Posts Tagged ‘lys’

24
Jun

A Verb for Keeping Warm

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, lys, travel, yarn

While I visited a lot of museums, my first stop when I go to a new city is the LYS. It makes me feel like I’m part of the community, like I could picture myself living there a little bit. Every store I’ve visited is different and really shows what the area is all about but at the same time it’s very familiar. There is no better home away from home for me than a LYS.

Speaking of homes away from home, I was just about ready to move in when I got to A Verb for Keeping Warm. I’d always wanted to go after seeing photos by other bloggers and it was so exciting to finally be able to make the trip. I decided to dedicate a day of my adventure to Oakland so that I’d have a good amount of time to spend at Verb. It was way more than what I’d expected!

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Verb is just a lovely shop with a great selection of the higher-end delicious yarns we all love. The fabric selection is something else. There were so many bolts that caught my eye, everything from organic, natural-dyed cottons to Japanese Nani Iro prints. There were a lot of things that wanted to go home with me. Verb recently released their first sewing pattern so I had to pick up a copy of that.

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Sarah gave me a little tour of the shop. Verb specializes in natural dyeing. They sell dyes (which I was VERY tempted to buy but have promised myself that I will not take up dyeing. I can’t have another hobby!) as well as their own line of natural-dyed yarns. I’m absolutely obsessed with these yarns and spent a long time petting them. Sarah explained that the fleeces come from a nearby organic cotton farm which is fertilized by sheep. The mill is also located within 90 miles of the shop and everything is dyed in house. I don’t think it can get more local than that.

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I wish I could’ve taken one of the natural dyeing classes while I was in town. Luckily, Verb’s owner Kristine Vejar is busy finishing up a book about the subject. Those of us who are not lucky enough to be in the Bay Area for lessons will soon be able to learn at home!

This bold red “Transitional Fury” really stood out to me so, I had to have it.

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My favorite thing about the shop is the garden. Not only is there a beautiful and sunny place to take your needles, there is a little garden of plants that can be used in natural dyeing. It really made me want to make better use of my window garden. Maybe a project for next summer? I got to meet Verb’s very own angora rabbit, Marcel. He was the sweetest! So soft and happy. He’s sheered four times a year and the angora yarn quickly sells out every season.

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I’ve certainly seen my share of LYSs. This one is definitely one of my favorites. I love it when a store not only is beautiful and friendly but has a really solid identity. Verb is really dedicated to being a great resource for all crafters and you can tell just by spending a few minutes in there. I’d love to take another visit (maybe when I can afford to bring more souvenirs home) and attend one of the classes there!

Have you been to A Verb for Keeping Warm? Do you want to learn more about natural dyeing?

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17
Jan

Further Reading 1/16/14

Written by Sarah. Posted in further reading

oud knitscene

I’m still feeling all dreamy over the Oud tank. I just love how it’s styled! Seriously, pick up a copy of Knitscene.  I’ve been so crazy trying to get Faro off the needles (it’s such a quick knit!) to wear to Vogue Knitting Live this weekend, I haven’t had time for much of anything else. (Also, I may have gotten sucked into reading Gone Girl. The book has completely taken over my life this week. I haven’t finished yet but I’m pretty close so save your spoilers!)

>>  CBS lists the five best knitting stores in NYC. I have a hard time choosing my favorite LYS in the city. I get asked that a lot. My answer: whichever one is closest! (Purl Soho, which I consider to be the most well known, got snubbed. Interesting!)

>> If you aren’t spending all of you money at VKL this weekend, don’t forget that Mochimochi Land is offering 20% off PDF patterns! Anna’s patterns are so crazy cute. If you haven’t knit one yet, you should!

>> Saw The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug two weeks ago. More on that soon, actually. But, hello! Look at these knitted Hobbit characters! I would totally knit a Gandalf.

>> What do we think about this hand-knit merino (shorts!) onesie from Sibling? I’m surprisingly ok with it but really that model could pull anything off.

>> This is a video about a party for sheep. You’re welcome.

So, who am I going to be seeing at VKL this weekend? I’m already there. Who knows what I’m wearing since Faro is still not finished. Come say hey, though! Like I always say, I’m really shy so, really, come say hi. Happy knitting!

