the best souvenir is yarn!

Growing up, my mum travelled a lot and brought me gifts from all over the world. As i got older and my friends travelled more, they brought me presents too (mostly fridge magnets, because it made my fridge far more interesting and useful). When I first started travelling a lot, I bought myself the usual, magnets, shot glasses (18!), jewellery… but then i got into knitting and souvenir shopping got a lot more fun!

I’ve talked about my various international yarny purchases from my Big Trip 09 and I’ve mentioned the yarny component of other travels as well. Since i’ve been in Europe I’ve had a few opportunities to travel and have continued my souvenir traditions – wanna see?

First off was the lovely Rooster lace weight from Bath mentioned in an earlier post.

Then in July I headed to sunny (sadly not) Copenhagen, Gothenburg and Malmo. You would think that Scandinavia would be the best place to get all sorts of super warm woollen yarns, what with it being the HOME OF WINTER… and you would be right! Not all of my purchases originate from the area…

like this delicious Shibui Knits Sock, destined to become a mini colour affection shawl/scarf

but a lot did…

like this lovely self striping single blended from shetland and merino lambswool… what a great combo! This is from Denmark, purchased in Copenhagen

And this Norwegian (ok so it’s next door) Angora blended with lambswool, beautifully naturally coloured. Picked this one up in Gothenburg! It’s became a pretty little Ishbel hat and i still have half the ball!

And another rustic wool, dyed in gorgeous selfstriping greys, from a little island in Sweden, also purchased in Gothenburg

What i found most interesting was the penchant for Linen! Despite the freezing cold temperatures of the area, Linen makes an appearance in all the stores, with most producing their own line (fibre pun!)

I couldn’t resist this colour – am thinking of crocheting a lacy thin scarf. pattern suggestions?

(yarns purchased at Sommerfuglen in Copenhagen and Strikk and Broderi & Garn in Gotheburg. I would recommend all 3)

As mentioned on my other blog I headed up to Edinburgh for the festival and thought it only fitting I picked up some Northern yarn. While knitting at the Purple Pig, (where I met Ysolda!) it was suggested to me that I try Rennie’s shetland yarn – apparently the meterage goes forever and it softens up beautifully upon washing (the suggestion was made complete with feelable samples). I was also told it made an appearance at a new store in the New Town, which i’d been planning on heading to, so when i went to Kathy’s Knits, the aim was to suss out the colours and maybe pick something up for some colourwork.

what do we think? I’m pretty happy!

I also knew I had to check out K1 Yarns – apart from it being Ysolda’s local, I also knew they stocked the Orkney angora that My darling Mel (who’s just started an etsy store for hand blended fibre – check it out!) turned into a deliciously soft and fluffy ishbel shawl. I couldn’t resist my own fluffy bundle!

I’m predictable I know…
The blend used to be 100% butI think it’s still pretty lovely!

Last week I went to Amsterdam, but sadly I ended up not visiting the yarn store literally one street away from our hostel because I was sick as a dog on our last day and buying the yarn, whilst definitely on my mind, was just too hard.

So here’s a picture perfect moment from Amsterdam instead…

more photos like this to come on my other blog…


hey Richmond Girls… (and other Aussie Knitters)

yep, that's ALL WOLLMEISE!

that’s taken at Loop in Islington. I knew you’d all want to see it. And there’s a batch due this month. I’m pretty happy with my wollmeise stash, but i had to share. have NEVER SEEN SO MUCH in one place. (not even at Sonia’s)

Oh and I totally bought some of this in a colour called Flight.

stupidly i did not take a photo of my FIRST SKEIN OF LONDON YARN*

but i am knitting a hat and will take photos of that. it’s so totally lush.

discovered there is a yarn store on the road i have been walking most days (it’s sort of incognito so didn’t notice! worst knitter ever!) went to go there today but closed due to unforseen circumstances until thurs. 😦 REALLY could have used a yarny pick me up today.

*from this trip anyway…

2011 retrospective

I made lots of things some for me, some for other people, some big, some small.

according to rav i completed 11 pairs of socks (2 gifted), 3 adult jumpers/cardigans (all for me), 2 hats (both gifts), 3 scarves/shawls (two for me, one not shown), 13 various things for babies and children (all gifts) and a pair of mitts (not shown and gifted).

It always surprises me at the end of the year when i look at how much i’ve actually knit for other people.

