Warning: This will be a long and picture heavy post. Click on any picture for a larger version.
On Wednesday I went on a yarn crawl with Ronni. I "met" Ronni via my blog (I love that blogs bring people together!). She was one of the winners in my Way Back Machine Sweater contest. We have been chatting through email and it seemed like it might be fun to go on a yarn crawl together. She lives in the South Bay (think San Jose area) and I hadn't been to ANY yarn stores down there (hey! it has only been ten years since I moved back to the Bay Area, these things take time).
Ronni mapped out a plan. First up was Commuknitty in San Jose. I had heard a lot about this store and was very curious and excited to go there.
They do have plenty of sock yarn options, including a lot of Claudia Hand Painted yarns. I got a skein of TOFUtsies and some fingering weight Free Tree alpaca (for roasty-toasty socks this winter, yes, very hard to imagine right now).
I also picked up a book called Knitting Stitches by Mary Webb. I got it for the stitch patterns, but it is a good all around resource book with good sections on basic techniques, finishing, and reading charts. Plus it is compact ,making it handy for toting about.
Next we went to Knitting Arts in
Sarasota (ETA: Saratoga). It is a very cute store. Maybe too cute.
They also have Habu yarns. Somehow I missed the Habu booth at Stitches, so I enjoyed seeing it in person.
Then there were some inexplicable items like this rubber band necklace. Seems like the wrong demographic to me. Except for the price tag. Yup, it says $70 and it is just rubber bands strung on a cord. Go figure.
I only got one yarn at Knitting Arts. If you guessed that it was a sock yarn, you are right! No bonus points though because that was an obvious answer. The yarn is Jitterbug by Collinette.
Then it was on to Rug & Yarn Hut in Campbell (sorry, no pictures of the store). The store has moved very recently and was a little discombobulated. However, the staff was very friendly, the owner is a character (in the good sense of the word), and the book selection is very good. They also teach classes and sell supplies for many different crafts including spinning, weaving, rug hooking, and dyeing.
I bought some cotton-viscose yarn by Garnstudio because I was struck by a scarf idea. (yes, I do think non-seasonally. I am always behind the curve. Or ahead of it. Yeah, that's right, I'm ahead of the curve).
We still had some time, so we headed into Los Altos. There are two shops downtown, just blocks apart.
Uncommon Threads seems to lean towards more traditional knitting. I like that. They have a great selection of Rowan yarns and the only good selection of Jamieson yarns I have seen in the Bay Area. I really like this store. Aside from lovely yarns, they have great samples and a friendly staff.
I bought more sock yarn, specifically Meilenweit Cotton Stretch and Regia Silk (so deliciously soft) for a manly two color pair of socks. Usually there is an extensive Koigu collection, but they have been back-ordered (perhaps that is fortunate?).
The shocker is that I bought the yarn for a sweater. Well some of the yarn I'll need. More on that later when I have everything and perhaps a swatch to show.
Our last stop was Full Thread Ahead. I have shopped at their Stitches booth, but seeing the shop was better. It is a great store!
The owner, Hollis, was there and delightful. She carries yarns I don't commonly see like Sea Silk and Cherry Tree Hill. I need to go back when I have more energy to see what I missed. It is hard to do justice to the fifth stop on a marathon yarn crawl.
I bought some Jojoland yarns. I got two skeins of the sock weight Melody (it doesn't show well in the picture because it is half knit already) and one skein of lace weight Harmony. I think I will make a beaded shawl with the Harmony. Both yarns gradually transition for color to color in wide stripes. I'll show you the socks I am making with the Melody tomorrow.
I wish I had these two Los Altos stores in my neighborhood. Did I mention the incredible cake store half way between the two stores? Yumm! All that is enough to make me return to Los Altos.
Thank you Ronni for a great day and the great company. I had so much fun.