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DFW Yarn Crawl 2017, Part 2!

September 2, 2017
DFW Yarn Crawl 2017 - Part 2!

Yikes, ya’ll! I switched my knit night and I can’t even remember what day it is! Lucky for me it’s Friday and the office is closed Monday! Last week feels like a long time ago, what with Hurricane Harvey and The Great Dallas Gas Shortage of August 31, 2017 (Spoiler Alert: There was no shortage. People just like to panic. Including me…). Even though last weeks feels like forever ago, it’s still important, because it was the final weekend of the DFW Yarn Crawl. I lucked out and was able to visit three more stores, so  now you get to hear about them!

Fleece

DFW Yarn Crawl - Fleece

I didn’t know that Fleece existed before the DFW Yarn Crawl. When I saw the name on my passport, I kinda wrote it off as someplace that would sell more roving and raw fleeces than yarn. Boy, was I wrong! Fleece is a very neat and tidy shop near my old school, SMU. If you’re not looking for it, you might miss it, but be sure to stop because it’s a great little shop. Fleece is bright and clean and organized well.

DFW Yarn Crawl - Fleece

I was happy with their selection, which included Dream in Color and Malabrigo. They seemed to have a large selection of novelty yarns as well. If you need yarn for those arm knitted blankets, they have it here! There was a class or knitting group going on when I went in. Another lady nearby was taking signups for a needle felted pincushion class (they looked super fun, by the way). The staff was very friendly.

DFW Yarn Crawl - Fleece

The other thing that I loved about Fleece was that they have a little coffee station set up with a Keurig and some other options for beverages. I love the idea of knitters gathering in the winter with their coffee and tea and hanging out. I thought it was a sweet touch. It gave the atmosphere a very welcoming and hospitable character. I’m excited to go back.

Holley’s Yarn Shoppe

Despite being somewhat further out of the way, I have been to Holley’s Yarn Shoppe before. In fact, The Hubs has even been to Holley’s Yarn Shoppe before! It was at Holley’s that The Hubs first realized that there were male knitters. It blew his mind. 

DFW Yarn Crawl - Holley's

Holley’s Yarn Shoppe has a large yarn selection, though they do tend to be very faithful to certain lines. They have a huge table for classes and knitting hours and there was a group busy at work when we were there. Holley’s is also one of those blessed stores with a clearly discernible clearance section. I love them for it.

DFW Yarn Crawl - Holley's

Holley’s Yarn Shoppe was having a Twisted Owl Trunk Show during the yarn crawl, and I was loving the bright colors and speckles. I wish I could have brought a skein home with me, but I had to be judicious with my yarn choices. Totally had my eye on some colors though…

Yarn and Stitches

DFW Yarn Crawl - Yarn and Stitches

Yarn and Stitches has the distinction of being the only yarn store on my way home from work. It’s also open late on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which means I can actually stop on my way home. Yarn and Stitches has a fun selection of yarns. They have plenty good staples, but some fun locally dyed yarns as well. I always feel like I have to circle the shop 10 times before I’ve seen it all.The staff at Yarn and Stitches is always really friendly. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who is a worker and who is just a regular, since they’re all so familiar with each other. It’s fun to hear them chatting while you shop though. 

Knit Picks Interchangeable Tips

The other thing that I like about Yarn and Stitches is that they carry Knit Picks interchangeable needles. I have an interchangeable kit, which I love. However, over the years, I’ve rubbed the finish down on some of my tips. They were starting to feel really rough! I bought new size 4 tips for my current project and oh my gosh it made a difference! Everything feels much smoother now!

I’m losing the race against time to finish my summer knitting list (though I rocked my reading list!). The 19 inches of straight stockinette in the Del Sol Tank is killing me. In a cotton blend, too! But the end is in sight, and I think I finally found my fade, so I’m looking forward to some good fall knitting soon! What about you? Any exciting projects coming up? I’d love to hear about your plans!

Knitting Lifestyle Seasonal

DFW Yarn Crawl 2017!

