sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Stash in Berkeley, Fuzzy Feet in Oakland

I went in search of yarn for my Hypotenuse (I decided that the Schaefer Anne wasn't right for what I was looking for-- it was soft and light, but didn't feel like it would be warm) at the newish Stash in Berkeley... I found the perfect yarn but am waiting to post a pic of the progress til another day. (Love both though, yarn and pattern.)

Did pick up a few other things...

Rowan felted tweed, ginger colorway

This was my second choice for the manlace... but I did bring home a ball to make another pair of Knucks sometime. I just noted the yardage, could one make a pair of socks with this? I love the tweed. It also says washable on wool cycle on the label...

Baruffa cashwool, 100% merino lace in red

Can I knit lace? No. Could I not pick this up? No. Love the color, and the *idea* of a red lace stole or something is appealing. :) I don't have the patience yet, but this was so soft and so red... (famous last words.)

Claudia's HandPainted yarn, purple midnight colorway

I always thought Claudia's yarn was handwash only, but the label on this pair of skeins says it can be machine washed gentle and had a "GEMS" emblem next to it... so I guess she uses Gems Pearl as her base yarn. Lovely color, even though I've been personally shying away from high contrast, dark colorways (afraid of patterning getting lost in the color).

Mountain colors bearfoot, yellowstone colorway

I stumbled onto this accidentally, Stash Yarn has their Mountain Colors "display" hidden between their knitting space in the back and the cash register. I never would have thought this was Mountain Colors; I always think of deep blue and purples when I think of their colorways.

This was my first trip to Stash. I think they opened up at the beginning of the year-- they're located in the "fischu fischu" part of Solano Avenue in Berkeley, nice nice neighborhood with Zachary's Pizza, high rent and no parking. They have a large selection of yarns, although I never quite "got" how things were arranged (and I was there for a while!)-- I think its by gauge, but I can't be sure and was thrown off by the low "displays" in the middle of the room (I sat in front of these on the floor looking for Schaefer Anne colorways-- they had about 4 skeins of it and none of it grabbed me).

I guess its always a challenge to yarn stores, how to arrange and display yarns. For me, I always feel guilty pulling yarns out of those "box" wall displays (that are always full to the brim, and stuffed 2 deep so you can't see what is behind the first wave of yarn), but I will if I'm looking for a matching skein. So I end up with an armful of yarn, and then have to put it back and it never quite seems to fit and skeins are falling apart in my hands and and and :)

Stash has quite a selection, lots of Rowan yarns (I saw the cashcotton 4 ply in vivid I thought I'd want for the manLace, but it wasn't tweedy like I thought it was and also a bit lighter, so I passed on it) and also lots of the fair isling yarns (the little itchyish 25gm putups... I can't remember the name!). For sock yarns, they had Lorna's, Regia (silk & bamboo I remember), Nature's Palette solids (I actually really like the NP "variegated"-- theirs are never jarring or high contrast, but always really nice), Claudia's Hand Painted, Mountain Colors Bearfoot. Maybe more, I forget :) Their prices were a bit higher than the same yarns I found overlapping at Article Pract, but like I said-- this neighborhood has got to be a killer in rent, and they also have a larger space and a sitting area for knitting...) I don't live that close, at least in terms of time on transit, so I won't be back that much, but it is a nice store.

I did feel a bit... clicqued out as well, like older or returning customers had the employees attention and I was a bit invisible. (Could just be the Ellison on my nightstand echoing though.) I stood at the register for several minutes waiting for a conversation between employee and customer to be finished (not ringing up purchases or finishing a transaction, and there was more than one employee there), and the employee lamented that she didn't get to say goodbye to **** and how rude she must think her while she was ringing me up (not making eye contact with me, only with the other employee). If I were "new" at this whole thing and yarn stores intimidated me like they used to, I'd also have felt irked I hadn't been acknowledged while shopping as well. But for me, old hand that I am :) the selection speaks for itself and I'm glad enough that another local store is within reach to support.

That said, I did pop over to Article Pract where I always enjoy shopping and picked up Becka's contest prize. I forgot to snap a pic before I sent it on its merry way, but she has great taste :) Also picked up a bent tip tapestry needle for... wait for it, finishing the Lizard Ridge afghan!!! :) I finished the 4th panel Friday and seamed it up Sunday, but its still not finished. I picked up the crochet hook for its edging on Sunday night after finishing another quick project...


