Tag Archive | yarn stores

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.

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!

A Story of Kindness

I told you the other day about my adventure at my LYS, all the pretty yarns I splurged on. But I forgot to tell you about the awesome thing the owner did that day. After my shopping trip, I texted my Knitting SIL to let her know about the discounts. She asked me to pick up a skein of yarn for her, and since the store is two blocks from my house, I said it was no problem. When I went to pay for the yarn, it was $4 and change, and I handed her my debit card. She sounded apologetic when she said she doesn’t take cards for purchases under $5. I totally understand her point, but I don’t carry cash very often, so I didn’t have any on me. I said, “Okay, let me find something else.”

Almost any other store owner would have just said okay, and let me buy more. I would have bought more. I’ve done it before. But this lady, this kind, generous lady, said, “No, no, you’re close, right? Just come back by with the cash when it’s convenient.” I was shocked and asked if she was sure, and she said of course. I thanked her and said I’d come by in the morning, first thing, and she wrote down my name and the amount. I asked if she wanted my phone number and she waved me away. I left with the skein of yarn, feeling like I was getting away with something, but extremely grateful. I showed up the next morning, cash in hand, and said I was there to pay off my debt, and she laughed, said it was fine, I hadn’t needed to hurry.

This is the store that’s closing this summer, and that’s a shame. It’s a shame that a small business that understands the importance of putting service ahead of money is leaving. It’s not by choice; the building sold, and she decided to retire and spend time with her grandkids instead of finding a new location. I don’t blame her a bit, but I’m sad to see her go.

But I’m also encouraged, because it reassures me that there are still good people out there. And if we keep putting kindness out there, maybe we can inspire others to do the same.

Stop: Knitting Time!

I finished the proofreading job last night, and while I enjoyed it, and enjoyed doing something different, I’m ready to get back to my yarn. Do you want to see my new yarns? Of course you do! Remember I was taking the mother to my LYS the other day to pick out yarn for a scarf? We had a lovely time browsing. I should take some photos of this store; it’s HUGE. SO MUCH YARN. We quickly found the yarn for her scarf, but she also wants an afghan, so we started looking for yarn for that, and that was a lot harder. Finally, she picked out a variegated peach/teal acrylic, but they didn’t have enough, and she didn’t want to add a solid color. Thankfully, with some help, we found a different brand of variegated that will go really well. I’ll hold one strand of each, and once it’s done, we’ll go back to the yarn store to pick out a solid for a border.

Nope, no photo of that yarn yet. I forgot to take one and right now I’m outside with the puppies and it’s upstairs and I’m just too plain lazy to go do that. You’ll see it another time, I promise.

Of course we also had to admire and pet and drool over the other pretty yarns, and she even bought me a present! Look at my gorgeous Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Bulky in Rainbow!  IMG_6089I know it will be a cowl for me but I haven’t picked out a pattern yet. Right now it just decorates my desk.

With all the yarn admired, we paid and packed up, and you’ll be AMAZED to know that I bought NO YARN. That’s right: I spent no money! It helped that I was getting a skein as a little gift, but still, I was quite impressed with myself! So we headed off to lunch and errands, and then I got a call: the yarn store had forgotten to put her scarf yarn in the bag. I would have to pick it up on the way home. No problem, it was convenient.

Except. I remembered they’d had a coupon on Facebook. I hadn’t printed it out but thought they might honor it.

And darn it all, she said they would. So my admirable restraint was diminished, and I bought yarn. Still, I only bought one skein, and it was on sale. And it’s gorgeous. IMG_6090I’m thinking this might become a Be Simple Shawl, or maybe the Be Simple Variations. Or who knows, I might stick with tried and true and make another Hitchhiker. I’ve got time to figure it out, since I’ve got one small and three bigger projects I need to focus on first.

First up is the scarf for the mother. She picked out Bamboo Pop in turquoise. The scarf is halfway done and might even be done today. IMG_6095It’s a lovely yarn, a bit slippery with the large hook I’m using (size N/P, 10mm) but it feels silky in my fingers and it will drape beautifully.

Then there’s the mermaid blanket of course, and my mother’s afghan, but at least I have until cooler weather before I need to worry about finishing that. So once the scarf is done, I’ll be casting on a project for my sister. I saw the new Marcelle Wrap pattern by Little Church Knits, and I think it’s gorgeous. I shared it on my Facebook page, and my sister saw it and has to have one for herself! Hooray, a reason to knit one! She picked out the colors and the yarn arrived yesterday. IMG_6094It’s hard to see it well, but the top one is called Forest Heather, I think. It’s a dark green with slight reddish/purple hints. I’m looking forward to starting this one soon.

So there you have it, all my yarn updates. That’s plenty, right? I certainly have enough to keep my needles and hooks busy for a while. Until next time, here’s a photo of Jack, our resident branch manager. I have no idea how he got this stick up the narrow deck stairs, but he’s pretty happy with himself. IMG_6096

I’m a good girl

You’ll be pleased to know that I stayed focused and got a lot of “must haves” done yesterday! (Or maybe you won’t, but let’s pretend, just for fun.) I made my list of chores for the week and half are already crossed off. Sure, they’re the easier ones, but it’s a start. When I can do that, get a workout in, AND get some work done, that’s a good day. I finished the first pass through the sci-fi book I’m proofreading (it’s the sequel to Mostly Human by Antoinette Houston. I’m not a sci-fi person but I have fun reading these.) and I got a few rows done on the mermaid blanket during Jeopardy! and I even managed to do some fun knitting before bed, starting another set of fingerless gloves. IMG_6084I needed another travel project, and these are perfect.

Now, I need you guys to send me some willpower: I’m going to the yarn store with the mother today. She wants a scarf to go with a certain dress, so we’re going together to pick out a color. I really really need to be good and not come home with extra yarn, so please send good mojo, or juju, or whatever. And tomorrow, I’ll be sure to show what I come with anyway. Sigh.

Here, have a couple of pupdates: IMG_6081Jack follows me around all day long. This is what I have whenever I’m working in my craft room.

IMG_6083And this is why my couches are a wreck. Both of them are in front of big windows, and the puppies have to keep watch whenever possible. I guess I’d rather have happy puppies than pristine couches. (Not sure the husband agrees.)

We had big storms yesterday and last night and this morning everything is bright and shiny and sparkling. Even the power lines have little rainbow droplets. Hope your day is bright too!