Just a place where I can sit and write my thoughts on my newest passion. . . . . knitting. Hopefully, I will better document my progress throughout knitting and get in touch with others as obsessed as I am!

Friday, January 19, 2007

So much to go over, part Deux

So, my last post I used those two dirty little words. . . . . .stash acquisition! Yikes! I know, I know, I already have way too much stash and I am supposed to be knitting from it without further increasing it however. . . .

This is where my DH gets the big time credit.

Remember how I said that we stayed an extra night after my husband's suggesting it? Well, turns out that he made the suggestion because he had done his homework and found out that there are 4-5 yarn shops in Asheville! Can you believe that? Who would have thunk it? First, who would have thunk that Asheville was such a hotspot for yarn shops and second, that my hubby would stay an extra day just to take me yarn shopping???

Well, ladies, Asheville is a happenin' town when it comes to yarn. There aren't just multiple yarn shops there. Nope, there are multiple GOOD fine quality yarn shops there. It was like a knitter's nirvana. We ended up shopping at 4 different shops and there was another one that we didn't get too in Asheville proper AND an additional one in the small town of Black Mountain. Anyone counting? Yep, SIX shops!

The shops were all great in their own way and I of course bought something at each one (how could I not? I had to make it worthwhile for my husband y'know. You all understand I am sure.)

First we visited The Earth Guild where they are very laid back and offer anything from soap making supplies to fine yarns to roving to fleece, spinning wheels (many, many different spinning wheels - Ashford and Lindrum and Louet, Oh my!) AND weaving looms, patterns, needles and books. It just went on and on.
This is the loot I got while I was there. There is a full 10 oz cone of the cotton yarn in the blue green colorway. There is an 6 oz cone along with a small ball of the same mauve, purple colorway yarn, also cotton. I am going to use those to make 2 of the simple shawl pattern that I purchased there as well. The yarns are "Dragon Tale" yarns and are locally dyed. Very pretty colorways and I saw some of it knit up and it was very nice with a soft drape to it. I also picked up (finally) some 5" Brittany DPN in US 2 for socks. Yeah for little DPNS! The store was very basic but laid out well according to "craft". Weaving corner, spinning section, knitting area, yarn area, book area, basket weaving section and class area. I think that covers it. Well, there might have been more but I had to go across the street to our next stop.

Purls is more of what you think of when you think of a "hip" yarn shop. The walls are lined with honeycombed style bins with yarns of all types stuffed generously into each of them. I liked the fact that they laid out the shop in colors vs. by yarn types. All the reds together followed by oranges to pinks then greens to aquas to blues going into the purple with gold, and yellows then browns following. The middle of the store had a large 4 sided display with boxed units holding all the whites, creams, greys and blacks. There was a generous sized entry area with a table and some arm chairs. The table held a myriad of magazines of the non-knitting as well as knitting nature (the husband's area). In the back of the store was a huge daybed with a coffee table and a couple of deep armchairs. This is where they hold their sit 'n knits. Very, very comfy and eclectic. I purchased a skein of Cascade "nina" in cream, pinks and browns. I'm thinking of a project for it but I am still considering options. . . (blogger isn't playing nice anymore - picture will follow). The lady working there was knitting a pair of fingerless mittens with a yarn that I couldn't easily identify. Upon questioning her she informed me that she was making the mittens for man from yarn spun using his pet cat's hair! She had a picture of a very LARGE orange and white tabby cat. Interesting huh? Well, remember that tidbit for later.

Next we went to Asheville Arts 'n Crafts. Smaller than Purls and arranged in the traditional "by yarn weight" style, they offer hand made items (knits, quilts, crochet, pottery, jewelry) as well as yarn. Their yarn choices include an entire wall of locally spun, locally dyed yarns many from local animals (both sheep and alpacas). The owner has her wheel set up in a corner along with her drum carder giving it a cozy feel. She also offers a service where she will spin pet hair (you know what's coming don't you?) for customers into yarn that can then be knit into whatever the owner may like. She had spun memorial yarns as well as yarn from living pets and had just finished spinning the hair of a BIG orange and white tabby cat for a local. She still had a picture of the cat in the shop (YEP, the SAME large tabby cat). How freaky was THAT???? I got a skein of Austermann sock yarn that has the micro-embedded aloe and jojoba stuff to soften your feet. Do y'know what I am talking about? If not, I'll have to research that for you and post pix later.

