Friday, July 27, 2007

New Mexico - Land of Enchantment...and Yarn

Well, I made it to 2 of the 3 yarn shops in Santa Fe. While we did drive by the Santa Fe School of Weaving, we didn't have a chance to stop by. It will have to wait for our next trip - and yes, there will be another trip and many more trips to Santa Fe. Heck, we're even thinking how wonderful it will be to retire there someday.

So - onto the reviews of the 2 LYS's I did visit. Huge thanks to my wonderful husband, Sean, who found out where these where and how to get there. He was also very patient as I oogled all the yarn. :)

First stop -
Needle's Eye
839 Paseo de Peralta, Suite O

The store was easy to find and as a side note: it's located near a chocolate shop that sold the most wonderful chocolate covered strawberries. Yummy!

Needles Eye Santa Fe

Oh, what a beautiful little shop! And a very friendly owner! When I walked in, there were a couple of knitters at a table listening to a CD of someone talking them through a pattern. They were having a great time but did stop to greet me. The store consisted of approximately 3 rooms of beautiful yarn, the white shelves and walls allowing the gorgeous colors to tempt me. Lots of variety from high end yarns to some novelty brands but it was quality all around. Of course my first stop was to the wall of needles to see if there were also crochet hooks. YES! Many of them, in fact. And there were crocheted item displayed and crochet-specific yarn. A crochet friendly store, indeed!

Here's what I bought at Needle's Eye:

Needles Eye Purchases

It would have been very easy to buy more than just this - but I restrained myself to just these few items. (And just a note - the back of the business card is a chart where you can mark what size needles you have. Sure, it's just for knitting, but I can't expect the card to have all the knitting and crochet needles listed. You wouldn't be able to read the tiny, tiny font with another 30 hooks listed.)

Here are close up pics of my purchases and some details. And yes, it's been added to my stash at Ravelry.

Dalegarn Stork

Dalegarn Stork, a fingering weight 100% Egyptian cotton yarn. The color is #0115; no fun name on the label. With little Brodie born, I've had my eyes peeled for some yarn and a bootie pattern. Still looking for a bootie pattern. Dare I try to knit booties???

Valdani Denim BluesValdani Subtle Elegance

Pearl Cotton by Valdani, size #5, ~42 m each in Denim Blues and Subtle Elegance. The owner of Needle's Eye showed me this lovely necklace she had created using different colors of this yarn. I just had to have it. I've been meaning to try and make a doily and I hope this new yarn inspires me to use a fun pattern. Suggestions of a specific pattern are welcome.

Onto LYS stop #2:
Oodles Yarn and Bead Gallery
411 W. Water Street

This shop was NOT easy to find as Sean and I were walking around in the heat of the afternoon. Water Street breaks at an odd place and then continues at another point. Be sure to check the map carefully before you go. It's hard to see the name of the store in the photo below - my apologies for that. I was more interested in getting into the air conditioned shop than I was checking my camera to see if the photo came out well.

Oodles Santa Fe

Here's what I bought at Oodles:

Oodles Purchase

Unlike my first stop, there was really nothing else I wanted to buy from Oodles. To be honest, I sorta felt like I had to buy this after walking through all the heat to find the store. Now - I'm not trying to be negative about this store, but I must be honest. While the greeting was a friendly one (a cute dog greeted us at the door) and the owner was also very nice, I can't say that the store lived up to its name. The store was small and sorta dark inside. There were shelves along each wall but the selection of yarn was very disappointing. There were WAAAAY too many synthetics and novelty yarns for a LYS. It seemed like the novelty yarns were a third of the selection. The shelves were untidy and the labeling was inconsistent. (I'm anal retentive and I notice stuff like that.) There were NO crochet hooks anywhere - not that it means the store isn't crochet friendly. And as far as the "Bead Gallery" ... very disappointing. There was a basket of beads on the floor near the back, and some shelves with strings of beads laid out. Very disorganized and nothing had prices. And though I'm not an avid beader or jewelry maker, even I knew the beads were nothing special. If you ask me, too much money was spent on these fancy little shopping bags instead of setting up the store and keeping it maintained.

But - the store is still new and the ladies who were felting projects in the store were having a wonderful time. The owner was very friendly and her customers were happy. Even though it wasn't what I would want my own yarn shop to be, I was happy I stopped by to check it out. And I'm fully aware that my less than wonderful experience was tainted by the fact that I was hot, sweaty and hungry. A dangerous combination!

Details of the yarn below and yes, it's also on Ravelry.

Panda Cotton Circus

Panda Cotton yarn (colorway called Circus) by Crystal Palace Yarns. Seems like Brodie may be getting two pairs of booties!

That's it for the vacation update. We had such a wonderful time in Santa Fe and I have some beautiful photos I could share. But just look at the time - and we need to leave early tomorrow for Cooperstown. Hope this post will tide you over until next week.

And just a head's up - the progress I was hoping to make on the Ohio Variant Quilt squares was not that significant. I've been smitten by the Harry Potter bug. I bought books 1 and 2 at the Chicago airport and books 3 through 6 in Los Alamos. I finished 1 and 2 before we got home and I'm already deep into book 3. Very good books to be pulling me away from crochet. :) Please, no spoilers, if you've read all the books, especially the last one.

See you next week!

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