Sunday, April 30, 2006

Shop Hop-a-loo-bop!

I know that today is sock update day, but you're going to have to wait until the end of the post for that. I have got yarn p*rn galore for you first!

Look what the mailman brought a couple days ago:

That's what was in a little box of goodness from Wendy over at Intertwinement. She's hopped on the sock yarn dyeing bandwagon and created a lovely line of bug-inspired sock yarns. The greens are Katydid, and the pink and blue is Cootie Bug. Look for some Intertwinement yarn, coming soon as a prize for a knit-along near you! Thanks for your generous donation, Wendy! I am keeping a couple for Wendy's request, of course.

I also had ordered the kid's book Wendy wrote with her husband (it is SO cute) and she threw in some adorable stitch markers just because she's so nice. There's a cat, a sheep and a fish (which is very appropriate since my daughter is currently totally obsessed with Finding Nemo...). Thanks, darlin'! Go check out her store for yarn, stitch markers, the book, and other goodies.

Which reminds me - I want to start a list of links in my sidebar for sock-alongers who are selling hand-dyed yarn. If you have a link you'd like me to include, please let me know. I am loving all these little cottage industries popping up everywhere!

Yesterday, I attended the Tigard Knitting Guild's Eastside Shop Hop. I may have already mentioned that I was going to meet up with fellow knitblogger Amanda (she's the one who convinced me to go), but sadly Amanda's grandfather-in-law passed away last week and so she couldn't go. Now, I'm not a huge fan of going on group outings where I don't know anyone. The thought of skipping it crossed my mind fleetingly, but I figured, hey, they're all knitters. That's an instant conversation starter right there. And even if nobody wants to sit with me on the bus or eat lunch with me, I'm covered because I can just knit! Another reason I love knitting...

I went down to the spot where we were scheduled to meet the bus, picked up my passport and goodie bag, and was standing around (more than a little bit awkwardly) reading the schedule booklet when this cute little thing came up and said "I'm not a stalker, but are you Knittin' Mom?" Turns out it was Katrina from Here In Topeka! She recognized me from my blog pictures.

I'd just started reading Katrina's blog recently, after she left a comment and told me she was making my Winter Branches sweater. She has a fun little movie line contest, and I managed to win last week. However, I thought (because of the title of her blog) that she lived in Topeka. That's why the fact that she mentioned she was going on a shop hop in her last post didn't even register with me. Anyway, we hit it off immediately and didn't stop talking for the rest of the day. I think that's one of the neatest things about blogging - you can become friends with someone you've never met and when you do meet them, it's like you've known them forever. The two of us together had WAY too much fun - much more than I would've had by myself, for sure!

After checking in, we all walked across the street to our first shop, Cozy Ewe, in downtown Oregon City. I think there were close to 50 people on the bus, so each shop was utter insanity. Nobody was actually fighting over hanks of yarn, but we kept bumping into each other and constantly had to be moving aside to let people through. The first stop was a bit awkward as we hadn't really gotten into our groove yet. Here is what I managed to snag (with a 25% discount):

Those two luscious hanks on the right are Cherry Tree Hill Cashmere and Silk (80% cashmere, 20% silk - no fillers!). I don't know what they're going to be, but I had to have them. I would've taken all three of the available hanks, but at $36 a pop, I just couldn't. When I checked out, the shop owner said that she was so glad I was buying them - she'd had them for a really long time and couldn't understand why they weren't selling. Um, well, it could be the $36 factor, no? Anyway, I told her I'd love them and take good care of them. I also picked up the little Vogue Vintage book due to the fact that it has an argyle sock pattern and a simple man's vest (both things I need for my Master's Level 2), and Beth Brown-Reinsel's Knitting Ganseys which looks to be an excellent technique book. The shop generously made up a bunch of needle rolls for everyone, which is what the yellow thing on the left is.

Our next stop was Wool 'N Wares, a little shop in West Linn. The discount at this shop was based on drawing out of a bowl, and you had a chance to get between 15% and 50%. Of course I was REALLY hoping for the 50, but of course I drew 15. So this is the one shop where I didn't purchase anything. It was a great little store, though, and I got to chat with a local knitting celebrity!

That is me with Marta McCall, designer of the infamous Weekend Getaway Satchel from the Fall '05 Interweave Knits. She had a table with a bunch of her design proposals set out, and it's always so much fun to see how another designer submits. She had a proposal that she's getting ready to send to Vogue for a beaded, embroidered jacket, and it was just incredible. I had a great little chat with her, and then it was time to get back on the bus and head north to Abundant Yarn and Dyeworks.

