Procrastaknit

Everything else can wait until I finish this row…

Cross Country Yarn Crawl

on October 22, 2012

At the end of August 2012, my husband and I had to relocate from Southern California back to the East Coast.   Moving across town is a hassle for anybody, a cross country move is that intensified by ten, dwarfed only by international moves.   We chose to drive cross country together, because it was more affordable than shipping a second car, and flying two adults and a dog.    It took us 5 days to drive a total of 2,645 miles thru 9 different states and which each state border that we crossed I was determined to visit a LYS!   I am so thankful that my husband was willing to incorporate a cross country yarn crawl with our cross country move.  It gave me something to look forward to as the hours dragged out in the car, because a LYS per state keeps a knitter happy during any roadtrip!

Here is the itinerary that I came up with, that coincided with the route we were taking during our move

I wish I could say that we successfully visited every single one of those local yarn shops, regrettably that wasn’t the case.   I had taken into account the time it would take for us to reach each of the shops in each state so that we wouldn’t have to drive any more that we were already planning.    The biggest flaw in my plan that I did not take into consideration was the change in time as we crossed each time zone!  Even though we left California before noon and it took us less than 6 hours to get to Flagstaff, Arizona, once we crossed that state line we left the Pacific Time Zone and entered into Mountain Time Zone, by then Purl in the Pines had been closed for almost an hour.

Another thing that jeopardized my cross country yarn crawl were summer hours.  It is common for a lot of LYS to have limited hours during the summer, specifically on Sundays.   Sadly, I did not realize that until the third and longest driving day of the trip;  The Gourmet Yarn in Oklahoma City, OK was closed on Sundays and The Yarn Mart in Little Rock, AR was open for only 4 hours.  That was the hardest day of the entire trip, 12 hours in the car and not a single LYS to break the monotony of the countryside.

But let me tell you of the stores that I did make it to, because there are some beautiful shops throughout this nation and The Redlands Yarn Company was a great place to start the cross country yarn crawl.  This is the LYS that was closest to my husband’s job in SoCal, he had to spend a few hours there returning keys, saying goodbye to colleagues, and dealing with HR, so naturally this was designated my first crawl stop.

I had been to The Redlands Yarn Company before and spent a few hours knitting with the owner, Becky, who is super knowledgeable and nice.  She even remembered that I was moving after just one visit, which was a pleasant surprise.  Going into a shop that is owned and operated by talented knitter just enhances your fiber shopping experience.  She is the one that introduced me to the wonderful softness of Malabrigo Finito and left me dreaming about it since my last visit – so I decided to allow myself this little luxury.  I can’t wait to use it for a beautiful cowl or gloves with the other skein I now have in my stash.

The first stop on my Cross Country Yarn Crawl was great because of the attentive owner, Becky.

My first purchase of the yarn crawl was a luxurious one, Malabrigo Finito is a limited edition yarn that comes out only once in a shearing season.

As I mentioned, I was unable to make it in time to Purl in the Pines, the LYS in Flagstaff, AZ, so day one of the Cross Country Yarn Crawl had only one purchase.    I would have been great if we could have waited until Purl in Pines opened at 10:00am the next day, but my husband, as accommodating as he is, wasn’t willing to waste any time he just wanted to get going and so we did.

State Line

Land of Enchantment thanks to the fabulous LYS

New Mexico’s welcome sign states that it is “The Land of Enchantment” and if you ever find yourself at The Yarn Store in Nob Hill, you will realize that this LYS is part of what makes the state so magical.  I was in Heaven!  This shop had 3 rooms each divided by fiber content, a very patient sales associate, a large table where you can imagine great knit nights are held, a whimsical bathroom for customers, and a selection of yarns that was breathtakingly beautiful.  When you walk into the shop not only are you greeted by the sales associate but cottons, silks, rovings, and a wall of beautiful accessories including buttons, needles, cases, etc.  They all draw you inside to explore the shop further, the smallest room to the left has the synthetic yarns (I am a self-proclaimed yarn snob so I did not spend much time there), the largest to the right houses mostly wool yarns from all different brands.  I stayed there while the hubby got us lunch, but I could have spent hours at this shop! It was so cute and welcoming. The girl that worked there was also very helpful, answering all my questions and assisting me find locally dyed yarns.   The bathroom walls were covered with white board and you could leave all sorts of messages on it (see photos below), I thought it was a clever idea and left a little thank you note.  Another good sign of a great yarn store is interaction with other customers, there were two or three other ladies in there and we just chatted about our individual WIPs.  If I lived in Albuquerque , this would undoubtedly be my LYS.

I got carried away at this shop and spent more time and money than I should have, but I was making up for the loss of

having missed the one in Arizona so I was on a yarn high.  I asked if there were any locally dyed and/or spun yarns and was shown a wall of possibilities.  I came out with two lovely skeins, one fingering weight and one DK weight.  The fingering weight yarn wasn’t actually a locally dyed yarn to New Mexico, but it was a small group of fiber artists from Wisconsin.  It was dyed by Interlacement Yarns and as soon as I saw the bright Indian Yellow I knew I wanted it, and once I checked my Ravelry queue to see what I could make with it I knew I had to have it.  The DK weight skein was dyed by STRANDavarious who is a native to New Mexico, unfortunately the shrug pattern that I had in my Ravelry queue is no longer available, so now I need to find another option of what to make with this pretty skein, I am sure the right pattern will come along.  Another reason I chose these two skeins is because they vary so much from the usual colors of my stash, every once in a while I challenge my personal preference and learn to love a different color.

