yarn shops

sin city knit shop, las vegas

The second LYS I visited was the

Sin City Knit Shop

on E. Windmill Ln. From the look of it, this shop has been around for quite some time. I think I recall being told that until Mirage Fiber Arts opened its doors it was the only one in Vegas for a while.

I had the immediate feeling that the people relaxing and knitting were all good friends, and was greeted as if I was a part of that circle too.

I can't tell you how at home I felt here! I said I was looking for some sock yarn, and everyone there sounded off with great suggestions of what was in stock! It may have been for that reason that I wasn't even entirely sure who was the owner of Sin City Knits, it was like everyone was at home, I was a guest, and there happened to be a ton of yarn around. The atmosphere is too charming here.

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I decided to pick up one of Sin City knits' own dyed sock yarns in that lovely blue-green colorway, and a sale skein of Viking Raggen for some Christmas knitting (time-willing). Oh, and some point protectors. They just keep disappearing back home.

Thanks for such an enjoyable visit, Sin City Knit Shop! If anyone's in the area and are looking for workshops, classes, events and the like, or simply a place to knit, chat and find squishy skeins to adopt, the Sin City Knit Shop is a great bet.

​ mirage fiber arts, las vegas

While on my thanksgiving weekend trip to Las Vegas with Nick, I took advantage again of Ravelry's fantastic LYS finder resource and found two shops to visit.

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The first was Mirage Fiber Arts on S. Buffalo drive. The moment I walked in, I was warmly greeted by the ladies knitting on those adorable rocking chairs.

Their full walls suggested a generous and well curated selection of squishy yarns. I spent most of my time there handing skeins of alpaca or mohair to Nick and insisting that he squeeze and appreciate them.

While convincable, I was mostly on the hunt for something more local than the usual staples of Malabrigo or Berocco, and found what I was looking for.

A skein of Nerd Girl Yarns Swagger in "I Ain't Nobody's Bitch", and Ethereal Fibers' Dark Matter Sock, a 70/20/10 Merino/Yak/Nylon yarn, which is unfortunately not the most well catalogued yarn on Ravelry.

I'm learning, however, that the wonderful thing about picking up a yarn without an existing and well-documented record of projects online is that my project will definitely be a nice little surprise to see all knit up. I'm not entirely sure now the Swagger Yarn will turn out, so I'm probably going to let it have its say on a vanilla sock or something. (Or maybe give the Stranded Show-Off pattern another try?) I'll share my second LYS experience with you very soon! For now, I've got an Ease sweater to finish weaving in and blocking.

places : toronto, ontario

With just my iPhone in tow (tried to travel light), I spent a rushed three days exploring Toronto on foot. Naturally I had to ask Yelp where the nearest LYS's were.





First stop was Yarns Untangled. This small shop is gorgeously lit and incredibly well curated, I wanted to bring every one of their skeins home.


I took this yarn lust as an opportunity to manage my stash. I took a good look at the entries in my Ravelry stash section, and carefully assigned the relevant ones to projects on my queue. Once that was done, I had the conscience-clearing parameters needed to make my special souvenir yarn purchase -- it's gonna have to be a skein of super soft fingering wool for the Slide socks by Cookie A.

My choice of yarn is Zen Garden Serenity 20, in a OOAK colorway. (Photos of these stash-quisitions were taken at R2, with a fantastic Spanish Latte).

My next stop was Romni Wools, which was an overwhelming experience. The first floor was absolutely brimming with yarn of all weights and colors!

I chose a Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in the Sequoia colorway, entirely for sentimental reasons--for Nick and my first year, we visited the Sequoia National Park and had a fantastic and unforgettable experience. This was the perfect yarn to commemorate that experience and I had to get it, even if it betrayed my personal mission to grab local yarns while 'abroad'. Photos from that trip are coming soon for sure.

This skein's perfect and accurate hue is going to become a pair of How Come That Blood socks. With the gorgeous tree-knot like motif, making this match was a no-brainer. I also grabbed a circular needle, so I could get started on this pair on the flight back home, as well as to be able to have two magic loop projects going on at the same time. I'm glad I made that choice.

I also paid Porch Swing Yarnsomniacs a visit, and met its kind and quirky owner! His store was currently in the middle of a move about 6 doors west of the original location, with big plans to become a knit café! I refrained from taking any photos yet because of the hard work underway, but am entirely excited to drop by when I next come to Toronto. The world needs more knit cafe's. If you're in the area, do let me know how it turns out!

places : solvang, santa barbara

Nick and I decided to celebrate our 6-month weekend by making a two-hour drive over to Solvang, CA. I took on navigating and shotgun-knitting responsibilities for the ride. An absolute burden, I know.

