Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My dream LYS

Elizabeth meet Artistic Knits. Or rather, Elizabeth’s Visa meet Artistic Knits. Well, you can’t go into a yarn shop just for buttons and NOT do a little stash enhancement, especially when all the shop stocks is hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn. Art yarn. From floor to ceiling. Be still my funky loving heart. And not a plastic button in sight.

I mean, when you pull up to a place and the car parked right behind you has this license plate, then you know you’ve found a little piece of merino heaven. And angora. And cashmere. And bamboo. And anything else those wonderful spinners can think of to make into yarn. I need to look up the patron saint of spinners and light a candle to them, because where would we knitters be without these gifted, talented artists?

I have to confess when I first walked into Artisan Knitworks, I was a little worried. Because the front half of the shop is devoted to arty hand knits for sale. Now usually, this would have my nose in the air, because I am, after all, a knitter, but the hand knits they had for sale were gorgeous and inspiring. Nose tucked back into place, I dove into the shop. And found myself in a room of sock yarn. Art sock yarn. All kinds of gorgeous, wonderful sock yarn. I did a silent shout out to Tiennie and wished she could be there, and then grabbed a few skeins before I turned around and found her there, having arrived a head of me and had been in the back using the facilities, having already had her way with the shelves. (Tiennie, just teasing—cause you know you are my sock hero.)

Now I'm not much of a sock knitter, but I do love the yarn. And I keep trying to fall in love with knitting socks, because I adore hand knit socks on my feet. But still, I don't need more sock yarn, so I started to back out of the room of when then this black/red/grey skein screamed “Make me into Monkies.” This 50% wool, 50% bamboo skein from Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm is divinely soft. Being the warm-hearted and red loving gal that I am, I found it impossible to walk past a screaming skein, so I grabbed it up, gave it a hug and tried to get out of the room before I found more temptation. Unfortunately the lady working there was blocking my path, ready to suggest more yarn for me to adopt, including this one:

This is a skein of Tiny Toes in "Irish Heather" from Interlacements. From the way she described how this yarn knits, it sounds like it works up very similar to Socks that Rock, so I was hooked. We talked socks, me being the only mildly interested sock knitter and her being one of those toe up, Turkish cast on, two at a time on two circs sock types. I envy you all, because while you're speeding along, I poke and purl at an endless pair on my dpns like some old grandma on the freeway. But she had me hooked and with a color like "Irish Heather" I couldn't resist. The blue in the picture is more a really, deep saturated purple, and the greens are rich and varied.

So with my arms already full and my Visa card starting to whimper inside my purse, not to mention my Stash at home already complaining about having to move over yet again, I swore to myself that I would make a beeline to the cash register. Instead, I found myself in the main room surrounded by too much yarn.

"Just came in for buttons," I reminded myself. "Don’t look left or right, just get to the cash register and get out of here." So I rounded the table of snacks set out for the knit in that was about to begin and found myself nose to nose with this:

Should have closed my eyes. Should not have looked. I am so the sucker for green and blue. This is from Dancing Leaf Farm in Maryland and the yarn is Tango, a 70% wool, 30% Mohair, that is in the Pansy colorway. It is a bulky worsted and has that feel to it that makes you think of a very warm sweater that is going to keep you so very cozy.

I immediately saw it in a top-down cardie. Something just in time for winter. Something to snuggle into when I have the house back to myself and I can work in blessed peace and silence. Really, I should be commended—you should have seen the pretty pink skeins of a variegated wool and angora mix that knitted into something that was just this side of heaven. But with my arms full, and the idea that I only had so much room in my suitcase (the open space made by the Brio train set I'd brought for the nephew--which seemed rather too big when I packed it in Seattle, but in hindsight it was a good idea because the hole it left was the perfect size for my much lighter yarn.).

You know the next time the husband says, "Honey, let's go to Detroit and visit my mother," I don't think my feet will drag quite as much and I'll know to pack light . . .


tiennie said...

I believe I heard you calling me - buy sock yarn, buy sock yarn!!! :)

Grace said...

Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I can't wait for the new iMac to arrive!

Interlacements is my new favorite sock yarn! Don't get me wrong, I still like STR, Wooly Boully, Lorna's Laces, etc. But I don't get as much pleasure from knitting those yarns as I do the Tiny Toes. Don't know why! Love your baby sweaters; they are all beautiful. Have you knit a tulip one yet? I think I may have to jump on the bandwagon and knit one of those babies up for my niece.