1. wallflower, 2. elijah’s cardi, 3. fruiby’s vest, 4. blanket, 5. IMG_0081, 6. mini cons, 7. synesthesia, 8. thea, 9. fishies, 10. theo’s jumper, 11. stockport, 12. kalajoki, 13. kitty hat, 14. pixie hat, 15. skew, 16. noro scarf, 17. soaker, 18. livia, 19. fay, 20. shur’tugal, 21. baby ribs, 22. DSC_0315, 23. DSC_0326, 24. baby vest, 25. mochi socks, 26. brown bear, 27. swallowtail, 28. moonflower socks, 29. port adelaide socks, 30. jade’s tunic

I currently have 6 wips. (hey, not bad at all for me!) The most exciting of these is Sylvi which i hope to have finished and lined before i go to the UK

I got six lovely insallments of socks that rock

1. comfort and joy, 2. Drop Dead Sexy , 3. schwartzwald, 4. maia, 5. electric kool aid acid test, 6. pinky swear and augerbenius

In the spinning world i only finished 8 yarns, though i have a few on bobbins.

you can't tell what colours i like at all, can you?

1. nett’s bunny hop angorino, 2. katie’s merino/carbonized bamboo, 3. mel’s wensleydale, 4. berry superwash merino 3ply, 5. nett’s camel bunny silk , 6. wensleydale singles, 7. lush bunny, 8. merino rose fibre

my spinning is still not as even as i would like and i’m really really bad at getting my singles the same length for plying, but i still enjoy it and i am improving.

Not a bad effort for a year plagued with illness, restlessness and then extreme busy-ness!

but honestly? I’m glad to be done with it!

Things I like – babies and yarn!

A few FOs to show off, including some presents, and i want to share my growing wm collection…

I received what will probably be my last wm skein (for the moment) in the post last week. All my yarn has come from destashes and it’s really easy to see what colours i like! I may destash one of these since i’m not in love with is, but all the others are just LOVELY.

L-R: Pinie, Sabrina, Aquarius, Neptun, Stella Polaris, Verzaubert, Der Letzst Versuch, Fleiderbusch, Magnolie (dark) (some of these are WD but not sure which)

I find it really interesting the way WM has taken off. I describe it as being like collector’s cards. You don’t necessarily NEED them for anything, but you kind of want to collect them all, just for the sake of it… For me, there are certain colours I want to see in person and pet and play with and one day knit, but there’s also definitely the desire to COLLECT. however. I’m putting the breaks on – after all – i’m yet to knit with it and i should make sure i like it first!

I went to a Blessingway (as opposed to a baby shower) for a dear friend on saturday afternoon. Her due date is the opening night of our show, so she is the ONLY person I know (in Melbourne) who has a valid excuse for not being there! (remember to let me know when you book!!)

It was lovely to see her and to help her make things for her birthing process, namely prayer flags (very non-traditional) for the room and a contribution to a necklace for her to wear. We also got to do kitchy things, like decorate onesies (BIG PUFF PAINT DUCKIE!) and play games (like baby animal bingo – AWESOME). I’m keeping track of these sorts of things as i’m hoping to be involved in the planning of someone ELSE’s baby shower later in the year.

I got to give S her lovely knitted gifts, which you should know by now is my favourite part of unselfish knitting. she loved everything.

pixie hat, ribbed sideways knit cardi and milo soaker

Two of these patterns came from my vintage knits baby book – the pixie hat and soaker. the other is from a great ACS pattern book, the cocoon baby collection. I’ve talked about the cardi before and the hat and soaker are pretty self explanatory. I was trying to do a slightly upsized version of the hat for baby’s older sister, but am having epic hat knitting fail. She WILL get something, but not just yet!

This is not it on the baby front this year!!! I just found out my second cousin living here in melbourne has had another little boy (only a year after the first who received the blue baby sophisticate coat last year) and two of my bestest friends in the whole world have now officially announced that they are expecting. This is a bit more of an acheivement in their case as a gay couple, but they’ve done it and there will be another tiny person around in January!

So much baby knitting! lucky they’re small!

Sock Clubs…

Happy New Year Everyone!

Can’t believe it’s taken me til this late in the day to remember that i can open up my first self imposed sock club parcel for January. taking a leaf from the Yarn Harlot’s book, I have put together 12 yarns with 12 patterns to make 12 socks, one per month. I have wrapped them all in tissue paper so i don’t know which is which and i picked one out before i came to adelaide for christmas so i could open it today…

and the first combination is…

Esther* in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight (longest yarn name ever?) in Blue Moonstone


Speaking of sock clubs and BMFA – I am almost certainly going to get myself an early birthday present in a few days time and sign myself up for the Rockin Sock Club 2011. I really love their colours yarns and, most importantly, the exclusive club designs i’ve seen. (well in the past anyway!) plus sock clubs are just plain fun!!

