I'm home from SF now. I got to go to the big city, but the best part was the trip to two wonderful stores. Wanna hear about them? Of course you do. But first you have to bear with me, I'm in the mood to make a list.
Cindy's favorite out of town yarn stores
- Imagiknit, San Francisco
- Article Pract, Oakland
- ArtFibers, San Francisco
- Fashion-knit, Walnut Creek
- Knitter's Haven, Visalia
- Full Thread Ahead, Los Altos
- Continental Stitch, Morgan Hill
- Jennifer Knits, Los Angeles
What this list shows is that I need to get out of the Bay Area a little. The interesting part is that each of these stores has something that can't quite be matched by the others on the list, meaning I really love them all. What's not to like about a yarn store, anyway? There is that other yarn store in Fresno that acts like you need to be on the list of VIPs in order for them to talk to you, so I guess there are yarn stores that could use a dose of customer service. And, there is another store in Fresno that caters to the acrylic needs of those who like scratchy afghans and needlepoint plastic canvas toilet paper covers, but we won't go there either.
Anyway, I highly recommend Imagiknit. It is the biggest yarn store I have visited. They have one room for wool and one for cotton yarns, each room is bigger than most yarn stores alone. It is mind boggling. You really need to have a project in mind in order to not wander around drooling and talking to yourself. You also need to beware they attract the rather "artsy" SF type of knitters, so if men knitters with mohawks make you uncomfortable, it might not be the store for you. I am the "live and let live" type of knitter, so the more the merrier. They are very nice there, although when we were there on Stitch n Pitch day, they weren't aware it was that day. You would think they should have been informed about such an IMPORTANT event. The Oakland store knew all about it, had several employees that were there, and chatted with us about it.
Parking can be a challenge, and it is in a rather interesting neighborhood (Maurice got propositioned on the way from the car to the store the first time we were there), but I still love it, hence the numbero uno.
Artifibers is the most sophisticated yarn store possible. They have only their own yarns, which are milled for them. They have lots of silks and silk blends, and some very exotic yarns made from things like stainless steel. There colors are incredible, beyond belief, beautiful. They offer "yarn tasting" in the "yarn tasting lounge" which means if you like a yarn, you are free to take a sample skein, grab some needles from the vase, and sit in their lounge chairs and try it out. They will then take your gauge from that yarn, measure you, and using their computer database of patterns, they will print a custom pattern for you. That is a very cool feature that I have not yet taken advantage of. Someday I will. That would take a lot of time and usually I don't have that luxury. Plus, it does tend toward the pricey end of the yarn spectrum, so a knitter would have to make a committment.
I also love Britex Fabrics, and they do sell a smidge of yarn there. Enough that I can usually find something interesting. This time I got a Noni bag pattern. I have others already, but this one featured lots of bobbles a la Dr. Seuss. I'm thinking I need a Cindy Lou Hoo purse.
Want to see the yarn I bought? I thought so. I was in a rather pumpkin/green tone mood. I think it has to do with my new shoes :). Look at the pattern for the tiny sweaters - Doesn't it beg to be made into a Christmas ornament?
As you might see, I have already started to swatch some of them. Haven't decided what I'm going to do with them.
I'm trying to regain my knitting mojo by teaching myself to knit socks on two circular needles. I got the needles and the book a while ago, but now is the time to learn the technique. So far so good I'm on row 4.
Want to see a cute soccer player? Of course you do.