Friday, October 30, 2009

The Lake Effect Yarn Crawl...Part 2

I just couldn't post all the pictures and keep going and going on about all the shops that I managed to see while on vacation. So here is part 2 of where I went. I had such a great time and saw loads of wonderful things as well as wonderful people!

After we (I) left Loop we headed for Hartford, WI and the Main St. Yarn Shop. I got to meet the shop owner herself and she was just delightful. We corresponded several times about the shop and how to get there. Once I got there we had a conversation about lots of different things. The shop is located on a street in Hartford that has lots of little shops on both sides of the street. It looked like a great place to live as well.

As soon as you walk into the shop there is a nice little seating area that I suspect is for the waiting husbands. Another special thing that is directly to your right hanging on the wall is this. I have known people who were working on this but have never seen the whole thing put together. It was certainly impressive and absolutely picture worthy.

I just loved this afghan. So much work went into this. I guess it's like eating an elephant-one square at a time. If you have never seen one finished-it's a sight to see.

What I especially loved was all the felted purses that the shop has. I was focused on them because I have often thought of making one and then making socks instead.
I really was drawn to this purse because it reminded me of those polymer clay squares that people make into jewelry. Each one of those swirl is a separate square. I have no idea how this was made but it was impressive. The black purse behind that one has little fuzzy caterpillar thing sticking out all around the top of the purse. There were other purses and I regret not taking more pictures of them because they were just so unique.

The shop was well organized and I found some yarn that I had only found in Alaska. So I was a happy knitting camper when I left. I am going to make a hat from this to wear to Rhinebeck next year! I made my son a hat with this yarn last year at Christmas and once it was done I was so pleased with it. I wasn't able to find that yarn here so consider this to be a big coup. So a hat will be made!

As we traveled on the next shop was a dual find.

See double yummy! I mainly went here because it was in the town of West Bend, WI which is where we were staying. I really didn't look at too much of the yarn. I was mostly interested in the beading part of the shop. I want to knit a beaded amulet bag and wanted to see if they had some 0000 dpns. Sure enough they did. So I bought five and then the search was one for decorative beads for the ends of the needles. I found a ton of beautiful beads. It was an awesome source for beads, classes and supplies. I sure wish they were closer to where I live. I might consider doing more projects with beads.
Here is just a fraction of the beads that were hanging up in the shop.

Here is another shot of the beads at the shop. Of course there was the yarn half of the shop...
Lovely yarn as sell as beading supplies. Wonder how many knitters walk in here and then get addicted to knitting with beads? Not hard I imagine.
These are my 0000 dpns with the beads I found. I will glue them on the ends of the needles and see what happens. I just love them!

So that's my yarn crawl in and around Milwaukee and three other cities. I really did enjoy the day and thank all the wonderful people on Ravelry The Lake Effect who gave me their recommendations. Y'all did a great job.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Lake Effect Yarn Crawl, Part 1

Since I live 7 miles from the local ocean front here in VA, every fall I develop wander lust for higher elevations and all the beauty it brings. I make no bones about it; summer is my least favorite time of the year and fall is my most favorite and celebrated. Since DH and I have grown children we are free to take vacations while others with school aged children are busy doing the school thing. Plus in most places the hotel rates drop so traveling is a wee bit cheaper. So travel we did.

My oldest son is home from Afghanistan for two weeks so we traveled to Wisconsin to visit with him, his wife and her family. The last time we were there for a visit was five years ago for their wedding. There wasn't any time for a yarn crawl but this time I made sure that I did my shopping homework before going. I knew there would be one day of down time where DH and I would have to fill the time ourselves. So being the good sport that he is, we did a yarn crawl in and around the surrounding areas of Milwaukee. Thanks to all those on the Lake Effect group to the names and cities of shop that were their favorite spots. After visiting them I can see why. So let me take you on a tour of where I went all in one day! I was exhausted but so pleased with my purchases and all the lovely shop owners I met.

First we plotted how the trip would go. We drove to the furthest place and worked our way back towards the hotel. So, my first stop on the list was...Knitting Knook.

I was a bit nervous when we drove up to the address we were given and it turned out to be a two story house. One side of the house was the yarn shop and as best I could tell the other side was a stationery/stamp shop. I didn't take the time to go to the other side because, let's face it, I was there for the yarn! While the shop seemed very small to me, they packed a lot in there and there were was all kind of eye candy to feast on.