The last few months I’ve been taking part in the sKnitches Cinema Sock Yarn Club There’s one installment left which should arrive just after i get back to melbourne! It’s been really fun, and so far only one yarn has been really  not me, and as meatloaf says, 2 outta 3 ain’t bad! I don’t have a photo of the third installment yet – Ikea Boy, based on Fight Club, complete with FIGHT CLUB SOAP!!!!! ikea tapemeasure and pencil :), but here are photos of the first two

Wanda – A Fish Called Wanda\

At first i didn’t like this, because of the orange, but it’s grown on me a lot and it’s soooo beautiful to touch, with a seacell component. It’s made it into my sock a month selection 🙂

7 Days – The Ring

I couldn’t believe how perfect this was when i pulled it out and unwrapped it! It’s self striping and i will totes make socks to wear to the footy out of this (I go for Port Adelaide and their colours are pretty much what you see here…) I might even make vanilla socks since i love the yarn sooooo much i wouldn’t even get bored!

As I mentioned the third installment was Ikea Boy and it is, indeed the colours of Ikea -which is actually quite impressive. This might go up for destash at some point unless i think of a project/present it would be right for.

Anyway, hope you’ve all recovered from NYE and i wish you all a happy, yarn filled 2011!

*ravelry link

Something Different

on Saturday, despite my best efforts to completely forget about it, I went to a yarn tasting at Dairing yarns in richmond with some of my SnB folk. This was a completely new type of experience for me in lots of ways.

Firstly the style of yarn… Dairing has a range of yarns similar to/based on Habu – a company i came across over seas and picked up some cotton laceweight from (unusual, no?). Yarns from both Dairing and Habu (some of which Dairing stock) are arty, unusual, strange, textural, bizarre, lovely and did i mention arty? Lots of laceweights, lots of unusual fibre/weight combinations, unusual fibres full stop, unusual constructions. These are yarns are in no way what you generally expect when you walk into a yarn store. And because of this the garments and object created from them are also artistic and unusual.

Secondly a yarn tasting in and of itself is a new experience – being handed a ball of yarn, with lots of different samples in it, to knit, for knitting’s sake. kinda cool! Being late I only got through a few of the yarns on the day, and even then i had to skip ahead, but i finished knitting the sample ball the next morning and ended up trying all ten yarns.

yarn tasting strip

The yarns were (from front to back): 1.Alesco, a cotton tape that felt like paper – I intend to wash the swatch to see how this yarn changes – supposed to soften up a lot. 2. Cotton Linen slub. the sample had 2 strands held together but it was lovely to knit with, soft through the fingers with a tweedy feel/look. 3. Denim. This was without doubt everyone’s favourite and i ended up buying 3 balls of it (possibly to make the whisper cardigan from IK spring 09). It’s a 4ply cotton, with beautiful drape. at the moment it only comes in the indigo denim colour. 4. Mohair. This is a mohair, merino, dralon (a man made synthetic fibre) blend and is pretty nice – laceweight, doesn’t shed much, but given ive just been knitting with kid silk crack, it’s not my favourite mohair to date. they do have a mohair silk blend though that i’d like to try for a comparison. 5. Tsumugi Ito This was my second favourite yarn and i ended up buying some in teal blue and purple. It’s a laceweight silk tweed and has lovely drape and feel through the fingers with great colour. 6. Silk Stainless (and mercerized cotton) The silk stainless can be held double stranded or with a strand of another yarn, as with the cotton here. It was nice to knit with – didn’t notice any hardness on the hands for this small sample, but not sure how your hands would feel after knitting a whole garment with it? It’s quite interesting when finished as it’s a ‘crunchy’ yarn for obvious reasons! 7. Linen. This was a really nice linen. Again a light fingering, or lace weight, but you could probably get away with using this for a 4ply pattern, or holding two strands together. Again, I want to wash this to see how it softens. 8.Hashigo Tape has an interesting construction. It’s one thickish strand sewn into a ribbon. The fibres are cotton and silk, but i’m not sure what on earth i’d do with something like this! 9. Wool Slub is a lovely slubby soft single. Would be great for cowls and hats (like Urchin). And finally 10. Kasumisou II which is a yarn with little ‘bits’ or ends or tails coming off it. It’s a polyester  yarn, but it reminds me of vines or ornamental plants and i’d love to see it used as a curtain in a garden or for a lampshade or something!

