’t recommend that store and I wouldn’t go back. Here’s the one skein I bought, because purple.

img_7160It’s Black Bunny Fibers and it’s labeled Mayfair. The label says DK but it looks more like worsted to me. It hasn’t told me what it wants to be yet so I’m pondering.

I got plenty of knitting done too, thanks to a nice husband who did all the driving, and have three FOs to show you!

img_7154Fern Lace cowl with Nerd Girl Yarns Luscious. It’s a silk/merino blend and SO soft.

img_7157Pisky hat! Love this one. I bought Cascade 220 Superwash from the DK section at my LYS but Ravelry calls it a worsted. So I went down a needle size and it’s wearable, but a little bigger than I’d like. I’d love to make this pattern again with a true DK. It was so fun to knit and it’s so cute.

img_7156This one’s a donation for a silent auction. I’ve got matching fingerless gloves to pair it with. It’s a simple beanie recipe; you can see the Ravelry project page here.

So yeah, I had such a nice long weekend full of yarn and bookstores and fun things and family, and today I’m going to wind yarn and cast on new projects for the work days ahead of me. And cuddle with puppies.

Yarn Pics

Remember how my LYS is closing this summer? Well, it’s happening at the end of this month, and yesterday I realized I needed to get up there before all the really good stuff was gone. I’m glad I did because I got a few awesome treasures for an awesome price.

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Alegria by Manos del Uruguay. This is the yarn I used for my Peek-a-Boo Bay shawl (different colorway obviously) and I loved knitting with it. I’m tempted to make another one in just this yarn, skipping the stripes. This wasn’t a huge steal, just 25% off, so it was my biggest splurge.

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Araucania Huasco (fingering weight Merino) in Wine. This was 50% OFF!! I grabbed the last two skeins in Wine…

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and the last skein in green…

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and the last skein in this fun summery blue-green colorway. I’ve already decided this one will be my next cast-on. It’s going to be the Reyna shawl.

Finally, remember my Color Block Chalet Wrap? Well, it’s one of my favorite pieces, and the yarn was 35% off. They didn’t have enough that I could replicate it, but I think I’m going to do a half-size version, just cast on half as many stitches, and have a yummy color block scarf. That’ll take one skein of each color. Not sure what I’ll do with the rest, but I love this yarn so much I couldn’t leave it there.

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With my arms full of yarn, I passed by the needle section and realized they were on sale too. I’ve needed a size 4 16″ circ and it was 50% off so, plus I’ve heard so many good things about the Addi Turbos that I wanted to try them. They were only 35% off, so I only picked one size. It’ll be enough to get me hooked, I’m sure!

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Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go finish my Secret Beach scarf so I can cast on all the new projects!

Seaglass Cowl

That shawl isn’t getting done this weekend. I mean, at the time, it was very plausible because nothing else was happening this weekend. But THEN, on Friday, I got a call requesting an interview!! Hooray! It’s for a really cool company, so I’m pretty excited. Anyway, that meant that today I needed to go shopping for an awesome new outfit, and then tomorrow I have a hair appointment, and there’s just not enough time to finish a shawl, no matter how small it is.

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I went to my LYS on Friday to get the contrast color for that shawl, and I did find a lovely teal, but on my way to pay, I noticed a whole table full of Madelintosh. Seriously, a whole table covered in gorgeous MadTosh browns and greens and blues. And this one came home with me and I had to cast on that night and now I have a new cowl, the Seaglass Cowl.

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This is a better representation of the color, so you can see why I couldn’t resist. This is their A.S.A.P. super bulky yarn and it might be my new favorite yarn ever.

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I used Jen Geigley’s Feedback pattern but modified it a bit. I didn’t have 16″ size 17 needles, so I tried 15s and cast on more stitches. I started with 50 but that was too small, so I settled on 60. It’s not as tall as the Feedback but I’m more than happy with it.

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The real question now is whether I’ll keep it, or put it in the gift pile? Hmmm….