August 24, 2017
2017 DFW Yarn Craw

Hello Everyone! We are currently in the thick of the DFW Yarn Crawl! Anyone else participating? I’ve never done a yarn crawl before, though I’m familiar with the concept. My mom used to work at a quilt store and they would do similar events. Every so often a bus would drop a load of quilters and they would swamp the store until the bus came back again. While the yarn crawl did have a bus, I chose to use my favorite form of transportation: my husband. (It goes without saying that I let him drive me everywhere so I can knit.)

I’ve been able to visit 3 shops on this yarn crawl so far. It’s not over yet, so I’m hoping to add at least a few more. So far I’ve been to Jacob’s Reward Farm, Mckinney Knittery, and Fiber Circle. 

Jacob’s Reward Farm

DFW Yarn Crawl 2017 - Jacob's Reward Farm

Until the Yarn Crawl, I’d never been to Jacob’s Reward Farm. It’s super close by and I passed it all the time without knowing it! It’s a teeny tiny little place, but they did have a trunk show going on for the yarn crawl. If you’re interesting in getting into spinning, this is a good stop for you! They have lots of spinning paraphernalia, including spindles, carding brushes and roving. 

2017 DFW Yarn Crawl - Jacob's Reward Farm

I don’t spin much these days, and never got past the “park and draft” phase with a drop spindle, though I’d love to return to it someday. Due to my lack of spinning ability, I don’t buy roving very often. That being said, I have become seriously obsessed with weaving this week and love the way roving looks in that, so I may need roving after all. If you’re not looking for spinning supplies, there’s not a lot at Jacob’s Reward Farm. However, they do sell farm fresh eggs if you give them a call ahead of time, so I feel like this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

McKinney Knittery

2017 DFW Yarn Crawl - McKinney Knittery

The McKinney Knittery is my home base of yarn stores, where I go once a week for knit night and generally keep up with their stock. They are an easy favorite, and despite being tiny as well( Their address is 106 1/2 S Church St! It’s like Harry Potter or something!), they stock an impressive array. I went mostly to check out the Lazy Cat trunk show, though they’ve gotten in Madelinetosh and Long Dog yarns since I was there(on Saturday), so I may have to go back!

2017 DFW Yarn Crawl - McKinney Knittery

While we were there, we were able to visit the shop owner Ginger, her puppy, and her husband, who was stationed outside making root beer floats. You guys know I can’t turn down a good root beer float. I didn’t buy anything at McKinney Knittery, because I am saving myself for their Hedgehog Fibers shipment (though I could maybe be persuaded if some Long Dog yarn matches the fade I’m putting together), but I will be back in the near, near future and I’m always excited to see what is new. 

Fiber Circle

2017 DFW Yarn Crawl - Fiber Circle

Whenever we get a new knitter at knit night, they invariably get asked this cryptic question, “Have you been to Fiber Circle yet?” Despite my best efforts, I had never been there prior to this weekend. My mom and I tried to drive up to Farmersville to go there once, but it was closed. I’ve heard that it has strange, unpredictable hours, and that sometimes you have to call first before going. The phrase “call first” elicits a huge “nope” response for me, since calling people is a huge part of my job and I prefer not to do it in my off time. Hence, I’d never been to Fiber Circle. 

2017 DFW Yarn Crawl - Fiber Circle

My lovely, dashing hubby was so kind to drive me up to Fiber Circle during the yarn crawl and he got to witness it with me. All I can say is, now I know what people are talking about! Fiber Circle is the biggest yarn store in the DFW area. It might even be the biggest yarn store in Texas. and it is stuffed! Like, to the ceiling. Fiber Circle was freaking The Hubs out, and he’s normally pretty chill about yarn!

2017 DFW Yarn Crawl - Fiber Circle

I’ve never seen so much yarn in one place. They have yarn of every different type, from hand dyed to Lion Brand. The only catch is that you have to find it in their store! I couldn’t tell if there was a system to what yarns went where, but it’s not easy to find things there. That said, the staff did checked on us frequently, and we were able to find what we needed. I did pick up one skein here, so add to my Find Your Fade stash. It’s coming along nicely…

Find Your Fade

So far I’ve kept it local on this yarn crawl. With a lot of family and church stuff going on, I wasn’t ready for a huge trek to Fort Worth. Plus it gives me something to do next year! I’m hoping to hit a few more of the Dallas shops, just to round out my passport. My husband even offered to drive me there….

