Monday, October 14, 2013

Why does it have to be so hard?!

I get online and begin reading knitting blogs and I get on Facebook and see all the "liked" yarn stores posting the new yarn they got in and I get on Ravelry and see all the beautiful projects and I somewhat go beserk.

I HAVE to go to the yarn store and buy yarn to make this awesome shawl I just saw. My friend needs an earwarmer so I must go to this other LYS across town because I know they have this other yarn that would be perfect for that project. Christmas is coming so I NEED to buy a few skeins to make some easy projects for gifts.

I was just going through this whole process. Like literally right before I got on here to write this post to share my insane thought process.

I have to share a couple things I am drooling over right now:

Freia available at Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver.



The Lonely Tree Shawl by Silvia Bo Bilvia

I thought that this shawl would be beautiful with an ombre look with Fancy Tiger's Freia yarns... Add that to my list!
 
 
Is there an end in sight for my slight obsession?
My guess is no.

 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

YATR2013 Day 3 (The FINAL Day) Monday, September 23

Here my worn out sister and myself entered our final day of crawling. And yes, by this time, we were truly crawling. Enjoying it all but truly worn out from rushing all over the state the last two days. We had tons of fun but were glad to be finished.

Knit Knook
Coffee and yarn. Coffee and yarn. COFFEE AND YARN! For being the first place we stopped at for the day it was perfect. I got a PSL and got to drink coffee in the cold mountain air and squeeze yarn. What day could start out any better than that!? It was an adorable store with lots of yarn, yummy pastries, and tables where you could enjoy both. Plus the gal there was a joy. Happy, helpful, and did I mention that she made me coffee?



Yarn West
The location of this store is in a nice strip mall in Evergreen. You feel very in the woods when you are here and I like that feeling. The contents of the store itself were not in my taste. I like the more brand name and funky yarns. I'm not much into the pastel, baby, sparkly yarns. It was a nice store, very friendly ladies, but again, not really in my taste. I probably would not come again, even if I was chilling in Evergreen for the day. I think I'd rather go play at the lake house.



Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins
Well, I have very mixed feelings about this particular place. I've always heard it raved on and have been super excited to go. I guess for me a lot of my likability for a shop comes from how it feels. This one kind of felt like a warehouse. The bright white lights and high ceilings, while nice for seeing things how they truly are, are harsh and difficult for me. I like the cozier feeling places. Besides the atmosphere, the yarns were great. They had the largest book section. I enjoyed squeezing all the sock yarn (me and the sock yarn!). If I was a spinner, I know I would come here. It seemed as if they had EVERYTHING one would need to make their own yarn. I'm hoping to get there someday. I need a place where I can keep a sheep and an alpaca, which since my husband keeps hawks, I WILL do someday!



Gypsy Wools
I loved this store! They were tiny. Didn't have a large selection. Really not that much at all, but what they did have was great. Really everything was great. I will come here first when I am in Boulder. I purchased some yarn, the Gypsy Wool brand, for the mitten pattern I picked up at Fancy Tiger. I like the color, but the name truly sold me: Cottonwood Pass. For those that do not know, Cottonwood Pass is the road from Buena Vista, CO to Taylor Park and then to Tin Cup. If you have not been to any of these places you are missing out. Tin Cup is a place that my family goes to yearly. My husband's family has a tiny cabin in the tiny town and it is one of the places we enjoy so much within the state. ♥



Mew Mew's Yarn Shop
Hmmm... Well.... there was a giant octopus thing that looked like a fortune-telling octopus and it kinda creeped me out. Actually, it REALLY creeped me out. That's what I remember most about this place. A giant, creepy, fortune-telling octopus. There was some yarn. Some nice Cascade 220 wool. I did like that part. I didn't see a kitty, which I thought I would based on the name. This place really wasn't my kind of coffee either.



The Recycled Lamb
It was at this store that we completed our journey. We saved this place for last on our last day since they were open the latest. The atmosphere is nice in here. They have A LOT to look at and had sale yarn for us all to enjoy. I purchased some Noro for Felted Slippers. I'm very excited to get these made. I liked all the yarn they carried. Besides, SSS, I think they had the largest selection. I tried to get around to touching it all, but I'm sure I failed. By this point, it was all feeling about the same. They also had more spinning notions than most stores which is nice to look at also even though I don't know how to use any of it.