We did shop at a couple of local art galleries as they are plentiful in the area. Asheville has a very strong art and craft community with emphasis on the folk crafts of the Appalachians. There were many beautiful items to see and admire and I couldn't even begin to describe then all in a single post. Maybe another time? Now, back to yarn!

The last shop we went to was called Yarn Paradise and it certainly lived up to it's name. Based in an old Vanderbilt servant's home, this 2 story shops overflows with an incredible amount of yarns in all types and colors. Best thing? Their inventory was deep, very deep with PLENTY of skeins of any given yarn to complete even the largest of projects. They also had store made "kits" for many popular patterns in a variety of color options. This makes shopping very convenient, you like a pattern and there is all the yarn you need in a single plastic zippered pouch just ready to go. They've kitted felted bags to sweaters to afghans. They also carry Nona bag kits as well as Hanne Falkenberg kits (3 different colors of Mermaid along with other kits). Here is where I did the most damage. They had baskets and baskets and baskets overflowing with Koigu. Solids and KPPM! Yeah!!!!! I got 7 skeins. AND, I was only in the shop for 20 minutes, tops. SEVEN! 2 in a semisolid navy (socks for DH) 2 in a lavendars colorway along with a coordinating semisolid lavendar (socks for me) and 2 in a pinks colorways (socks?) as well.

All in all I was amazed at how much yarn and the variety of yarns that are available in this little city. I can't wait to go back and explore the remaining shops as well as the rest of this very fab and quaint city.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

So much to go over, where should I start?

***Frustrated preface - I am not able to ONCE AGAIN load pictures via blogger! I will add later if I can. Or maybe try going here to see the pix. AARGH! - end of preface*****

Geez, I don't believe how busy I seem to be here. What's THAT all about??? I used to work 40 hours a week, now I work 36 (five 8 hour days vs. three 12 hour days) so I should have 4 more hours a week right? WRONG! Or at least it doesn't feel like that. Not quite sure when I will get my act together here but I hope it is soon.

So, as I stated on my last post (I think I did anyway) we were going off for a little weekend jaunt to Asheville to visit the house and I was planning on knitting on Arwen during the trip.

We did indeed go on our little getaway. It was just the thing that we needed as a family. . . .some time away. DH got us up on Saturday morning at an UNGODLY time and we left the house by 6 am (LEFT by 6 am - yikes!). I was planning on knitting on the drive out but: 1)it was too freakin' dark to see and 2) it was 6 am and I was too freakin' sleepy to knit! So, no knitting on the drive out. DAMN! Saturday was spent at the house and many pix were taken. We toured the house, the (empty) gardens and bass pond (pond? it was a small lake people - seriously how did people live like this??) and of course the Winery. It was a very full day and we were very tired (and hungry) after all that walking. Dinner was had at a local asian food buffet restaurant (I say Asian b/c they had EVERYTHING - sushi, stir fry, szechuan (sp?), cantonese, thai, etc., etc.) We were a bit amazed at how much good food there was.

Sunday was spent enjoying one of the great American traditions. . . . the long, quiet Sunday drive. Our road of choice for the day? The Blue Ridge Parkway. We love to go on drives. It's very relaxing and soothing to us to sit in the car and "see what we can see". The drives make for wonderful conversations and great quality time together. We stop when we want and drive where we want and it's just good. We got to drive up the highest peak east of the Mississippi although DS was bummed b/c the observation deck at the very top is being renovated and thus not open. All in all the day was full of beautiful scenery and relaxing times. I DID knit on Arwen but, for obvious reasons as mentioned above, it was only very little knitting at all. But, hey, any knitting is better than no knitting right?

Despite originally planning on driving back on Sunday, my DH surprised me on the drive out of the Parkway by saying "We don't have to get Sunny until tomorrow. Why don't we spend another night here?". I didn't see any objection and so we did. Why the suggestion to spend the night?

THAT my friend is what makes my DH the BEST! I am leaving you for a moment (this post is long enough) but will just say that it has to do with stash and further acquisition of such. . . . .

Stay tuned! tee hee