seattle yarn stores

cement flare

while in seattle i managed to score a private yarn shop tour from one of the native knit-obsessed locals: the one-and-only Meg. she and i hit four yarn shops in a half day — her favorites near to where i was staying in the wallingford neighborhood of seattle. wallingford is a lovely neighborhood replete with vegan and veggie places (mighty-o being my fav), the lovely green lake, and of course, all things wooly. so Meg and i set out on a zippy little tour while she regaled me with tales of yarn.

i don’t quite remember the order in which we visited shops, but i do remember grabbing a vegan carrot cake and small production root beer at a little cafe just across the street from bad woman yarn. at bad woman i scored some Sublime angora merino to make myself a scarf. the shop was lovely, quite new, great selection, and even some tiny round elastic which i will be sewing into the tops of some of my knee-length socks.

i think next up was weaving works. many people have written about the store, some positive, some not so positive. the shop keepers when i visited were quite helpful. i picked out a bunch of spinning stuff: various types of fluff which i hadn’t seen in stores (soysilk, tussah silk top), a set of medium schacht cards for blending fiber, and some angelina sparkle to blend into some funky batts. i wanted to try out some majacraft wheels with the majacraft wild flyer, but they don’t stock them at weaving works. i think they only had louet and schacht wheels.

we then zipped up the hill to the acorn street shop. the store is very cozy and packed to the gills with yarn. i beelined it to the sale section and scored some lace weight light teal colored kid mohair. they also had some beautiful turned wood drop spindles from somewhere in washington state, but i didn’t get one for fear of breaking it. the people who worked there were exceedingly nice, the nicest and most helpful of all the stores.

the last store we managed to get to before it closed was the fiber gallery. i picked up enough ecological wool for a sweater (three massive 250 gram skeins in a nice light greyish beige) and some natural black alpaca spinning fiber and bright blue dyed mohair locks from two different washington based farms. the fiber gallery carries a lot of sock yarn and quite a few brands of yarn i hadn’t seen in the other stores. the layout is quite open and there is a big table in the front where you can sit and knit or peruse some books.

thanks to Meg i managed to get my seattle yarn fix and then some! another cool tool for finding local yarn stores you might not have seen is knitmap. all the stores i mentioned are on the site. i will definitely try to get to portland someday to satisfy all my wool cravings.

catching snippets of sun in a’dam

i like it when cities have a theme. in copenhagen they have a symbol for the city, rome has framed portraits on the building facades, and in a’dam i kept seeing the xxx logo everywhere when i was there last month. the sun was fleeting, only two days out of my two week stay, but the city is quite photogenic. i still have a few photo shoots to sort through from my time there, but in the meantime feel free to peruse what i have posted so far.

xxx pole

xxx ticket

xxx ticket

a'dam: handwriting recognition and knitters

add white wine

when i was in amsterdam a few weeks ago (for work, consulting and to deliver some birthday socks), i received some gifts including the mint condition newton pictured above. it’s gorgeous, and i want to thank j-m for it profusely. i also received two classic macs with a ton of accessories to finally hook up my quicktake 100. j-m also brought a working ibm 5100 “portable computer” as show and tell. i sincerely appreciate this astounding vintage gadget generosity!

while in amsterdam i managed to stop by a knitting get together (pictured below and here). i met some lovely knitters including the adorably snarky andy and klozknitz (she was knitting pomatomii).

add white wine

the first afternoon i arrived (i traveled by train and i wasn’t alone on the return trip to berlin, otherwise i would not have been able to lug back two complete mac classics with accessories), it was sunny and i got to shoot a bit with my dslr. sunny a’dam rocks.

rows of orange rectangles

c'est pas d'la menthe a l'eau


the same weekend that i went for the rock en seine festival, gab and i went to the vogue exhibit at the bnf and then did a photo shoot on the esplanade of the building with bubbles. why bubbles? just because she had them. my favorite of the shoot is above, but there are plenty more.

while in paris i went by the anny blatt yarn shop in the marais (40 rue des francs-bourgeois) but it had closed a few weeks earlier. apparently the landlord did something tricky and awful and after 25 years, the woman who runs that shop will be running it out of her apartment instead. check her website for more info, i was just bummed i missed it by a few weeks. usually i go to la droguerie for a yarn fix, but i had already passed through earlier this year and have plenty of mohair and bamboo.

