This past weekend was the Washington Local Yarn Store Tour, and although I didn't go whole hog I did make it to a few shops. Each participating shop (there were 20, I think) had a free one-skein pattern and offered a discount on the yarn for the pattern. There was a drawing for those c-r-a-z-y (or maybe lucky?) people who made it to all 20 shops--$400 at the LYS of their choice. Although I'd love to have that $$ in the yarn bank, I didn't have the time this weekend for three solid days of shopping.
First on the list was Renaissance Yarns, which is truly my local yarn store. I'm in there all the time, it's right between home and work, I can pop in during lunch. Their pattern was for a toe up sock with an afterthought heel in Duet Sock yarn. My plan was to just zip in, pick up the pattern, and zip out, especially since I've got a few sets of this yarn at home already (including the as yet un-restarted Leprechaun Socks), but the new colors were too good to pass up. I picked out a color called Sailor Girl, shown at the right. I love navy and pink together, and I love that the yarn comes with a little solid hank for the heel and toe. I've started a pair of garter rib socks, and they are zipping right along--this yarn is medium weight. I'm looking forward to trying the lighter weight version of the Duet yarns too, although maybe I should wait until I work through some of the yarn that I already have. These are great commuter socks, at least until I finish turning the heels on those school bus socks. I'll post photos / details about the Sailor Girls soon.
The shop that I travelled the farthest to (with Mom) was Churchmouse Yarns & Tea, on Bainbridge Island. I enjoyed taking the ferry over, especially since we walked on and the shop is a short walk from the terminal. I wish that I'd spent more time looking around the shop, but the wall of STR was too mesmerizing for me to get away from--I was afraid that someone else would get the last hank of something I wanted, if only I could decide what I wanted! The shop's pattern was a tea cozy made from heavyweight STR, each hank should be enough for two. Mom and I each got a skein, we opted for one bright and one mild colorway--Fire on the Mountain and Barney Rubble. One of the samples was knit up in Barney Rubble and it looked great, but the Fire on the Mountain should look good too, I think.
While on Bainbridge, we stopped by Esther's, a great fabric store. I picked out some fabric for summer skirts, which I had hoped to work on this weekend. I did not work on them. I will probably not work on them next weekend, either, but maybe . . .
I also picked up a skein of lightweight STR in Fred Flintstone, which is going to make one bright-ass pair of socks. Before you ask, K_____ W______, your feet are too big for socks from one hank. You got a giant pirate hat, isn't that enough?? I love how mysterious and moody this yarn looks in the photo, by the way.
These are the only photos I have, so I'll just give a brief summary on the other shops that I visited:
The Knittery: very nice selection of yarns--this is my source for Dale of Norway, and is also pretty close to where I live. Reasonably priced, too! Their store pattern was a cute fingerless glove.
Fiber Gallery: Close to where I've been dogsitting, so I spent some time there not too long before the LYS tour. Source for the yarn/pattern of the Soft Serve hat. Tons of Brown Sheep, also Koigu, Opal, and Artyarns. Their store pattern was a very cute felted teddy bear. I didn't get the yarn for this one, but I may go back for it. The samples were great--one had a happy face and the other was a little grouchy or sad.
Seattle Yarn: Great store in West Seattle--lots of yarn, plus an excellent selection of buttons and bag handles and notions. Their store pattern was for a small entrelac bag made of some sort of Noro. I forgot to take a photo of the yarn that I bought, but I'm really looking forward to making this one. I've never done entrelac before, plus the yarn is really cool. It was nice to see a $10 one-skein project after the $25 - $30 skeins that I bought in other stores.
Hilltop Yarns West: I love Hilltop, but my blood sugar was critically low when I stopped in, so I ended up leaving without pattern or yarn. Booooo, me. I find that I like visiting Hilltop during the week instead of weekends, when it gets crowded. I've had more success when I've gone in looking for something fairly specific, too, so I should probably have just stayed away.
O.K., that's about as much as I have to say about the LYS tour--more, in fact, that I thought I had to say.