Monday, January 3, 2011

Vacation- One LYS at aTime

As most of you know, I was on vacation between December 26-January 1st. I had a great time traveling up the California coast. It's one of my favorite trips, despite the long hours in the car from San Diego to San Francisco. We decided to work our way slowly up and then work our way back down until we ended up back in Los Angeles where we could pick up Milo, our Corgi, from my parents before going back home.

Heading up the coast, we didn't have much planned except for a hockey game in San Jose, where my husband's and my favorite hockey team were playing! We couldn't have planned it any better. They even won 4-0! I was lucky to not be beat up by the crowd as I celebrated wearing my LA Kings jersey.

Beyond the hockey game, we knew that we would be visiting a ton of tiki bars (my husband's interest) and a ton of yarn stores. Our trip definitely didn't disappoint. We went to all the LYS that I had planned, and even threw in a few more for good measure. Here is what I got at each stop along the way (and yes, I counted this yarn into my yarn diet)!

  • San Luis Obispo, CA- Yarns at the Adobe: We got a room at the Madonna Inn, a place I had always wanted to stay. Each room is themed (we stayed in the Cabin Still room) and we had a blast. The next morning, I had a yarn shop on my list. The shop was small (it was in the old part of San Luis Obispo across the street from the missions), but had a lot of yarn crammed into it. I was so excited to see they had hand-dyed yarn, a perfect way to remember this stop on the trip. The first picture below is a hand-dyed skein of worsted yarn. I don't know what I will use it for, but I couldn't resist. Below that, I got two skeins of Mirasol Yarn, Akapana in teal. I thought I may make this with it, but I'm not 100% sure. I know I do want to make a cowl though.

  • San Luis Obispo, CA- Beverly's: Surprisingly, when we were trying to find a parking spot for Yarns at the Adobe, we ran into a Beverly's. I have one close to home, but wanted to see if this one carried Red Heart's new boutique yarns, as mine does not. Beverly's website carries it, so I figured some of their box stores would. I wasn't disappointed! I was lucky enough to get three skeins of Red Heart Boutique Swirl. I can't wait to use it. I'd been wanting to try some of their boutique yarns, but didn't want to order it online. Wanting to pick a dyelot I wouldn't normally choose, I let my husband pick which colorway I bought. I normally go toward the blues, so he picked brown, which I'm very happy with. It's crazy soft. I'm not sure what I want to make with it, but I have a little over 300 yards. I was thinking something like this, the Reversible plaited scarf.

  • Santa Clara, CA- The Bobbin's Nest: Next up, we headed to San Jose for the hockey game. It was great fun, and our hotel was crazy nice for the price and even a short walk to the arena. We couldn't have asked for a better night. The next morning, I searched for LYS in the San Jose area and found The Bobbin's Nest in Santa Clara, just a few short minutes from downtown San Jose. I wasn't sure about this shop before visiting, but it had to be my favorite of the trip and one of my favorites I've ever visited. They had a great selection, the store was roomy and the staff was awesome! I was lucky enough to hit a sale, and found a great sock yarn, Hazel Knits, that was dyed just for the shop. I bought the last skein of the colorway they had! I also bought some wood buttons there that I can't wait to use when I learn to knit socks (the buttons are in a picture further down).

Berkeley, CA- Stash: Originally we didn't plan to stop in Berkeley, but we had some time to kill between tiki bars. We were in Emeryville at the original Trader Vics, so I looked up yarn stores in Berkeley on Ravelry since it was a short drive from where we were. We had a hard time finding the store, parking a few blocks down and walking the rest of the way in the rain, as they had moved recently and didn't have a sign outside. I liked the selection at this store, but wasn't crazy about the store/staff themselves. They were friendly enough, but a new knitter had questions about a yarn while I was there and the lady seemed a little rude to her in my opinion. I ended up getting two skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca in sport weight. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, but I love these two colorways together and the yarn is crazy soft. Unfortunately, the yarn is super soft in the hank, but reading comments on Ravelry, people say it's a little itchy. Considering I have crazy sensitive skin, it can't be anything too tight/close to my skin. Any ideas are welcome.

  • Berkeley, CA- Pegasus Books: Since we had time to kill, we walked around Berkeley a little bit and happened into this bookstore. They had a mix of new and used books, so of course I headed to the craft section. They had a TON of books, it was so hard to choose from. I finally ended up with The Yarn Girls' Guide to Beyond the Basics. The projects are a little hard for me now, but I love some of the patterns and thought they would be great for later on. Does anyone else have this book?
  • Carmel, CA- Knitting by the Sea: Carmel is a funny area. It reminds me a lot of Del Mar. I wanted to go to this yarn store, but wasn't holding out much hope. Like Del Mar, Carmel is kind of ritzy and stuck up, so I expected this yarn store to fit that bill. Fortunately, it didn't. It had a GREAT selection and the lady was so amazingly nice (as was her dog!). She asked me what I was working on and what kind of yarn I liked. I felt like she saw me as a person, instead of a sale. She, too, was having a New Year sale, and I wanted something that was universal. She suggested the Plymouth Worsted Superwash and I couldn't turn it down. There were tons of colorways to choose from, and I picked these three (not in the blue family I must add). I want to make a stripped scarf from them, so if you have any suggested of patterns, I'm open. Each skein is 218 yards, so I have a lot to work with. Can these colorways be any prettier?

