Knitters, retreat!

North, that is.

Being from Southern California, you don't see many yarn stores around here. In fact they're around just long enough for you to notice them—and then find out they've closed before you get to them. Go up north a bit, though, where the weather gets a wee bit colder, and knitting shops, you will find. So, my trip to Seattle, to help my sister out with her table at BrickCon, a LEGO fan convention, was pretty heavenly for me.

After a pretty serious yarn diet, wherein the bulk of what I bought (which wasn't much, at all) consisted of Wal-Mart buys for amigurumi gifts for friends (a few things I have to finish for Christmas, actually!) , walking into a real live yarn store for me was just... WOW.

Because scheduling was tight, I only ended up being able to go to two yarn stores during the trip. (We were going to go to a third, but alas, it turned out to have gone out of business.) But no matter! I felt pretty inundated with squee for what I was able to see.

My first stop was the Middleford Yarn & Stitchery Shoppe. Little hint—if you want a quick way into my heart, ye olde English tends to do the trick right quick.

There I bought a couple of skeins of Baby Bamboo in Raspberry, which you can see in the third picture, a something for my Twilight "The End" Swap Partner that will not be revealed, and this... just luxuriously luscious skein of Alyeska sock yarn.

I don't really have to tell you how amazing this skein of yarn is. You can pretty much feel it from the picture, can't you? But amazing, my friends, it is. There were a few colorways that I was hard-pressed not to bring along with me, but at this price, I could really only afford one. Okay, actually, I could really only afford half of one. But it became mysteriously connected to my hand, and thus I was obligated to buy it. ;)

The other shop I was able to find, right in Seattle itself (Middleford was on the way up!) was The Weaving Works, which I was pointed to by the lovely ladies on Ravelry. Among a couple of skeins of the new Ty-Dy sock yarn (one for me, and one my mother insisted on me making something from for her!) which you can also see in the third picture, I also bought something that, to me, is a bit Holy-Grail-ish.

Ah, Manos del Uruguay. Long have I ogled you from afar. I'm a fan of silk blends, one of my only "real" yarns used to date being Noro's Cash Iroha, but this, this is lovely.


You see it peeking out there, between my yarns. The Weaving Works not only had more yarn in one place than I've ever seen in my LIFE, but they also had a whole back corner full roving, and all kinds of spinning supplies! A little earlier in the trip I'd bought some bits of Soy Silk roving from a quilting shop, but I wasn't fully sure how I'd go about spinning it up. (I was thinking towards those clever dowel/CD spindles.) Here I was able to acquire a great beginner's spindle, though, with a leading line and everything, which will be great for me. And more amazingly, I've been promised some roving from a sweet RAKer on Ravelry, to test and get things figured out.

By the way... that post yesterday, about wanting to start a new Sunday market shawl?

Hopeless? Yes, that would be me. Here's that Ty-Dy sock yarn in action! From my test knits last night, this should end up being some sixteen inches wide at least after stitches are dropped, and looking at some of the other sock yarn SMSs on Ravelry, it will hopefully get to somewhere around six feet? Out of one skein of yarn? Why yes, I'll take that, thanks! =)

If you'll notice there's a few bits where a different color invades so they don't fade away entirely until the third or fourth row of something new... but I think the dropped stitches will hide the slight awkwardness of that. I'm doing 45 stitches, dropping every fourth stitch, rather than the called for 30, dropping every third, and it's on size 6 needles, since... well, since that's what I could find readily available. The yarn is tiny, yes, but also very light, and basically stockinette. I already have my TV knitting, but this'll be a great travel project—something I'll need, considering I'll be heading to Texas at the end of the month!

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