The experience was lots of fun and the yarns were unusual and new and the samples and sculptures and garments in the store were something to behold! My favourite things were these hanging tubes, knitted in a linen tape (almost like paper) and then dipped into PVC to set their shape. I’d love these as hanging lamp shades!! The garments were interesting, though definitely not my style sadly. That being said, I did get some denim and silk tweed Tsumugi Ito, with a few more conservative garments in mind and i’d love to use some of the more unusual yarns around the home.

One more thing about Dairing yarns though, which endeared me to the store greatly, is the owners – lovely lovely folk who were more than happy to let me stay late and we had a good old chat about many things!

While I can’t say this will become a regular haunt for me, I will definitely look forward to another visit sometime!

The Travelling Stash Collector – UK

I spent four weeks in London attending the summer school at RADA, which didn’t afford a lot of time for yarn shopping, but i did manage to head to two yarn stores, and of course london has the amazing quality of DEPARTMENT STORE YARN SHOPPING. we used to have that here in aus – i just remember it from when i was little. i managed to score an absolute BARGAIN on debbie bliss pure silk at John Lewis! three pounds ninety or similar. got 12 skeins of one colour  🙂 I also picked up a bunch of kim hargreaves pattern books while i was in the UK, since i totally heart her (Precious, Amber and Breeze).

I headed to Loop the weekend before the class started, at a very opportune time as they had 20% off everything! They didn’t have quite as large a range as i envisaged, but it’s a lovely little shop, just near the angel islington. Picked up some more Casbah sock since it was on sale and I was LOVING knitting with it. I also picked up some adorable project bags called Pretty Cheep, with pictures of birdies printed on the fabric. Great for larger projects.

The other yarn store i went to was I Knit, London’s only liscened yarn store! Some of my course mates came with me, one just to drink in a lys – which was a GREAT novelty. It had a fantastic range, a lot of locally produced yarn and fibre, and some yarns from further away – like Biggan Designs from Aus! *proud moment* The whole alcohol policy seems to work – i went a little crazy!

Suprisingly enough, Edinburgh was not exactly crowded with yarn stores. I did snaffle a few purchase – one skein of handspun from a market stall and some of the new Rowan Alpaca Cotton yarn from Jenners department store on my very last day!

UK photos are here and here

1. Cherry Tree Hill suri lace, 2. Rowan alpaca cotton , 3. baby camel handspun, 4. DB pure silk, 5. knitwitches seriously gorgeous, 6. handmaiden casbah in amethyst, 7. DB pure silk, 8. habu cotton boucle

The handspun shetland that i picked up at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival Markets were transformed in my first weeks back in aus into these mitts – they are super warm and toasty! It’s totally natural colour and the cables look perfect.

*sigh* so that’s my yarn collection from my travels. I am not allowed to buy any more yarn for myself for QUITE a while (besides, when all my stuff comes out of storage, it will be like going shopping anyway!!) I am allowed to buy yarn for presents, since ALL THIS IS MINE, MINE I TELL YOU *crazy laugh*. It’s definitely going to be fun working through it and finding patterns for all of these delicious yarns!

The Travelling Stash Collector – Europe

Europe was a whirlwind travel wise – 6 days in Paris and then 5 cities in 12 days! I didn’t do a heap of yarn shopping – in fact i found the yarn stores relatively disappointing in Europe. Very ‘no touch’y and all boxes and bags. The french brands – Phildar and Le Bergere de France are similar to ACS – lots of acrylic and acrylic blends, or yarns great for larger garments, but not so much for souvenirs. The stores in Austria and Germany were better – a few brands i hadn’t come across and some scrummy sock yarns. No wollmeise though lol.

you can read about Paris, Toulouse, Venice, Vienna, Prague and Berlin on my lj and there are photos of all the cities on flickr.

I will comment on La Droguerie though – this is a french chain store… sort of like clegs on crack but in a tiny french space… Quality fabrics, ribbons, buttons, beads, fixings, findings, feathers, patterns and of course, YARN! the yarn is in display hanks so you choose the colour and fibre you want and they wind off the quantity. They also had adorable knit kits – an elephant (!) and rabbit and other adorable things, but i resisted. I did get three different fibres though in the most glorious colours. It’s a great way to buy yarn.