  • Monterey, CA- The Twisted Stitch: We were randomly driving around Monterey where we were staying, looking for a place to park the car for a tiki restaurant that was on my husband's agenda when we drove by a shop called The Twisted Stitch, and wondered if it was a yarn store. While we were eating lunch, I quickly looked it up on Ravelry, but didn't find a thing. Then I Googled it, and found that sure enough, it was a yarn store! Luckily, we were parked close, but were running out of time (it was a 90 min parking spot) after we finished lunch. My husband said we could run there if I could shop fast. Luckily, on their site, I saw that they sold Malabrigo. Who could turn that down? As you may remember, I just recently bought Malabrigo Chunky, but didn't have any in a worsted weight. I flew into the store and went straight for it. Luckily, I instantly fell in love with a colorway. The lady was awesome (and British!) who owned it, saying that she just opened the store a few months ago. I was so happy to give her business! I bought two skeins and can't wait to use it, though I have no clue what I will make from it. Isn't it beautiful?

  • Pacific Grove, CA- Monarch Knitting: I actually had high hopes for Monarch Knitting since their site has so much stuff. It was easy to find and had a beautiful location. I will say though, it had a much more box store feel than it did a LYS. It was big and had a great selection, but also carried lower end yarn and it was almost too big. If I lived in the area, I would probably go there over my local Joann's or Michaels, but it wouldn't replace my LYS. I figured I would go out with a bang before the yarn diet, so I purchased my most expensive skein of yarn there. That's right, I am now the proud owner of a skein of Madelinetosh Vintage. I could only buy one skein, but I'm still proud of it. I broke my blue rule on the trip for this, as I couldn't pass up this beautiful colorway. I think I may want to make , Thermis, with it, but I don't have the skills yet, so will have to wait until I get a little better at knitting.

  • Monterey, CA- Cannery Row Antique Mall: Monterey is one of our favorite cities we've ever been to, so when we realized we had a chance to visit there this past month, we couldn't turn it down. Last time we were there, for our honeymoon, I sadly had pneumonia (crazy timing with being sick right before this trip, isn't it?) so we didn't get to do a ton, but we did find the Cannery Row Antique Mall. Last time (3 1/2 years ago), I wasn't into knitting/crocheting or even crafting, so I didn't realize the amazing items that this antique mall had to offer. This time I did! They, too, were having an and of year sale where every stall had a percentage off. I got some amazing stuff! My husband and I are really into the 1940-60's, so when I found old pattern books from the 40's-60's I knew I had to buy them. My favorite is The Men of Action from Beehive yarn. I can't wait to get good enough at knitting to make a few of these sweaters, along with a few socks/slippers and hats/scarfs from the other books. As you can see, I also found size 5 US antique needles. They are in great condition, except for the end a little rusted. The stall had a bunch of sizes, but these were my favorite, and I don't own size 5, so it worked out perfect. I also got a great collection of antique buttons (all from the antique mall except for the brown top middle row which I got at The Bobbin's Nest) that I'm sooo excited about. I can't wait to use them for cowls, hats and sweaters.

  • Woodland Hills, CA- Tuesday Morning: Since we had an extra day in LA when we got back into Southern California (and I had another day left before the yarn diet kicked in) I thought I would head to the Tuesday Morning's in my parent's area. I don't have one too close, so I like to visit this one whenever I'm in town. Last time I was there, I wasn't into knitting, so I was excited to see what knitting books they had to offer. As you know, craft books are so expensive, so when you can get them on the cheap, you have to snag them. These are the two I got, along with a skein of Knitting Fever Indulgence sock yarn that got a good rating on Ravelry, though I'd never heard of it. It's super soft and I loved the colorway.

That's it for the trip! I hope you enjoyed reading about it. I had a great time documenting each spot we stopped at.


  1. What a great post! I'm pretending I went to all those places with you! I love all your new yarn but especially the colors in the Malabrigo! YAY!

  2. Thanks, Alea! It was so interesting to see and feel the differences of each shop. I, too, LOVE the Malabrigo.

  3. Ooh, great stash enhancement photos! How wonderful to remember your trip with a skein or 2 from each stop!

  4. Shannon, thank you! Yeah, I thought it was perfect. I'll always remember where I got the yarn for whatever I decide to make with them. We had a very small Christmas knowing we'd be spending money on yarn and tiki mugs on the trip. LOL

  5. It looks like a fun yarn crawl you had. We are Blackhawks fans here.

  6. Looks like a fantastic trip with lots of lovely yarn

  7. Denise, not a good morning to tell me you're a Blackhawks fan after last night. ;) We did have a blast. I think even my husband enjoyed going to the different stores and seeing/feeling the different atmospheres.

    Halfpint, thank you! I can't wait to use it!

  8. MMMmmmmm Malabrigo! What a great color combination that is? What is the name of the colorway?

  9. suddenexpression, yes! I love the Malabrigo. The colorway is Plena

  10. Sounds like a fun trip - lots of stash enhancement souvenirs too! I like Knitting by the Sea, and Bobbins Nest is really great too. BN also has beautiful fabrics.