Archive for June 2008

Colorado Springs plus more….

June 29, 2008

My sister lives in Colorado Springs so I’ve visited the three in-town yarn shops many times.   In the past year or so, there has been a fourth shop that appears on the radar map called Table Rock Llamas.   Each time I would mention that shop to my sister she would say something about ‘it’s way out in such-n-such’.   I thought she was just trying to discourage me from going.   But she is right.   It is waaaaay out there when you are driving from her house.   lol   So on the way back from Denver into Colorado Springs, we took an exit off I-25 and drove for a loong ways to find a cozy log cabin shop off the side of the road.   (For pictures see Terri’s blog)  The ladies who worked there were very nice and once again another Oklahoma connection.  By the time we made this shop we were pretty much yarn-ed out.   lol  Yes, it can happen.   So we were looking for a fantastic sale or unique yarn.  All of us found this unique yarn:

This is 665 yards of Prime Alpaca natural.  And it is soooooo soft.    Very yummy to squeeze.

We visited Green Valley Weavers and Knitters, Needlework by Holly Berry and Knitter’s Kove.   By the time we visited those shops we were so yarn-ed out we didn’t buy a single thing.   Those three shops are all great shops and I’d recommend a visit if you are there.   We just burned ourselves out going to too many yarn shops in the week we were there.

We did learn a lesson.   Anymore yarn crawls and we’re cutting the shop list down and adding down time to just sit and knit and relax.   Yeah, vacation can be tiring.   lol

Each time I make a vow to myself that I will not buy anymore yarn I am determined.  Unfortunately, great sales or last opportunities make me cave.  For instance, when we were in Colorful Yarns in Centinnial, Terri bought a skein of Great Adirondack’s Lolita.   I tried to bond with a skein myself but put it back.  I regretted it the minute we left.   Karen was spending that day with her sister so she did not have the chance to buy a skein and she later drooled over Terri’s skein.   Longer story short, we found a great deal online of 25% off if we bought over $100 and since all four of us wanted a skein that was no problem.   This is the skein I bought:

This Nantucket Blue.   560 yards of fingering weight in merino and bamboo.   It feels soooo nice and cool.

25% off makes me buy more than I plan.   And because of that here are some other skeins I bought:

Two skeins of O-wool (I was trying to keep the total down hence only 2 skeins) to make a berry hat.

This is a skein of Rio de la Plata.  437 yards of 3 ply merino wool.   I fell in love with this colorway.   Isn’t it gorgeous?

Sorry, I dived into this skein before I could take pictures.   I love a good tomato red!!!   And this certainly fits the bill.   This is a cotton and wool mix sock yarn, Jawoll I believe.  (I’ve misplaced the yarn band!)  While I love the color I hated casting on with this yarn on dpn’s.   Ugh.  I bought it to make this baby hat pattern by Mountain Colors.   I’ll have to see if I can do better with magic loop.  As it stands now, this yarn is a maybe.

When we took our yarn shop crawl to Fort Worth last year, we discovered Jaeger Aqua at The Cabbage Rose.   I only bought a couple of token skeins for washcloths.  I LOVE that yarn.  And guess what I just found out?   It’s discontinued.  Doesn’t that just figure!!  lol   So I jumped on eBay and lo and behold look what I found:

Nine skeins total (one missed the photo shoot) of luscious Jaeger Aqua.   This is a great yarn to make those last minute washcloth gifts and I have a small stash to last me until I find a replacement.   Oh wait….I think I may have found one yesterday.   I know I fell in love with the natural colors.  Look at this:

This is Plymouth Earth’s Oceanside Organic.   I picked up these two skeins yesterday at Gourmet Yarn.   At first I thought washcloths but then I saw Karen’s two skeins and heard her plan for the cute hat pattern with a coordinating i-cord and picked up a second skein.   I think it will be cute and I have to confess I am drawn to organic.

My other purchase at GY yesterday was a skein of Plymouth’s Baby Grande Alpaca Tweed in a another great tomato red!   Again, it did not make the photo shoot intact.   I started a Peruvian Ear Flap hat for my nephew, Keaton.  He put in his request for a hat with ear flaps awhile back.   This hat may just get completed.

