Thursday, January 12, 2012

Souvenir Yarn

Whenever I travel (even if the destination of such travels is somewhere quite familiar, such as my parents' house) I find myself buying yarn with the excuse that it's "souvenir yarn."  You know what I'm talking about.  I'm willing to bet that the majority of us do this.  You do some research to find out where the closest yarn shops are ( helps if you're having trouble, have you used it before?) and off you go to explore.  Some people buy a single skein of beautiful sock yarn while others go for luxury blends of cashmere, silk, qiviut, etc.  I've even heard that some people buy yarn in a color that reminds them of their trip.  My strategy (or rather guideline) for acquiring souvenir yarn is twofold.  This is one of the few times I allow myself to buy yarn "just because" without an idea of what I'm going to use it for.  Usually I'm pretty good about only buying yarn that is needed for a specific project, but when I'm traveling, anything is fair game.  So that's my first rule: You can buy anything you want to just because.  My second rule narrows it down a bit and it is this: I can only buy yarn that I have never used and/or seen before.  It's a helpful little thing to remember when I find myself walking around with an armload of my go-to yarns and it forces (ha!  As if I have to be forced to play with yarn) me to explore new territory.  The blue mittens I'm making that I showed you a few posts back are made with "souvenir yarn" and I love love love it.  (I'll show more about the mittens in my next post.)

While in Minnesota I acquired a decent amount of new yarn, for several reasons.  The first is simply that I know where the yarn shops are.  The second is that my mother knits AND my sister was visiting for the holidays, so a trip to the yarn shop was a must.  The third thing (and this is the trickiest one because you end up with purchases you weren't expecting, even if what you were expecting was the unexpected) is that I had to make several trips to the shops to get non-souvenir yarn - yarn that I needed for specific projects and if I was going to be there already anyway, well... it can't be helped.

So, because I have a brace on my wrist and a band-aid on my finger and therefore can't knit or spin (and consequently don't have much spinning or knitting to show you), I thought some pictures of yarn might tide you over.  (Although it would appear that I have lost my ability to take a decent picture of yarn.)

Hmmmm, now I really wish that I weren't in a practice room writing this post because I don't actually remember any of the details about these yarns.  I'll do the best I can.

Above is some yarn that I picked up at The Yarnery in St. Paul.  This is my Minnesota LYS.  When I'm in Minnesota and you hear me say "I'm going to the yarn shop", this is where I mean.  The yarn is Davidson's "Domy Heather" in the Slate colorway (what a shocker.)  I couldn't resist the heathery, woolen quality of the yarn.  I originally only bought one skein, but then went back for a second when I decided it should become Miralda's Triangular Shawl.  (You see that?  I made a plan.)  It turns out that The Yarnery may very well be the only place to get this yarn.  The company doesn't seem to have an online presence and the only online seller Ravelry has listen is The Yarnery, so I'm glad I picked some up while I was there!

While at The Yarnery, my sister, my mother and I all picked up a ball of Rowan's Kidsilk Haze Stripe.

It's pretty spendy because it has Kaffe Fassett's name on it, but it's also prettier in person and will one day make a nice, airy, stockinette scarf (or infinity cowl.  TBD.)

We then all ventured to a shop in Minneapolis none of us had ever been to, Bella Lana.  They carried a lot of nice yarn, but I ended up walking away with two skeins of Cascade Soft Spun.  It's a familiar company, but I had never seen this yarn before.  (I won't be using the two together, don't worry.)

 And lastly, at 3 Kittens I picked up some yarn that is now discontinued - Reynolds Whiskey.  (Yes, Deirdre, I went back and got it.  At 50% off it was hard to resist!)

One of the balls is wound up not because I've started knitting with it already, but because my dog thought it would be fun to roll around in it for a while.  He had draped it all over the main floor before he came to the basement, presumably for help untangling himself.

Well now, it's pouring rain outside and the wind is blowing, so I think it's time for me to head home and put some tea on the stove.  I'll have some knitting and spinning to show you next time, I promise!


  1. Wrist brace and bandaid, eh? Take care of yourself!

  2. I love a good yarn crawl... very nice finds by the way. I especially like the first two skeins. I hope you feel better soon and can really hit the sticks.

  3. Nice stuff -- I particularly like the Slate.

    Hope the brace and band-aid aren't interfering with the clarinet too ....

  4. I'm confused: HOW did the dumbest dog in the world manage to get yarn free from that ball and tangle it up?!?

  5. Lovelies! I especially adore that Whiskey shade. Hope your hand heals soon!

  6. Check out the wisp (whisp?) scarf in Ravelry... it uses a skein of the kidsilk.

    Jah, take care w/ the brace! You're too young to start with repetetive motion issues.

  7. Arm in brace?! Are you OK? Is it serious?

  8. That Domy Heather looks so tempting! Lucky you, being able to get your braced and bandaided hands on it!

    I'm sorry for the injuries... but since when did that ever stop us? ;P

  9. Oh, that never seen and/or used part is a very good rule and one I've unconsciously followed... now I will keep it up! Thanks!