Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Tale of Three Yarn Shops

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Actually it was an extra day off. I finally finished a huge project so I took an extra day off this weekend. I decided I'd hit a few yarn shops that are out of my normal travel area. The idea was good but the follow thru - not so good.
I started by calling Mom to see if she'd like to ride along. Kind of - kill two birds with one stone. Give Mom some time out because she loves to ride in the car and I'd get a chance to check out a few new places. Mom didn't answer her phone so she didn't get to go long. Hopefully, she'll answer the phone at 4:30 so we can go out to supper together.

I rode part way to the yarn shops and stopped for lunch. Mapped out the best route to the 3 shops I was going to and headed out. I'm not going to say the name of two of the shops I was at because the problems I had today were probably one time things and it's not fair to judge a shop by one bad experience.
Shop #1 - I got to the first shop about noon after going 25 miles from home and found a note on the door - Closed early due to illness. DRAT! Okay there's still 2 other shops I want to go see so - off to number 2.
Shop #2 - I got to the shopping center and discovered it wasn't where it used to be. Fortunately, I figured out it moved down to the other side of the mall. I went in the shop and was all alone. They didn't have an "early warning signal" of any kind so whoever was in the shop didn't know I came in. I looked around for a while and fondled some yarn. The shop seemed out of order. It wasn't the normal yarn shop clutter it was disorder. Some shelves were mostly empty, things were "tossed" around the shop and samples looked old. When no one showed up to greet me, I left. Well, there's always the third shop - off again.
Shop #3 - I will name this shop. I got to it - walked in and was greeted by very cheerful people. Glad to see me there and glad to talk knitting. I haven't been to the Coldwater Collaborative in Excelsior before but I will be back even though it’s a LONG way from home. I grazed through the fields of yarn for a while and came to the front clutching a skein of rayon/cotton blend. Carri and I struck up a conversation about a couple patterns I was working on and planning to write up.
OOH! Pretty!
Before I show you the patterns I have to say something about the 3 shops. I know things happen but the welcome I got at Coldwater Collaborative was what I expect from a shop. The other 2 shops - not so much. I know people get sick and you can't help that but the second shop had an easy fix available to them. Get a bell on the front door and stick your head out to say "Hi" to the person walking in the door when someone comes in. I will very likely not be back to shop #2 but will give #1 another try some day.

Now to the patterns- One is what I've called my Junk Yarn Top. It definitely needs a better name when you're using rayon and other beautiful yarns. It was developed as an answer to the single skeins and hanks that tend to appear in the stash. I told her I'd be writing it up and let her know when I got done.
It starts at the neck and increases at the sleeve seam, front and back middles. Once you get down to the arm pit you split it up to body and sleeves. One of these days soon I'll get it written up.
The other pattern is the Slipknot Ascot. This one is from back in the 80s when I worked at a shop owned by a friend of the family. I'm about half way through writing this one up and testing it. I'll send Carrie a copy when I'm done. I have some friend starting to learn to knit so it's time to rewrite my garter stitch patterns and give them something nice but easy to knit.

I didn't have anyone around the house today (Chief and Bert refuse to wear it to model) so- the lamp is modeling the scarf. It's a great scarf for looking good and staying warm.


Deb said...

Glad you enjoyed Coldwater - it's clearly a notch above the rest in a very cluttered field. Thanks for stopping by my blog too!

Guinifer said...

Hah! I had to laugh! I know exactly where you were, and number 1 is definitely worth stopping back at. I think they have a very limited number of employees so if someone's sick, there's no one to fall back on. Number two has always been the way it was for you - it's not going to change. Although I must say that when the owner is there (even though she's not terribly effusive) she does talk to you.