 
I think that for next year I will spread my days out more. Three days right in a row was fun, but I want to enjoy each store a little more and make more comprehensive hand written and mental notes about each place. I really did enjoy the whole journey and WILL be doing it again next year. I loved seeing each basket that will be given away from each store and would be super stoked to win any of them. They were all stocked with fantastic prizes and at this point I will just cross my fingers that I will get drawn for any. Plus if I should, then I have the excuse to hit up all the stores around that store again. Thanks again to every store that participated and made the yarn crawl so much fun. I loved seeing every store and the smiles on all the shop owner's faces will be remembered from each one I visited.

Friday, October 4, 2013

YATR2013 Day 2, Sunday, September 22

I would have to say that this day was my most favorite day. There really wasn't a store that I went into that I didn't love. I was exhausted, but my senses came alive the moment I walked into the first store of the day. I forgot to mention that I also got my PSL from Starbucks that morning which makes everything all sunshine and rainbows!
  

On my! I did not want to leave this store. I loved it! They had so much yarn. Good yarn too! Endless shelves with so much to touch. All arranged by weights. This was the first place I broke down and bought yarn. (I had a 200 dollar limit for the crawl and I won't buy it unless I know what pattern it will be for.) So here I bought yarn for Jane Richmond's Grace. I'm trying to decide if I should save it for next years #SSKAL.
 
 
 
This is a room inside a vacuum store. Odd location but ya do whatcha gotta do. I like alpaca yarn. A lot. She had roving from her own alpacas where she boards in, that's right, Elizabeth, CO! I knew I wasn't the only awesome thing there! The roving was so soft and pretty but I haven't learned to spin yet. Guess I'll add that to my list!
 
 
 
This store was in a strip mall in the middle of a subdivision. If I lived in that subdivision I would be here all the time. She had a sale table, a table where ladies were knitting, my kind of table, and a small but decent selection. This was a lovely place but I wouldn't find myself calling my sis to say, "Hey, wanna go there today?"
 
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"It's Lamb Chops play along where kids come to play along and fun things are all we ever do!" There was a Lamb Chop puppet. Get it? LambShoppe, Lamb Chop? Clever, but I don't think the gal appreciates how nostalgic and special Lamb Chop is to a certain generation. I was all excited to see Lamb Chop and I think she thought I was SpEd.
But that is all besides the point! Her Cascade selection had to of been similar to the production factory. Colors galore, a step ladder to reach the unreachable, nooks and crannies stuffed with yarn, tables to knit at, patterns, and yes, COFFEE! To come here again? Oh yes. ♥
 
 
 
Well, if you show Ingrid the tweet,  Ingrid will give you a treat! I got the cutest little stitch markers. I love them. Only downside to this place is I didn't get to see any of the yarn. My sis parked illegally while I ran in to get buttons, stamps and tweeted treats. Parking in Downtown Denver is no bueno. I wanted to look around but couldn't without paying 15 dollars for parking. Next time I pamper myself or have tea at the Brown Palace I will come back. They are right around the corner!
 
 
 
Wild Yarns in Threads
This place had its difficulties in finding parking as well. It didn't help that there was a Rockies game that afternoon. But we found a spot a block and a half away. We walked into this tiny store and size did not matter! The combination of yarns and handmade things of every kind was incredible. I fell in love with a copper necklace that I left behind because I can count of one hand the times I have worn necklaces in the last year. Donna Seex's hand-dyed yarns are in abundance here and they are beautiful! I purchased squirrel and acorn stitch markers which even my hubby thought were cool. Score! ♥
 
 
 
This store was very homey feeling and I loved the location: Olde Wadsworth. I always think stores are more fun when they are located in old parts of town. Well, when the old parts of town are still nice. This place had coffee as well and was very cutely organized. They had a great selection of books as well as yarn. I obviously loved these little stitch markers and had to buy a set. I would come here again, but not if I wasn't already in the area. (Darn this rural living sometimes!)
 