A week ago or so the Woolie Ewe sent out an email about their Gumball Sale.   Minimum of 35% off!!   I hated it that I couldn’t go to the store because all their yarns are not on the website.   So I made the best of it and picked up some Noro Silk Garden.   At 35% off that was just too good to pass up.   I selected color number 245:

Okay, I think that is all I have to confess at this time.   I did have an interesting thought this morning though.   It is regarding my yarn stash.   I worked so hard getting the plastic storage containers  and storing my yarn in those so I could keep my stash nice and orderly and protected.   But I am beginning to wonder if that is working against me.   How you ask?   If I keep it in the nice bins then it is hidden from sight.   I can’t register with one glance how much yarn I truly have.   When I pull it out it overwhelms me in the volume I have.   Maybe I need to display it openly so it fully registers?   Hmmmmmm  NOT!!!   lol

Hope you have many yarn dreams and lots of happy knitting time.

PS:   This is Keaton:   

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The Denver Post

June 14, 2008

Ok, three weeks later, I am finally posting about Denver. We started out with Posh on our list. It is located in a really cute area that is being revitalized. Unfortunately, the day we were there was a day they open at noon. Next time, I’ll call every shop we plan to visit to check on hours and days of operation. Sigh.

Our next stop was a shop called Showers of Flowers. When we pulled up I thought the building was a bit large. Little did I know that what I thought was inhabiting a small portion of the large building was actually using every bit of the large building! This is the largest yarn shop I’ve ever seen. The store actually takes up 6000 square feet. That is 6000 square feet of yarn and yarn supplies!!!! I apologize I can’t recall the owner’s name but she met us at the front door and explained how the yarns are displayed by size. I have to tell you once the awe wears off this shop feels just a bit different than any shop I’ve ever been in. My first observation is that it feels like a small department store. The music is classic department store music, the lighting it more what you’d see in a department store and of course the size lends itself to department store. lol The owner visited with us and offered a tour which we declined. She has a whole warehouse full of vintage yarn! I was overwhelmed by the store full of current yarn. lol I couldn’t imagine going thru a warehouse of vintage yarn. Anyway, if there is any yarn you are still aching for that has been discontinued, check with this shop. They do sell and ship any of their yarns. Overall, after the awe wore off, I found the selections limited. I only saw one section of handpaints and that was the Mountain Colors. I did pick up the one skein of Karabella Soft Tweed. I love that yarn but at that price it would cost me over $200 to knit the Susie Hoodie.

The next shop we visited was one called A Colorful Yarn. This shop was a bit harder to find. First our GPS didn’t give us the most accurate directions. So we called the shop and she gave us directions and got us to the mall. This shop was tucked inside an office building on the edge of the mall parking lot. It was cram packed FULL of yarn and supplies. We found Malabrigo, Great Adirondack, Paigewood Farms, Dream in Color, and that is all I can remember. Believe me, this shop had more yarn that most shops twice it’s size. They also had the Atenti Bags. Every, Single. One. Wow!!! Those bags are gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous but the price keeps me from purchasing one. My two priciest knitting bags I own were bought half price or I wouldn’t have those. Oh well. Maybe one of these days.

We were pretty much yarn saturated by this point but we headed on to one last shop, A Knitted Peace. This shop was located in Littleton and what a cute area!! Terri found two houses across the street from the yarn shop that we could buy, older cute homes with gingerbread on the front. The store is beautiful. It is very modern in its decor. It also has a great selection of yarn including the Kauni yarn. We actually saw a Kauni sweater on display. It made me drool but I also know my limits of expertise. Maybe one of these days. We were yarned out by the time we got there so none of us bought anything. But I added this shop to my list of places I’ll visit when I go back at Christmas.

The Denver area has many yarn shops. We only hit three of those. I’d recommend any of those and the owners/employees were all so very kind. Two of the Denver shops had Oklahoma connections. We found that nearly every place we stopped. Boomer Sooner!!!

Next stop: Colorado Springs

The Susie Swatches

June 7, 2008

I fell in love with the Susie Hoodie from More Big Girl Knits after seeing it on Ravelry. I also fell in love with the tomato red yarn the original was knit from. So I knew right then that ‘my quest’ for the Colorado trip was to find that yarn, Tahki Donegal Tweed. We did not find a shop that carried that yarn until Shuttles Spindles and Skeins in Boulder. But before I found the Tahki yarn I found the fantastic row of ‘every color of Cascade 220 you’d ever want’ row. There I found an olive 220 tweed that I also really liked. I did not find the great tomato red in the Tahki Donegal Tweed so I decided to buy a skein of it anyway for swatching purpose and to see if I even liked the yarn. The next day while shopping some shops in Denver Marjie brought a skein of Karabella’s Soft Tweed in a fantastic tomato red. I bought it also.

