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.


erinkristi said...

Habu Textiles A-32D, hand-dyed silk mohair kasrui (whatever that means). Thanks, I'm in yarnabetic shock. In can't wait for more eye candy! Did you have an awfully awesome time? Was your son in shock to be back in the states? Two weeks has gone by so fast.

I hope you'll show and tell, my pretty! Will you be at Borjo next Sunday?

vlb5757 said...

My goodness you have great eyes. That silk mohair was even more fine than lace weight. I think it was a cobweb weight. So light are airy. Yes, we had a great time and I have never been to so many yarn shops in one day. I was overwhelmed! I didn't something in everyone but pretty close.
Yes, he was in shock. He said that everything he ate was the best food he had ever eaten. It could have been a PBJ and it still would have been a 5 star meal for him. He had to go clothes shopping for things to wear. He loved that since he is a clothes horse. I will not be at Borjo. I only go to the Tuesday at Paneras, Wednesday and Saturdays at The Coffee Shop. Just can't spare any more time out. I am going to be teaching in November so time is limited. I just got done doing two more posts about my trip and still have two more to do. I packed as much as I could into those two weeks!

artsyfish said...

The Kid Mohair lace scarf pattern and yarn are available at the Knitting Corner in Kempsville. I agree its gorgeous - I'm making one!


vlb5757 said...

Artsyfish-I just thought it was so airy, soft and beautiful. I am sure it will be fabulous when it's done!

Anonymous said...

I can see why you had a good time on your down day. These shops look just beautiful! I wouldn't have been able to stop myself from buying it all!

vlb5757 said...

Hey Kim girl! I have more posts about the trip that will show up once a week. I just bought so much stuff that it covered the whole diningroom table. I finally got it all put away. DH went up and down the stairs for me so it was easy. It's all sitting on my bed so now I have to actually put the stuff away. I guess I will do that when I go to bed tonight. The only draw back is that when you buy everything you see, you have to pay the credit card back. That will come due next month-ugh!

Sharon said...

What a fun trip and thanks. I've had that same kind of buyers remorse in reverse as you did. Woulda, shoulda. Habu Textiles - hmmm. That shop was recommended to me as a must see when we were back in NYC but I didn't pursue it - shoulda, coulda, woulda, didn't.

Farm Chick Paula said...

Oh goodness- I let out a little squeal at all the little stuffed critters! ESPECIALLY the sheep in the third picture... those got a louder squeal.

vlb5757 said...

Are those the cutest little sheep. One of these days I am going to make one. I just love them! I can't have any here in the city so they will be as close as I will be able to get!