Fuzzy Feet from Knitty Winter 2002
Started: November 11, 2006
Finished: Finished November 12, 2006
Felted: November 14, 2006
Patons SWS yarn, Natural denim Navy colorway 2 skeins
US 10.5 16" circular and dpns

My first felted slippers :) I was planning on giving these to my dad with the boyfriend dad socks, but they didn't work out and fit me :) I did cast on 48 sts for a larger/wider foot, but silly me dec down on to 40 for the gussets and was like-- oh, it'll be FINE :) Fine enough to fit me! Not a big deal, its a fast knit and I want my dad's pair to fit and not be weird (next time I'll do something different for the toe too, make it more square... felted it looked like a pixie foot). For me, I like them... they're tight like a sock and will keep my feet warm as the weather cools. I have enough for a toddler pair left from these too, though I'll have less when I make my dad's pair larger (should have enough for a large men's pair from 2 skeins, though.)

I'll use the Patons SWS (soy wool stripes, 70% wool 30% soy!) again-- great price, fun striping, widely available at craft stores. I know people have said its a "replacement for Noro"... yeah, if you're just trying to replace long color repeats (some are). Its dyed in long color repeats, where Noro Kureyon is (from my newbie spinner's eye) taking different colored roving of the same wool and spinning them together. Noro's not just adding in new colors of wool for color changes, they slowly add in roving over several yards to accomplish the color gradiation. After almost 20 balls of Kureyon over the past almost month, I've been inspired by how its spun up and also by its non-patterning. The Patons SWS looks non-patterned, but if you notice, 2 balls made 2 exact pairs of slippers totally accidentally (I didn't match the stripes, just knit from the beginning of each ball)-- the long patterns look to be contained in one ball of Patons SWS. Cool, but patterned :)

I do like the Patons SWS though, don't get me wrong! The soy content has me *totally* geeking out... soy! :) Its a single, but strong as 7734-- I usually just pull yarn to break it, but I couldn't with the SWS and had to use scissors. Its soft knitting up, but when I put the unfelted slippers to the back of my neck, it felt itchy (I'm usually not a scarf girl anyway). The felting looks great... my pair went thru for one cycle in the top loader on hot and are pretty completely felted (with some nubby texture that I think looks cool) and are fuzzy... both, soy not felted? Don't know, but I like the look overall.

Phew. Next time, if I don't slit my wrists with the crochet hook, I'll have the Lizard Ridge done and maybe enough of my Hypotenuse to show too :)


Alyson said...

Whee, so much accomplishment!! So much yarn goodness! (I was curious about that Patons - I spotted it on a recent daring expedition into Michael's.)

I LOVE THAT BEARFOOT! Wacky color, for them, but I lurve it!!

The pressure of going into a new LYS....I went to a few this weekend that arranged by color. I really have to say I can't stand fiber, by weight, by ANYTHING but color. It's just kind of a pain. (And for sock yarns? I counted five colorways of Lorna's, four of Sockotta, and three of some cotton yarn that could pass for sock. That's it. What?! Palm Beach knitters don't knit socks??? Crazy!)

Karen said...

Pretty yarn, love the Bearfoot! and love the slippers too... I have some of the Patons SWS that I was going to make mittens with but I might have to make some fuzzy feet instead.

Elspeth said...

Oooh, I've got to try out Stash too! I'm amazed that we can have stores closing very close to new stores opening up, but it works for us as the consumer. However, Zachary's pizza? Yuck! That used to be the bribe to listen to the CEO talk at the job from Hell and I hated it. I guess I'll eat before coming East.

I love the Fuzzy Feet!

lexa said...

It's so weird how people find things different. We carry SWS, but I haven't used it yet. A cousin of mine bought some, and she couldn't use it. It broke on her every time she tried to cast on, so she got her MIL to make the scarf. I like how it felted -- have to file that in the back on the noggin.

Every day I go in to work I tidy up the yarn section. We have cubby holes, too, though most of our yarn is out back. I try to make sure every color is visible and that all the colors of a particular yarn are on display, and most people will pick one and ask if we have X# of skeins. Lots of times I find wayward balls of yarn in with something totally different. Baby yarn in with the novelty Boa, Classic Wool with Decor... but this gives me something to do.

