Last month at the craft night one of the other knitters mentioned that there was this great new yarn store in Walnut Creek. One thing led to another and suddenly we were planning a field trip to go check it out. So today we drove down to Walnut Creek, braving the rain, and found the store – FashionKnits.
It’s a marvelous store. Every spare inch is crammed with more yarn than I’ve ever seen in one place. I wasn’t the only one walking slowly up and down the aisles, petting everything in sight. So many lucious things to choose from, it was almost overwhelming!
I came prepared with a short list – yarn for a few tea cozies I’m going to be making for presents this year. But as I was fondling some lovely soft wool and nylon blends (not at all suitable for tea cozies, mind you) one of my field trip mates came up behind me. “Jennifer,” she said rather excitedly, “you have to help me pick out yarn. Any yarn.”
It turns out she’d ended up talking to the store manager, and in their conversation mentioned how much we liked the store – especially the fact that the prices are clearly displayed, and that there are swatches beside a number of the yarns on the shelves. The manager noted that they were having a hard time keeping up with the swtatching, my friend threw out an offhand comment of how fun it would be to swatch, and suddenly she was handed a bag and told to go pick stuff that wasn’t swatched. Wow!
So we did. We tried to find yarns where a swatch really seemed like a good idea – like some of the ribbon yarns, some linen, some cotton blends, and so on. She and I felt like kids in a candy store. We were still trying to figure out if the manager was actually serious so we didn’t pick too many, but it turns out she was. And when we left (after I bought my yarn for tea cozies, and a few skeins of that silky soft wool blend that I simply could not leave behind) we carried with us a dozen free skeins of yarn that we are to take home and swatch.
When we got back to the house we laid all the yarn out on the table to take a picture (of course!) and then we tried to figure out what all we’d grabbed, and then we divied up the yarn between the four of us.
I scribbled down names and I’m not sure I got all the relevant information because I was still reeling from how amazing this was, but what you see there is one skein each of:
- Noro Daria Multi
- Beatrice Merino d’Lania
- Katia Idea Jeans
- Espirit (by LLH?)
- Euroflax Louet Sales
- Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora
- Reynolds Odyssey
- Aurora 8
- Muench Tessin
- Berroco Lullaby
- Muench Touch Me
- Cascade Fun
- Goa (by LLH?)
It was amazing. I’ve been intrigued by the ribbon yarns and now I get to swatch out a skein and see what it knits and feels like. Plus I snagged the Lulluby because it is so impossibly snuggly and soft that I just want to cuddle it, and the Aurora 8 because I love the silky feel. My knitting-enabler friend has been dying to try linen and so that was one of the skeins she took, along with the cotton angora. We’re not quite sure yet what becomes of the remainder of the skeins once we’ve done the swatches for the store – not that the remains of a skein is going to be enough to make much of anything – but that really doesn’t matter. Just getting the chance to play with some of these yarns – some of which are more expensive than I’d normally be willing to spend just to try something out – is reward enough.
On the drive home one of our group noted that they’d been to a place in Benicia where there’s a yarn store right next to a tea shop, so we’re already pondering plans for another yarn-related field trip. Somehow I think this one might be hard to top. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see! And in the meantime I have swatching to do – that is if I can tear myself away from petting the yarn to actually knit it.