Tag Archive | yarn stores

Vacation Yarn

It’s a thing, vacation yarn. Or souvenir yarn, some may call it. Though I tend to think of souvenir yarn as like one special skein, and I bought…more than that. We left town Thursday and I didn’t even get to a yarn store until Saturday, and by then I was getting a little anxious. Fortunately I found Spindles, Shuttles and Skeins in Boulder. It was a little tricky to find, since it was on the second floor of a strip mall, but it was a nice big roomy store with a good selection of yarns. Still, my favorite part of that store was their shop dog, Nula. She was a good dog.

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Sunday was our day to explore Denver and I went to Fancy Tiger Crafts and OMG it was a wonderful store! It had other crafty stuff besides yarn, like fabric and I don’t know what else because Yarn. I had plenty of fun there. And then our last day we made a special trip to The Loopy Ewe because no trip to that area is complete without a visit there. Plus it was their new location, which was better than the original if only because it was easier to find! I had even more fun there than at Fancy Tiger. Let’s see my haul, shall we?

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These were all the random single skeins that I couldn’t resist. I tried to only get yarns I couldn’t find back home, but that one multicolored skein of Manos on the far right was just impossible to resist. And that Anzula on the far left? It’s sparkly! Then there’s this:

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This will be a fade shawl, maybe another Stephen West pattern. It all started with that speckled yarn (second from left) and I built from there. These yarns came from all three stores, which pleases me. I’d still like to find a solid purple to go with it, but I think it would be good even without it.

Finally, here’s my favorite selection. A while back I read The Mermaid’s Daughter by Ann Claycomb and loved it SO MUCH. It’s a continuation of The Little Mermaid story, and the descriptions of the ocean water were so vivid and clear that I felt like I was right there, seeing it all with her. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to make an ocean shawl, using the colors she described. I found what I was looking for at the Loopy Ewe.

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*shivers* I love this so so much. I just need to pick a pattern. I think it needs to be a semi-circular shawl (maybe this Karakorum?) but I’m not sure if I should start with the deep water (the dark purple-blue) and work out to the seafoam, or the other way around. Originally I thought I’d have the seafoam be the outer edge, but then I found this awesome Degreenify pattern and I’m not sure. What should I do??

So yeah. Colorado was definitely a success for me. And I can’t afford to go back to visit the girl for several months!

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.

Weekend Knitting, plus Yarn

Thanks to my girl and her band activities, I got to spend the entire day Saturday knitting. Well, at least as much as my hands could tolerate. I had to take breaks periodically, of course. But I was focused on one goal: finish this second sock, which is a Christmas gift. I got pretty close.

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Since then I’ve gotten farther, and I only have about an inch left before starting the toe. This one will be a FO before you know it!

Her competition was out of town, which meant a LYS stop for me. We went to True Blewe Yarns in Columbia, MO and I found lots of really pretty yarns. Lots of yarns I appreciated, several I picked up and carried around, but it was the strangest thing: most of them weren’t calling my name. I didn’t feel like buying yarn just to buy pretty yarn. (GASP! Am I feverish??) I want more sock yarn, but I want self-striping, and I want more colors, not just purple. I have quite a bit of purplish fingering weight, waiting to be made into shawls, so I didn’t really want to get more. I don’t know, I guess I just wasn’t really feeling it that day.

Okay, that’s not completely true, because you KNOW I didn’t walk out empty handed. I thought about the pieces I’ve wished I had to wear, and chose these accordingly.

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I’ve used the super bulky Spuntaneous and LOVE it, but hadn’t seen the worsted version before. I’ve wanted another neutral gray cowl, so I’ve got enough here to make a lovely long one to double.

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I don’t have a lot of blue clothes in my closet. I don’t like blue things in my house, really. So why have I been drawn to this vivid royal blue lately?? No idea, but I decided to give in. This one is already on the needles and on its way to becoming a Squishy Soft Cowl, like the dark green one I just made.

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I’ve bought this Wonder Woman yarn before. I made a gorgeous cowl, put it on Etsy as a showpiece, thinking it would never sell, and it sold! So I had to send it away, and that made me sad. Now I can make something for myself to keep.

I have one more new project on my needles. This is a Be Simple Variations with my new green Classic Elite Magnolia. I’m already loving it.

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Hope your weekend was as productive as mine!

 

Sock Yarn!

We went on a field trip today, the husband and I. The girl was spending time with the boyfriend, and the boy wanted to hang out at home, so husband and I drove out to Lawrence, Kansas for the afternoon. We spent a lovely few hours walking around, having lunch and ice cream. There was a Busker Festival going on, so there was some street entertainment, but the best part is that so many people brought their dogs! There were dogs everywhere, and they were all much better behaved than mine would be in that situation. I petted as many as I could, but it wasn’t enough. Never enough dogs! We went to a fun stationary/art supply store, where I found a new fountain pen, a Dude.

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And of course we went to the Dusty Bookshelf, where I bought a book of essays about dogs (naturally). And also of course, we went to the Yarn Barn, where I bought some yarn (naturally). But I’d left my purse at home, which meant the husband had to pay, which meant I was probably more restrained than I would have been otherwise. This is all I got:

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Just one skein of Frolicking Feet in the colorway Dancing Leprechaun, and my first Zauberball! I’m pretty excited to make socks out of them. It might happen soon, too, because my current socks are going quickly. Well, okay, so I have two pairs on my needles. This pair I started for my lunchtime knitting at work, another simple pair of Vanilla Latte socks. This is Tumbleweed yarn in the color Sorority Girl and I love it so much.

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But then once that was going, I started other pair, a fun pair to knit at home, a pretty hot pink pair with lace on the leg, and thanks to movie knitting yesterday and car knitting today, I’ve already turned the heel on the first sock.

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The pattern is called Spring Forward (it’s free, too!) and the yarn is Merino Nylon Fingering by Knerd String, colorway Hotter! So now, let’s see if I can finish these two socks this week! I think I can, I think I can…

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!

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.