Friday, August 18, 2006
Yarn Crawl
So last week, after my brother-in-law's wedding was over (went very well, thanks, and everyone was happy. I should totally be a wedding planner.), I went down to Calgary for a few days. I had multiple intentions for my trip - one of my online message boards was having a meet-up, my best friend had a day off work, and most importantly...(ok, not most importantly, since I haven't seen Jana in months, but most importantly for this entry) I went on a yarn crawl.

Calgary has quite the mythic reputation in Edmonton. They have more yarn stores than us, and the general opinion is that they are vastly superior. Now, I wondered how much of that was just that whole grass-is-greener approach. And then I went.

Holy shit, Calgary has nice yarn stores. I spent some time with Google Maps before I left Edmonton, and had my route all planned out. I was planning to hit four stores: Make One Yarn Studio, the Beehive, Gina Brown's, and Knit One Chat Too. I bought yarn in all of them. Is anyone surprised? No.

My first stop was Make One Yarn Studio. I figured after all the hype I'd heard from my Stitch and Bitch, online people, and the freaking yarn store people in Edmonton, there was no way it was going to live up to the hype. Yeah. It totally did. The first thing they did was offer me a pot of tea! So I wandered around and drank an entire pot of fresh brewed loose Earl Grey tea. Now that is service!

The major feature of this store was the Lorna's Laces, which I had previously never clapped eyes on. Oh my god, it is glorious. If I ever become fabulously rich, I will have a bathtub full of Lion and Lamb Lorna's Laces. That quickly shot up to the top of my I Want This list. It's kind of out of my price range, though. Alas. I fondled yarn for a good half hour before making my first selection.


Manos! I've bought Manos before, but not for myself. It is an absolutely gorgeous colour, see?

Manos Closeup

(sorry about the blur, but it gives you a pretty good sense of the colours) that I think will look fabulous with my hair. (I'm modest like that.) I'm hoping it's going to be a particularly awesome hat for me.

I then started poking through the sock yarn. No small undertaking at Make One. As I was browsing, the delightful yarn store employee pointed out their new sock yarn from Sweet Georgia Yarns, a teeny little yarn company that I think is just one person dying yarn. So I bought two skeins of the lovely Saffron.

Sweet Georgia Sock Yarn in Saffron

I later discovered that this person totally dies yarn in freaking BUFFYVERSE colours. Talk about combining my two greatest obsessions! Needless to say, I will be ordering more. Possibly in "Slayer" or "Angel" or "Willow" or "Firefly." I'm secretly choosing to believe that Saffron is in fact named for the infamous YoSafBridge. (A character from Firefly.) Here's the label info for those of you who care about these things.


It's probably just as well I didn't know about the Joss connection on that yarn, because I was excited enough about the Piratey yarn that came next! My final choice for Lorna's Laces (and oh, it was hard - I could have bought all of it!) was Shephard Sock in the awesomely named Black Purl colourway. Hee hee.

Lorna's Laces Shephard Sock Black Purl

While I could have easily bought out the whole store, I'd already been there for about an hour and was quickly losing all sense of perspective on what a reasonable yarn price was. Since I wanted to hit three more stores without my credit card going on strike, I moved on reluctantly.

My next stop was the Beehive. After Make One, it looked pretty mundane, but they did have a great selection of inexpensive sock yarn. So I picked up some of this new washable Bernat stuff for someone who does not want high maintenance socks.

Bernat Hot Sox

While it isn't thrilling, it is a lovely shade of blue.

I also grabbed some Fortissima Socki Color, which I thought looked fun.

Fortissima Colori Socka Color

Then I moved on to Gina Brown's, which was conveniently nearby. (And also incredibly close to where my sister used to live in Calgary. All that time I could have been sending her on yarn errands!)

Well. Gina Brown's was a lovely store, the people were very friendly, and OH MY GOD, the Malabrigo. Kettle Dyed Merino yarn, and I am not kidding when I say I could have HAPPILY bought every single solitary colour they had. It was so freaking nice I nearly died. It took me ages to choose (after wandering around the rest of the store about four times while I contemplated), but I picked out three colours. This is officially my new favourite yarn. (In my possession, anyway. Lion and Lamb may win out for favourite that I don't own.) I got:

Lime Blue

Malabrigo Lime Blue

Which certain best friends eyed with some enthusiasm. I can see why, though, isn't it gorgeous?

Malabrigo Lime Blue Closeup

Velvet Grapes

Malabrigo Velvet Grapes

Which I think would look great with my grey winter coat. Mmm.

