As I mentioned yesterday, we (by which I mean I) made sure to include a trip to at least one yarn store on our travels to America. I did some research online before I left, and decided I would do it in San Fransisco, rather than in Vegas (although I am sure I could have done it in Vegas, as the existence of Nat's Las Vegas socks proves you can buy yarn in Vegas). Despite Renee's urgings to visit Artfibers, who can be found on Sutter Street (the same street as our hotel, but down the other end of it to where we were), I didn't make it there, but I did force Jamie to walk halfway across town from Haight-Ashbury through Castro, to find Imagiknit.
|So. Much. Yarn.|
I have to say, I struggled with all that choice. I love how the shop is laid out though, one room for animal fibre and another for plant and man-made, with everything arranged by weight going around the room.
I didn't have much specific in mind, I only knew I wanted to get yarn that it would be more difficult to get here, and not waste money on European yarns that would be more expensive over there than they are here. However, that said, I did mostly buy yarn that you can get in the UK relatively easily!
The only thing I knew I wanted to see before I bought it was Cascade 220. I've been meaning to knit $5 in Paris for ages (it's the only project on my Year of Projects list that I didn't have yarn in my stash for already), and wanted Cascade 220 for it, but only if I liked it in the flesh, as it were, when I saw it. I didn't want to trust others, and just buy it online blind. It was also very handy to have Jamie there to help me with colour decisions, as there is so much choice in this yarn! We went for two different shades of blue, and I am now only left hoping I have bought enough. I researched thoroughly through the finished projects on Ravelry, and two skeins of each colour seems to be the usual requirement. I should be alright, even if I end up with short sleeves instead of long!
My decision on the sweater made, I then wandered the shop until skeins caught my eye. I was careful to consider what I would do with it once I'd bought it, and not buy anything I wouldn't use.
Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light was the first to catch my eye, in this gorgeous blend of blues, purples and greens.
As it's fingering weight, I suspect it will become a shawl of some kind. I haven't decided what yet. There are a lot of shawl projects in this yarn on Ravelry; I will peruse them endlessly for inspiration!
My final purchase was this skein of Cascade Ultra Pima Paints cotton.
I just couldn't resist the colours!
As it's DK weight, I think this will become a hat, or gloves of some kind. Again, more research on Ravelry required before I settle on a pattern!
Our trip to Imagiknit wasn't my only brush with the fibre arts while I was away. I unexpectedly ran into some crochet while on Alcatraz Island:
This cell was done up to represent some of the ways the prisoners spent their time on creative pursuits. On the table you can see a crocheted blanket! Apparently, one of the inmates had been taught how to crochet by his grandmother, and spent some time teaching the other inmates how to crochet. They would all sit and spend their leisure time crocheting blankets! Such a random thing to find in a high security prison.
I did take some knitting with me for relieving boredom on the plane, but didn't actually get much done. My Obnoxious Socks have progressed, but not as much as I'd hoped. I was too bored to knit! Sounds crazy doesn't it, but on the way out to America I just couldn't drum up the enthusiasm to knit more than a few rows on one sock. I got more done on the way home, but they're still a long way from done. I don't have a recent pic to show you, but I'm halfway up the ankles. I'll try and get a picture this evening.