I really wasn't looking for any thing special. I just wanted to see what they had that was so different from the beach shops where I live. Our yarns tend to be for more our climate. Their yarns seem more heavy wool based yarns. There were yarns that I have never seen here so I was interested in them.

I am not usually interest in novelty yarns, but I thought the teddy with the bumpy colorful scarf was cute. When I picked up the yarn the scarf was made of it reminded me of fuzzy caterpillars. The yarn came in many color choices and would make a cute scarf for a little girl.

Since the shop was a house they made the fireplace a nice place to display different kinds of yarns and I did love the sheep toys. At Christmas I am sure there will be different stockings hanging there!

As I mentioned above, I am not in to novelty yarns but I could not resist this picture seeing a scarf draped over this basket of sale yarns. It was so bumpy and soft. I am kicking myself now for not buying some and seeing what I could have done with it.

Then there was this jewel. It's hard to see but this is a Kid Mohair lace scarf. It was so airy and very beautiful. Again, I am kicking myself for not at least buying the pattern. This picture does not do it justice.

The shop was lovely and the ladies were very nice. While I was there it started to get crowded and I had other places to go so it was time to go. If you are ever in Fox Point, this is a must shop to visit.

After Knitting Knook we drove to here...

Loop is located in Milwaukee. We had to drive through some seedy neighborhoods but then all of a sudden the houses and lawn were manicured and there was a cute little coffee shop and other little shops. If there was a word that I would use to describe Loop, it would be tready. The shop was bright, cheerful and full of more upper end types of yarns. The shop is neat as a pin, well organized. If you are a person who loves doing stuffed animals and felting, this shop did a great job of displaying and their handy work.

I tried to capture as many of the creatures and stuffed items there were displayed all around the shop

Are the little stuffed animals cute or what? They had examples of the latest in stuffed

Amigurmi items.
I really enjoyed their displays of natural fiber yarns. They did a wonderful job of displays everywhere.

I really love the felted Christmas trees. It's a project that I would love to do someday and a great use for the jars and jars of button I have squirreled away. Cute idea for a swap gift ladies!

One last picture of some really yummy colors that were a drawer. I am sorry that I did not write down the brand name of the yarn but it was soft and airy. There was a scarf right above the drawer on display where they doubled the yarn. I think it was more of a cobweb that lace weight. Either way, it was beautiful.

...and let us not forget what colors and shapes this time of year brings. The whole front of the shop was covered with a wide variety of fall colored leaves. It was interesting to see all of the different colors and shapes.

I will write more about the other places I visited but think that is enough eye candy for one day. I wouldn't want to push anyone over the edge and send them into a yarnabetic shock.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Wally Wart

Wally Wart came into my life a few years ago when I was on a mindless swing through K-Mart of all places. The city where I live in all of their infinite wisdom, plowed up a perfectly lovely farmer's field to build a huge Super K-Mart. Since going to Walmart (total lack of self control on my part) was costing me a fortune I caved and started shopping at K-Mart. I didn't go in there very often but once-in-awhile I would go and wander around and actually find something that I just had to have. This is when Wally Wart came into my life.

He was sitting there will all his little friends when I walked by. They were so quiet I almost missed them. Something caught my eye and there he was with his big green eyes and bumpy skin. I wasn't afraid of him but thought he was a bit ugly. When I got past the bumps and how big he was, he is sort of cute. So I took him home to live in a safe and interesting place..

Wally lives under the lovely ferns in my backyard looking at the back door. He watches for me to come out and visit him. The dogs visit with Wally too. My only regret about bringing Wally home is that I didn't bring some of his friends with me so he would have someone keep him company. So I decided in his honor I would dedicate my newly finished Tadpoles to him.

So here is Wally and his new friend. I sure hope that Wally is happy with his new friend.
is that a smile I see on his face?

In my last post I talked about socks that pool and here is an example. If you look closely you can see the green climbing diagonally up the leg of the sock. Since it's on the back I really don't care. If you check out the heel because it's a more textured pattern, the pooling doesn't make any difference.

Here is a side view of the Tadpoles. The pooling continues up the sides and in the front but it's not so bad there. I like the concept of the socks. The pattern appears on the front. It saves a bunch of yarn and truly isn't the front the only place we really look?