 
 This was a really fun place to go. I enjoyed the fun selection of fabric. They also had a great stock of MadelineTosh and more colors than I had ever seen of Wool Ease Thick & Quick. They offered sewing and knitting classes so for one who enjoys both, but is only moderately good at one, this is a fun thing to offer. The examples of the sewing projects were adorable and I would make the drive to do a class with a sister or friend. It was here that I also found the greatest bumper sticker ever made: I SNIFF YARN. I tried to get my sis to do yarn sniffing vine videos with me and she truly thought I was a nut. We probably wouldn't have made it as big as BatDad, but yarn sniffing girls would be funny for my own entertainment and maybe a few select others. ♥
 
 
 
I enjoyed the funky feel of this yarn shop. Everything seemed a bit funky about it. From the yarns they carried, to the patterns, and the fabric here. This is the only shop that I noticed that carried Quince & Co yarn. I've been wanting to test this yarn out but haven't taken the time to order it. It's hard to buy yarn if you don't know how it feels or what the color really looks like. So I will be coming back here at some point to purchase yarn. It was also at this store that I finally found my jewel of the yarn crawl: ISLAND. I had asked and looked at several stores already and had not found a copy. I also got the cutest mitten pattern. ♥
 
 
Our day 2 is done and so are we. Pooped, hungry, and overwhelmed by all the deliciousness we had experienced the past two days. But, yes, we are planning on being at it again tomorrow.
 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Yarn Along the Rockies Day 1, Saturday, September 21

My sister and I recently participated in Colorado's annual yarn crawl titled Yarn Along the Rockies. It was an absolute blast! I had so much fun visiting 22 shops I had never been to be before. Only 23 participated... its hard to get around when you live out in the boonies. My LYS is 30 minutes away while all the others are 45 minutes or more. But anyway, I found some AWESOME shops that, despite the drive, I WILL be visiting again.
James and I decided to be all into social media while we did the #YATR2013 and tweeted at every shop we went to and posted a photo. I think Twitter is the only place I can let my true dork shine through because none of my friends are aware that I have an account. I can tweet about how much I love squeezing yarn and no one will be like, "Chick is weird..."
Check out all my tweets: @ryanpagehaas

So in lieu of my recent gallop around the state here is a review of all 23 LYS:
(Please remember that I enjoyed EVERY shop and wish I could give a more comprehensive review of each place, but I was on a time limit and spent around 30 minutes per shop. I wish I had carried a notebook with me so I could have made notes about all the things I loved, the yarns they carried, unique items, and so on. Each store had much to offer and my small remarks are notes catered to me to jog my own memory of each shop.)
 
Stash
This is my favorite place to go. They have an awesome selection of yarns, hip knit gear, and tons of notions. I especially love the handcrafted by Heather stitch markers of every Big Bang Theory character. So creative and so fun. They also carry a great selection of books. When I said earlier that this place is hip, I mean it. They are cool young chicks who like to knit and aren't afraid to say it. I never saw another store that carried shirts that say, "I learned to knit in prison." ♥
 
 
This sweet store is located in the high tops of Old Colorado Springs. The street is such a fum street to be on. We got there, found parking relatively easily and walked a block or two to the store. It's a nice shop with a nice selection of yarns. I thought they had a fun selection of sock yarns. The staff was welcoming as was the feel in the store. My sister purchased some lovely tweed for fingerless gloves that she is making for her coworkers. The store was nice, but because it was an hour fifteen away I do not see myself making the drive just to go there. Now if I was in town already, I would definitely hit it up!
 
 
 
Green Valley Weavers and Knitters
I liked this store as well. It was about 5 blocks down from Needleworks and we passed a Dairy Queen on the way, SCORE! (We walked, obviously.) This store was doing a sale on different yarns each day of the crawl. MAJOR SCORE! Plus they had a cute kitten hanging out. Again, they have a great selection, tons of roving, and are organized so nicely. I almost pur hased some Mountain Top Chalet for my Oatmeal Pullover, but the bulkies were on sale tomorrow...
 

 
 
This store is purple. You can't miss it. Purple. Besides the purple, they have a nice selection of sock yarn, tons of books, a room with a huge table for local knitters/crocheters to hang out, and a small but nice selection of other yarns. They were the only place we visited that did not have buttons yet! My bag has all 23 buttons except for this one.
A round up of the Colorado Springs participants: they are nice stores but I don't find myself wanting to make any special trips down to see them. I haven't any complaints except the distance which is my fault, not theirs.
 
