Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Best Knit Shop In the World

So I just got back from an incredible two week vacation to Israel. I only found one little knit shop in the town where I was staying, but my passion for fiber is such that I'm always thrilled to find yarn, no matter how big or small the store is, no matter where I am in the world. I've lost count of the total number of shops I've visited all across the US as well as in Japan, Argentina, and Israel. But I'll tell you something-- there really is no place like Hill Country Weavers.

I was so jet lagged the past week I wanted to collapse. It's the price I pay for traveling, and definitely worth it. But when I get back, during the time my body is readjusting to this time zone, I have to be very careful, otherwise, I can get cranky. So I have some very specific things I like to do to get grounded. This includes napping, heavy duty bonding with the dogs, remembering to eat, and-- of course, popping by the store.

I did that the other day and was so glad for the chance to say hello to my fellow knit fanatics. I wandered the rooms in a very happy daze. And I got to thinking-- since I started writing this blog (if you can believe it it's almost two years now), my relationship with the shop has changed some. Not better or worse, just different. Often when I head over, even if I'm on the hunt for new stash and gadgets, I still have my blog-head on. I take pictures and notes. Back in the old, pre-blog days, I was always in shop-mode, like a little kid in the most fantastic toy shop in the world.

While I did-- as you shall soon see-- take a lot of pictures on my first trip in to HCW after I got back, I mostly wandered around in happy little kid mode, like the old days, not taking notes, just immersing myself in the whole experience. How I wanted to just jump in a huge pile of yarn the way I used to jump in big piles of leaves when I was a child. It felt indescribably good to be back.

And then, not two days later, the temperature dropped. Okay, so only about ten or fifteen degrees, and granted, I won't be getting my sweater coat out just yet. But the break from the super heat was a reminder that pretty soon we are going to be able to get out those scarves and hats. I can't wait to get out my favorite things and, of course, to knit up some new fab warm stuff. (In fact, I'm heading to Maine on Saturday for a Knitting Retreat, and I'll definitely get to bust out my leg warmers up there.)

So what I'd like to do today is to share with you pictures of my happy, jet lag stroll through HCW. If you haven't been in in awhile (or heck, even if you have) let this be a reminder that regular trips to the store have been proven to vastly improve your mental health and almost totally relieve jet lat instantaneously.

This super chunky, super bright yarn is from Knit Collage in Hong Kong. We heart Knit Collage.

I was eyeing some Blue Sky Cotton-- am thinking about making another one of Suzanne's Bon-Bon blankets, maybe even more than one. Three of my friends are expecting right now. I dig the greens and other "non-traditional" baby colors.

You can never go wrong with Noro. Noro, Noro, Noro!!

Oh so many colors! My eyes get instantly happy when I walk in the shop.

This collection of Be Sweet isn't new-- Suzanne ordered it at Market in January. But I still LOVE looking at it and touching it and taking pictures of it-- isn't it cool how it looks like hard candy?

I think my love of books about knitting food somehow relates to my love of puns. I'm still ironing out that theory.

Don't you just want to hug big bunches of Manos? My all time favorite, most used sweater is a very simple top-down I learned in a class with Deb. I have so much sweater pride over that one and what makes it downright elegant is the hand dyed effect.

My one problem with all the beautiful samples around the store is that I pretty much want to make every one of them, including this amazing shawl made with shimmery Prism yarn.

Here's another sample that I have GOT to make. A super funky chunky mobius. Anyone want to join me for a knit along?

Close up of Prism.

Yes, we now have faux-fur enhanced yarn. Even if it's not your thing, you have got to go and touch it. Go. Right. Now.

And, while we're talking funky, check out this hat and scarf Brenda made.

And how about a round of applause for the ladies that make it all happen. Here, I caught Kathy hard at work reorganizing. This started out as a small project but then she noticed a ball here and a ball there that she thought she could getter situate and, before you know it, she was re-doing the whole shelf. And that, my friends, is how the miracle of constant organization really happens. Thanks ladies!

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