Goldi's Locks of Yarn

My place to discuss my raging obsession with yarn and crochet along with happenings in my life and the world at large

Sunday, July 10, 2005

My first LYS experience... Uh oh! I'm in trouble now!

This past week has been a very busy one, resulting in my getting hopelessly backed up with many things. I spent most of my free time concentrating on getting a couple of "small" projects completed for my secret pal. I put the word "small" in quotes because that's what they should have been, and not been something that would end up taking me a full week to complete! But this is me we're talking about here, and I seem to be suffering an extreme level of ADD or something, because things that normally take a few hours to do are taking me days...

Well, I can rail on about that, it seems to have become my secondary mantra here. But I am happy to report that, all struggles aside, they are both now done, have been washed and dried and are ready to be packed and shipped, hopefully tomorrow. I am now starting on my piece de resistance (with apologies for my sloppy French, just mentally put that accent in there please!) for my reveal package. This is a much bigger project than the two little ones it took me a week to complete, but I've done this kind of pattern before so I am hoping it will go much more quickly and smoothly. If it turns out like I'm envisioning it, it should be spectacular, I think - wish me luck!

Also, on the weekend front, yesterday I made the trek to mom's again. She had called me at work on Thursday and requested it, and I was more than happy to oblige - I think we are finally getting to that point in our relationship that I had always longed for, and it tickles me pink. We had a grand time together, as I ran her around town for some errands and to hit the bank for a cash transfusion (which actually started the trek, logically!), plus we stopped for a late breakfast/early (for me) lunch, guess you would call that a brunch lol!

After I left mom's, I decided to drive all the way to the far northeast side of Chicago (a bit out of my way for the highway home) to have my first experience with a LYS. I'm not sure if this was a mistake or not...

Okay, so JoAnns is having another big sale this week, started today as a matter of fact. I had plotted and planned, and gathered up several coupons I had managed to amass for even bigger savings, and I was planning on going there today to clean up on their clearance yarns, especially the Lustersheen and Cottonease they had marked down to $3 a ball, which for this sale would further be reduced another 30% (not quite as good as the Firefly Frenzy sale, but still not a shabby deal). I have never used Lustersheen before, but I do have a lot of patterns that call for it, and I am further highly interested in stashing as much sport and fingering weight yarn as I can lay my hands on, as these are best for making summer-weight items, so I was really looking forward to this. In fact, I went through the targeted JoAnns TWICE last week, last time on Friday, to check their inventory of the clearance yarns and make sure they still had a good deal of my coveted yarns available, which they did. I had my coupons, I had my list, I had my plans and I was good to go. And then I stopped at Arcadia Knitting...

My plan, after having spent an entire week browsing and drooling over the Patternworks catalog I'd received in the mail last Tuesday, was simply to go see some of these yarns in person and pet them, but not buy - oh no, not that! I had already determined how much I could squeeze out of my budget and still get by, for my planned JoAnns excursion. But I didn't factor in the immediate and complete crush I would develop over one particular yarn, such that I absolutely could not leave that store without it! And, since I was already blowing my budget, I decided to pick through the basket of marked-down yarns they had as well. All told, by the time I managed to escape that store, I'd blown my yarn budget and then some! I (being the silly gal that I am) still held out a small bit of forlorn hope that I might be able to jimmy the budget to allow me to still make the trek to JoAnns today, but after updating my spreadsheet, unless I could borrow some money next paycheck (which is where I go into the red) AND get some decent overtime (still waiting for that to start), I haven't got a prayer. So, reluctantly, I cancelled today's trip. I couldn't even justify the extra gas I would have had to burn to make the drive (the store is near where I work). I may stop by there tomorrow on my way home from work to see if anything is left, which I kinda doubt, and maybe spend a little bit of my set-aside lunch money, maybe. It's hell being a yarn addict, I tell ya! But I must admit, it's good for the figure, lol!

