Thursday, April 24, 2008

Catch Up Time

I was away at a work conference from the 6th through the 10th. It was in Arizona. I got to take off a few days afterwards so I got home on the 16th. Add to that a lot of work waiting for me when I got back to the office, and things have been pretty crazed. So I am way behind in posting.

I wish I had gotten to write about it right after it happened, but the first thing was that I saw the Yarn Harlot speak at Borders on the 2nd.

If you look at her post, you can actually spot me in the picture!

That is only because I wore my red sweater with the black collar. I am standing in the back against the CD racks.

As I suspected, she was a delight to hear her speak. She was a riot. I picked up the new book and am loving it. Though I didn't stick around for the signing. I am not big on author signings. So I figured it was better to head out.

It was cool as I met someone who recognized me from my Ravelry photo! *laugh* We got to talk a bit beforehand which is nice. She is also in Jersey City.

The other biggie I wanted to post about was vacation yarn shopping! *grin*

I posted to the AZ Ravelry board to see about local yarn stores in Tucson. I found three plus an independent yarn seller who has a store at her house.

Karen was kind enough to lend me her car while she was working. So I plotted my route and set off on that Friday (the 11th).

I went to the Tucson Yarn Company first.

It was a very nice shop. The folks there offered help a couple times but yet let me browse as much as I wanted. I considered a lot of different yarns. I ended up getting some Colinette Jitterbug in Vatican Pie. It is mostly a solid red with a little variation in color. I had heard some good things about Jitterbug.

I have been wanting to make some socks with pattern work. So I wanted something that will show off the stitches. I think that will do the trick!

Though after looking at the Jitterbug page, I soooo need to find some of those colorways!!

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Next I went to check out Unique Designs by Kathy. She is an independent yarn producer. She has a shop at her house which is also where she raises the animals most of the fiber comes from.

Store site:


I had just figured I would stop by and check out the shop. However, Kathy was so sweet. She took me around to meet all the animals. Though she steered me clear of the llamas as it seems they spit. *laugh*

Many of the animals had recently given birth and a few were due any minute. I even got to see a baby that was only two days old!

I adored her fibers. She spins her own yarns and they are so beautiful. I really wanted to buy just about everything in the place. But I tried to limit least a little. I came away with three skeins of yarn.

The most pettable of the yarns I bought is the handspun black kid wool. I think it is probably lace weight. I think it will make a beautiful shawl. It will be so very soft. It is from Kathy's Badger doe's first fleece.

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The label says black because it is from a black sheep. However, it is really a grey color. Quite pretty.

It says it is only 200 yards, though it is 2 oz. So it really seems that given the thickness there may be more to it. I am hoping I can still make a shawl from it. I am not sure if there is enough for that. Maybe a lacy scarf instead. It definitely deserves something pretty. *grin*

The one that I love the most in color and look is the burgundy. It is handspun wool/silk. I was surprised the label says silk as it doesn’t really feel like that. But I like it a lot. It really makes me think I should try my hand at spinning as it is so interesting.

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I was thinking a scarf for me as I like the yarn and think it might be enough. Though probably not a long one. I even have been debating trying my hand at a Clapotis with this given I think that could look very interesting. But again, I am not sure about the length. But it seems the Clapotis pattern can be modified for different sizes and widths. So it might work.

I also got some handspun kid Shetland. I kept looking at it and finally grabbed it. It looked kinda bluish purple to me. But it said blue. And as I guessed, with the grey and blue colors, Paul liked it. So it will be something for him.

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It is likely it will be something like a garter stitch or stockinette scarf. I suspect for him simple is better. Though of course the trick is to get him to wear it! *laugh*

He has a cotton scarf I made for him. I did it in cotton because he is always too warm. I have pointed out again and again that it is shouldn't be as warm. But he still thinks he should only wear a scarf when it is bitter cold. And then I feel bad he only has a cotton scarf! *laugh*

I definitely loved the fiber there. And while talking with Kathy, I started to seriously consider buying a drop spindle. I keep shying away because I figured I would have to stand to do it. So I figured I would rather get a wheel. But she pointed out that the drop spindle really teaches a great deal that is useful and gets you ready for a spinning wheel. And given it is a lot less money, it is probably a smart route to try it with a spindle first.

I think while I am at Maryland Sheep & Wool I will pick up a spindle and some roving. I figure it is worth trying it out. Though for some reason, spinning scares Paul even more than my knitting! *laugh*

If I am back in Tucson I really want to stop at Kathy's again. It was great. I will definitely have to read her blog on a regular basis. Especially after meeting the sheep!

Next stop was Kiwi Knitting Company.:

They have a whole room of non-animal stuff which was great. Though as per usual, I wanted non-wooly sock yarn and didn't have much luck.

I picked up some South West Trading Company Bamboo in Red Jester - 404 from non-wooly room. I was debating if it can be used for socks. I am still not sure. The woman at the register pointed out they have elastic thread. I was thrilled to death as I have been looking for some to add to my alpaca silk socks that pool around my ankles! *grin* So I grabbed that too. I will knit the cuffs with that in hopes that they will stay up that way!

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I also got some Fibranatura Yummy in colorway 41360. It is black and grey! Howe could I not buy it? *grin* I really don't see those colors often. And I wear so much black that it is ideal for socks for me. The yarn is pretty new. It seems like it will be some terrific sock yarn.

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The folks at Kiwi were also super nice and offered many times to help me. I got to browse and pet their very sweet dog. *grin* It is definitely a nice place.

Though I ran out of time. I wanted to get to Purls as well. But I needed to get Karen from work. I didn't want to leave her sitting there given she was kind enough to lend me her car. So I headed back to her office.

I am really happy with my vacation yarns! I love that I got some things I couldn't get here. And I have been wanting more sock yarn. So I am happy with my purchase.

I really should be finishing up work! I am taking tomorrow off for my anniversary. Paul and I are going away so I figured it would be nice to get out of the house by about noon. But I kept putting off this post and I really wanted to write about the Harlot and vacation yarn!

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