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29
Mar

The Windy City

Written by Sarah. Posted in instagram, knits, life, travel, yarn

Jon and I just got back from a quick trip to Chicago! We’ve lived in New York for about six years now which seems crazy! I don’t think I’ve properly visited another big city since moving here. It certainly felt weird to be in someone else’s city but it was exciting to explore a new place.

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I’m certainly no expert when it comes to Chi-town (unlike New York) so I can’t say that we did all of the things that you “have” to do while you’re there. (We didn’t eat deep dish pizza nor did we go on the Sky Deck. Frankly, the Sky Deck sounds like the worst idea ever. And I’ve been to the top of the Eiffel Tower. At least that had a floor!) We did some touristy things like visiting the Art Institute (a la Ferris Bueller) and the Contemporary Art Museum. We ate Chicago style hot dogs (they put a whole pickle on top!) and rode the El (L?). It was cold!

I think my favorite stop was eating at Billy Goat Tavern, the inspiration for its own all-star SNL skit. Their burgers are delicious and simple. The bar probably hasn’t changed since 1972 in the best way possible. The walls are filled with old newspaper articles and trophies. It gives you a real feeling of Chicago back in the day. The staff behind the counter are very no nonsense and insist you get a double cheeseburger when you order a single. Love it.

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I also got to sneak in some yarn shopping. I mean, I had to! I visited Loopy Yarns and Nina. Both were absolutely lovely stores. Chicago knitters are lucky to have them! Loopy is a classic LYS, the type that I shopped in while I was in high school. Huge selection of yarns with a variety of prices, very well organized, spacious, and friendly. I spent a lot of time taking it all in. They even have a second floor for classes and more yarn! Nina has a really different feel and I love that. (Isn’t their logo awesome?) Nina feels more like a boutique. I love the way the yarns there are laid out, everything seems well-curated yet there is still an impressive selection of yarns. The shop looks more like a high end clothing store which suits it’s trendy Wicker Park location. All in all, both stores were fantastic and, as much as I was excited to return home, I was a little bit sad that I couldn’t stay and visit them on a regular basis!

I wish I’d had time to visit other yarn stores in Chicago. If they were anything like Loopy Yarns and Nina, I’m sure they’re awesome. I brought home a few wooly souvenirs but that’s for another post.

Do you go yarn shopping when you’re visiting a new place?

ps. Speaking of Chicago, Chi-town natives OK Go just released a new song! Have you heard it yet?

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24
Sep

Goodbye, Yarntopia!

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, new york city, yarn

Yesterday, I went to my LYS, Yarntopia for the last time! This is the closest I’ve ever lived to a yarn shop so it’s very selfish of me but I’m going to be sad to see it go. The lovely owner Dona, that is in there every day is closing up shop and   going to Yarnphoria in Philly.

While I’m going to miss the comfort of an afternoon stroll to my LYS,  Dona is throwing a big closing sale and I took advantage, of course. I ended up snagging some sock yarn including some yummy Malabrigo and two skeins of 2-ply Jade Sapphire cashmere. (Ok, I was only going to buy one but Dona really twisted my arm – as if I needed to be convinced – on the second one saying, “When will you ever get cashmere 30% off!?” YOU’RE SO RIGHT.)

If you’re in Manhattan Valley or Morningside, the sale isn’t over yet! Yarntopia will be open until Tuesday this week with a 30% off sale. Next weekend (Saturday-Tuesday 12-7pm) Dona will be offering whatever is left for 40% off! I bought a lot of yarn but she’s still got a lot there!

I’ll miss Dona and her shop! She is so helpful and friendly and she is in there every day! I hate to see a LYS go away but she’s not finished! I plan on visiting her in Philly at Yarnphoria.

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20
Sep

MY EX-LYS

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, life, new york city, yarn

Oh, funny bumping into you. I was actually just thinking about you. Remember that time I came in and got a great birthday discount on six skeins of Madeline Tosh Pashmina? I had such a good time that day. I haven’t been avoiding you. I hope you didn’t get the wrong idea about that. I thought we were cool, that we agreed that I should shop at other yarn stores.

You see, I moved across town and I just didn’t have the time for something so long distance. I was really sad about it, seriously. (And I was also sad about the really amazing shwarma spot that opened up on the corner, like, four months before I left. I haven’t found a decent falafel anywhere else.) But my new apartment was so much better. And, well, it’s just kind of a shlep to get over to you.

