Every good yarn crawl should come with someone else behind the wheel. So when the reader's advisory librarian at La Crosse Public Library asked me if I thought we could fill a bus for a yarn crawl, I hastily agreed. We took names at the spring Knitting in Public Day.
The date was finally set for October 30. I had to get up at an entirely unreasonable hour to go. Gypsy was very confused that I was leaving the house before 7 a.m. That may be a more common occurrence now, *sigh*..
We headed out from the K-mart parking lot as the sky grew light. Our bus driver was a delightful man who teased us good naturedly about having so many beautiful women. I drank my coffee and knit and watched the sky lighten. I spend so much time behind the wheel, it's rare that I have the opportunity to just enjoy the scenery as it rolls by. I was a bit reminded that I can only knit for so long while riding in a car, I do get a smidge car-sick but nothing too awful.
The project was one of the endless City Shawls--but that's another post. Suffice to say at least one other knitter in La Crosse is working on the same pattern!
Our first stop was Yellow Dog in Eau Claire. This was my second trip to EC--my first having been for blueberries last summer. I'd heard a lot about Yellow Dog, it's touted as one of the best shops in the region, and is probably the most well known. I had heard of it before moving there, which to me says a lot. They are known for having a lot of really good teachers come in. I really wanted to take the Knitting Runes course that was offered a couple of years ago but the prospect of driving three+ hours in the snow of January made me hesitant. Still, I think runes as colorwork could be fun.
The store itself was a lot smaller than I expected. That's not a bad thing, I'm sure it's cozy generally, but 25 knitters made it just a tad bit squashed. And as we were all now fully awake, we were in the mood to shop. As the owner explained to us, she's one of the two stores in the US that is licensed to carry Garn Studios/Drops yarn, which is primarily found in the EU. So that is 90% of what she carries, all of the different types of yarn that they have. I had heard that in England one goes to a Rowan store or a xyz brand store and wondered if this was what is was like.
She'd also invited in an art yarns spinner to demonstrate for us that morning. I like art yarns but only in a bowl. It was lovely to watch her spin though and certainly a different way of approaching spinning. I am staying far far far away from wheels. I'm just mildly terrified that if I were to buy my own wheel, I would have to move again to a bigger apartment to accommodate all of the fiber. Did I mention I have no closet space in the new place?
I was a little disappointed at what was available in the shop. While the owner was very willing to order and ship us whatever we were interested in, I was there to tangibly shop. I was seeking the impulse buy and getting something out of a catalog that would then be shipped to me just wasn't quite the order of the day. There was a lot of variety but, for me, not quite enough quantity.
Not that I truly let that stop me. I found a sweater's worth of Karisma in a lovely aqua/sea foam. It's a DK superwash and will make a beautiful sweater if I ever get around to letting AudioGirl nag me into making one. As I am presently completely dissatisfied with the sweater contents of my wardrobe (one or two exceptions of course), this might happen sooner rather than later. Considering the amount of sweater quantities in my stash, this might not be a bad thing.
More on the rest of the trip in a bit...