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!

Friday, July 20, 2007


Tomorrow at the a$$ crack of dawn we depart for vacation!!! Yay!! In addition to the spa appointment we have booked and the sightseeing around Santa Fe we will do, I'm also looking forward to checking out the local yarn stores (Needle's Eye, Oodles Yarn and Bead Gallery and the Santa Fe School of Weaving). Not sure that I'll make it to the yarn store near Cooperstown (Sybil's Yarn Shop) as I expect traffic will be a nightmare. Of the stores I do get to visit, I'll post reviews when I return.

My project of choice for this trip is the Ohio Star Variant Quilt which has been neglected since I started it in May. Happy to report I weaved in the ends of 25 squares today on my commute (see the side bar for an update). I'm looking forward to seeing how many squares I get accomplished - any guesses?

Peace out!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Superstar is Born!

Happy Birthday, Brodie!

7/19/07 @ 3:25 PST

Mom and Baby Girl are healthy and doing well! I'm hoping the Afghan of the Sandman and Starghan I made for her will keep her warm.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Completed Project: Alphabet Pillow

I never got around to posting about this project when I first started it - and now, here it is, all finished. A quick project that I could have finished in a weekend (but I stretched it out over two).

In Sesame Street fashion....This post is brought to you by the letter "J".


J Pillow 02

Pattern: Alphabet Pillows Letter "J" by Woven ~n~ Spun

Hook size: J


Size: 15" wide by 18" long

Modifications: I used a larger hook (J) and twice the yarn (holding two strands of the off-white yarn together) than what the pattern called for.

I used an F hook and only 1 strand of the off-white yarn to attach the two Js together. I did not turn it inside out as I was putting a border around it.

I also added a border. The border is two rows of double crochet using an F hook and the Baby Lash yarn. It covered up some of the messy joining and was a colorful and soft accent to the pillow.

Bonus photos:

Here's a photo of it prior to adding the border:
J Pillow 01

Here's one of the first "J" I made with baby yarn and a size F hook:

J Pillow 03


This pillow is a gift and it was a way to do some stash busting. It is a gift for my niece, Jade, and I was going to make pillows for her entire name - but I ran out of yarn. And given the size of the "J", I'm afraid making similar A, D, and E could be a bit much to display in her room or in her crib.

As for the stash busting, the off-white yarn (which looks yellow to me) had been in my stash for years and the Baby Lash I picked up on sale a few months ago. While I would like to make the other 3 pillows, it would require me to buy more of all this yarn and that doesn't help reduce my stash. We'll see if anything fun is on sale soon.

I do love the way this pillow came out. I may make more of these and perhaps sell them on Etsy or at a local craft fair. Just an idea...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

T-minus 9 Days Until Vacation

Thanks to our wedding reception at a Marriott and the number of flights we took on Southwest, Sean and I are starting our free vacation to Santa Fe, New Mexico next weekend. We've got 4 free nights in Santa Fe and free round trip airfare to Albuquerque. All we'll pay for is food, the rental car, and any activities we do or souvenirs we buy. A trip to the spa is planned - oh, how I need a massage! And of course I will be checking out the local yarn shops. Here is the list of places I hope to visit:

Needle's Eye
839 Paseo de Peralta, Suite O

Oodles Yarn and Bead Gallery
411 W. Water Street

Santa Fe School of Weaving
614 Paseo de Peralta (just north of Marcy St.)

After we return from Santa Fe, we've got a day to recuperate (in other words, do laundry) before we pack up for a road trip to Cooperstown for the Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekend. Cal Ripken Jr. of Orioles fame is being inducted this year so there's sure to be plenty of Marylanders making the trek with us. Not sure if we'll be able to stop by or not, but there is a yarn store in Cooperstown that I may visit.

Sybil's Yarn Shop
1037 State Hwy. 166

So my question to any readers out there - do you know these shops? Have you visited them? Any info or tips you want to pass along? I'll post a review of the ones I visit when I get home but I'd love any info about them before I get there.

"Let's open up a yarn shop down in Santa Fe...Sunny Santa Fe would be nice!"

Alright - name that tune!

Checking In...

Greetings and salutations! My apologies for being out of the blogosphere. Not much going on in the crochet world as I've been busily applying and interviewing for jobs. Oh, the stress! Oh, the decisions! At least it looks like my Masters degree is paying off. It's landed me a couple of sweet interviews that I don't think I would have gotten without ye olde Hopkins name on my resume. I did get a job offer the other week and had to turn it down. They weren't going to pay me enough and I would have had to drive to work instead of using public transportation. That would have meant having to buy a second car, higher insurance costs, and more gas - so this made the paycheck even smaller. And I kid you not - the fact that I could not crochet during my commute did play a part in my decision not to take the job.

