Monday, March 30, 2015

2015 LA Yarn Crawl

Sometimes there are weekends where there are no plans and something exciting happens.  On Saturday I was fully prepared to blog today, about our drive thru the Angeles National Forest...that still had snow in some areas where as the rest of LA was baking.  But then something truly amazing happened on Sunday.

Let me start off by saying that Gonzo is truly the best guy a girl like me could ask for.  Sunday morning started off with me in a grumpy mood due to some unforeseen apartment problems.  Gonzo, being the guy that he is, wanted to put a smile on my face and do something that I wanted to do, even though it was a rare weekend off from work for him and he probably just wanted to sleep late and veg out in front of the TV.

I asked to go to 2 yarn stores.  I knew about the 2015 LA Yarn Crawl that was happening, but I hadn't pre-ordered a Yarn Crawl Tote Bag, or really read the rules.  I just wanted to visit a new store and go to the one I was already acquainted with (the yarn crawl is an event that 29 yarn stores in LA County were participating in, where you could get free patterns, enter in raffles, get free buttons from each store, and shop at a discount on certain items- all in 4 days). 

We drove all the way to Wildfiber Studio in Santa Monica.  Gonzo is a good sport in yarn stores, he always manages to find at least one skein of something and insists I make him something.  He found the last ball of Rowan Pure Wool Worsted in a beautiful blue color, which he has requested a hat from (I will have to come back here to purchase the Rowan yarn I need to make a sweater for my dad):
I was persuaded at the register to obtain a passport before I left the store so I could decide if I wanted to visit any other stores or just turn the passport in at Wildfiber Studio to be entered to win a gigantic basket full of yarn, books, knitting notions and all sort of goodies.  I opted to hold onto the passport for a bit.
Gonzo, again, being the guy he is, figured that since we were in the area that we were in, we should hit up some other stores instead of rushing off to Unwind.  So we made our way to Compatto Yarn Salon.  I looked around, received my Yarn Crawl Stamp on what I was now referring to as my bingo card; obtained the now coveted button (that should go on the Tote bag that I was so irresponsible to not pre-order).  I didn't see anything that I absolutely couldn't live without at that exact moment, so we got back in the car and headed to The Knitting Tree L.A. I may have gotten a little carried away at this store. 
Three skeins of Madelinetosh Hand Dyed Yarns that I am absolutely in love with.  The colors from left to right are: Citrus; Ophelia; Chicory.  I plan on making at least one pair of socks from this group using one of the colors (I can't say which because they will be a present for someone that I haven't already made socks for), the other two may be knitted into shawls for presents. 

At this point in the day I assumed that Gonzo was done with all of the Crawling that we had done and was willing to either stop at the final location of Unwind or get some food.  He had a different idea, since we were in the area he wanted to see what other yarn stores might be close so we headed to Needlepoints West. These women were so welcoming!  Extremely helpful!  Once in this store I was so very thankful that Gonzo had said we should go here, as this was one of the stores that had a yarn colorway that I had been absolutely in love with since I saw it online.
Delicious Yarns made this awesome colorway specifically for Needlepoints West.  It's called Two Sweets- Sport Weight Color: Yarn Crawl 2015.  It's a beautiful self striping yarn that is brown heavy with splashes of pink and purple.  It's absolutely gorgeous!  I also obtained the free Cowl pattern that came with the purchase of this yarn and was told to call them for "tech support" if I ran into any problems when knitting it.  I'm still not sure I want to make a cowl with this yarn, but I might!  I want to point out that had I just been driving by Needlepoints West, I probably wouldn't have stopped.  I thought this was a needlepoint only store- I didn't realize they had such an amazing selection of yarns.  So very glad we stopped here!

Since we moved to CA, I have been meaning to stop by the Yarn Over Truck.  It's a truck that has yarn and knitting notions and drives all over the place stopping at various locations to sell their wares.  I'm happy to report that we drove all the way to The Purl Side in Glendora to locate (and get 2 shops taken care of in one stop) the Yarn Over Truck.
I feel like I unbuckled my seat belt and jumped out of the car to run to this truck before Gonzo stopped the car.  I received my stamp and several buttons while on the truck and a couple of free patterns.  I knew I wanted to buy yarn, but the truck was getting crowded, so I headed into The Purl Side to check out what they had. I saw several things here that I might want to go back and take a second look at, but didn't purchase anything.  I received my stamp and button and a free knit pattern and headed back to the truck.  There was yarn I needed to purchase to go with the free pattern I picked up when I had boarded the truck a few minutes earlier.
I picked up a skein of Anzula Luxury Fibers Hand Dyed Yarn Cricket in Navy and Minty.  These will definitely be making two presents for people. 