 
 
Table Rock Llamas
I loved this store. It's in a cabin in the woods. The woods that recently burned down by the way. You can see how close the fire was to this store as the trees right next to the building are black. Inside they have a beautiful cowl called the Black Forest Cowl and all proceeds from the pattern are donated to help victims of the fire.
I love yarn shops that are in homes because I love wandering the rooms feeling yarn. The staff here was so nice and they gave me the most compliments on my new FO Poolside (my first time wearing it). Black Forest is about 45 minutes from my place and I know I would head down here just to see what's new. ♥
 
 
Colorful Yarns
OMG! Love! So much yarn, so many brands I love, so many knit knacks! This was about an hour from me (due to traffic) but because they carry SweetGeorgia and tons of MadTosh I would make the special trip. I could have spent all afternoon in this place. Oh! They also had Baah! yarn and the only other place I have seen this is Serendipity in BV. So if you can't tell already I will be coming again. I just wish the location wasn't a fuddy duddy office building. It throws me off a bit. ♥
 
 
 
Knitty Cat was, and yes I am saying was, right down the street by a couple miles from Colorful Yarns. This store is going out of business. I'm sure they were a great store at one point but since they are basically using the yarn crawl to eliminate what's in stock it was kind of a bust. Obviously I won't be coming back here.
 
 
 
Same thing. We tried to go to the address given and there was an empty store. Note on the window telling us to go to another store where you can find Zen Knitting located inside. The YATR2013 info also said they were open until 6... well we got there at 5:30 and someone was still inside so we collected our stamps and buttons. We were informed that they were closed so we didn't even look around, just left, and didn't even tweet about it. Sorry to be inconvenient.
No photo here, ya'll.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

2013 #SSKAL

After finishing my sweater last year for last years Summer Sweater Knit Along I was so excited to see luvinthemommyhood.com starting another one this summer. I had purchased the most lovely CEY Mountain Top Vail yarn from Stash last October (my birthday present) and had the pattern picked out to use it with: Bayside Pullover by Hannah Fettig. I had already completed 2 sweaters that year and was getting into the Christmas craft season so my new(est) sweater was put on hold.



This summer I found out the new KAL and signed right up. While browsing FB one day I saw Stash post about how they just got in an order of MadelineTosh.
LIKE.
 I think I lasted two or three days and I was in store stashing up. They had the most beautiful shade of blue... So there I was on the floor of the store perusing Ravelry to find the right pattern for this yarn that I had to purchase.
I have a rule: I WILL NOT BUY YARN UNLESS I HAVE THE PATTERN FOR IT. I do this to cut down on spending and random skeins with no apparent use.
And then there it was! Tiny but beautiful in all it's glory on my cell phone screen. The perfect pattern. Poolside.

I showed everyone my gems and told them how excited I was to begin work on my winter lovelies. The general consensus was that the Bayside was going to be a nicer sweater than the Poolside. Pshaw! These non-knitters cannot see the potential in yarns and lace patterns. I knew BOTH would be wonderful.

My #SSKAL journey began with two sweaters. A bit ambitious, I know, but go big or go home. Or to the pond- since projects get frogged? Haha.
I knitted my little heart out on July 24th. I was on vacation that day but beach or no beach I was going to get knitting.

Knit, knit, knit, all day long. I began my two sweaters that day. I like to have multiple projects going because I'm a self-diagnosed ADD knitter. As much as I worked, I am slow. And I get tendinitis flare ups when I knit with heavier yarns. The deadline was approaching, September 18th. I thought I would have been done with BOTH sweaters by now but I wasn't. I even told my husband and son, "Sorry guys I have a deadline and I NEED to knit." My hubby was surprisingly supportive of my online endeavors once I explained it to him. He did look at me like this whole online knitting group thing was a bit nutty, but I think covering yourself in elk pee is nutty, but I don't say a word.





A day late, but better late than never, I finished the Poolside sweater and it is GORGEOUS!



 

 
I haven't finished my Bayside yet, but I'm still cookin' with peanut oil and I hope to have it done soon.