Last week I mentioned that I had been to a new (to me) yarn store. I haven't forgotten to post about it; I've been a little under the weather and enjoying our gorgeous spring like weather while it lasts. At the end of this post there is a sneak peek at a new fabulous yarn, so scroll down if you aren't interested in this LYS review.
It was last Saturday, the weather was rainy and very gray. I had been in Napa for the spinning group of my guild (I still love saying that! I am in a fiber guild!). So why not stop and visit the local yarn store? Doesn't take much to persuade me.
The store is arranged by color with greens, blues, and purples on the left side and neutrals and reds on the right side. There are pockets of baby yarns and sock yarns and the novelty yarns tend to be down the center aisle (which I managed to not photograph) and a nice table for sitting and knitting or browsing a book just inside the front door.
I didn't expect to like a store arranged by color. Surprisingly it is pretty exciting. Even Cascade 220 looks exciting when it is tucked between other yarns. It is definitely eye candy. I was not searching for a particular project, so I may have felt differently if I was trying to find all my options in a particular gauge.
I found Mountain Colors Bearfoot which I had never seen before in person and other lesser known yarns like Chasing Rainbows by Nancy Finn (she has a great color sense and uses high quality yarns). It is nice to see a few things that are different from the usual yarn store fare (let's be honest, yarn stores can be remarkably similar).
I did get a shot of some stunningly gorgeous handpainted lace weight silk (from Claudia Hand Painted?). It was very hard to resist (and it may be a losing battle). It has delicious shawl written all over it.
Often what makes a yarn store for me is the staff. The owner, Connie, was there alone and, despite being quite busy, she was very friendly and helpful. Some yarn stores make me feel unwelcome or like they are indifferent to me. This one is comfortable with a good selection, the combination I look for. I like this store quite a bit.
You know I didn't leave there without buying something! It is next to impossible to go to a yarn store and leave empty handed. I got a skein of Mountain Colors Bearfoot in the Red Tail Hawk colorway. It is dark, dark purple and red with touches of brown. A sport weight sock yarn of 60% superwash wool, 24% mohair, and 15% nylon. Unbelievably soft and beautiful is the best way to describe it.
Is the name of the new sock yarn I am currently knitting. It is rather unique as it is woolen spun instead of being worsted spun. Worsted spun yarn (not to be confused with worsted weight yarn) means that all the fibers are parallel when spun. The yarn is denser and generally stronger. Most commercially available yarn is worsted spun.
Woolen spun yarns are spun from fibers that are not all parallel. The result is more space for air inside the yarn (greater insulation properties) and a softer feel. Woolen spun yarn is usually more squishy due to the increased air space; some refer to this as sproing. Woolen and semi-woolen preparations are more common in hand spinning. As a spinner, I am very intrigued by this yarn.
It has been a delight to knit with. I don't think I had a single split stitch! The yarn is very soft; it feels like a soft cotton. As I expected, it compresses well and makes a wonderful thick knit fabric. It is definitely different from other sock yarns I have used. The colors are lovely too. This picture doesn't quite do it justice. The blue is really more of a teal and all of the colors are a bit more distinct (click the pic for a better view). The colors in the skein are more accurate.
I understand that it will make its debut at Stitches West at the Adirondack Yarns booth. If you are going to be at Stitches, check it out. It deserves a fondle at minimum. I got mine through Kerry as part of a special yarn preview.
Speaking of Stitches West, if you see me, please say hi. I'd love to meet you.