1. alpaca from la droguerie, 2. carmen alpaca silk – blue, 3. schoppelwolle crazy zauberball, 4. linen from la droguerie, 5. opus dk with aloe vera!, 6. kaleido bamboo and linen from la droguerie, 7. trekking xxl, 8. carmen alpaca silk – silver


The Travelling Stash Collector – Oh Canada!

Ah Canada, the Great White North. Place of Yarn Stores and awesome people…

I love canada. I really do. It was my first time there and i headed to Toronto and Montreal (next time i’ll have to go to vancouver and edmonton)  and i bought more yarn in those two cities than anywhere else… I spent a week in both cities and generally took it easy – again you can read about my canadian advetures on my blog here and see photos of toronto and montreal on flickr.

In Toronto I visited no less than five yarn stores…

The Knit Cafe – I headed here and joined in the regular SnB, which was an absolute ball! I picked up some more handmaiden here, making the most of being in canada 🙂 The cafe is lovely and the store is small, but well stocked. Was very inspired here and finished off the thank you socks for my lovely friend of the family host whilst here.

Americo Original – This is actually an outlet for Americo Original yarn company – a nth american company specialising in sth american  fibres – llama, alpaca etc… They sell patterns, or give them away with the yarn and have a beautiful range of cottons, merinos, alpaca and llama in beautiful colours. they also have buckles, buttons and leathers for creating truly original knitwear!

Lettuce Knit – found this store almost by accident. I had done my yarn store research and when i saw i was on this street i thought, hang on – there’s a yarn store nearby! it’s in a gorgeous street surrounded by cafes and bookstores. The little store has socks that rock!!!!! that was exciting! and habu, blue sky alpacas and all sorts of other deliciousness.

Knitomatic – Headed there for another knitting night, but no one else showed :(. Instead i spent and hour or two chatting with the store owner, her birdie (so cute!) and two awesome local indie spinners. Barbie heads in yarn people! bit much for me, but have to admire the achievment! Managed to snaffle some Misti Alpaca Lace on sale here too!

The Purple Purl – What a lovely store – the staff are absolutely hilarious and a conversation about Jenny Kee ensued once it came out i was australian. I was also given a free copy of the stores charity calender… yarn and naked people – awesome! I finally succumbed to the temptation of mooi here – it had been following me around the continent. although the temptation of vicuna was also great!!

I only went to four yarn stores in montreal, one of which was very disappointing, but i still managed to do my fair share of purchasing!

Mouline – This store is packed to the rafters with yarn! rowan, handmaiden, fleece artist plus  a whole range of local indie sock yarns. The staff are friendly and i had a great chat with some customers too. It’s a bit dark, but the range makes up for it.

Tricoteuse a laine – this was a very disappointing shop. I’m sure it would be great if i lived in the city and were looking for larger projects but there wasn’t much in the way of ‘treat’ yarn – sock yarn, lace weight etc. They did have a great rowan collection though!

Effiloche – now this is a store to die for. Comfy couches, massive range, workstations for classes etc and very friendly staff. pretty much the complete handmaiden and fleece artist range, plus a whole pile of international yarns and local indie dyed and spun yarns. Cotton, wool, cashmere, linen.. all sorts! I spent about two hours here playing with bison and muskox…

Tricot Quartier – This is a bit out of the way, but like a lot of out of the way yarn stores, took me to a lovely area of the city i might not have gone to otherwise. Not the biggest range, but again, lovely staff. very friendly. This is more of a workhorse yarn store – berroco, cascade etc.

1. socks that rock lightweight!, 2. louet mooi bison blend laceweight, 3. 4ply cashmere, 4. classic elite alpaca sox, 5. indigo moon handdyed sock yarn, 6. misti alpaca handpainted lace, 7. tanis fiber arts sock yarn, 8. be sweet bamboo, 9. americo dehaired baby llama, 10. suri blue, 11. americo pima cotton, 12. handmaiden casbah, 13. arequipa alpaca sock yarn, 14. biscotte et cie self striping sock yarn, 15. handmaiden sea silk, 16. hemp for knitting dk

I am desperately searching for a pattern for the mooi that will do it justice – some sort of cowl or scarf.

The Bamboo is currently being transformed into a Ms Marigold. I wouldn’t have thought of that, but they had one knitted up in the EXACT colour i wanted and i couldn’t resist! the colour is amazing…

the Casbah sock yarn was transformed whilst i trained my way around Europe into a pair of Nutkin socks.

I’m also looking for ideas for the suri blue and seasilk – I’m sure something will pop up!


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?