I've got a new project underway (that'll be another post) and Sean and I are getting ready for vacation (also another post). Ravelry has also been taking up some time. I'm loving all the new features they've added, especially the "Groups" feature. It's made finding local knitting/crocheting groups a lot easier. After I get a new job and we move (Did I mention we're moving in September? Yeah - there's some added stress there!) and I have some kind of normal schedule, I'm going to join up with a crafty group.

I'm also toying with the idea of attending Stitches East in Baltimore in October. While it's really for knitters (why are crocheters always left out??!), there is supposed to be a plethora of yarn vendors. I'd like to go - not to buy much but definitely to check stuff out. I'll have to see what my budget looks like as the time approaches - and I'll have to see if I can take that Friday off to go on the first day the market is open. The early bird gets the best yarn, right?

So that's my update and I'm hoping to post a couple more times this week. But right now - it's back to work. Happy Thursday, all!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Completed Project: Basket Weave Scarf

I completed a project with yarn purchased from this year's MS&W!! Yay!!!!


Basketweave Scarf 09

Basketweave Scarf 08

Pattern: My own - using basket weave stitches

Hook size: F

1 skeins of Brooks Farm Yarn in
  • Fall colors (exact colorway unknown)

  • fiber is 60% Super Wash Wool / 20% Silk / 20% Viscose

Size: 5" wide by 56" long

Modifications: I was going to put a border around the entire scarf but nixed that idea in favor of having a longer scarf.


Basketweave Scarf 10

Basketweave Scarf 11


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Completed Project: Cabled Crochet Socks

This project is done but sadly, the heel fix didn't help the toe problem. This project is considered finished even though I haven't completed the second sock.

First Socks 11

First Socks 13

Pattern: Cabled Crochet Socks by Little River Fiber Arts

Hook size: #2 (Susan Bates)

Approximately 1 1/4 skeins of Socks That Rock yarn in

Size: supposed to be adult women's size 9 - probably closer to a 10 or 10 1/2

Modifications: My vertical gauge was larger than the pattern said so I took out one full cable (3 cable rows, 1 twist cable row) prior to the heel. I should have taken out two and/or reduced the number of rows of the toes.

The heel had half the rounds with 2 sc decreases in each corner and half with rounds of 3 sc decreases in each corner.

I finished the top of the sock with a round of dc (NOT fpdc) followed by a row of sc.


These socks were supposed to be for me and while I tried them on again and again as I was making them, the finished product was too big in the toe. I think you can see it in the photo below. To fix it, I'll have to frog it all the way past the heel to remove a group of cables. Please note: This is not a reflection on the pattern - the pattern is great!

First Socks 12

Plus, I rather like the way the yarn looks in single crochet, so there's a chance I'll frog both socks down to the toes and do all single crochet instead of the cable. But it will be awhile before I decide what exactly I'll do with these socks. I think I need a break to work on a new project.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Progress Report: Cabled Crochet Socks

My order of STR yarn arrived on Thursday and yay! the new skein matched the one I bought at MS&W!

STR Order

You see I also bought 2 skeins of "In the Navy" to make Sean a pair of socks - even before I saw this fun little reminder on the label:

STR Label

Crocheted socks use sooooo much more yarn than knitted socks. I really must teach myself to knit this year so I can make some of the wonderful knitted sock patterns out there. But for now, I'm very happy with the current project of the cabled crochet socks. Here's the progress I made over the weekend - this one is done except for the heel. The other one is just a couple of rounds away from being at the same place.

First Socks 10

Now there was a bit of a scare with this as it was looking like the toe was too long for my foot. There was almost an inch of overhang that was not comfortable. I thought I would have to frog all my work until before the heel. But when I tried them on for this photo, I realized that it may come together correctly when I actually crochet in the heel. I'm going to finish both socks and if the overhang still exists, there will be some frogging and some crying. For now, I'm all smiles.

Weekend Update

Greetings and happy Monday! Hope all had a great weekend. Sean and I were up in New England to attend a family wedding. It was beautiful weather and a beautiful wedding. A few photos to share:

Heading out to the Cape

Cape Cod

Saw this fun tin sign at a store


Beautiful weather for a beach wedding

North Falmouth, MA

I won't blog photos of the happy couple as it's their wedding and not mine to post all over here. It was a beautiful ceremony and a great reception. And while I made considerable progress on my cabled crochet socks on the trip up there, the return trip was not so productive thanks to the open bar at the reception. (My friend Gin and I had a wonderful evening.)