This is mostly a knitting blog. Sometimes pictures of things I've made, sometimes not. I'm a guy who knits, I usually attend a men's stitch 'n' bitch on Monday nights, and I prefer natural fibres to artificial ones. I have a love-hate relationship with bamboo yarns: I love what they can do and how they look, I hate how they are made. I've been knitting since about 2003, though I really didn't get into it until 2005, while convelescing with a broken leg. I must have discovered something good, 'cause I'm still knitting years later.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Greater Boston Yarn Crawl and Rude Reality

The GreaterBoston Yarn Crawl occurred a couple of weekends ago. The original post I had planned and which I wrote in my head talked about how I couldn't afford to buy more yarn, that I now had 30 large bins to house my yarn stash, that I will have to move all these bins, and store them in a house that will have living space of about 1000 square feet (well, I hope it's that large), and that I hadn't really knit up anything from the yarn I got at last year's Yarn Crawl (except for those two skeins of Art Yarn that I got at the Creative Warehouse, but the rest of the yarn is still in my stash). Let's face it: The last thing I need is more damn yarn.

That is the post I planned to write. Rude Reality, however, had quite a different agenda for me, alas. Nicole and I visited a grand total of six yarn stores, beginning Friday night. I was so good. At the Stitch House in Dorchester, the MadTosh was on sale for $18 a skein, and I bought nary a bit. I looked at it. I felt it. I weighed the merits of one colour over another. But none of it came home with me. I must also admit here, if I am to be honest, that I have a fair amount of Tosh in my stash, since I bought most of what was on offer when the beloved and much lamented Windsor Button Shop closed its doors a couple years ago.

Stitch House, Dorchester. All the Madeline Tosh!

On Saturday morning, Nicole and I got an early start on the Crawl. We were going to get our Passports stamped, pick up some free patterns, and enter the drawing for the big baskets of goodies that most of the stores were raffling off. This is where Reality got rude. The first store we hit was the Iron Horse, in Natick. I love this store, and it's the first time I'd visited it since last year's Yarn Crawl. Not having a car makes it difficult to get there. The owner and her colleague remembered me, and gave us a very warm welcome. On Saturday Berroco yarns were on sale. I decided to buy some Ultra Alpaca, a 50-50 blend of wool and alpaca. But I couldn't find a green I liked, so I got the Vintage. As I sit writing this, I looked at the fibre content and discovered that it is 52% acrylic. I don't knit with acrylic, and so I will see if I can sell, trade, or gift this yarn, and I'll get something else. I'd like to make the Deathflake* hat pattern (free on Ravelry) for a friend. But now I see I'll be getting some other yarn. I still like Iron Horse. It's not their fault that they don't know my prejudice against artificial fibres, and my fault that I didn't check the fibre content before I bought the yarn.
Iron Horse, Natick. I love this store, even though I didn't get what I wanted.

The next stop on our itinerary was the Black Sheep Knitting in Newton. Beautiful yarns, a kick-ass raffle basket, but I didn't buy any yarn there. I did, however, enable someone to buy lots of yarn, discussing what colours a boy would want to wear in a hat. That was a lot of fun. If I can't buy yarn for myself, I'm always happy to help someone else buy yarn.
Baah Yarn at Black Sheep Knitting. This is a great yarn to work with.

We moved on to the Creative Warehouse next. There are some lovely yarns there, but again, I didn't buy any yarn. But I saw some stuff I would like to go back and checkout some time. The crew there is friendly, and Nicole and I fell in love with an expensive skein of yarn ($104) to make a shawl. I liked the blue, she liked the red. We'll save our pennies to buy it some day.

The penultimate stop was the Island Yarn Company, in Waltham. The GPS took us there via back roads, including one unpaved road that was hell on our bladders. But Island Yarn is wonderful! A good selection of yarn there is dyed by the owner, and yes, I did buy two skeins of chunky yarn. The gorgeous Tanzaneta blue yarn, and the yarn designed for this year's Crawl, as yet unnamed, known as GBY2015. I got the chunky weight, and it reminds me of the latter moments of a sunset, right before night falls.

Our final stop was Mind's Eye Yarns in Cambridge. I have loved this store for many years, and when I lived in Somerville, it was always my go-to store for just about anything I needed, knit-related. I bought a small kit of Malabrigo lace weight, three skeins pre-packaged with a pattern. This was a special sale item for the weekend, and the colours I got were orange, red, and black. I'm thinking a cowl for a friend, done as a gradient. The Plymouth yarn was on sale for Saturday, and if I'd had more money, I would have bought some of the deep, dark blue. It was so pretty. But I suppose I have enough blue yarn. There was a new alpaca/merino blend in natural shades there, but it was a bit too pricey for me, and it can wait until I am a bit more flush before I add it to my stash.

Several of the stores had visiting yarn companies giving trunk shows. The only one that really piqued my interest was Toil and Trouble, from Salem, MA, at Mind's Eye. She had some beautiful hand dyed yarns on display, and again, I wish I had more money, so I could have bought her out.
Toil and Trouble yarns, at Mind's Eye. 
I can't wait to add these to my stash. 
I might even knit them up!

I guess I could say it was a successful Crawl, in one way, since I scored some beautiful skeins of yarn. It was not a successful Crawl in another, since I had not intended to buy any yarn at all, and only went with Nicole to keep her company. Really, though, who am I kidding? There was absolutely no way I was going to go on a yarn crawl through some of the best stores in the Boston area without buying any yarn. As they say, “Don't pee on my back and tell me it's raining.”

*There is also the Deathflake 2 pattern.

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