I plan to crochet the Lion Brand New Lace Tunic with this vibrant skein.

The right pattern for this skein will come along.

This LYS became an instant favorite of the entire Cross Country Yarn Crawl

Amarillo, Texas was our next stop where we would end our second day of the trip.    Due to my euphoric state in New Mexico, I lost track of time and so we were not able to get to the Stitch ‘N Knit Needlecraft shop.   In all honesty, I am not sure if this store even exist.  I have not found a website or any social media sites referencing it.  I came across it on www.knitmap.com (the site I used to find all of these shops), but even the last review there is from over two years ago.

Day 3 was Sunday…  Aaah, it still makes me sad that I wasn’t able to go to the shops in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

The Gourmet Yarn in Oklahoma City left me drooling with all of its fibery temptations and limited summer hours

Notice the wrist guard, too much hours in the passenger seat of a car means I overworked my hands knitting

This sock yarn is called Footprints and it gives you 1 ounce of a complimentary color for you to make the heels and toes of your socks

Day 4 started and I was 2 – 4 in my intented itinerary, but Tenesse proved to be a very fiber friendly state.  It is a very long state, it took us about 8 to drive through it because we had three LYS to get to so we finally changed our pace to a more leisurely one.   Our first stop was at Yarniverse in Memphis, TN, here we did wait until the store opened at 10:00am.  If I had to choose my least favorite shop during the Cross Country Yarn Crawl, this would be it.  I walked in and the sales associate ignores me for a few minutes until she finished her violin session with a student.  She did not actually acknowledge me until I asked a question about how the store was organized and if there were locally dyed yarns.  I guess that since I was just a drive-by customer she didn’t see the need to attend to me as much as her regular customers.  On top of that, she offered to make copies of patterns to her local customers! Something that is frowned upon in the knitting community.   It was a cramped store though it did have some beautiful yarns for sale, and I was introduced to Blue Ridge Yarns  at this shop which is what I ended up buying.

In comparison, the second shop in Tenneessee was a delight! The Haus of Yarn was an organized fully stocked dream shop.  The staff was genuinely interested in my Cross Country Yarn Crawl and very helpful in assisting me find the right yarn.   I would have loved to have bought some of their locally made yarn (especially the beaded ones), but my funds were low at this point.  Instead I got a sweater’s worth of Cascade 220 in sport weight that was on sale for less than $3.00 a skein.  Cascade 220 is undoubtedly my go-to yarn when making a gift for non-knitters who might have a fatal laundry incident.  I was also dazzled by their buttons selection, especially the ones made out of rose quartz that were by the register, too bad I didn’t like how they looked with my bronze colored February Lady Sweater

An awesome shop in Tennessee

I am thinking that I will use this to make one of the sweaters in the Interweave Fall 2012

Tennessee was providing me with a great yarn selection so far and I was eager to get to The Yarn Haven in Knoxville.  However, this was another instance in which the Time Zone foiled my plans.   As I mentioned earlier, Tennessee is a long state, so long that 2/3 of it is in Central Time and 1/3 of it is in Eastern Time, and unfortunately we didn’t make it in time to visit the third and final LYS.  Perhaps if we hadn’t encountered a stand-still-bumper-to-bumper traffic accident on I-40 East that forced us to take a dirt road detour, we might have made it, but there is no way to know for sure.

This LYS is close enough that if there is an event or class offered I would be whiling to make the drive out there.  I think I will be coming back to it soon.

These buttons have enough character to compliment my FLS without competing with the lace pattern.

I am one lucky woman, because I have a husband that loves me and knew my disappointment of having missed out on one of the last shops on our route.  He found A Likely Yarnin Abingdon, VA where we were able to stop before continuing onto our final destination.  This was another shop that was operated by a knowledgeable and friendly owner.  When I asked about locally dyed yarns she recommended the Blue Ridge Yarns (which I had already bought the day before) and Miss Babs.  Over the last few years I have heard of Miss Babs’ fabulousness, and it did live up to its reputation, but the limited selection of colors available (they just don’t stay stocked for long) didn’t speak to me so I had to pass it up.  What I ended up buying here was a skein of Art Yarns Silk Mohair Glitter in lace weight, since it had been returned to the shop and was already wound I requested a discount and got it!  Another perk of interacting with the show owner.   The other thing that I found at this great little shop were buttons for my February Lady Sweater (the folded brown garment that I am holding in the photo to the right).  In every shop I went I looked at the button selection and I found 3 bronze ones that compliment it really well.   They might be a little on the heavier side, but I am willing to overlook that since I like the effect it creates.

And that concludes my Cross Country Yarn Crawl.  The last shop I visited was The Needle Lady, one of my new LYS.  I did not purchase anything there at the end of my crawl, because we had to keep going onto Maryland and I didn’t want to rush my shopping experience.  I knew that I would be able to come back and calmly examine all of the yarn options with a pattern or two in hand.  I have started attending their knit nights and am looking forward to many more over the coming months.

If you are planning a Cross Country Yarn Crawl, I hope this post serves you as a guide.  Good luck on your trip and happy knitting!!

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One response to “Cross Country Yarn Crawl

  1. […] Tunic, a crochet pattern by Lion Brand, would look great in the beautiful yellow yarn I got on my Cross Country Yarn Crawl.   And crochet works up quickly, so I can get that done by the 31st, right?  If not that, at […]

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