Monday, August 13, 2007

The Places I've Been, The People I've Seen

Perfectionism may be a good thing when you're knitting but it's a terrible hindrance when you are blogging. I started this entry last week and still haven't posted! I let little things like work (ya, I actually did some), fighting with new computer to install Adobe CS3 (an hour to install, an hour to uninstall when components failed to install, an hour on hold to get to an Adobe tech, an hour to go through the issues and checks, an hour to reinstall, an hour to uninstall... you get the picture) and just general dealing with life in general. So without further ado, a recount, finally, of the big yarn crawl!

The Yarn Crawl

Yarn. To revel in and ravel in it. Usually, but not always, at the same time. This is the reason I was given two hands with opposable thumbs. To take two sticky things and lovely, luscious, luminous yarn and create a little piece of marvelousness. Right?

Sunday saw the long awaited SF yarn crawl where I would get to see, smell, dare I say fondle, all those wondrous yarn I had been reading about since I started knitting. And I was joined by an intrepid group of enablers in the drizzly goodness of my hometown. What a day it was.

This little yarn crawl of ours had been the works for ages. BRA (Before Return to America). La Cane (aka Sarah), my Arietta partner in crime and fellow Raveler, came up with the plan when she first learned I would be in the Bay Area. Then it was decided to post an invite on Ravelry (aka The Place To Be). And our yarn crawl took on a life of its own. At the height of the festivities there were actually eight of us. And for those of you who haven't spent time with a number of knitters, eight knitters is like eight civilians to the power of 10.

Meeting grounds: Urban Knitting Studio. At this first stop there were six of us, meeting each other for the first time and wandering around an otherwise empty shop. We received a lovely tour and the shop was quite well stocked. I even did a bit of touchy, feely, drooly, but in the end I didn't plunk down any cash. I just wanted to hold out a bit longer...

Nest stop: ArtFibers. Words cannot begin to describe this place. From it's ancient, scary elevator to its long, narrow space displaying swatches and garments of all kinds to the Yarntasting™ Lounge, loaded with comfy chairs, natural lighting, needles of all sizes and small sample balls of all their yarns, ArtFibers satisfies the knitting artiste in all of us. It's a little piece of heaven in downtown San Francisco. They dye all their own yard and the prices were much more reasonable that I dared dream. Oh, and did I mention I bought some Ming, 50% extra fine Merino, 50% silk; 100% luscious in color #11!


Picture courtesy of Kazen

The Yarntasting Lounge...
And drooling just as much over Gypsyknitters new iPhone as the surrounding yarns...

Then it was off the Noe Knits. It's been years, no really YEARS, since I have been on Muni and taking the J train turned into an event in itself worthy of reporting, especially for the hi-jinx addicted. First a call out to Kazen whose Muni prowess got us our tickets, through the turnstiles and on to the J. I've read of the effects we knitters have on civilians, especially when using public transportation, but this was the first time I had done this en masse. Starting with the looks we got on the platform as we pulled out our knitting to get some stitches in as we waited, to the bunch of us almost falling down as the train lurched forward, the peels of laughter said fall elicited, as well as the whispers and astonished looks of the other riders, the journey was as much fun as any of the shops we went to. Even a couple of off duty Muni employees seemed amused. I'm sure was a collective sigh of relief when we alighted.

And so it was, back down to six, that we entered into Noe Knit. The store had gotten a fantastic right up in Knitter's Review a few months ago and I had been waiting for a chance to go. I wasn't disappointed. The store has a huge amount of space and a tremendous selection. The sock knitters among us were a tad bit disappointed but I managed to find a skein of Jitterbug and am finally taking the sock plunge! I also bought some sox stix, Cascade 220 in two shades of orange, and a great pair of bag handles. Happy purchaser was I. The owner, Susan, was great as was Amy (man I hope I got her name right!) patiently staying by my side as I agonized over which colors to make the striped bag, my first felting project.

And of course, throughout the day, everyone I encountered dutifully complemented my Arietta colors. And of course, the weather got worse as the day went on. By the time Noe Knit was closing, (you know I was there until the last moment even if my partners and crime had all scadaddled) it was actually raining and no one could give me directions to get back to the Golden Gate Bridge. So once again Mommy to the rescue. She drove in from Mill Valley to pick me up. Man, she is really, REALLY spoiling me.

A disappointing post script, after managing to cast on and join my round WITHOUT and unseemly gap, and ribbing for about an inch, one of my sox stix snapped and the socks have gone on hold. Susan was happy enough to replace them but I found contact info for the needle company and they have sent out a replacement. Should be here tomorrow, I hope.

So that was the saga. And though I have cast on the bag and put the socks on hold, I have not forsaken my Arietta. I have already bound off for the arm holes and started the decreases. I hope to have the back finished by tomorrow.


Orlop =) said...

I'm afraid I have foresaken my knitting, just can't bring my self to knit, just can't work up the excitment...hopefully its just PG hormones...
I have many undone projects to finish. really enjoyed reading about your crawl.

Anonymous said...

Subway hi-jinx and crawlers adventures! Love the post :)

shopgirl said...

It was our pleasure to meet you! I'm glad you had a good time.