Coming along with me were my Two-at-a-time Toe-Ups on the magic loop bought while on my stop in Ashland, Oregon. (I regret not properly documenting that awesome little LYS adventure!) It's awesome to not have to worry about a tiny DPN falling right out of my project and falling into the crumb-filled crevice between the seats! Seriously people, if you are a victim of stopping mid-project to fish through crap for your lost DPNs, learn magic loop. It just might change your life.

I've only been to Solvang once in the last decade or so, but distinctly remembering getting to feed ostriches. So when I saw this big obnoxious OSTRICHLAND! sign, we had to stop to feed those god awfully ugly yet fascinating living dinosaurs. The feeding bowl + dust pan combination is a little high-tech for my tastes, but I did my best to grasp that we were living in an advanced age.

Anyway. Solvang! Big beautiful horses! Delicious food! Walking!

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And, wait, did I just hear you say there were yarn shops here? Fuck all else, let's go there.


Village Spinning and Weaving would be number one of two that I knew of in Solvang. The moment I smelled that wool I knew I was home.

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Despite the cosy space of this particular shop, there was quite a nice selection of yarns at Village Spinning and Weaving. I was most impressed by the gorgeously cushy skeins of local undyed alpaca offered by the shop itself. Next time I come around here it's in my plan to get at least a sweater quantity's worth of the stuff. Those colors are what I'm all about for garments.

Because of my recent interest in my very own Operation: Sock Drawer, I had only an interest this trip to acquire nice fingering weight stuff.

Wildfoote is a very new line to me, so I opted for a pair of skeins in each of these two lovely muted colors here. I promised Nick that I would make one of these into a pair of socks for him, but I haven't decided which color to reserve for myself (or, let's be honest, whether or not these both will just end up as selfish knits).

I also learned about the wealth of locally sourced alpaca available here. Here was a gorgeous palette of undyed sweater quantities just calling my name. Some even had the name of the animal sheared for the skein. These I will have to come back for when I make the room in my stash bin.

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The next shop that I insisted we visit was Rasmussens, which on the first floor features gifts and toys, but offered fabrics and crafts supplies upstairs.

The modest space was put to good use--everywhere I turned there were gorgeous linens and colorful yarns, as well as many vintage pattern books and magazines.

I was dead-set on whatever sock yarns there were on offer, and came across a little basket right in the center of a glass display labelled SALE. I think two out of these three were discontinued. They're gonna make great additions to my future collection of self striping/scrap ankle socks.

After those two yarn-shops were checked off my list of must-see places, we just strolled around until we were tired. The day ended with lounging on a beach in Santa Barbara to watch the sun set.

loop

Just days before having to board my flight back home, I was determined to visit London and find Loop, the gorgeous LYS I’ve heard just too much about on Ravelry. We bought our London Underground day passes (which I highly recommend if, like us, you’re prone to getting a little lost), and checked every map on the way to make sure we were on the right track to Camden Passage.
loop in london
And there it was! We picked the right day to randomly bus to London, as it was International Knit in Public Day, giving me 10% off my yarn purchase (which meant I really had to make my souvenir purchase)! You’ll find whenever I make the time to upload the rest of the London trip photos, that other neat events coincided on this day too, there was a lot to see and do!
loop in london
I just don’t know what it is with the rain and finding yarn shops— Jason and I were wet from the brief shower while walking the small streets of the passage, so walking into this nice warm shop felt wonderful. I’m proud of Jason for being such a great sport about it, and had no blame to place on him for dozing off a little in this warm peaceful little yarn shelter. :]
loop in london
loop in london
I had the chance to fondle even more yarns I only read about on Ravelry. Skein felt like a dream. And BT’s Shelter has got to be the fluffiest, most airy worsted wool I’ve ever handled. Ugggghh~
bought from loop
It was tough to not break the bank, but I made my stash-addition choice. Two balls of Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball in Domino and River Bed. Domino will become some nice socks for Jason, and the other ones for me. :] I'm a little against keeping much of a stash, especially after having gotten new yarn from Ippikin just a few weeks ago, but as long as these become socks by the end of the summer it'll be okay I think! A little stash should be fine anyway.
Before leaving for California I casted on Anne Campbell's Show-off Stranded Socks with that Regia Hand-Dye effect yarn I bought from Ippikin. Unfortunately they didn't grow much as they would have, since I decided against risking confiscation at the airport, but they're steadily growing now that I'm home! I've had the pattern sitting in my queue for a while, waiting for the right skein. The pattern is tedious for me, but easy to understand and to remember (just simple yarn-overs and pulling them over stitches). I also have mixed feelings about how fun the new heel design's going to be, but the gorgeous look of the socks have been keeping me going. :] I'm looking forward to having these on my feet.
rhubarb show off's wip
If you remember my Botticelli socks--I finished them in just two days! Problem is, I think I worked too many gusset rows, leaving the heel much too wide and saggy, and the foot much too long for me. The plan today was to frog, rewind and just make some regular heel flap nilla socks, but the yarn winder's busted AND I think I might have left one of the finished socks in England. They will have to wait. For now, I'll enjoy my growing souvenir WIPs and the hot cali weather. :]
With time I'll be a tourist in my own town and visit some more LYS's (and make more stash acquisitions to share with you all--I'm thinking sweaters in the near future!)
a gift from karla
Some unrelated but wonderful news--I had an unexpected but very thoughtful package from my older sister waiting for me here in Cali! A Knitter's Pride size 9 circular needle, and a skein of this very soft baby Llama yarn by Mirasol Peru! I hear the Knitter's Pride yarn is very similar in quality to Knitpicks Harmony needles, because a similar manufacturer (?), so I'm looking forward to using them. The yarn itself is just gorgeous. It looks like the perfect yardage for a nice pair of little wristwarmers, but I think they'll be better suited to a nice slouchy beanie like Opus Spicatum. I'll keep an eye out for another skein of this lovely yarn. 1000% excited to knit with this once my sock projects (and Bapsicraftspieces) are bound off.