After fighting thru some bad traffic to head to Burbank to get to Unwind we finally made it.  I'm on their mailing list and was well aware of their Hello Kitty yarn colorways that would be in the store during the Yarn Crawl...I just prayed I wasn't too late to get a skein.  One of the particular yarns was gone...which is what happens when you wait until the last day and nearly the last hour of the event to shop...
But I did purchase the above colorway.  This is by Ancient Arts Yarns called Unwind Hello 1 Speckled.  I have a very special niece who will be getting a sweater out of this.  Originally I had intended on dropping off my passport at Unwind to be entered to win the giant basket full of goodies, but the kind women at Needlepoints West had told me there was another yarn store not too far from Unwind that I might want to checkout.  So we opted to head to The Altered Stitch to see what they had and figured that if I didn't like their basket, we could just go back to Unwind so I could drop the passport off.

Well things changed once we arrived at The Altered Stitch.  I was in love with this store from the minute I walked in the door.  The staff was very friendly (truly all of the yarn stores we visited had friendly staff, don't get me wrong- there's just some places that you instantly click with people, this was one of those for me).  They showed me all of their Crawl yarn specials; stamped my passport; gave me the button; gave me a class schedule; didn't hassle me when I couldn't make up my mind and wandered the store so many times I looked like I was casing the place.  I had promised Gonzo that Unwind was the last store I was going to buy yarn in...but there was a skein I saw and fell in love with.  I have no idea what I'm going to do with it.
Republic of Wool Hand Dyed Yarn for The People in the color Wild At Heart.  Again, I have no idea what I'm going to make with it, but I'll be happy to stare at it on a shelf until I figure it out.

Good news was right around the corner at the checkout...I qualified to have 2 raffle tickets put in the bucket for the 5pm drawing for a basket of yarn goodies (not the large basket that the passport would enter me in for, but a smaller just as awesome basket).  I almost said no.  We had been out since 11am and it was nearly 5, surely Gonzo would want to eat some food (since we hadn't stopped at all), or go home and rest.  But they said "there's only 6 other tickets in the drawing" I said "yeah, do it!  Put me in!".  I hung out for the next 20 minutes or so, while Gonzo went across the street in search of food.  I could tell there were regulars in the store, and I made some small talk with a few of the people both employees and yarn crawlers and touched nearly every skein in the place.  Gonzo made it back in time for the drawing and lets just say, I'm sure there are some Altered Stitch store regulars who have now painted a target on my back.
Because I won it!!!! 
This post is already becoming a little long, so I'll just list out what was in it instead of posting individual pictures:
- 1 "Comforts of Home: Simple Knitted Accents" book
- 1 bottle of Eucalan wool wash (laundry soap)
- 1 bar of luffa soap (smells delicious)
- 1 bottle of hand lotion
- 1 bottle of bath salts
- 1 bottle of bubble bath
- 1 wicker bee purse
- 1 pair of US 10 sized ChiaoGoo knitting needles
- 4 skeins of an unidentified self striping pink/purple/yellow/red yarn
- 3 skeins of an unidentified self striping blue/green yarn
- 2 shawl pins (could be stitch holders)
- 1 set of red gem stitch markers (5 total)
- 1 set of green gem stitch markers (5 total)
- 1 Black Tie Affair yarn in Costume (pinkish)
- 1 Black Tie Affair yarn in Aria (blueish)
- 1 Art Yarns Regal Silk in color 502 (stripping yarn in blue, yellow, green, pink)
- 1 Anzula Luxury Fiber Vera in Irene (light purple)
- 1 Stitch Cafe skein in color 5011 (light soft!!!)
- 1 Stitch Cafe skein in Coral
- 1 set of Double Pointed Needles in a fabric drawstring bag.  Size US 3

Oh and I dropped off my passport at The Altered Stitch, so fingers crossed!  Maybe I'll win the grand prize basket?

So Sunday, for me, was AMAZING!  8 of the 29 stores visited in 6 hours, too much yarn purchased and a basket full of stuff I don't know what to do with (at the moment).  I feel like it was Christmas.  I kept doing a happy dance in the car on the way home while singing "I won the basket! I won the basket!"  and I only sang that to myself because I haven't won anything in so long it feels like a different lifetime ago.  

Next year I'll be better prepared.  Maybe more organized, like a certain woman Unwind video'd showing her tabbed binder with maps and what free pattern was going to be at what stores.  Truly a work of art in itself.  I just wasn't prepared for the amazingness of The LA Yarn Crawl.  Hope you all had fantastic weekends too!

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