The next movie line up for consideration is:
"That's great cologne you're wearing. What's that stuff called?"
Good luck to all.
Yesterday I went on the Spring Shop Hop that was put on by the Tigard Knitting Guild (www.tigardknittingguild.org). This event involved visiting five local yarn shops by meeting across the street from the first one, then taking a bus to the next four, then busing back to our original starting point. Can I just say that I had the most wonderful time? I wasn't sure what to expect--something like this could go really right or really wrong. Considering that there was a big bus involved, a crowd of 50 or so people, and rain, this could have been a disaster. But I was so pleasantly surprised by how well this event was organized and how genuinely friendly the volunteers(!) and participants were.
And to make the day even better, I got to meet Chrissy, aka KnittinMom (www.knittinmom.blogspot.com) ((Someday I will figure out this whole hyperlink business!!)) I've been reading her blog for the last couple weeks, and let me tell you, she is just as witty and delightful in person as her blog is fun to read.
I've gone to classes and such both by myself and with a friend. Going with a friend is always fun. But since my friends are not nearly as obsessed with yarn and knitting as I am (can we say not at all), I figured I was alone on this venture. But I also knew from past experience that going alone to classes, etc. by myself opened up the possibility of meeting new friends. And that's exactly what happened yesterday with Chrissy.
Our first shop was The Cozy Ewe in Oregon City. Considering the great discounts the stores were giving, I was surprisingly restrained in my shopping there and just bought the current issue of Knitters magazine. I asked Chrissy if the magazine was worth subscribing to, and she said one of her designs was going to be in the next issue. Sold! I'm filling out the subscription card today. If you will recall, I'm currently knitting one of Chrissy's patterns, Winter Branches, from KnitNet. (www.knitnet.com) I think she is a talented designer. Keep your eyes open for her designs--she's got quite a bright future ahead of her.
Next we went to Wool N' Wares, a delightful little shop in West Linn. If not for the shop hop, I might never have known that this store was there. They set up the most beautiful table of scrumptious goodies. In fact, all of the shops that didn't have coffee shops inside them set up a table of goodies for us to enjoy. But Wool N' Wares had the best spread. For a small shop she had a nice selection of patterns, yarns, and needles. Check-out was insane so I didn't have time to purchase, but I will be back.
Our next stop was Abundant Yarn in Sellwood. It was huge! It was roomy and bright, with a great yarn selection and even a cafe. The only reason I didn't buy anything there was because check-out times at the stores were craaaazy, and I also figured I needed to pace myself. And I will definitely be returning to this store, don't you even worry about it.
Along with a bag of goodies, some of which are shown here:
the knitting guild put together a list of shops in the area that are extending their discounts, some through the summer. That should keep me in trouble for quite a while.
Pictured above is a skein of Jaeger ChamoniX (an angora/merino wool blend), several yarn washes, and a beaded bracelet kit. The sweater stone was yet another prize for filling out the evaluation forms for the trip.
The second picture shows a yellow needle holder that the Cozy Ewe gave to all hop participants, along with a baggy full of tea. And I love tea. Also shown is more yarn wash, some yummy smelling balm from bee naturals, and a cro-hook (which I'm just going to have to learn to use for something other than picking up dropped stitches). Also included in the bag was a long-tail cast-on knit card (which I don't know how to use but hopefully will also learn), a yarn "bra", and a kaleidascope, which it was explained would help us to see what colors of yarn would look good with other shades by looking through it. Fun!
The third picture was my door prize. Did I mention that EVERY SINGLE person on the shop hop got a door prize? They were held during the bus rides. My prize was a Dale of Norway sweater pattern and a skein of Heilo yarn (100% Pure Norwegian wool it says). Hooray for me.
Abundant Yarn was also our lunch stop. We asked an employee where would be a good place to eat, and Lili's came highly recommended. Chrissy and I had a wonderful noontime breakfast of bicuits and gravy. In her blog, she says I "regaled her with a fascinating tale". That was probably her very nice way of saying that I jabbered on through the whole meal. THAT was why we were late catching the bus to our next stop. hee hee.
After having such a good meal, I was ready to shop when we got to the Yarn Garden. This was the only shop on this trip that I had been to before. With Chrissy's help, I picked up this Koigu yarn to *gulp* start knitting my first pair of socks. And I'm sorry, but there was no way I could resist this luscious stuff:
It is Debbie Bliss Pure Silk. (are we sensing a purple pattern here?) I don't think I've ever felt anything so luxurious. What am I going to make with it? I don't know yet. I might just keep it around for a while so I can touch it at will. The needles are size 1 bamboo by Crystal Palace for the socks, recommended by Chrissy. She'll make a sock knitter out of me yet. The checkout process at this store was by far the slowest, and they had three registers! I was terrified of holding the bus up again, but they cheerfully waited while (now this is scary) the employees wrote down my credit card information and what was in my bag and sent me on my way, telling me they would mail me the receipt. Not scary because I'm afraid of identity theft or whatever (they told me the information would be immediately shredded upon processing) but because that's just a dangerous way to spend too much. I'm still not quite sure how much the total came to!
Our next stop was The Naked Sheep, where they had lots of fun tchotchkes as well as yarn. They had actual samples of finished objects (not just swatches) done up with just about every yarn they carried. Quite effective. There I bought this: The yarn is Cascade Fixation, and it is made of cotton and elastic, so it's streeeetchy. I will make a striped bumblebee hat for Sproutie with the yellow and black, and the pink is for a pair of socks for me, sometime in the future. The needles are for this future pair of socks. This is one store that I have non-buyer's remorse for not picking up some ribbon-ish yarn that looked great done up as a baby blanket for their sample. Ah'll be bock.
Our last shop was Close Knit, which just opened a few months ago. You'd never know it, because it was perfectly stocked with yarn, patterns, and needles and it's so cozy it looks like it's been there for years. There I got a lovely pattern for a scarf done in daisy stitch, and some size 3 - 16" addi's to make the bumblebee hat. The employees here were very very nice.
In all, it was a wonderful experience. I can't say enough about how well the event was organized, how friendly the people were, and how generous the shops were with their discounts and donations. And I definitely had a great time meeting Chrissy. I'm so glad I went.