Oh my new LYS? You heard about that? Yeah, we’re really happy together. And remember how I said I couldn’t believe how close my apartment was to you? Only five blocks? My new LYS is only three. It’s a pretty great place. The selection isn’t as big but I think it really cuts to the stuff that I like. And they’re never that busy and they’ve always got what I need. Heck, my new LYS remembers exactly what I’m making! Yeah, it’s pretty wonderful, I know.

I mean, I know that a lot of people have been talking about how I bought a few skeins at Purl Soho and that LYS in Jersey. But, well, we’re pretty open to that, me and my new LYS. And, honestly, those rumors are just rude. If you want to know the truth, I’m on a tighter budget now so I’ve really been knitting from my stash. I’ve been making a lot of socks. Seriously.

Well, you look really great. And I’ve got to run. I mean, I don’t really have to run because my new LYS is open til 9. In the summer, too, yeah.  But I should go. I’ll come by sometime and the girl at the register can say, “I haven’t seen you in a while” but not because she hasn’t just because she says that to me every time I’m there. I do actually miss that…and I miss the big wall of Malabrigo I can just run through my fingers. And I miss the little displays of KnitScene magazine by the register…

But, listen. You and I were something. I wouldn’t change a thing. I know you miss me but this is just the way it’s got to be. I’ll see you soon, sometime. Maybe.

photo via purl bee

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07
Oct

WIP: Larch Cardigan

Written by Sarah. Posted in cardigan, design, DIY, instagram, knits, photos, sweater

I am so bad! I promised myself I’d take lost of pictures and document every step in the Larch cardigan but, of course, I’m already half finished! So let me go back to the beginning…

I was planning on starting the Larch cardigan on my birthday which, of course, was the same day that Hurricane Irene decided to blow into town. Which ruined the big self-indulgent birthday trip I had planned to my LYS. Of course, I’m a terrible person for bemoaning my lack of yarn shopping. Hurricane Irene effected so many people outside of New York City. Which is why I was excited to buy the Larch pattern during Amy Christopher‘s sale for the Vermont NOFA Farmer Emergency Fund! (She raised $2410!)

Anyway, I love the color of Amy’s sweater and I wanted something similar. I finally made it to my LYS by myself which meant about an hour of staring at skeins of MadTosh Pashmina. Can I say for the millionth time that I cannot get over how gorgeous Madeline Tosh yarn is? The colors are so intricate and deep it makes choosing one so difficult! Each shade is like a completely different hue.

I finally ended up with Glazed Pecan which sounds as yummy as it looks. (And got my birthday discount late since they were closed!) Of course, I was so excited to start knitting, I didn’t even take a decent photo of it. Excuse my Instagram.

 

Within a week I was finished with the sleeves. I wanted to start with them before I dive into the more complicated bits. And, taking advice from Little Red in the City, it helps to ensure that my gauge is correct before I screw up the whole sweater. It also helped me ease into some of the more confusing techniques. (I’m actually working it on my gorgeous interchangable ebony Lantern Moon size 5s.) I suppose, best of all, I won’t feel like I’m not making progress on the body and give up with a sleeve-less sweater. (We’ve all been there.)

Also, I’m actually not stranding the yarn. For those of you that don’t work with hand-dyed yarns or have never had an emergency of the run-out-of-yarn-need-to-buy-this-random-skein-of-a-different-dye-lot-because-it’s-the-last-one-on-the-planet variety, knitting two rows from alternating skeins throughout will “blend” the colors and hide the fact that they are slightly different. (This Jimmy Bean’s video is the best I can share with you on stranding. I think it over-complicates the idea…maybe I should write a post about that!) I debated for about thirty minutes before I cast on about whether or not I’d strand the yarn. While MadTosh has NO dye lots, I didn’t think that any of the skeins looked particularly different from the others when I stared at them by a sunny window. As I cast on I thought to myself “You’ll regret cutting this corner!” as I so often do but I think I really lucked out!

I’m actually almost finished with the body. I’m really flying through this.

Aren’t you excited it’s sweater season!?

