Thursday, April 10, 2014

Almost done, barely begun

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I have done a terrible job of keeping you up to date on my grey sweater. As you can see above, the pieces have all been knit and blocked. Next step is seaming. Seaming always takes me a while to get to, since I feel I need a stretch of time when I won’t be interrupted, I can take over the dining table, and I’m not tired. These times seem to be in short supply. But soon, I shall do it. This sweater has 3/4 sleeves and would be very appropriate for these spring days here, so I need to finish soon!lark crop

This green yarn is my next sweater. It is Lark, by Quince & Co, a 100% wool worsted yarn that is round and springy and soft. I wish you could reach out and touch it. The color is a vibrant emerald green called “cypress.” I bought this at A Verb For Keeping Warm in Oakland, California, which is a destination LYS if there ever was one. There are lots of fantastic LYSs out there, but some are truly unique and this is one of them. I first encountered Verb when I visited their booth at Sock Summit 2009 (I eagerly returned at Sock Summit 2011). Would you like to see the store? I took some photos!IMG_2961

(By the way, I was in the East Bay area for nearly a week because I went to a class at bepress headquarters in Berkeley. What a great week. Oakland is right next door to Berkeley so I planned this visit before I even bought my plane ticket.)IMG_2951

Verb is known for natural dying and American yarns (including some truly local California yarns). Above is a wall of mostly fingering weight yarns dyed in house. You can see that the palette is a bit more muted because of the natural dyes (their booth was such an oasis in the midst of a lot of clown barf yarn at Sock Summit 2009). I resisted this wall mostly because I have a lot of shawls and a lot of fingering yarn already. But oh, so tempting!IMG_2952

They also carry large quantities of both the Brooklyn Tweed yarns, Shelter and Loft. I got very interested in a color of Loft (the color “Almanac,” a beautiful blue), but they didn’t have a sweater’s worth…so I resisted. And I just knit a sweater from Shelter, so again…I resisted. I pet a lot of these skeins, though:IMG_2953

They also had a small amount of Pioneer, Verb’s own signature yarn (organic merino raised in California) – but I didn’t love the colors they had in stock and it just didn’t feel like the right purchase that day. But I pet a lot of these skeins, too:IMG_2954

One thing I love about this store is that every detail is treated with care and artistry, often with a natural, botanical theme. This is a rack on which sample garments hang – it’s a lovely branch and part of it is encased in knitted fabric:IMG_2949

See this opening between the shop and the office? A branch and yarn create a screen effect (and little gnomes and snowmen hang from it, too):IMG_2959

Sewists, they also have beautiful fabric:IMG_2945

They have lovely notions whose purpose I don’t know, but I appreciated the display:IMG_2946

If you peek out the back door, you see a delightful garden with a dye garden and dying area. I so wanted to hang out back there (look at the door-colored chairs!):

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Back to the yarn I bought. I have had Sprig in my queue since the moment the pattern was released, and I decided to use this to make it. The pattern calls for Owl, another Quince yarn… and I selected some Owl at the shop – but they didn’t have enough skeins. Lark is the same weight/gauge so I hope it will be a good substitute. I knit a swatch, settled on a size, and cast on earlier this week. There isn’t much to show yet, but it’s still proof!IMG_3026

The other place I saw yarn in California was the Japanese dollar store, Daiso. I didn’t buy any (because really, what can you expect for $1.50? everything was $1.50), but I snapped a few photos. I do appreciate the knitting needles with contrasting tip colors. IMG_2969

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Spicy linen? Felt sweets, anyone?

We are well into April now, which means this knitter’s thoughts turn to thoughts of the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. Who’s with me?

2 comments:

Bonny said...

How clever of you to arrange a class so close to what looks like a really great LYS! I'm entranced by their natural dye colors (and everything else)!

Steven said...

A successful pilgrimage, indeed! I admire your restraint and level head during your visit. I so wish I could go to MS&W -- it's been too long. Maybe next year?