Saturday, April 07, 2007

LYS Adventure

What an adventure is was....

First I picked up my friend Aileen (she has no blog, sorry) up at 9:30 AM so that we could make it to the first store that opened up at 10:00 AM in downtown Philadelphia. Aileen had a surprise for me!! She had wound up my poor Chenille I thought I had ruined a hank of and one bag of my Cherry Tree Hill Rainbow Ribbon. I was so excited! Before I spent $1 I already had yarn to knit with .

We then drove 19 miles in traffic to a store called Rosie's Cellar. Since it was Good Friday, there was barely anyone in town so we easily found a space. The first time, I could park in the space and we actually parked closer to Loop but they didn't open till 11 AM. We put $2 in the meter and walked the 4 blocks to Rosie's, stopped first for coffee and we were there.

Since Rosie's is a cellar you have to walk down to get in. It is two small rooms. Even though it is April it is freezing outside so the first thing I actually did was feel the warmth, LOL. Then notice they has yarn in every nook and cranny of these two small rooms. the two young ladies working there asked if they could help us with anything. Very friendly and helpful. I just told them we were on a yarn mecca from the 'burbs. Aileen was so funny. She kept offering to pick up any yarn for me to check fiber content to make sure it had no wool or mohair. I think she just wanted to touch everything. I just told them to point me in the direction of your cotton yarns. I was interested in Laurel by Schaefer Yarns because I love the way she names her yarns (all famous women) and it is cotton and gorgeous colorways but they didn't have it. They had some beautiful colors of various different yarns. Lots of wool blends, of course. I settled for 3 skeins of Pategonia natural Cotton in a purple colorway which Aileen is winding for me since Rosie's does not wind for you but you can wind yourself. Uh, no thank you.

It kind of looks like this

We walked back the 4 blocks, checked the meter, added more coins, entered Loop. Much bigger space. Table in the back, all the yarn tucked into cubbies, couches in the middle, very white. A male and female salespeople this time both very friendly and both asked if we needed help gave them the same answer, we are on a yarn mecca.

WAY TOO MANY CHOICES. I so have to go there again. I didn't know what to do. I almost had a panic attack. I knew I was going back definitely in August since Amy Singer was coming for an event. OMGosh they had a yarn I have been staring at FOREVER on the Internet but hesitant to buy, Blue Sky Alpaca Organic Cotton in Sage (don't think the irony doesn't escape me but wait I have more irony later). I grabbed 4 hanks and told Aileen she must wind it for me immediately. The ever so lovely sales people at Loop smile at me and say, no worries, we can wind that for you. I AM IN LOVE. Not only did they wind it for me, it was an electric winder. It went to fast.

Back to the car because we were going 11 city blocks and that was way too far to walk in the summer let alone in the cold yesterday. This time, Aileen need to parallel park since I am really no good at it. Quarters in the meter and walked back one block to Nangellini. Here they not only sold yarn but finished knit/crochet items and artwork. She had some very unique fibers even one that looked like plastic. She liked to talk A LOT. I don't really mind if they have something interesting to say, talk about the yarn, if I can learn something about where the yarn comes from or something about knitting which we actually did. I thought she was rather fascinating. Some might just think she spoke too much. Her one mistake, IMO, was she wound some of the yarn, didn't have some of the labels and didn't know the weight of one I was interested in or how much there was of it. If she did, I would have bought it. At this point I knew we were aiming for one or two more stores (didn't know about the third) I wanted to save some fundage.

Back on the street, passed the car, added quarters to the meter just in case and went for lunch. Aileen wanted a steak sandwich but, me the Jewish one reminds the Catholic one that it is Friday so we go to a Deli where she has Tuna and I have eggs. Me no bread her no meat. Aren't we good?

Off to Sophie's Yarns which is two blocks down and one block over. This shop is very quaint. Maybe Victorian looking? A cat curled up on a knit blanket in the window in a chair. We really didn't look around too much because Aileen asks the owner right away if she has Laurel by Shaffer and she says no but she can order it if we are interested. She is the first one to offer and we both look at each other and say YES!. She calls and believe it or not they are out of the 3 color choices I want only one is available. Must be a very popular yarn. She'll order a bag and I can take whatever I want from the bag and she will sell the rest from the bag. She should have placed her order for Laurel a while ago she just hasn't gotten around to it yet. Aileen asks, how many are in a bag. She says 4. I want 2 hanks. Aileen says, heck, I will take the other two. So we bought the whole bag!

This is the colorway we chose. I think it will be gorgeous!

I think she said it will be a week perhaps two and she is shipping it for free! You can't beat that. I would definitely go back there as well.

Now we forgot the time and how much time we had to the meter so we BOOKED it back to the car. As we passed some cars they had parking tickets. Uh oh, the meter maid had been there. Faster, faster, get to the car. Why hadn't we stopped back to the car after lunch. Did we put enough quarters in the meter? Why didn't I pay closer attention to the time? I was on a yarn high that's why. More cars with tickets. Faster, faster. 9th Street, 8th street, there is the car, is there a ticket? NO!! Whew!! There is still a few minutes left even on the meter.

At any rate, back in the car to drive 25 miles to the Main Skein in Ambler (the are closing no use posting their web site). We are out of the city. Zig zagging on side streets since now it is close o rush hour and traffic is picking up. We make it there with an hour to browse. For a store that is closing for good next week, they still have tons of stuff. I hope someone is buying her stock.

On the first floor you get a nose full of cookies, mmmm, you go upstairs to three rooms of yarn. One room has yarn where I am not so sure how it was organized but it also had patterns and knitting books. The larger room had yarn organized by color. That was rather interesting. The back room had a work table and all types of baby yarn. It was in the first room I found a hank of Capri by Wool in the woods which is 50% Cotton, 50% Rayon (see more irony, no wool in a wool in the woods yarn). This is also where I bought my size 7 circulars and a copy of Mason-Dixon Knitting and since they are closing it was all 30-50% off. Aileen has the yarn to wind for me and I couldn't snag a picture for you to see but not too worry I have more.

Then we drove 12 miles further west to our last stop, Yarnings. Okay, I do have to admit this is the LYS I have been to most often. I was sad to see they are down to half their space. This is a combination of all the other stores. It is quaint, yarn in every corner, in baskets, in cubbies, in small rooms, in closets, soft light, couches, a table to work. It is a very warm environment. They carry Blue Heron yarns which I love and if they had been our only stop I would have most likely bought. Most likely next time. I just love they way they feel and they way they treat the yarns but, they are pricey. They also carry the Pategonia cotton at the same price so if I want more I can go back there because parking is free and they will wind for me (love that!) They did have some Wool in the Woods Gold Dust that sparkles a little in a lottery colorway in purples and a Wool in the Woods Sugarbee in Citrus. The nice lady wound it all for me
All in all it was an extremely eventful trip. Bought tons of yummy yarn that I need to figure out projects but, I am sure they will call to be. The organic cotton already is going to be a baby kimono I think.
Oh and in every yarn shop I showed the pattern RandomRanter sent to me for a floppy brim hat and they helped me adjust it to something that I could manage so, thank you very much I think I have a hat to make my Mom for her trip!


B said...

It sounds like you had a lot of fun! Blue Sky Alpaca organic cotton is one of my fave yarns. It's great for baby stuff since it only gets softer. That's cool to have so many yarn stores near each other that you can make a trip out of it. I can't wait to see the rest after you get it back.

Frances said...

I'm drooling just listening about your yarn crawl. Let me know if you ever do a repeat and want company!