Monday, November 26, 2007

Hop Deux

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I'm back from a wonderful week at Walt Disney World, but there are far fewer pictures to sort through from the last bit of the shop hop, so let's start there. I had grand and crazy plans for the week before leaving on vacation. Since I wouldn't be here for the final Saturday of the shop hop, I was going to try and hit the remaining 6 stores during the week. My plan was to hit the two in Roswell and Alpharetta during lunch breaks, hit the one in Woodstock on Tuesday night on the way to stitch group, and hit the remaining three on Thursday. Unfortunately, I did not anticipate my coworker being out of town that week on a business trip. Lunchtime jaunts were out. Then, there was apocalyptic traffic on Tuesday for some strange reason, so no shop visit before group. This left me with 6 shops to visit in two days, not to mention packing and running errands!!

Thursday morning I drove DH to work and then on to the shop in Roswell, Cast-on Cottage. This is one of the shops that made me very glad there was a hop. I'd never been, and it's just lovely...and it's only a few miles from where I work!! I think that if I take back roads, it's doable for a lunch break run. It's also set in the cutest little area; there's a book store/coffee shop just down the street, as well as several restaurants that look interesting. All the shops are in charming little clapboard houses, some even complete with white picket fences. With the colorful leaves on the ground, it was a pretty picture. I tried very hard to stick to my plan of only getting yarns on my list, but I was blindsided by this beautiful Jasper from Berocco:

I mean, really, what could I do? I had no idea what I'd do with it. When I got home, though, I realized I had already downloaded a freebie pattern that called for this exact yarn! (Perfect for me 'cause my arms are always cold.) I made a mental note that this shop had a lot of Rowan yarns, also much Debbie Bliss, lots for felting, and just a great variety. There's also needlepoint stuff there, in case I need something in a pinch. I couldn't make it back to that room, seemed like there was always someone in the doorway.

From Cast-on Cottage, I headed to Only Ewe and Cotton Too (great store; unwieldy name). This shop seemed to have a lot of alpaca and cashmere yarns. They also had a large amount of Tofutsies that were calling to me, and I got to fondle some ShibuiKnits yarn in person (I've been ogling it on The Loopy Ewe for a while). I managed to find some yarn on my list that I've been hunting forever: Rowan Cashsoft DK, for Odessa. The most dangerous thing about this place is the accompanying bead shop. It's not in the proximity of, not next to, but right inside. You merely have to tear your glance away from the seriously beautiful yarns (I got to see Elizabeth Lavold Silky Wool in person, too!) and they are instantly assaulted by all manner of sparkly. I showed the most amazing restraint in only purchasing two strands of beads, which accidentally managed to be perfect for Odessa (I didn't even remember the pattern called for beads!) w00t!

Oh, yeah, and I had another "slight" falling-off-the-list moment when that pesky skein of hand-painted alpaca leaped out of a basket and wrapped itself around my ankles and wouldn't let go 'til I promised it I'd take it home and had the nice man wind it. He suggested a scarf with a pattern of yo, k1, k2tog. Or was it k1, yo, k2tog?? Yikes, I can't remember. Has anyone ever done that? I may have to try both.

The only thing that kept me from browsing beads longer was my steely constitution the desire to make it to one more store!! I managed to find my way to The Whole Nine Yarns in Woodstock. It was actually a beautiful drive with the leaves changing (well, except when I was behind the dump truck). This is a very dangerous store. Lots and lots of lovely, lovely yarn...and lots of sock yarn. As I was walking into the store, I was thinking to myself, I wonder if I should call Jean? She lives so close, but I have no idea what she's doing today... I walked in the store, and lo and behold, there was Jean!!! What a fabulous surprise! After going 'round the store twice, and seeing many, many yummy yarns, I stuck to my guns and virtuously only purchased one skein of Koigu to make some sachets for my nieces for Christmas (since the cuffs didn't work out).
I am seriously in love with this yarn. If it wouldn't cause some kind of sick fiber-based adultery, I might marry it. After Jean gave me a tutorial on using a ball winder (even though her DH won't let her touch the swift at home, nay, nor even look at it), she took me to lunch, which was just great. Yarn and a good friend, what more could you ask for?? A fabulous day indeed!

Unfortunately, when I got home, I was very tired. I had skipped choir practice the night before to get some rest, but my lack of energy continued, so no packing got done Thursday afternoon. That night, it was time for a reality check. For reference, here's the shop hop map I created:

OK, so do you see the martini glass? I'm fairly close to that. See that cluster of shops? And then a few to the North? You know, Atlanta area. OK, now see that one WAY OVER AT THE RIGHT EDGE??? It's SEVENTY MILES from Atlanta. It should NOT, in my opinion, be part of an ATLANTA shop hop. But, alas, it was. When I realized that it would be about a three-hour round trip (it takes about an hour and twenty minutes to get there; nevermind stopping at the one in Snellville (an hour from the one in West Bumble to Snellville, then 45 minutes to the last shop, then 20 minutes home)), I decided to act like a grownup and give up my pipe dream of winning the $1000 worth of yarn grand prize.

I headed out to Nease's because I needed to turn in my passport, and also because I thought I remembered seeing in their newsletter that they had some locally hand-dyed yarn called Toasty. Well, it turns out I boogered that one; it was actually Needle Nook's newsletter where I read that. Nease's is kind of small, and it looked like their stock was seriously wiped out from the shop hop, so it took me a while to find something I liked. I was really looking for a sport weight yarn in a Christmas-y color, because I just got Cat Bordhi's fabulous sock book and wanted to knit her teeny practice socks in colors that would look good on my sisters' Christmas trees. I ended up buying this really beautiful Mountain Colors yarn, but I left feeling a little unhappy because it wasn't exactly what I was looking for, the shop hop was over, I hadn't filled my passport, and the staff was slightly...unsympathetic. Plus, I was feeling really ticked about that Watkinsville shop being in the hop. I'm sure it's a perfectly lovely shop, but it is by no stretch of the imagination in Atlanta. *sigh* Let's look at some wool...

Ah. That is better. All in all, though, I had a lot of fun hopping, and it could only have been improved by getting to hop with friends and getting to hop least without packing a lunch.

Stinkin' Watkinsville. But oh, the consolation of beautiful yarn....


Jean in Georgia said...

Major agreement about the Watkinsville shop. While I hear it's nice, it's definitely not in Atlanta. Plus, it's majorly too close to serious Bulldog territory.

Erin (moviemuse) said...

Um, no, Watkinsville is NOT in or (even approaching any acceptable definition of) near Atlanta, unless we are referencing something on the scale of lightyears.

Jill said...

So you were not "all hopped out" after all! If you married the Koigu then you couldn't fondle all of the other beautiful yarns! Next year we will make a better plan and hopefully some of us will be able to hop together.

Annette said...

Oh got the new Cat Bordhi book? Be sure to allow *plenty* of time because once you knit the practice socks you will not want to stop. I knit both practice socks on Thanksgiving Day, have one Coriolis pair started and plans for two more pair already.

I also have some lovely gold Toasty yarn :) It's lovely stuff!!!

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