I had heard great things about this shop but hadn't made it down there. Ironically, I will be meeting Shetha there on Tuesday night for a little designer-to-designer chat, so I'll be there twice in one week! Anyway, it's a great shop - big, open and with a little cafe in one corner. Great selection, and I came away with this:

Those nicy shiny hanks up at the top there are Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb. So yummy! I have the notion that I'm going to make a mini-Clapotis with them. We'll see... I might just keep them around the house so I can pet them now and again. I also picked up some Cascade 220 for a design idea I want to swatch, a size 4 Addi Turbo circ, and a little Skacel needle gauge (which I need to size my smaller Addis, which are frustratingly not the standard US sizes even though they pretend to be).

This was also our lunch stop, and Katrina and I headed up the street to a little bistro called Lili's. Here we had the most amazing brunch (biscuits and mushroom gravy - yummy!) and Katrina regaled me with the fascinating tale of her duties as jury foreman for a very interesting case. Here we are with our gigantic plates of food:

Guess who almost cleaned their gigantic plate? We had a very nice lunch, and then headed back to the bus. Now, it's quite the job to get 49 ladies (and one guy) onto the bus in a timely fashion after each stop. The schedule is written in stone, and woe to the person who delays departure. Well, for some reason I had it in my head that the bus was leaving at 1:00. Katrina was foolish enough to rely on my rememberance. We headed back to the bus and saw it waiting by the curb, with no other shop hoppers in sight. We got on the bus, took our seats and the bus immediately pulled away from the curb and headed north. I checked the schedule, and it turns out we were supposed to be on the bus by 12:50! Oops! Fortunately the trip up to Yarn Garden was quick and we arrived 5 minutes ahead of schedule. Whew!

Yarn Garden is a frequent stop of mine, but I still made a couple new discoveries.

The hank on the right I've fondled before, so I guess it's not really a new discovery, but it's a new type of fiber for me - it's Classic Elite Blithe, 100% baby camel. Yes, camel! It's incredibly soft and lofty. I couldn't resist with the 20% discount. The big pile on the left is a new Debbie Bliss yarn - Pure Silk. It's just amazingly soft, reasonably priced (for silk, anyway - around $10/hank for 125m) and (gotta love DB) machine washable! I think I'm going to design a lacy little sleeveless top around this yarn. It is really nice.

Next stop - The Naked Sheep up in NoPo. I was starting to get a little shopped out by this time and didn't pick up anything until late in the stop.

On the left is some boring old cream Cascade 220 for my master's swatches. On the right is a little ball of Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy (hemp-cotton blend with a little synthetic thrown in for good measure).

Our final stop was my neighborhood shop, Close Knit. Here is my final purchase of the day:

A hank of Manos, a book on Domino Knitting, and a ball of Baby Cashsoft. The box on top is a sushi wallet kit, which you can use to make a little felted wallet in one of three designs:

Aren't they the cutest? The kit is from Pick Up Sticks. Whew! What a haul! In addition to everything I bought, all shop-hoppers got entered in a couple of raffles and got a grab bag full of goodies.

The yarn is Noro Sumile, which is a cotton-silk-nylon chenille. We also got this, which I thought deserved its own pic:

It's a little beaded bracelet kit - cannot wait to make it (esp. since it will be nice and fast). Here are my raffle winnings (there were enough raffle prizes for everyone on the bus - the chance factor came in as to whether or not you got a really good one, like a set of hand-blown glass stitch markers or an entire sweater kit):

There are two balls of Filatura di Crosa 501 Tweed, a ball of Crystal Palace Musique and a ball of Crystal Palace Deco-Ribbon. Not necessarily yarns I would've picked for myself, but they'll be fun to swatch with. The sweater stone was won for filling out the surveys at the end. To top it all off, every shop had a great spread of goodies laid out for us, so it was quite the nosh-fest as well.

I returned home exhausted but exhilarated. What a great group of knitters! I am definitely going to make the drive across town to the next Tigard guild meeting. Everyone was welcoming, friendly and just pumped up about knitting. So fun! I am also quite proud that I made it through the entire day without being tempted by a single hank of sock yarn. Okay, that's not entirely true, but I did do a pretty good job of ignoring it. So I am not a SYAC failure! Yay me!

Well, today is going to be yard work day (okay, I just typed yarn instead of yard...wishful thinking, perhaps?).

