Stash Enhancement

After a period of losing local yarn shops, San Francisco got a new shop over the long weekend!  Woo!  Firebird Yarns…right on Haight Street…a great location for tourists and locals, alike.   I can’t wait to see how things develop there.  I hope the shop continues to grow and sticks around for long time.

It hit a lot of current trends…indie dyers, gradient yarns, mini skeins, speckles galore!  All things I like.  The indie variety was impressive…Loft Twenty Two, Houndstooth Fiber Arts, Hula Hut Yarn, Mad Science Yarns (great color names here–tesla coil, genetically modified berries, perfect mad science names!).

And now, here’s my plea to those indie dyers…please, please, please expand your offerings beyond superwash.  There is a market for non-superwash yarns, especially considering how many of those superwash yarns are labeled ‘hand wash cold, lay flat to dry’.  That’s not how superwash works.

With that in mind, the shop did have one special yarn, non-superwash, sheep raised in Texas, milled out in the Sacramento Valley.  It’s a great color too, so I had to buy a skein.  It’s a bulky single ply with a bit of thick and thin happening.  No idea what I’ll do with it, but I’m sure it’ll be good!  It’s a nice soft yarn!

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Of course, I can’t resist a good speckle so I picked up a skein of Hula Hut Yarn too.

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I’ve got a good collection of green yarns now, this could be my next cast on!  Perhaps at the end of the week, after my job interview.  I’ve got 48 hours left to prepare…so it’s all work until then!  I’d say ‘wish me luck’ but this is definitely the type of situation where you make your own luck.  I’m feeling good about my presentation but I’ve still got lots of fine tuning to do.  What I really need is two days of distraction free focus.  (that might be where the luck comes in!)  I’ll keep you posted!  :)


 

Happy Local Yarn Shop Day!

Today’s calendar includes several ‘holidays’ to support your local businesses. It’s record store day so go support your local record dealer. And it’s local yarn shop day. It’s the inaugural year. I’m prone to talking smack about such made up ridiculousness but whatever, any excuse to buy yarn, yes?

Not as though I need an excuse. (First though, notice the snow. Snow!?! It’s been years since I’ve seen snow! Gonna try to avoid it for a few more years now…)

Yesterday’s trip to Purl in the Pines, in Flagstaff, Arizona was highly successful! It’s a super shop. The only thing I’d change…bring it closer to San Francisco!

It’s a clean, bright, mostly uncluttered space, loaded with great yarns. There was room for people to pass each other without tripping over piles of stuff on the floor. The displays were neat. The yarn walls looked great! I know how much work that takes to keep so tidy! It’s worth the effort though. It makes for a great shopping experience.

Anybody else love buttons? They got ’em! Once upon a time, someone told me the guy who sells those buttons is an old school traveling salesman…buttons in his trunk driving from shop to shop, peddling his wares. Clearly, this is what I aspire to. I’ve got the driving around to yarn shops down!

Here’s what I bought! From left to right, that’s three skeins of Mountain Meadow Cody, a Dream in Color Smooshy mini skein, a skein of Mary Gavan hand dyed yarn and a skein of The Croft Shetland tweed from West Yorkshire Spinners.

I’m excited about it all but the Mountain Meadow is what I’m most excited about! It’s a 100% grown & made in the USA product. A wonderful squishy merino from Wyoming and it’s a female owned company too! It’s lovely and soft, a bit more dense than say, Brooklyn Tweed. Perhaps on par with a Quince yarn. It’s rustic but not as a euphemism for scratchy. I love it.

And here’s the whole road trip pile…

Three yarn shops, three different states and a whole lot of awesome!

Happy Local Yarn Store Day! Now I’m off to Yarn and Coffee in Santa Fe! I expect more great yarns!

Sin City Knit Shop

On my 7th day, I finally made it to Las Vegas’ yarn shop…Sin City Knit Shop. First though, there was a stop at Bad Owl Cafe, a Harry Potter themed coffee shop. I don’t drink coffee (or butter beer) but I thought the understated theme was pretty awesome.

After that, it was off to Sin City Knit Shop. It was a lovely visit to a well appointed shop with friendly staff.

The woman who greeted us (because after my music friends left, a knitting friend showed up two hours later! Woooo!) knew the tourist drill, she instantly showed us to the local yarns.

They had a selection of local yarns (in multiple gauges), as well as some super cute project bags (awesome fabric selection!) It was the fur Pom Poms that really caught my eye though…

…the price, yes. But more importantly, check out that snap! Not only does it give amazing stability, it gives amazing flexibility. A Pom Pom that’s entirely and easily removed or reattached at any moment. Genius!! I didn’t buy any, but I love that they exist.

And then, there’s the shawl wall! All amazing! So many terrific samples!

I did buy a couple things…

The bottom three aren’t mine, just the top four. It’s a great pile though. Mine are a local hand dye, a purple Mirasol yarn for my current WIP, Kiwi from Zealana (a New Zealand possum yarn) and a skein of Cashmere 16 Fine (a cashmere merino blend with a super springy chain construction. It’s so light and lofty. Can’t wait to use it!)

Next stop: New Mexico’s self proclaimed premier yarn shop in Albuquerque! They have wolf hair yarn…super curious!

Stitches Weekend!

Woooo!  It’s time! Stitches is here!  My tax refund was deposited yesterday!  I’m ready!!