Anyone else doing any yarn shopping this weekend? What are you looking for.

Finished Object Knitting

Gully : Pattern Review and FO

August 17, 2017
Gully Cowl: Pattern Review and FO

This week I’m excited to share a project of firsts with you. Gully is not only my first project with brioches lace, but my first project with Brooklyn Tweed’s new Vale lace weight yarn! I knit Gully as part of Brooklyn Tweed’s Summer of Lace Knit Along. It traveled with me to Minneapolis and back and I learned a lot about brioche along the way. One of my goals for this year was to get better at brioche and, while this pattern was a challenge, It was a good challenge and I’m delighted by how it turned out.

Gully Cowl: Pattern Review and FO

The Pattern

Gully is a small, brioche lace cowl that can be knit in less than on skein of Brooklyn Tweed’s Vale. This may have contributed to my decision to make it because I wanted to try Vale, but I’m on a budget, dangit! It produces a very light and lofty cowl, which is great, because sometimes bulky cowls in the winter make me want to strangle somebody. The loftyness is the result of the brioche stitch and it’s wonderful three dimensional texture and a very strong blocking. Seriously, this thing grew a LOT when I blocked it.

The pattern, like all Brooklyn Tweed patterns, is beautifully written. It is very clear in it’s instructions for the special techniques. The lace portion quickly becomes manageable after a little time of focus. I did have a bit of confusion on the top and botton ribbing of the cowl. The pattern said to repeat rows 1 and 2 14 times and I wasn’t sure if that meant 14 rows total or 28 rows total. I did 14, because I was impatient. I don’t think that was technically correct, but the cowl came out fine anyways.

The other thing that I would say about that pattern is that it does not make for good travel knitting. It is concentration knitting. It is not good “there was turbulence on the plane and crap I dropped a stitch” knitting. If you are prone to dropping stitches, a lifeline might be a good idea for this project, because dropped stitches in brioche suuuuuck. If you find that you have, in fact, dropped a stitch, I found this video to be particularly helpful:

Despite my travel struggles, I’m really happy with how this cowl turned out. Like all Brooklyn Tweed Patterns, it has the feel of an heirloom piece. It is classic, subtle and elegantly designed. Jared Flood is an elf among hobbits when it comes to design and it shows in Gully. I can’t wait for colder weather so I can wear it more often.

Gully Cowl: Pattern Review and FO

The Yarn

Gully was my first chance to try Brooklyn Tweed’s new Vale lace weight yarn. Vale prides itself on being 100% Rambouillet fleece, and Brooklyn Tweed’s softest yarn yet. The verdict? Vale is, in fact, soft. I can wear it close to my neck with no issues. That being said, it is still definitely a wooly yarn. It is a fairly smooth yarn and has a consistent texture, but it’s not really squishy smooshy soft. It’s like Knit Picks Pallete had an older sister who went to university and studied abroad and wears designer clothes. It’s refined, polished and effective at what it does. Still, you’re buying it for the color and consistency, not for the softness.

Gully Cowl - Pattern Review and FO

I can say that while this yarn feels super delicate, it can stand up to some decent abuse. Because brioche and planes don’t mix, I had to rip back this yarn…a few times (a lot). Some yarns tend to get a little frayed and fuzzy with this much frogging, but Vale handled it surprisingly well. So far, I’ve seen no pilling, and don’t think that I really will. This yarn was designed for “heirloom-quality lace projects,” and I firmly believe that it will stand up to that description. 

I would absolutely use Vale again. I love it’s range of colors, it’s warm and earthy feel and it’s polished finished appearance. While I don’t see myself taking any major lace projects on anytime soon, when I do, I know that I can rely on Vale to provide a consistent, easy to work with yarn.