Popped into the shop on Saturday for a quick peek at new stock before I head off to Argentina later today. (Yay Argentina!) South Congress is already buzzing with SXSW energy-- some musicians have started to arrive, plus there were plenty of folks already in town for the Film and Interactive Festivals. Between the incredible weather, all those out-of-towners, and now Daylight Saving Time, it's feeling pretty darn festive in Austin and I am so excited that winter is, apparently, behind us. (Well, except for I planted my tomatoes last week, a little on the early side for planting, which usually means we'll get a surprise freeze-- yes, it's all my fault.)
While I was in the shop, I was yapping about my upcoming trip to South America, and those of you who know me know that I'm not exactly the soft-spoken type. Being a loudmouth doesn't always work in my favor, but on this day it did. A couple of shoppers overheard me-- well, okay, they probably all overheard me, but a couple of them approached me. One had lived in Buenos Aires and traveled in Uruguay and, right off the top of her head, she listed for me several good places to go for yarn. She also explained that a lot of the best yarn that is produced in South America is for export-- in other words, the stuff you have easy access to while you're actually in the country can be lower quality. So I wound up with all these insider tips, including the name of a hotel next to a place that sells wholesale Manos del Uruguay, where, my new best friend explained, the yarn is piled so high you can dive into it like a swimming pool. I'm imagining swimming laps in Manos and then stumbling into the little hotel next door to rest up. That is my idea of a dream vacation.
The funny thing is, I can get yarn from around the world at HCW-- I really don't need to fly 14 hours to pick up some Manos. But a big part of what I love about traveling is hunting for yarn shops, trying to explain to shop owners across a major language barrier, that I AM AN ENTHUSIASTIC KNITTER. I just get a huge kick out of it. I know a lot of folks work yarn hunting into vacations, and that some of us build our vacations around yarn (see the previous post about retreats). I'd really love to hear from y'all about your travel related yarn stories (or your yarn related travel stories). And if anyone has a trip planned soon, and you want tips, let me know and maybe we can get some connections going here, advice from folks who've been to place X letting those of you on your way to place X know where the good stuff is.
Meanwhile, if you don't have a trip planned anytime soon, not to worry. You can take a little spin (pardon the pun) around the globe down at the shop. Toward that end, we just got in a bunch of Misti Alpaca from Peru (that's Misti in the picture above) and lots of lovely cotton-blends from Noro. Oh, Noro! How I love thee! Here are some pics: