19 April 2006

Yarn shops in Seattle

Last weekend (Easter), Lorie and I trekked up to Seattle to play and shop. For what? Yarn of course! We went to many yarn shops. I lost count. But I fell in love with two. Hilltop Yarn (http://www.hilltopyarn.com/) is a gem of a shop on top of Queen Anne Hill. They also have Hilltop East, which used to be Skeins by Bellevue Square. Both shops are a delight of yarn. I fell in love with a scarf and finally had to buy the yarn in order to make it myself. Well, they didn't have the yarn I wanted at the original store, so that provided us an excuse to go to the new East store. The staff were super friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. They had a fantastic supply of yarns, used in new and innovative ways and exciting colorways. If you are ever in Seattle, these stores are a must.

My other favorite store is So Much Yarn (http://www.somuchyarn.com/) in Belltown. For my tactile self, this was a yarn shop of addiction! The lines were luxurious and the prices were average. They had a great selection of books and patterns, buttons and yarn, and more. We liked it so much we went back. My delight was finding out the carried Mountain Colors, a Montana line of yarn that is stunningly beautiful. I bought a sweater pattern to knit any sweater from the neckdown. I haven't tried it yet, but the people who worked there raved about it. Another must visit.

The first day we were in Seattle, we visited Store X. I fell in love with this rich red scarf made out of Karabella Boise, a blend of Cashmere and Merino. It was luscious and soft. It was stunning. I wanted it. But how much? Store X, also friendly and helpful, found the yarn for me and said, "You only need four skeins!" Four skeins at $32.00 a piece! I can buy a premade cashmere scarf for $128.00 (or less) or I can buy Mountain Colors Cashmere and make it myself. I kept a straight face and we soon left. I had noticed earlier that all of Store X's yarns were at least $3.00 higher per skein than what I was used to seeing, so I wondered if that was going to be the Seattle experience. Happily not! We found most stores to be on par with what we are used to in Oregon. Anyway, we were at So Much Yarn and I found the Karabella Boise there for $17.25 a skein!!! Now this is still pricey and out of my price range, but I did consider purchasing it, just because it seemed positively cheap in comparison. I've seen it now online for around $25.00 a skein. So Much Yarn could charge so much more....If you have money to spend on yarn, this is a great yarn to do it with!

Below is a photo of our last breakfast with my friends, and future knitters, Kristi and Kathleen. It was great to have time with good friends, relax, eat well, and see new yarns. Who knew Cascade has superwash wool? Not Lorie and I, since our stores don't carry it. Seattle was a great time and I can't wait to go back.

P.S. I just priced Mountain Colors cashmere online and compared it to the Karabella Boise. I'm calling So Much Yarn and ordering two skeins. Their price is by far the best! At 160 yards in DK weight, I think I can make a beautiful cabled scarf with two skeins double-stranded and still have luxury around my neck. Four skeins my ass! Now I just have to buy the new Vogue Stitchionary on cables. Argh.

12 April 2006

Mason-Dixon Thumbs Up

I just read Mason-Dixon Knitting and loved it. I'm talking about the book, not the blog (although I like that too). This book is my kind of book. It's a knitting book you can read cover to cover. The design, photos, asides, patterns, anecdotes and stories make for a lovely hodge podge of entertainment, like sitting down with a friend for a nice chat. I applaude the designers, photographers, font picker-outers and layout people for the colorful photos and text. They give the book a blog-like feel while showing off all that books can offer that blogs can't.

I'm the type that enjoys reading cookbooks cover to cover, including the recipes, even though I probably will never make the dish. With Mason-Dixon, I'll probably never make the lace curtain or the many log cabin blankets, but I liked seeing them and learning how they are made. More than anything, however, this book make me think that someday I might be a creative knitter experimenting with my own patterns, yarns, or being surprised by inspiration where I least expect it. This book is a keeper. Enjoy!

08 April 2006

Projects Abound

Hey there,

Here are a few photos two of the things I have been working on lately. The pink sweater is from Knitting for Two. Even though I have no need to be knitting for "two", I just liked the pattern and thought it would be cute on anyone, and I got the yarn for 65% off at the shop I work at! Yay for Bag Sales!

The small swatch of light pink and olive green is for a cardigan from the Spring/Summer 06 Vogue Knitting International. There are three girls at the yarn shop knitting the same cardigan in all different colors. It should be fun to see how they all turn out! It calls for a Classic Elite yarn but we have substituted Butterfly Cotton Super 10 for it. I will hopefully add more photos as it grows!

Hope you all have a great weekend.

04 April 2006

A Challenge

Hey Girls,

Since I will be headed your direction in June, I thought it would be a good idea to start our knitting challenge in mid-May to start of June, so that we can all felt our newly made purses together when I am there. Does that sound like a plan? We have a couple options:

1) all knit the Garden Party bag as originally thought, each coming up with our own ideas/plans.
2) knit any noni bag we want, with the idea that we could all get a better view of how the bags turn out and then exchange the patterns. I already sent the Carpet Bag pattern and Garden Party pattern to Aimee for us all to use.
3) If we find one of the spring patterns that we like better (due out in May) then we could all do that one. I volunteer purchasing the patterns due to my discuenta at work. And I can photocopy and send anything to you all. I will even break down and find a place that does color copies (if I can).

What'cha all think? Let me know what concept works best for you all.

Take care and happy knitting. At some point I will get some of my recent project pictures up.