The Travelling Stash Collector – USA

As promised I will give a run down of my many MANY yarn purchases while in the northern hemisphere.

this might take a while 😛

So! I arrived in San Francisco on a crisp Spring day. I LOVED San Francisco and you can read about my adventures in the Golden Gate city here and here and view photos here.

Yarn store wise I really like SF. The stores i went to had good ranges and really nice people and were all light and sunny 🙂 The stores I went to were:

Imagiknit – This is definitely my favourite in S. I love the area, the shop, the whippet (!) and the incredible range of yarns. Here I touched Manos for the first time and saw the Lorna’s Laces colourways up close and got to see Brown Sheep and Cascade and all sorts of things I hadn’t seen in Aus. It was like being released into a whole new playground! Of course, this was the first yarn store of the trip so i was conservative in my purchasing. That soon came to a halt! I had a fantastic chat with the store owners and workers, bought Norah Gaughan patterns and helped with australian yarn conversion (they stock Jo Sharp) and generally made a nuisance of myself for a few hours 🙂

Noe Knits – This is a large store with a comparatively small range. I was a little dissappointed to be honest, but the awesome staff made up for it. They were really lovely and laid back (like most San Franciscans) and I did pick up a exquisite little handdyed skein from Alaska (!) from Rabbit Ridge Designs.

Greenwich Yarns – Small Store with a largish range, recommeded to my by a melbourne knitter as it used to be her haunt when she lived there. It gave me a chatting point with the staff and I passed on hellos and such. Picked up a few things here, but found it a better store for project purchases than souvenir purchases (if that makes sense)

I almost went yarnstore-less in LA, well techically i did, but i stumbled across a sweet little store in Santa Barbara, but for the life of me I can’t remember the name! I didn’t get any yarn, just a copy of Vogue Knitting 🙂 you can read my other LA adventures here (disneyland here)  and see photos here.

Chicago is a very knitterly city and I discovered very quickly i was staying around the corner from one of the best chicago yarn stores! I went to one up the  top of Michigan Avenue, whose name i don’t remember and wouldn’t say if i did, because it was the most unwelcoming yarn store i’ve been to! everything was in plastic, I was afraid to touch things, it was a teeeny space and the staff member, although very nice and chatty, didn’t really explain what could be touched or looked at and what couldn’t. there were no prices on anything either! All other yarn store experiences in Illinois were great – I actually spent some time in the ‘burbs in Glen Ellyn, and the stores out there are just LOVELY! blog photos

Loopy Yarns –  HUGE range, particularly of Lornas Laces – i think they had all their colourways on every yarn available! This was the place i first came across Artyarns Silk Rhapsody, I was VERY tempted (and would continue to be everytime i came across it!) they also had beautiful llama and alpaca and all sorts of sock yarns and a great selection of roving too! (from lornas laces and fleece artist). I did pick up some fleece artist kid mohair in a glorious pink (just as i was about to walk out with just a magazine!) but i don’t have a photo of it!

String Theory Yarn (Glen Ellyn) – This is a delightful little store, full of wondrous things – manos, moutain colours, alchemy, wagtail (from Aus no less!) frog tree (hmm didn’t end up getting any frog tree :() and more! lovely helpful staff too – if you ever find yourself in the area, you must go!

Knitche (Downers Grove) – slightly bigger than string theory, with fleece artist, prism and handmaiden dyed yarns (plus a cafe! very popular in Nth America) as well as all the american staples. Lots of handdyed and kits and all sorts – again really nice staff (including a young cute guy!) Bought FAR too much here 🙂

Then it was on to New York, New York. What a fabulous city and a real knitters delight! The home of Artyarns! I finally caved and bought one little skein of artyarns in nyc – it seemed fitting – as well as some other beautiful brands – alchemy, the fibre company (far more fancy than it sounds – Road to China? DIVINE!) be sweet… *happy sigh* blog photos

Purl Soho -this is one of the most beautiful shops i’ve been in. Not huge in space (where is in NY? its sister quilting store is even smaller!) but full of the most delicious fibres! sadly i didn’t actually buy anything here, but i wish i had – ended up buying some things stocked here elsewhere. the best news – flat shipping rate to Aus!! i will DEFINITELY be splurging here sometime.

Gotta Knit -Another tiny store on the third floor down the road from the Empire State building. Not a massive range, but what they lack in quantity they make up for in quality and ARTYARNS! yes this is where i caved. they have a great range and a bunch of instore patterns too. They also have a good range of sock yarns.

The Woolgathering -This store is worth it for the windows alone! soooo beautifully dressed. Unsual for america this store is sans sock yarn. yup, not a skein. but they do have be sweet – the most ethically conscious yarn i’ve come across, and pretty too! they also stock garment yarns – good workhorses and those yarns that are a bit more special too.

String -Luxury luxury luxury, This store is definitely not for those on a budget. put it this way. they have a custom yarn from artyarns. i wanted it sooooo badly, but at US$80 i resisited. it’s a divine store to walk around though you feel a bit naughty touching the expensive yarns. definitely a place for special purchases.

Knitty City – This is a lovely store too with a large range from cascade to artyarns with malabrigo, handmaiden and alchemy in between. Spent quite a while browsing, sitting on the floor sorting through sock yarns to find just the right one… (which i did!) and chatting to the staff.

So! That was my yarn adventures in america – wanna see what i bought?

1. be sweet bambino cotton and bamboo, 2. malabrigo silky merino, 3. Artyarns mohair splash, 4. Crystal Palace mini mochi, 5. manos del uruguay silk blend, 6. mountain colours bearfoot, 7. the fibre company road to china and alchemy haiku, 8. handmaiden camel spun – photo by penelope_waits, 9. handmaiden silk lace – photo by penelope_waits, 10. lana grossa sock yarn – photo by penelope_waits, 11. rabbit ridge merino dk , 12. prism yarns laceweight – photo by penelope_waits

Created with fd’s Flickr Toys

The Road to China and Haiku yarns were specifically bought to become a pair of Mrs Beetons, which they did about a week ago. The Road to China is the SOFTEST yarn to knit. just scrumptious. I have half a ball left and it’s going to be patted regularly!

The mountain colours bearfoot became my very first pair of self designed socks. I am in the process of having the pattern test knitted at the moment! Hopefully I will be making the pattern available soon. The yarn is just so gorgeous and the socks are cozy to wear!

Cable Car socks

The be sweet bambino was cast on in Canada and became a chevron scarf in the brightest colours!


The Artyarns beaded mohair was cast on and knitted whilst I was in Paris (seemed appropriate!) the photo doesn’t do it justice. I knitted a simple garter stitch on the bias so the clumps of beads and sequins would be diagonal. It’s for going to the opera. and hey, i’m going to tripods’ Dungeons and Dragons the Opera on Tuesday! does that count?


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