So, what was the yarn that captivated me so? This:
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The store was not real remarkable, as far as design goes, it was pretty utilitarian with little effort made at fancy decorating, just two large storefront rooms with metal shelving units full of yarn, pattern books and tools of the knitting trade, sample swatches and some completed projects made from some of the inventory, and a large folding table in the first room for people to sit and knit. Nothing fancy to speak of - except the yarn! They had it all arranged by color, yarns from many different companies, some familiar many not, most of it very pricey indeed!
To be honest, fancy decorating was probably not all that necessary anyway, as there was a singular sense of focus in this shop, and that was knitting. There were two gals there when I first walked in, but more people came in to take up positions around the table while I browsed, everyone working on sweater projects as far as I could see. I wandered among the shelves, picking up a ball here, a hank there, to pet and read labels and ooh and ahh quietly to myself. At one point, one of the two gals came up to me to ask if I needed any help, or if I was looking for anything in particular. I couldn't help it, I asked: "Can I just take the whole shop home?" She smiled and said they didn't have a bag big enough, lol! And she left me to my browsing, which I proceeded to do, all while trying to keep the drooling unobtrusive. But I was able to resist the siren call of all that yarn - until I came to the black section, the very last area of my browsing. One yarn drew me to it like a magnet, and despite it's price, and my awareness of my plans for shopping at JoAnns, I could not leave the store without it! There were 3 balls of it on the shelf, and frankly I don't know how I had the self-control to leave the third ball behind, but I did - and I'm still regretting it, lol! This would be the yarn at the front of the above picture. It is called Ritratto from S Charles Collezione and is made in Italy, a blend of Mohair, Viscose, Nylon and Polyester, and Lordy is it ever soft! And sparkly. And very very rich looking. And I just plain had to have it! As expensive as it was (at $13.50 per ball), it at least has a pretty good yardage to it at 198 yards apiece. I am seriously considering giving the store a call to see about getting that third ball, which I really shouldn't have left behind...

Since I was blowing my budget anyway, I decided to throw all caution to the winds and went pawing through a basket of marked-down yarn they had as well, which is where I picked up the remaining yarn in the picture, all of it marked down 30%. Click here for a full-screen view of the above photo, and drool with me as I pet my way through the other yarns in my haul! The 3 hanks of Cherry Tree Hill cotton boucle is speaking "tank" to me, or perhaps a shrug - they have a combined yardage of 510, perhaps enough for a short-sleeved shrug, don't you think? The green yarn is from Blue Sky Alpaca, another very soft yummy yarn, and then there's the ball of green mohair (I was on a real mohair kick yesterday!)from Queensland Collection and made in Italy (I find it almost impossible to stop petting this one too!), this one was a real bargain at $3. There really isn't a whole lot of either of these two last yarns (110 yds of the Alpaca and 98 yds of the mohair), anybody got any good ideas on what I might be able to do with these?

So, herewith, is my tale of the first excursion to a LYS. I've learned that I will definitely have to avoid these stores like the plague unless I have plenty of money to burn, as I have zero self-control when a special yarn decides to call my name! But I gotta tell you, as damaging as it was to my budget and my plans, I have absolutely no regrets about yesterday's purchase, and that Ritratta continues to sing a lovely song to me! I just hope I can come up with the right project to show it in all it's glory! If I do manage to get that third ball, I will probably make a shawl or a wrap out of it, perhaps find some really fine black wool/silk blend yarn to complement it and make that butterfly shawl. I can picture that shawl in stripes of the Ritratta and said fine black yarn - picture it with me! But whatever pattern I settle on, my one requirement is that it be something that will allow this yarn to shine just like it did when I first laid eyes on it.


  • At 4:46 AM, Blogger Karla said…

    Wow that is really beautiful yarn! You'd better go get that 3rd ball! It's gorgeous!

  • At 8:43 PM, Blogger Jewels said…

    Good post - I enjoyed going to your LYS here with you...hard to leave a place like that. You picked out some beauties!

  • At 8:13 PM, Blogger goldi said…

    Yes, I do intend to go back - at my peril, I know! I will probably squeeze the gas money to come up with the necessary amount, but I plan to visit the next time I'm at mom's again, probably in another week or two.

    And jewels - so glad you enjoyed my little story! It was fun reliving it in the process of writing it up.


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