Malabrigo Velvet Grapes Closeup

And Geranio

Malabrigo Geranio

Which is both difficult to photograph and difficult to pull off. I actually think it would look great on my sister, but she lives in Vancouver. Does she really need a nice woolly hat? I don't know. So we'll see about that one.

I left the store with a large bagful, and put it in the front seat so I could continue to pet it while I drove out to Knit One Chat Too. They had a lovely store - great layout, but a lot of duplicates of stuff I'd already seen that day. The downside to being the last stop on a yarn crawl, I suppose. They had a ton of beautiful Manos, but after my Malabrigo haul I figured I probably had enough of that weight of yarn to be going on with. There were several things that tempted me, but I ended up with a single purchase: a skein of Fleece Artist Merino Sock Yarn. Mmm, yummy.

Fleece Artist Sock Yarn

For some totally inexplicable reason, I absolutely adore this combination of colours. It's kind of hard to find, though. My Secret Pal sent me some awesome sock yarn in similar shades a few months ago, so I think I'll continue to hoard similar colourways whenever I come across them. Isn't it pretty?

Fleece Artist Closeup

I say I don't like pink, but I think what I really mean is I don't think I look good in pink. I lusted over way too much pink yarn to claim not to like it.

So there you go. My lengthy yarn haul. It was a great crawl, and the day was capped off with a tasty dinner and delightful evening with my best friend, so it was a glorious day indeed. Who can complain about coming home from a trip with this?

The Haul

(Click on the pictures for a bigger hit of yarny goodness.)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Mystery Knitting
I have officially moved into holiday knitting. While this is good news in general (I still have nearly five months! I might actually finish without losing my mind!), it isn’t going to make for the world’s most exciting blogging. (In other news, Word needs to get with the times – don’t tell me blogging isn’t a word! Geez.)

This weekend, I did something I virtually never do: I bailed on my best friend. She was in Jasper for about 24 hours and I was supposed to go meet her. While I would have liked to get out of town and also see her, the combined factors of (1) I was really damn tired, (2) that’s a lot of damn driving in 24 hours all by myself, (3) by the time we got there it would be late Friday evening already and we’d have to leave by mid-Saturday afternoon, and while I would totally do that if I wasn’t going to see her again for a while, I’m going to Calgary next week, so…yeah. I totally didn’t go.

Anyway, as a result, a previously busy weekend became quite delightfully free. I went to my future sister-in-law’s stagette on Friday night, and then had the rest of the weekend totally to myself. Jamie was at his brother’s stag all day Saturday, so I got up ridiculously late (ahhhh) and settled in to my chair for a delightful day of knitting secret Christmas project number one. I started it several months ago but haven’t had dedicated time to work on it due to various other deadlines, but I was officially finished with all my non-holiday knitting. Baby blanket – out the door, after several minor disasters. Sock Garden socks – finished except for weaving in the ends, which will only take a minute, and otherwise ready to go to their recipient this weekend. Gryffindor Socks number one – also just need their ends woven in, ready to go for my sister’s visit at the end of the month. July was a productive knitting month.

Anyway, this mega project had one lengthy element to it that required both attention and a spreadsheet to get through it, so I’ve only been working on it when I’m at home and paying some attention. I decided that a free weekend left me no excuse, so I fired up my new Angel DVDs, and settled in for a long day of knitting.

There were, of course, some setbacks. My future-sister-in-law (also my downstairs neighbour)’s sister needed driving to the medi-centre, and so several hours of my afternoon were eaten up with that. (However, good sock progress was made!) The bachelor party needed chauffeuring around for a while, and that took a bit of time. But by the end of Saturday I was halfway through the computer-requiring section of the top-secret project.

Sunday rolled around and I had even less to do. I taught myself something to speed up the process (my god, this is annoying – I’ll have to rewrite all of these entries after Christmas), and three full discs of Angel later, was finished the fiddly section and had moved into the mindless stockinette section.

I took it to my Stitch and Bitch last night, and I was roundly mocked for my ridiculous to-knit list. Naturally, they threw the gauntlet down and challenged me to knit the whole main section before next month’s stitch and bitch. Now, they all totally don’t think I can do it, but I’m pretty sure I can. It’ll take some monogamous knitting (not my strong suit), but I’ve been doing pretty well with that since we got back from our trip, and another month of it should do it.

So! Stay tuned to see if I can finish an random section of a mysterious project in time for a totally arbitrary goal. Thrilling, isn’t it?