Saturday, May 31, 2008

On the Road Again

Well - I can't say "Just can't wait to get back on the road again", so let's just settle for I'm on the road. This week I'm in Sunny San Diego at the ASTD International conference. I'm excited about the conference and the opportunity for training. But it's a killer time at work, I'm not sure how much conference I will actually be able to attend - and I'm missing my family after being away 2 weeks ago.

One benefit of traveling frequently is getting a little taste of Local Yarn Shops in different places. This is my first time back to San Diego as a knitter, so I'm taking a few roadtrips during my stay. Today I stopped at Knitting in La Jolla recommended to my by my Seattle knitting field Marie. It was a nice little shop stuffed absolutely full of yarn. There was hardly an inch to turn around in. I frequently had to move out of the way when someone needed to pass. But they had THREE great finds there. The first was Curious Creek Fibers Meru, a Merino and Silk Laceweight yarn. This was the recommended yarn for Goddess Knits Mystery Shawl 7 and it was pretty on her site. But it was stunning in real life. The yarn is shimmery - it almost glimmers. Silk/wool blends are rarely not pretty, but this is just special. And the Semi-Solids are just lovely. I picked out an Orange and Plum blends. I'm using my hotel yarn winder - AKA an up-side down table - to wind the Plum now, I'm CO tonight so I have something to work on at the conference. I have an idea for a great portable project I can make progress on this week while listening to sessions.


I dont' know which color way is lovlier.


And there were several more that I had to pass over to settle on these two. I didn't see a colorway I didn't like, at that's rare!

Another find was Conjoined Creations Flat Feet. I have seen it in magazines, but wanted to see it in real life. The concept is the company machine knits the yarn and then "paints it" while knit. Then you unravel it as you knit the socks. It has a section in the middle you can cut if you want to make socks 2 at a time. Because it is painted as knitted instead of in a hand, each one is unique. Creative huh? I've been focusing on lace yarn versus sock yarn lately - but I could not resist......


I picked up two of them, this is just one of the pictures. I have few details here on my blog because it's all in >Ravelry under my username jc3smama. I just don't have the energy to duplicate it all on the blog. I figure if you really want to know you can look it up! I have the good/bad/ugly stash story for all to see. Well not *all* but I'm getting there.

Lastly - they had this huge display of little balls of yarn every color you could imagine. Solid and heathered. All lace-weight. I asked what that was all about, because it didn't really look knitting yarn. I wondered if it was a new needlepoint yarn or something. It is new - The company EPiC creates yarn for commerical knitting. But she is branching into a yarn that can be knit, sewn, used for needlepoint, and many other uses. The base yarn is lace weight - but you use it single, double, triple or quad based on the thickness you want for knitting. You can also mix the yarn in creative ways to get differnt effects. It's something to play with and I didn't have time. It looked fun - I picked up two balls to play with because she really didn't have yarn to "buy" - she let's her customers play with the colors they want and then order the number of balls they need. Since I was from out of town, she graciously let me take two of her colors so her customers won't be able to play with them.


Intersting concept, I wonder if it will catch on?

So - Knitting in La Jolla is a winner. I would go back if I came back to San Deigo, no doubt.

I also went by The Needlecraft Center. Funny - same name as a LYS in Davidson NC :) I wasn't so impressed, it was like the Davidson shop with Needlecraft and Knitting/Crochet. But the lace selection was tiny - only Malabrigo Lace (of which I have a more than enough) so I passed on it. I didn't see anything there I had not seen before.

Not a shop I would go back to.

Thankfully - there is about oh 15 or so more shops in the area. I will get to visit a few more in the week. Yipee - lunch breaks will be fun!

I also went to Seattle and visited my two favorite shops there - Weaving Works and Acorn Street Shop. I left a sizable portion of my wages in Seattle, let's just say.

I'm especially happy about my Greensleeves Spindle. She is the must be the most balanced spindle I have because she spins forever. There were cuter ones, but this one was the best performer of the ones I tested. They had wheels too, but I resisted.


I also picked up some fiber - Soy Silk and Soy Silk/Cashmere - that I think will be fun to spin. I picked up some Organic Cotton for Doreen - as well as a WPI tool for both of us.

Here is some Merino on my new spindle.


I learned to spin on a wheel!!! Shiori (who taught me to spin on a spindle) was teaching a class, so her husband Shane brought her wheel to the meet up and taught me to spin!!! I dont' know if I'm more impressed that he gave up an evening or that he knows how to spin. I'm so appreciative because I AM IN LOVE WITH SPINNING ON A WHEEL!!!!!! He taught me on a Schacht Matchless and so now I think I want a Schacht Ladybug - I'm a bit spoiled on some of the features.

While in Seattle - I picked up some Crystal Palac Panda Silk yarn - and started a Christmas Gift scarf. It's a cable and lace pattern that is easy but lovely - I will use it again. The yarn is soo soft - it feels like a cloud on your neck.


I also picked up Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Lace and started another gift scarf. This another new - and luxur


I'm done with the first and almost with the 2nd. Two more gifts out of the way. I think that's 4 scarves out of fingering or lace weight done for Christmas. Guess what my theme is this year? After all - it is my Year of Lace .

I'm casting off my Hemlock - during my brief stay at home I decided to wrap it up and cost off. I had only about 1/5th of it left when I had to leave, I'll finish it up when I get back. It is one fugly mess right now, so no inprogess pictures until it's blocked. I can tell, though, after it's blocked I will love it. It will be my home office lap blanket. The Cast Off is ackward and takes a long, long time. Had I thought about it for 1/2 a second, I would have done a crochet loop bind-off. Better believe that when I do another Hemlock, that is what I will be doing. The knitted version isn't worth the extra time IMHO.

So - I told Stacey that I would take pictures of the LYS I visited on the road. I had the best of intentions, my camera my car each time. This week I walked out of Knitting in La Jolla about 1/2 a block and turned to see the Pacific Ocean!!!! I so wish my camera wasn't an additional 3 blocks away.

Stacey - I will have to do better next shops I visit. I have my travel purse with me and my camera doesn't fit. I need to put it in a visible place so I don't leave the car without it.

That's enough typing for now - I want to CO tonight so I can have some mindless lace knitting at the conference tomorrow!

Excuse the spelling and grammar - I'm so tired and lazy right now. I'll have to run a spell-check later on and read it more closely!

1 comment:

Virtuous said...

Gurl La Jolla is the best place to see the ocean! So beautiful there!

Yeah you now I was going to fuss at you for not taking shop pics!! ;op Hopefully next time!

That Curious Creek seams so just sublime and I have been dying to try flat feet!!

And it sounds like you had the best spinning lesson ever! I knew it! Just a matter of time! ;o)