Monday, June 06, 2005

rippity rip rip rip...

La la la… So, Friday evening I went to the my favorite local yarn store, Needlework Unlimited. Now there are other stores with ‘cooler’ yarns, better atmosphere/ambience, etc, but I’m sorry, this store rocks. Why does it rock? Well, let me tell you why.

#1 – Their people know their shit, for the most part. You ask them a question and they have their calculator going, they are figuring stuff out, etc. With the minor exception, they are the real thing. They know what’s up. They are a great resource, even over the phone! It’s nice not to be surrounded by idiots for a change.

#2 – They have a system for their yarn. It’s not just haphazardly around, you can pretty much tell what the organizational scheme is and you can find what you want. I hate wandering around a yarn store thinking, “WTF is going on here? Where is anything?’ On most yarns they have a little 3x5 card with the yarn name, price, and gauge on it, and it’s mostly color coded as well. This is so nice, you can usually tell at a glance what yarn works for your project. Plus so many yarn stores you are searching for the price, you have no idea how much most things are. I would say that 95% of the things at NU are either right by their displayed price, or have it on them. Then when I was there Friday night, I had settled on a yarn and suddenly realized that I knew I needed 700 yards, but needed to figure out how many balls I needed. Looked down and there was a calculator. They have calculators EVERYWHERE! How helpful! Most yarn stores I need to whip out my cell phone and putz around trying to figure out how to use the calculator on it, screw it up a few times before I am able to figure out how much I need and how much it will cost me.

#3 – They have a great solid selection. Yes, other stores have the recycled silk sari yarn, etc. NU does have a selection of novelty yarns but has a great selection of classic yarns.

So the store has standard retail fluorescent lighting and doesn’t have a very cozy place to sit and knit. Whatever, to tell you the truth, I have never sat in a yarn store and relaxed and knit anyway!

So, now that my LYS review is over, here’s my story.

Cori goes to Needlework Unlimited after work on Friday. They close at 6:00, she gets there sometime after 5:00. Looks around a little. NU employee asks if she has any questions. Cori shows her Chickami pattern, tells of her unhappiness with Rowan Handknit, of her inability to wear most wools (plus this is a tank top for gods sake, who wears wool blends in the summer???) and they are off. NU employee shows her no less than 4 different yarns of varying prices (nice!). Of course Cori falls in love with the last yarn, and the most expensive (although I didn’t figure out the project cost of each yarn, others might have been more total…). It is Lana Grossa’s Point yarn. It is a cotton with just a little elastic for stretchiness. I got it in a gorgeous bright purple.

new chickami yarn!

I started knitting with it Friday night. It is AMAZING. I LOVE IT! While it will split on you very occasionally if you aren’t paying attention, but it doesn’t take THAT much attention and once you get the hang of it, it goes VERY quickly. It makes a very soft fabric with great drape and feel. And I love the stretch! Whoohoo! I wonder what else I can make with this yarn…

Saturday I returned my wool/rayon yarn to the Yarn Café. And I didn’t even buy anything while I was there, yea!

Unfortunately, to go along with the subject of my post, Saturday night I tried on my new chickami. Now I had gone down a size since last time, but with the stretch in this new yarn it was too big again! Bummer. I thought it over for just a little bit before ripping it AGAIN. I restarted on Sunday with the next size down (the smallest size of the pattern! And I am not that small!) and with a smaller needle as well. It seems to be going well so far, I tried it on last night once I had an inch or so just to make sure it wasn’t too SMALL now. It appears to fit well so far. YEA!

new swatch
let's swatch!

To add to my ripping fun, I had my sister (check out her blog!) try on my mom’s birthday socks on Saturday night. Yup, too small. So I’ll be ripping out what I’ve started of the toes and making another repeat of the butterfly lace. I’ll have her try them on again before starting the toes next time. Bummer. Oh well, I still have a few weeks on those, I’m not worried at all.

A big fat shout out to the people at Needlework Unlimited, they rock! I have to say that NU has yet to let me down. I can’t say that about any of my other LYSs here in the twin cities. More reviews to come in the future!

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