Ippikin

I have a million thanks to give to the LYS Search feature on Ravelry. I'm lucky to have the map light up like a little christmas tree in Los Angeles, but around Bridgnorth, it's a slightly rarer sight. So when I found out about Ippikin, I had to sink the £20 travel fare to visit!

Unfortunately it had to rain on the day we set out, but I was determined to travel anyway (and Jason was such a great sport about it too!) The moment we spotted the shop I snapped just one photo and ran inside for shelter. You'll have to see for yourself if you get there--the place is a little yarn haven!

Among local brands carried are Rowan, Lion Brand, Opal, and much more. I had a great time squishing skeins that I've only seen photos of online.

There's also a nice little nook to knit and chat. On the day I visited, a small crochet class was currently in session.

Lesley was a fantastic host and was a tremendous help to me. I let her know I was looking for some local yarns and she showed me big parts of the wall devoted to these gorgeous skeins of soft wool! I chose 4 skeins of Woolyknits' Aran for Bapsicrafts. These skeins will each turn into lovely Condyle wristwarmers that I'll have for sale in the shop. :] Woolyknits' yarn is spun in their mill in Saddleworth, Yorkshire in the valleys of the Pennines in northern England. I'm more than excited to have this part of Britain on my needles and to share it with shoppers of Bapsicrafts. :]

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And, of course, I made a rather large personal purchase. I don't allow myself the luxury very often at all, since I'm kind of in practice of not having a personal stash when I can help it.  But these yarns! I've seen sock after sock knit in Regia or Opal yarns and, crap, here's my chance! The Rhubarb colorway, and this variegated bluish shade of the Opal yarn are going to look fantastic as socks.

I'm not going to cast any of those on just yet, since they'd most likely be in progress for a while. I anticipate not being allowed to knit at all on the airplane back, so sparing myself of a sock wip in the suitcase will be the best idea.

As for the DK Knitcol yarns, well..

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...my hand slipped.

yesterday i found it in me to brave the summer heat and visit the close knit circle, a local yarn shop. this was to be my very first visit to an actual yarn shop and not a massive craft store with a small yarn department [although, i haven't been to one of those in over a decade either], so i was a little nervous for some reason, haha. the shop was really beautiful, [i was even welcomed by this gorgeous dog!] and everyone there was very kind and helpful. i even got to feel a lot of gorgeous yarns i've only seen online, wonderful stuff.

next to wanting to finally go to a yarn shop, i paid tckc a visit because i was looking for a nice cotton to design some washcloths for father's day. that and some size 8 circulars, since i've been eyeing a few lovely patterns that i've been aching to make with my stash yarn. anyway, the yarn i decided on was this really pretty silver phoenix yarn by ella rae, i'm not sure if the sheen in any way affects absorbency or anything, but it was too pretty not to try out.
they were also kind enough to wind my yarn into a ball !

after knitting and measuring gauge, i found a knitting pattern generator and very steadily built a pattern from one of my sketches. after it was done it was printed and i got to work test-knitting it. a lot of changes need to be made with the pattern before i'm happy with it completely, but each step of the way has been enjoyable. instead of frogging this test-knit i might just bind off and admire it for the lesson it is and continue this design. designing little knits so far is a challenge that requires a lot of concentration and patience but it's something i definitely see myself doing more in the future.