Warning, longest post ever, which makes me think I should post in shorter chunks more often.
What a trip! It was fabulous, people. I visited yarn shops, I went to hear the Harlot talk, I saw lots of knitters wearing their beautiful handmade goods, I ate good food. People were not lying when they said the Yarn Harlot was funny. I felt like I got two hours of free knitting-related stand up (if by "free" we mean the cost of a plane ticket). And she was right on point with the totally silly and unsubstantiated stereotypes non-knitters have about us. Like we're all socially inept and have no friends and nothing better to do so we knit. "Ha!", I laughed, eyes shifting nervously, "those crazy, crazy non-knitters. You so silly, you non-knitting, not-knowing-anything-about-me peoples, you," I continued, tiny bead of sweat running down my face. Crazy plastered-on grin, "no social life, soooo ridiculous!" And I'm sure you'll agree, and kindly not point out that I'm writing this on a Friday night.
On the down side, JerseyKnits, who I was supposed to meet but never actually got together with, did not ask the Harlot to sign her boobs, as far as I could see. And being the punk that I am, I didn't ask either. I had earlier suggested, both of us lacking in the boobal region (self-described! don't yell at me), that it might require all four of our booblets to get "Stephanie Pearl-McPhee" completely spelled out. But it seems it was not to be, and I find this disappointing for two reasons. One, I think it would have been hilarious to ask a knitting star to sign out boobs. And two, I was feeling a little boob-deprived. You would think I had gotten enough in South Africa, where by all measures, I saw about enough black breasts to lasts 17 straight guys' dreams for 17 years (17 is my number these days, I've counted about 17 thousand things as being "17" lately). So many breasts that by the end of the 17th "Festival of Topless 'Virgins'" (virgins, whatever you say) me and my group barely batted an eye. But no. And so I was disappointed.
Speaking of boobs (breasts have now become a recurring theme in this blog), let me offer you an example of what not to knit if you love your boobs. So there was a lot of hullabaloo about how Twinkle's new book Big City Knits had all these finished garments in it the chest circumference of the average person's head (like 22") in it. People were all worked up, "why can't we get away from anorexia as sexy" and so forth and so on. But the idea is supposed to be that knits stretch (I think we know this is true) and that chunky knits stretch even more. Okay, I decided to try it out. I'm a 34" bust. I swatched, I gauged (3.5 sts/inch), and I knit a vest at a 25" circumference. Which brings me to The Uniboob.
Cower with fear! The Uniboob sees all, with its giant darker-than-the-surrounding-area eye! Okay, maybe it's not so obvious in this pic, but trust me. It obviously fits, it obviously stretches, but it has to stretch so taut over the chest that there is not the slightest hint of a valley. Boo to that.
There are two pluses to this vest, though. First is the neckline, which I love. And the second is the back. Can you see it?
That's right. It says:
"Knitters are socially inept", ha! Proved them wrong, huh? Huh? Hello? Hey, no sass, or I'll sic the Uniboob on you! Anyway, I still remember the pattern, it's very basic, but I didn't write it out. Wasn't sure there'd be much demand for the Uniboob Vest.
So, back to the NY trip. I have to say I was kinda disappointed with the LYS I went to. I think I've been spoiled by my LYS (I love you, Loopy!), as I was generally not impressed, except with Seaport Yarns.
I went to Habu, which was all minimal and expensive, just like I expect a store of Japanese yarn to be. Really, the main room was just a beige mat in the center that had yarn on it, priced. That's it. There were benches along the wall, but you weren't allowed to sit on them. Then a tiny side room where everything was white and brown and priced by the ounce. Came away from there with nothing.
I visited Knitty City, which is a cute little store, but still more expensive than elsewhere. To be expected, I'm sure, as it's in Manhattan. What I wasn't expecting was for the Brooklyn store Knit-a-Way to be the most expensive of them all. Paton's Grace was $6.99! Cascade 220 was $7.99, the Plymouth chunky alpaca was $18, etc. And there were signs everywhere on how I was being monitored by security cameras. How can we pick out our murphies in such a place (not a word in your lexicon? check entry 2)? I didn't buy anything from either of these two stores.
I also went to School Products, which I was looking forward to because of their famous low prices for their own imports of cashmere and merino. But I swear, their cashmere and merino doesn't feel like the cashmere and merino I've felt before. It just doesn't feel as yummy, and I wasn't particularly excited about anything, so I didn't buy from there, either.
But Seaport Yarns was really fun. Just imagine an office suite, you know, reception desk, turn the corner, 4 or 5 offices down the hall, but instead of people working, every room and corridor is filled with yarn! I got lucky there, and after being disappointed elsewhere, made a second trip to this place. So from there I got these lovlies.
Blue Heron Rayon Metallic in "Water Hyacinth Copper" (a.k.a. "that's the spot") and Colinette Jitterbug in Marble
Aussie Wool (for friend to teach her to knit a hat), Louet Gems Pearl and Punta Del Este Mericash
The Mericash is exquisite, doesn't have any of that microfiber that the other "CashSomething" yarns have in them, and is nice and lofty. Cafe du Monde gloves, here I come!
But I was feeling all disappointed in my yarn field trips. I told the guy I was staying with that I thought the biggest yarn store, Webs, might be not too far. I saw it was a couple states away. I had my doubts, but he was like, nope, we can go, I'll drive. And he said this having a cast on his left arm. That's friendship, people ("friendship" is what we're calling it now). And so we went.
Look, people, look!
Webs has the biggest showroom I've seen for a yarn shop, but in addition to the showroom, there's a warehouse in back. A warehouse. Of yarn. A yarn warehouse. A large house, storing wares, which in this case, are all yarny. Eight long aisles of yarn goodness. And I cried, just a little.
And now to the Yarn P0rn that gives this post its X rating.
Louisa Harding Sari Ribbon and Webs' house brand Colrain (merino/tencel)
RYC Soft Lux in "Gigli" (whoever understands Rowan's naming practices?)
Rowan Chunky Print
Misti Alpaca Hand Dyed (alpaca makes me itch just a tiny bit, but in a "hurts so good" kind of way)
I will now let you all go take a cold shower. See you back here when you're decent.