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01
Jun

An Open Letter to all LYS Regarding Summer Hours

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, life, new york city

Dear Local Yarn Stores everywhere,

I love you. You always have the softest yarn. You hardly ever carry those icky acrylic fibers and ugly novelty yarns. You are so friendly. You remember my name and you always know what you’re talking about. I think you’re just great. When I grow up, I want to be just like you.

I know that Summer is not really “knitting season”. You can’t bring an afghan to the beach. No one wants a cardigan for 4th of July. Knitters are practically obsolete when the temperature rises above 60. I understand the logic behind your shorter hours during the week, your near-inexistence on the weekends. Heck, I even get it if you want to take Tuesdays off. I’d do the same thing if I could!

But, listen. I have a habit that I need to feed. Yes, maybe I’m a yarnaholic. Fine. I admit it’s a problem. Whatever. But I work nine-to-five! And Jon has a nephew due in three months! I need to adorn this baby with as much love-in-every-stitch, softest-fibered booties/hats/blankets/tiny sweaters as I can! I can’t get to you before you close your doors at 6. I don’t have a sufficient lunch hour for nuzzling my face into your luscious mohairs! Help me out!

I was excited to see that you are open Saturdays from 12 to 4! I postponed brunch for some yarn shopping at your store! Brunch! The holiest meal of the week! But, alas! All of the lights were off and the door was locked. But the sign still read “Saturday 12-4”. I wondered if you were playing some kind of trick on me. Or if you were actually so forgetful as to not update your shop hours. So I waited a week. I tried a different LYS. I arrived during its noted hours. Thwarted again! Could you, too, be so inconsiderate as to not even write a small, handwritten sign informing me of your hours over the holiday weekend?

Here we are, LYS. I am heartbroken. I thought you would always be there for me! Helping me figure out my gauge, suggesting the best length circular needles. I thought we would be together forever! Me ordering beautiful hand-spun yarns and you putting aside that one skein of the dyelot I desperately need because I accidentally bought too little yarn because I wasn’t really reading the pattern thoroughly like I always am, I should really pay attention to these things a little better.

I’m willing to take you back as long as you change your automated voicemail with your updated store hours so I know exactly how early I need to leave work.

Please, LYS, I need you in my life.

Yours forever and ever,
S

photo from Wood and Wool Stool

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11
Jan

Yarn Porn

Written by Sarah. Posted in books, knits

I finally found it. It’s the perfect yarn for my afghan! I’m so excited to get started on my afghan. I’ve been searching for this for a month!

I got this beautiful book from my mom. I’ve never tackled an afghan before because they take some commitment and plenty of yarn. It took me a few days to pick out which one to start with and I’m doing the bright star pattern. It really caught my eye because of this gorgeous picture in the book.

Wow.

So my plan was to make it in a more monochromatic, masculine color scheme. I’m really partial to blues so that’s what it will be. My guidelines for the yarn were like this: I wanted a nice quality yarn. I’m definitely a snob but, in reality, I have to make this giant thing and if the yarn doesn’t feel nice between my fingers, I’ll hate the process. It’s a big project so it’s worth spending a few dollars on something nice. It had to be soft (it’s a blanket). And I really wanted something that had some natural fibers. 100% would be best. This book is written for Berroco Comfort yarn which is worsted 50/50 nylon/acrylic. I don’t like the way that feels even though it’s easy to care for.

This is what happened!


I scoured the stores in the city. I hate to say it, but they’re expensive! And despite all of the beautiful luxury yarns they carry, I couldn’t find a navy blue that I really loved.

I had to take a day trip to my parents and I decided to stop by my favorite LYS (or local yarn store) that I used to visit in high school. Of course they had just what I was looking for and for a great price. They are such amazing ladies there! Always really helpful and happy. Even though I only go there once a year now, they still remember where I live and what I’ve been up to.

I bought 18 skeins of Berroco Vintage in dark denim, cream, chambray, sunny, and cracked pepper. I carried my bundle of yarn up to the counter and they knew exactly what I was making. This Vintage yarn is 40% wool so it’s got a nice, soft feel but it’s also machine washable.

I’ve already started the first square. I’ll keep it updated! I’m so excited to be tackling something I’ve never tried before.

I also bought these beautiful buttons. Jon picked them out for something I made him. I’ll tell you about that soon.

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