Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Vacation Yarn...

...or several yarns. As I've said many times before, yarn is the perfect souvenir for me. No need for localized bobbles or bits for me (unless, of course, it is locally grown/spun/dyed yarn!) Just take me to the local yarn shop and I'm a happy girl.

Here in Fernandina Beach is where my yen for knitting was rediscovered a couple years ago, while visiting my mom. There was a little yarn shop I passed by several times, and I finally stopped in. That started it all. That shop has since closed, making my yarn shopping when I'm here a little more of an effort. (Not that any effort is too great to go yarn shopping.) 

Within the last year, though, the local bead shop, Beadlemania (great name, no?), decided to dedicate its front corner to yarn! Yeay! Happy! And while their yarn stock is probably a fraction of my entire yarn stash (not bragging, just stating frightening fact), they have very good taste in what their limited stock includes. Lots and lots of Berroco varieties (they could stop there and be awesome), much beautiful lace yarn including Jade Mongolian Cashmere, and several sock brands. They also stock Addi Turbo needles, which makes it a happy place for me because Addis aren't always easy for me to find for some reason. 

I went in on Friday intending to buy needles -- Addi Turbos, size 2 (I can never have enough pairs of these for magic loop socks, and I swear there is a needle gremlin in my house stealing the pairs I have when I'm not looking because I can never find them!). There were two pair left, and I bought them both, even though I usually would not do this because I feel like it is gluttonous and there might be some other poor knitter in dire need of this same size and I will have scarfed both of them up leaving them with none. However, I also rationalized to assuage any guilt used reason to deduce that beads, not yarn and needles, were this store's primary merchandise, so it was likely that the needles might not be in as high demand as they would be somewhere else. 

I was only going to look at the yarn. Maybe feel it up a little. I was not going to buy. Unless...unless that pretty, pretty teal Ultra Alpaca was still there that I'd seen back in May. And (gulp), it was. It was there. And it was still pretty. But! I didn't buy it! Ha! You thought I did, didn't you? But no! I exercised restraint, and I also reminded myself I'd just finished a blue and turquoise sweater and I really didn't need a second sweater in such a similar color in so short a period of time (not that buying the yarn now is any indication that the sweater would be knit any time soon). This, my friends, is an accomplishment.

Instead, I bought sock yarn:

Plymouth Happy Feet, a brand I've not yet used. I love adding new sock yarns to my collection and knitting with them (eventually!).

Then yesterday, the day which local inhabitants revered as holy (the Gators vs. Bulldogs football goodness, the hoopla!), I opted to head to another yarn shop I'd been to a couple of times, KnitWitz, south of downtown Jacksonville. As an effort to save space and to save me the embarrassment, I will not regale you of how I did not write down directions to this shop, assuming I'd remember how to get there or, at the very least, my mom would remember since she does, after all, live here. Suffice it to say, we were driving I-95 south, took one wrong exit, had to turn around, realized we had to actually go farther south, and it was three hours before game time. Can we say football traffic? Oh yeah. 

Finally, though, we did make it to the store. I really only intended to look. To look, and maybe to feel up the yarn. Give it a good sniff and a rub here and there. But see...the nice thing about being in "foreign" yarn shops is they carry things you might not have easy access to at your own LYS, or they maybe carry things you know you can get online but you have never seen in person. Or maybe the yarn fumes simply overcome you and you find yourself sitting on the floor, digging to the back of the shelf, pulling out bags of backstock to count how many hanks of purple Cuzco are actually available (eight) and if there are for the sweater you'd like to make with it (there aren't, as you need nine). 

Thankfully, this yarn shop owner is very kind and gave me full permission to dig in her shelves (really, I was trying to be polite about it). Alas, I came up empty on the Cuzco in any color that appealed to me, but I did come away with these:

More sock yarn. (Sock yarn seems like such an innocuous purchase for the yarn obsessed, doesn't it? One skein is all you need. Though it's really like the alcoholic saying, "It's just one beer." We know you can't just stop at one.) From left to right, Cascade Heritage Handpaints (no color name, just a number, but it is a brown/rust/olive-y colorway, which is hard to see in this picture), Colinette Jitterbug (Toscana) and J. Knits Superwash Me Light Sock (Cincinnati). I do not have any of these yarns in my collection either, though I know The Loopy Ewe also carries the latter two, and now I'm excited because I've seen them in person. 

And though it is not sock yarn, and though I am not generally a bulky yarn person, I bought these as well:

Misty Alpaca Baby Alpaca Handpainted Chunky. 

Oh. My. Gosh.

If I was rich, I would buy a bathtub full of this stuff and just immerse my naked self in it for eight hours a day. 

Bonnie's (the shop I used to work at) carried this yarn, but in the closing sale mayhem, all the colors I liked went before I could buy any, so I am tickled to have some of this. I see a big, squishy scarf in my future this winter.

KnitWitz was the shop who brought the Yarn Harlot to Jacksonville a couple of weeks ago. They had pictures from the event there, and as I was checking out, I was commenting to the owner how cool it was that they'd had her there and how I wished I'd have been in town at that time. She was so sweet...she went in the back and gave me a little giftie bag they'd had left over from the event, in which was this button:

And it was at this point I started babbling like an idiot. "Oh, and she'd Canadian!" I said, (a fact that apparently the Yarn Harlot herself pointed out, LOL) Then I said, "What a great choice! We should all vote for her! No one likes any of our other choices, anyway!" At this point, the owner got this funny look on her face, which immediately told me either a) she was sensing I was a crazy person and was hoping I'd just leave, or b) she wasn't experiencing the same presidential campaign frustration I was and knew exactly who she wanted to see as president and was possibly even enthusiastic about it, which then most likely means, c) she is voting for the one candidate I would not vote for in a million years. 

See, there is a reason I don't talk politics in public. 

Anyway. Yarn. We can all talk about yarn. We all love the yarn, the pretty-pretty yarn. Let's just focus on the YARN, ok?

P.S. Pictures in this post and the last post courtesy the CamGrabber application I downloaded onto my MacBook, which allows me to take still shots using the computer's built in camera. Totally kewl! This would also explain why you're seeing still shots of still rather than, say, picture of pretty beach scenery...I would look funnier than usual walking around aiming my MacBook camera at the world, and really, people already have enough reasons to point and whisper about me behind my back. I refer you to the above-referenced yarn shop conversation. :::sigh:::


pdxknitterati said...

I'm told that sock yarn doesn't count as stash. You are going to have a lot of socks someday, made out of...non-stash!

I love the red Happy Feet. Those socks would make me feel like dancing!

Kathe said...

LOL, actually, I so totally would vote Yarn Harlot were she eligible and lost her mind enough to actually run! Enjoy the yarn! ;o)

Lisa B. said...

Kathe! I couldn't remember your name, which is why I had to keep referring to you as "the owner"! LOL Anyway, totally love your shop, and thanks again for indulging my yarn-shelf-messing, babbling craziness on Saturday! :)