Looking forward to the finished Lizard Ridge. I really like that Bearfoot yarn, too.

Jenny Raye said...

Love your latest yarn acquisitions! And honey, with that gorgeous red cashmere, you better learn to knit some lace! What an awesome stole or shawl it would make. If you have the patience for socks.....and to raise a have the patience for lace :0)

Anonymous said...

What gorgeous yarn you picked up. If that red cashmere doesn't get you started on lace knitting, what will? ;-)
Cute stripy fuzzy feet. Must check out that yarn!

Unknown said...

Wow I love your yarn acquisitions Aija! They should inspire some serious knitting. Your slippers turned out great...look like a perfect fit! Excellent job.

Acornbud said...

You are really knitting up a storm. I love that red lace yarn, what a great red. I'm obsessing on red

Erica said...

I am glad to hear that you liked the Patons SWS as I picked up a couple skeins a while back to make a pair of mittens for myself. I am loving the color of the red laceweight too! I'm guessing that it will make a beautiful stole... or whatever you use it for for that matter! :)

knitspot anne said...

it's a real yarn-o-rama over here lately! hahaha! love that red lace yarn—it would make a gorgeous casino (ooh-la-la)!

Sarah-potterknitter said...

I certainly don't know how I would arrange a yarn store, but it's certainly not by color. I've been to a few with great selection, but by color is only good for scarf knitters, 'one of these, and one with eyelash to match' My yarn store has almost no arrangement, but that's because they've got about 3 times as much yarn as the building can really hold! Luckly the manager can almost always find what we need. And since I've taught her to make socks the selection of sock yarn has doubled!
I can't wait to see the Lizard Ridge! I'm so tempted.....

soapy said...

love the mountian colors barfoot and your fuzzy feet look wonderful!Can't wait to see your lizard ridge! Happy seaming!

Jeanne said...

Very nice stash enhancement - I love it all. Seeing the Bearfoot made me wish I wasn't trying not to buy yarn right now!

Anonymous said...

When I saw your red cashmere, I had to come out of lurkdom. Whenever I think of red shawls, I think of Susan B. Anthony. Whenever she spoke, she dressed in all black with a bright red shawl. It was kind of her signature thing. Its really amazing that over 100 years later, women are still seeking greater equality AND knitting red shawls!

Stacey said...

Congrats on getting ready to seam!!!!!

That Bearfoot is wonderful colors....

Funny how many ways a yarn store can arrange yarn - some people like one way, some another (plus, I think it depends on what you are looking for - blue yarn, or something worsted weight)

Anonymous said...

Great stash enhancements! That mountain colors looks so warm and cuddly.

I haven't seen the SWS in person yet, but I agree, it doesn't seem to have the same organic-ness as the Noro. But the fuzzy feet look good!

I can't believe you've finished the lizard ridge, I bet it looks amazing!!

Jennifer said...

Ooo, the fuzzy feet look so comfy! I'm reeling from all the fibery goodness you've gotten lately too!

Melissa said...

Love love love the fuzzy feet and the new yarn!

HPNY KNITS said...

oh fuzzy feet! right in time for winter!
I love rowan's felted weed, I think it can be very cool for the hypotenuse, but can't wait to see the choice yarn

Sherry W said...

I'm going to have to check out the SWS, I hate to say it but I'm not a fan of Noro. I like the colors, but not the yarn quailty.

Kate A. said...

I wouldn't have thought that soy blend would felt! I'm totally going to try it. I can't have enough felted slippers, and I messed up my first pair of fuzzy feet, so I think it's high time to try again...thanks for the inspiration!

Jerry & Maxy said...

Great virtual yarn store tour...LYSs can be so rugged to visit if you're sensitive and not part of the group.

I love the fuzzy feet! I've got to make fuzzy feet.

Vanessa said...

I just stumbled upon your blog through knitty and holy moly you have gorgeous work!!

I went to stash last week and felt the whole "clique" thing you did as well. Didn't really care for the attitude but loved the yarn!!

The fuzzy feet are so great!!

Anonymous said...

I started Fuzzy Feet last night and got a few rows in before I realised I'd twisted my cast on.

So I swore like a sailor, unravelled it and vowed never to knit again. Like all rational girls would.

Chris said...

Your Fuzzy Feet turned out really cool!! Ok, maybe I'll give the SWS a try. And you had some great stash additions, didn't you?!

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