I was hoping to finish up my Ravellenic/Olympic challenge by now, 13 hats in two weeks.  Here’s how it’s looking…

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8 Completely finished hats, 1 waiting for embellishment, 2 on the needles.  I’m so close.  The Olympics aren’t over so I’m not done but I really wanted to be working on my sweater this weekend.  Remember my sweater…

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It’s been a while.  I’m looking forward to getting back to it.  I’d say next week but let’s face it, the new yarn is going to win.   Baby projects galore!  It’s going to be so fun!

I’ll be sure to share, in the meantime watch over on Instagram for Stitches Market pics and updates!!  Miss Babs, Knitpicks, Webs, Mimi’s Needle Basket and Steven Be are at the top of the queue!  I’m hoping to squeeze in some hat knitting at the bar too, so if you’re at Stitches today or tomorrow, look for me there and come say hello!!

Happy Friday, Indeed!!!!!!!  (<- it really is that exciting!)


 

Weekend Stash Enhancement

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I visited another new bay area yarn shop this weekend, The Black Squirrel in Berkeley.  It’s a nice, bright, open space with an amazing yarn wall.  They have a small, trendy selection of yarn.

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It’s kind of amazing that I only came home with three skeins.  I don’t usually do trends but speckle yarn is one trend I am on board with!

There were maybe 3 or 4 different indie dyers represented on the wall.  I went with Spun Right Round, a dyer from Rochester, NY.  This is the sock base, an 80/20 superwash wool/nylon blend.  In colors Caterpillar and Idle Gossip.

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For a quick minute, I thought, I should do one of those faded sweaters.  I think I’ve come to my senses since then.  I’ve got too many WIPs for that but just in case I decide to do a fade of some kind, my third color is the perfect neutral for a fade, Newsprint.

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White with black speckles…an instant classic!

I’m not casting the yarn on yet but I did have time for another little project I picked up.

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A christmas ornament cross-stitch kit.

They worked up quick and turned out super cute.

 

Pre-Thanksgiving isn’t too early for a Christmas tree, is it?

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And, I managed to make progress, this weekend, on the Bill Murray Sweater too.  Good progress I think.  I’ll share some details and photos for WIP Wednesday!   Hopefully it’ll look like something by then!


 

WestKnits Surpreyes Bag!

Yay for WestKnits stash acquisition!  My package arrived in less than 72 hours from the time I placed my order!  Who doesn’t love that?!  I’m pleased to say, there’s no buyers remorse here!  This was a really fun box of goodies to open!

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I love the book!  (WestKnits Best Knits — the Mix Tape Tour book, I already had, it’s just there for size reference) It’s a larger format than the tour books from the past couple years and Stephen has started including e-book codes for Ravelry in the back cover!  I especially love that!  I asked and been unsuccessful in getting download codes for some of his other patterns I’ve bought as the print version.  I’m so happy he heard those requests and did something about it, even if it took a while!

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I love the project bag.  The eyes are so fun and it’s a heavy almost canvas fabric.  Perfect for people who cram way too much stuff into their bags, like me!

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And, even more importantly, I love the yarn.  It’s a variety of weights, fibers and colors.  I think it makes a great set though.  I’m feeling compelling to use it all in the same project.

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Going clockwise from noon, we’ve got the mustard color Arucania Nature Wool, 100% wool, aran weight.  Then that lovely grey, Holst Garn Supersoft 100% uld.  I think it’s fingering weight, if not lace weight.  I especially like this one because it’s not something I’ve seen in the US.  It reminds me of Brooklyn Tweed.

Continuing on, there’s a denim colored tweed, Berroco Blackstone Tweed.  Nothing fancy there but I’ve used it’s big brother, Blackstone Tweed Chunky, with great success.  In my WestKnits sweater, no less.

Finishing off the top corner, is a skein of Hedgehog Merino DK in color Stone.  It’s really lovely.  I’d have to be a fool to complain about that one!

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To really give it the Westknits feel, there’s a skein of mohair.  It’s not my favorite thing in the world and it’s probably the first thing I’ve give up from this collection but still…It’s the right color so I’ll figure it out!

And finally, a lovely, soft, blue skein of single ply superwash merino.  The label says it’s from etsy, but the shop is no longer open.

I have no idea what to make with this pile but it’s gonna be good when I finally figure it out.  I’m sure I can make the colors into something awesome.  I’m not sure how to deal with the different weights just yet but I know the answer is out there.  I just need to find it.

My only debate…do I add my own stash to the mix or do I use only what’s here for a project.  It’ll be a while before I get to it so I’ve got plenty of time to decide!


 

WestKnits Stash Acquistion

It’s a WestKnits kinda weekend around here.  I kicked it off with some WestKnits Stash acquisition.  Not acquiring stash for WestKnits patterns, no acquiring Mr. West’s actual stash.

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I couldn’t resist when this popped up yesterday.  It’s a project bag.  (Just this week, I was noticing all my project bags are full.  After a long dip, my WIP count is back to 10.  Don’t worry, I love it.)  It’s a book.  (The one I don’t have.  What are the odds of that?)  and it’s at least 400 g of Stephen’s destashed yarn.  I appreciate his tastes in color and fiber so I think I’ll like whatever I get.

Especially now that I’ve made my next Speckled, Faded, Dotted Rays decision!

We’ve grown from the Hedgehog Skinny Singles Boombox and now faded into the Western Sky Knits Magnolia Sock with No Name.  (so glad there’s no desert here.)

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So far I’m loving what’s going on!

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The next fade is going to have a bit more zing.  I can’t wait!  Who knows, maybe this mystery yarn will show up from Stephen and it’ll be the perfect thing.  It’s simply fate working it’s magic.  (totally not my fault when it goes wrong either.)

Stay tuned for progress, I think this one is going to proceed quickly!