I had the two skeins wound into yarn cakes at Shuttles so I could start swatching immediately. I finished all three swatches long before I got home. So once I got home I washed and dried each one to see if the yarns changed at all.

I have to tell you my favorite yarn in the skein is the Karabella. My concern is it is more of an Aran weight which makes a heavier fabric. The Tahki Donegal Tweed was a bit more ‘rustic’ than I had imagined. And the Cascade 220 Tweed was the same ole same ole except it was a gorgeous olive tweed.

I washed the Tahki swatch first. No problems at all. Rinsed and wrapped in a towel to absorb the excess water and pinned to my blocking board. Next up was the Karabella swatch and lo and behold it bled. I used some vinegar in the final rinse water and that seemed to do the trick. Last I washed the 220 Tweed and guess what? It bled too!! I’ve never had a green yarn bleed before. But I used the handy vinegar in the final rinse and it seemed to take care of that problem also.

Final result: I like all three swatches. All three softened. The Tahki is still the roughest but it truly isn’t rough. I think the Karabella swatch also lost some of it’s heaviness which is a good thing to me. The 220 Tweed is the lightest fabric of the three. I just picked up the swatches again and the Karabella has to be my favorite of the three. So what drives everything I buy? The cost. lol The Karabella is cost prohibitive to me. It is the most expensive. The smallest skein for the price with 108 yards for $8.50. It would cost me $221 (not counting tax and shipping) to make that sweater. The Tahki comes in 2nd and it would cost $165 (minus tax and shipping). That leaves the Cascade 220 Tweed. That would cost $114 not including tax. Decisions!!! Decisions!! If I could find that Karabella on sale….so I could make this sweater for around $150 I’d jump. Sigh. Yarn dreams.

Have a great weekend!!


Happy Birthday Lexi!!!

June 1, 2008

Nine years ago (July 25th) I was sound asleep on a Sunday morning. I woke up to the sound of a baby crying. I lived in a condominium complex then and no one in my section of the building had small children let alone a baby. Then I heard a male voice talking in a coaxing manner. I got up to peek out the window. Before I could get there I realized that wasn’t a baby but a young cat or kitten. I peeked out the blinds and saw my neighbor “shooing” something small up the steps to my front door. Whatever it was….it was so small the individual steps were blocking it from my view. I pulled on some clothes and went to look out the living room window only to see this neighbor and his mother pulling out of the parking lot, almost like two thieves in the night. lol I could still hear the kitten meowing it’s little head off. I open the door and found nothing but realize it had moved on up to the next floor. I walked up to the steps and found the most adorable kitten. Grey stripes with white paws and a white bib with great big green eyes. She was meowing so loud and her mouth was opening as big as her head. I scooped her up and she stopped meowing and started purring immediately. I started talking to her asking where she came from as if she could answer. lol I took her into my house and into my heart right there. I put her down and she immediately started investigating. I went to the storage closet and dug out the cat box I’d put up a few months earlier. I then realized I had no litter and no food. So I let her nose around while I took a shower and got dressed. Then I put her in the carrier I had and let her sleep while I went to the store. I came back with food and litter and she was sound asleep in that carrier. I opened the door to let her out and the little girl went to her box, did her business and then moved on to the food bowl. I had already checked and realized she was a little girl and tried to see if she had any fleas. No evidence in the ole paw pits. So I decided she would have to have a bath and got everything ready. She wasn’t crazy about the bath but she didn’t fight me too much. When I picked her up to dry her off I saw black dots sprinkled all over her white parts. While I was drying her off she fell asleep in my arms just like a baby. Melted my heart. I called *etSmart to see if a vet was on duty on Sunday and there was. Took her in to get her checked out. The vet guestimated she was maybe seven weeks old. Gave her some shots, some flea medication, some worm medication and asked if they could take her picture for their counter. She was THAT cute. After that visit I counted back seven weeks and decided June 1st would be a great birthday for her. I asked that neighbor two different times over the next year as to where she came from. He denied knowing anything about her. To this day I think his mother brought that kitten to him (he was an old curmudgeon of a bachelor) and he wasn’t about to take in a kitten. He knew the cat he used to see in my window every morning was no longer there. So I think he made sure that kitten was found on my doorstep. And for that I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart. Anyway, here is she is nine years later in all her glory.

Happy Birthday Lexi!!!