This is our front dandelion patch - I mean, yard. We are planning to get rid of all of our grass and convert everything to garden beds and gravel. However, in the meantime, Bill is going to have to break down and mow one of these days. I'm sure our neighbors hate us. Their yarn (I did it again! I don't think they have yarn, and I was, of course, going for the word YARD) is perfectly manicured and green, with not a dandelion in sight. I hate to think of the chemicals they're using to ward off the onslaught of seeds from our yard every time the wind blows in their direction... In our defense, we do live in the land of lawns au naturel. Our neighbors moved here from the suburbs, so they have a bit of assimilating to do. We'll see how their lawn looks next summer.

I'm using this as an excuse to put the sock updates off until tomorrow. That and the fact that I expect a few last-minute entries and want to post all the April updates at once so I can do the prize drawing at the same time. So get those socks in before midnight tonight, and I'll do the update and drawing sometime tomorrow. I am going to do my own sock update now, though. That's the privilege that comes with running your own knit-along! Hah!

My Sockapaloooza socks are done! Hurray!

They're a little short, but they're knit how I would've knit them for myself. Also, the color in that picture looks like some horrible brown when in fact it's a quite lovely dark green. Everyone worries so much (myself included) about their sock pal liking the socks, but I figure that you've got to keep an open mind when having a complete stranger knit for you. I can't wait to see what my sock pal comes up with - I sure hope she doesn't flake! Now I've got to start planning my SYAC swap socks. My pal has bigger feet than mine, which will be a new challenge for me. I'm thinking Fixation. Is that cheating?


Blogger Karen said...

Wow, that Shop Hop looks like a blast!!! I'm exausted just reading about it. Your hauls is great. I was feeling guilty about what I bought yesterday, but we can safely say you beat me - now I don't feel so bad. ;)

10:27 AM  
Blogger Erica said...

Wow, look at all that loot! Sure sounds like a great time was had. I'm in serious need of a yarn crawl.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I had to sit down from all the fiber lovliness... And you met Katrina! How fun!

12:07 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

wow, that's one awesome yarn crawl! I wish they had something like that around LA.

And why would fixation for your swap socks be cheating?

12:59 PM  
Blogger aija said...

Wow, what a haul! :)

1:08 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

Wow...what a haul you got! They don't have any LYS shops around here, or at least that I am aware of, so I'm a little jealous lol.

Your socks for your pal look great. I'm sure she will like them.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great trip!
I've seen the sockapalooza socsk in person- they are indeed a lovely shade of green (that I drooled over- green being my favorite color)

7:52 PM  
Blogger msubulldog said...

Oh, I so enjoyed reading your account of the shop hop! I was with you in spirit. :) And I'm so glad you and Katrina hit it off--I'll have to hop over to her blog in a minute. Fortunately, since I didn't get anyone to take my place on the hop, I will still receive my goody bag. *very excited* And I am having trouble getting over all the yarn p*rn this past week. Holy moly, girl! :)
Let me know when you plan to attend the TKG meeting & I'll try to tag along!

9:36 PM  
Blogger CarryFairie said...

Holy Crow! What a haul!!! (feeling a bit of envy over here!)

And great job on the socks, I'm sure your pal will love them (green is an excellent color IMHO!)

10:11 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Okay, my April socks are up!

Your sockapal000za socks are sensational!

Karen aka CrazyBasketLady

11:12 PM  
Blogger wendy said...

Thank you for the kind words!
Great haul!

12:26 AM  
Blogger lexa said...

Love that Intertwinement yarn! It's so nice and bright - and I do love green!

Sounds like you had a great day of shopping. You've got some nice loot there, lady!

5:37 AM  
Blogger Tina in Wonderland said...

That Shop Hop sounds like soooo much fun! I wish they did stuff like that around here! Sounds like y'all had a great time!

That Intertwinement Yarn looks great. Think I'm gonna have to check out her yarn store!

7:45 AM  
Anonymous jillian said...

Gobsmacked. I'm gobsmacked! Now that's a yarn crawl. Everything is gorgeous...and you got to meet a new in-person friend!

10:19 AM  
Blogger Katrina said...

What great fun we had. I'm so glad I got to meet you there!

4:21 PM  
Blogger Ruby Banshee said...

Wow, what a fun yarn hop! I'm moving to Portland next month...I'll have to bookmark this entry! That reminds me, time to start a Portland knitbloggers category in my Bloglines! (Great sockpal socks, btw).

5:31 AM  
Blogger Breien in Lansingerland said...

Wow! The green yarn looks smashing! I wish I could get my hands on that one ;-)

12:03 AM  

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