Friday, March 25, 2016

Knit North Yarn Crawl, 2016

So as I mentioned, my shopping trip last Saturday was the seventh year of my going on this yarn crawl (which used to be called the north shore yarn crawl, and now is the knit north yarn crawl, who knows why).

This year I was going it alone, as all my knitting friends had conflicts or reasons not to be buying yarn, but that meant I could go at my own pace, which was a good thing, what with still being sick and all. There were nine stores participating this year, but I'd been to all but one before, so I set my sights on just three: the new one, Marblehead Knits; Circle of Stitches in Salem, which has only been open a year; and of course my favorite, Coveted Yarn in Gloucester.

I flipped a coin and went to Coveted first, no hardship there. Almost the first thing I saw when I came in the door was Malabrigo at 25% of, and it's such a nice yarn, and are these colors me, or what?
I know. It was meant to be.

I kept walking and looking, and the second time I came back to a display of some yarn that felt so nice, but told myself no, if it's not on sale... and then I went around the corner of the shelf and saw that the sale sign had fallen over. Oh, 30% off? Well, then, that's a different story!
I haven't heard of the Imperial Yarn company before, but the yarn feels really, really nice.
And they want me to use the tag as a coaster. Well, then.
I'm thinking of using it for the Farfalla shawl, which I saw recently and liked; that calls for fingering and this is sport-weight, but it might could work.

On my way over to the end of the line to pay, I saw this yarn, and once I touched it, well, the fact that it was one of the few yarns not on sale in the store didn't matter. Feels so good! It's an alpaca-acrylic blend, and is super-soft, with such a nice sheen. I have no idea what it will be.
I also bought one non-yarn item, as I decided to try the row counter that you wear on your finger, and the stitch markers they threw in for free.
The perfect sign for this store, since Robert is always running around barefoot.
I've praised Coveted before, many times, and I still love the store, but one of my few critiques has to do with the payment process, because I was in line for about 45 minutes, and that's just crazy. They only have one register set-up, and even with a second person helping the first, it is a slow process; not everything scans, so then they seem to be looking items up, and good lord, Robert, it's the 21st century, there are better ways.

I still love it, though.

From there, I went to Woodmans for lunch, which was awesome as always, and I sat and read for a little while after I finished eating, as I could feel that I wasn't at my best. Once I was ready, I went on to Salem, and Circle of Stitches. I had a nice time roaming around; they have a good selection for a store that isn't that huge, as well as a seating area that I took advantage of when I started to feel a little wobbly. Sitting down and knitting for a few minutes is never a punishment! I had a nice chat with Jessica from Stitched by Jessalu, who was there selling her bags: I was wearing my Bigger on the Inside shawl, and she has several different Doctor Who-inspired fabrics, which is fun. There's one that's super-subtle, and if she'd had that in the larger size I would probably have been unable to resist, but as it is I can always commission one from her, so no worries.

Speaking of the shawl, I had a nice chat with an employee at Coveted who recognized the pattern, and then spoke with someone else there (another shopper, I mean) who asked if I designed it, which surprised me, as it seems to me that if you can tell at a glance that it's Doctor Who-related, how have you not heard of the pattern before? But then someone at Circle of Stitches asked the same thing, so who knows? Perhaps I am overly aware of it myself, as it has been recognized more often than any other knitwear I've worn.

Now, you say, get to the point: what did I buy at Circle of Stitches? Well, apparently Regia came out with this yarn last year, but I hadn't seen it: the yellow yarn on the outside is the guide to where to start so that you get two perfectly matched socks. Kind of fun! I'm not the most worried about mismatched socks (some knitters can't STAND it), but I think this will be cool.
I also love the name because I've listened recently to an audiobook that partly takes place in Scotland, and the reader does a delicious job with the accent, so I can hear a particular character saying "perfect" and it sounds just like "pairfect".

I also had to get a skein of Toil and Trouble (the dyer is the one who opened the store), since it's lovely yarn to work with, and look at these colors:
So, so beautiful.

CoS didn't have as many sales as Coveted, but they did have one brand on sale for 30% off that I could not resist. This was the last skein there, and let me tell you, Cloud is the perfect name for it. Unbelievably soft.
I also took a picture of a sample they had, since I thought it was a very pretty shawl; it's called Ceonothus, and I think it's a good pattern to show off a variegated or tonal yarn.
Simple but not boring. It takes 4 skeins of Berroco Artisan, and I didn't love any of the colors that they had that much left of, but something to keep in mind for another time.

My last stop was at Marblehead Knits, and this is probably a good time to bless my GPS, which made getting to these stores not just easy, but possible. I mean, I could get to Coveted and Woodmans without it, but I would have been literally lost for the other stops. God bless GPS.

Down the street from MK was this lovely building.
I want to have a reading nook in the cupola.
Right, back to the yarn. The store is not huge, but it is long:
With nice displays--check out the color wall on the right of that shot--and clever merchandising touches. I fell for a British yarn I hadn't heard of, Titus, by Baa Ram Ewe, in the colorway Wesley Bob (don't ask me).
Turns out they had red yarn on sale for 10% off (the two women working were both wearing red, making it either a plan or coincidence). So what I saved covered this guy, $3, whose sales were going to Heifer, I think it was.
And they also gave out some stitch markers!
I was so tired after that that when my path out of Marblehead took me past a Starbucks, I stopped for a break. Whew, this cold! After 10 days of feeling cruddy, I am now at a week of Phase II: Still Sick, and am I sick of it.

You didn't think I was going to get through this whole thing without complaining about this cold, did you?  :)  But I had a great time on the crawl, just the same.



Blogger Alice said...

Every time you post about yarn, it makes me want to pull out my old needles and skeins! And yet I never do... :) Maybe after the move when I'm feeling nest-y with the baby?!

2:17 PM, March 28, 2016  
Blogger Kate P said...

Those are some beautiful yarns! I know nothing about yarn but I definitely LOLed at "Baa Ram Ewe." (Don't know if you watched "How I Met Your Mother" ever but the overly talkative date in one episode said, "If that was a sorority I would totally pledge it!")

7:15 PM, March 28, 2016  

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