gab cheered me up when we realized neither the yarn shops nor the fiber optic cable shops were open. we had some pastries, i knit in public, and we ordered my favorite parisian over-priced cafe drink, the menthe a l’eau. we sipped our expensive minty freshness while gazing at the tour st. jacques, the longest restoration project i have ever known. whenever i drink menthe a l’eau i can’t help but thinking of the french band java when they sing:

java c’est pas de la menthe a l’eau
java c’est du rock’n roll
java c’est le vrai son parigo
la devise? sex accordeon et alcool


rock en seine resume

m.i.a. on purple

i’m what you might call very behind on documenting this summer’s activities, so i am going to be working in reverse chronological order. my sister bought me tickets for my birthday to go see rock en seine at the parc de st. cloud outside paris. m.i.a. (shot i took of her above) was awesome in person, and she noticed that the french kid crowd was a bit behind the times. my sister gab and i had a good time despite the crowd’s apparent lack of willingness to move to a song they hadn’t heard on the radio. after all who could have a bad time watching the shins, arcade fire, dinosaur jr. and the hives live? incidentally people seemed most into 2manydj’s despite them not really being a rock band, but they rocked in their own way and they were as well known by the crowd as arcade fire.

while gab and i rocked out, i got up the courage to take lots of photos of strangers, like the girls in the galoshes pictured below. gab even caught me in action snapping a bajillion photos. i was far from the only photographer, for every 20 people there was someone with a dslr shooting away. there were plenty of fashionistas and rocker kids sporting boots and silly hats. gab represented by wearing a devil hat (pictured far below), one which my mom sewed for a halloween costume over a decade ago. so thanks gab for a rocking birthday present, i sincerely enjoyed it!

cheery cherry galoshes


rss feeds are for yarn

beaming at the wollmeise goodness

i fixed my rss feed code (please update your feed reader to this new friendly link, and to celebrate wanted to share some pictures from the trip to benediktbeuern (south of munchen/munich) two weekends ago. above from left to right are tini and ms. b in the foreground, and das schneeschaf in the background. ms. b is one of the terrific trio who make up the knitters uncensored podcast (they organized this get together in benediktbeuern), the other two are of course the eponymous elemm and the omg-she-cracks-me-up cashyie. pictured below are some of the worsted weights from the wollmeise (her new shop) which we got to fondle in person (the yarn, not the person, though claudia is the sort of person you want to hug spontaneously regardless of her yarn). the bottom photo is the lovely deknit, my sp10 upstream pal who sent me all sorts of amazing packages this past spring. she came all the way down from bremen (even farther north than berlin), so we are planning to meet up in the north of deutschland next time, since it would be much closer. in benediktbeuern we had fabulous weather, great yarn, great people, and yes, even for vegetarians in bavaria, good food.

worsted weight reds and oranges

worsted weight reds and oranges

here be dragons

look here be dragons

not only have i added a bajillion photos from this summer’s photographic efforts to my new photo home, i have also finally updated the cms for new features include a link from the at the top of each page, friendly text links, and a new, semi-b0rked rss feed. so to paraphrase house of pain, click up, click up, and click around, click up, click up and click DOWN. and, yes, i am painfully aware that commenting is still not enabled. it will happen very soon i promise! also new this week, i have been guest blogging over on hackaday. at least there you can leave me a comment (but beware of the nasty comment trolls, over there, there be dragons). *smile*

[photo above: random strangers at the jardin des plantes in paris pointing at a dragon built of recyclable materials]

take me there: the outer hebrides

Soay sheep on Hirta

[photo of soay sheep on the outer hebrides by Commonorgarden under a creative commons attribution-nonCommercial 2.0 license]

i’m posting this since it has been a while since i did my last take me there post, and since bobbi is running an sp10 contest as to the best travel destination for some knitting. personally i don’t mind knitting in an urban environment but because of my love for all that is insular, i nominate the outer hebrides. i’ve never been to scotland and the outer hebrides has some very interesting local ecology (beyond even the rare sheep) as well as some fantastic islands to chill out on. oh yeah and the knitting rockstar starmores hail from there, minor detail. now for the contest questions:

1) what do you pack to knit?

i would definitely pack plenty of sock knitting including knee highs and probably a larger piece like a blanket or heavy wrap or a large sweater to work on to keep my lap warm in the local climate of the hebrides.

2) what do you hope to shop for?

starmore yarn, locally spun wool, and local patterns.