Thursday, 9 August 2018

USA: The Stash

Believe it or not, I was pretty restrained.  There was one yarn shop in Washington DC, which I didn't visit, as I knew there was more to explore in New York.

On my first night, I found Knitty City

Now, because that photo was taken after the shop closed, it doesn't show the baskets outside with the yarn on sale, or the boxes of books, or even the lady sitting outside knitting and telling me that all the books were free.

Oh dear.

Clockwise, from top left: 
  • Intermix - Stacy Charles
  • Kristin Knits - Kristin Nicholas
  • Hat Couture - Theresa Silver
  • Backyard Silk Blend Collection - Manos del Uruguay
  • Vogue Knitting: Teen Knits on the Go
  • Gotham - Stacy Charles
  • Curvy Knits x 2 - Jillian Moreno
  • Funky Knits - Carol Meldrum & Julie Marchington
I wasn't completely sure if I had enough weight allowance to bring back all of these books (let alone the space), so I had to go shopping for a new suitcase to carry the extra books back.  What started off at RRP of $170, was in the sale at $85.  The cashier who ran the transaction asked if he could try a mystery coupon to see if it made a difference.  Final cost, $46.40, including taxes! 

I will admit that the constant declarations that things were made the US, or the proliferation of flags got a bit irritating.  I get it, you're proud of your country/ isolationism!  However, when it came to yarn 'made in the US' is exactly what I was looking for! 

The first skein of yarn I found:

Knitted Wit Victory Sock
Colourway - Grand Canyon

Then I saw this one:

Knitted Wit Victory Sock
Colourway - Everglades

Then I saw a third one.  I wasn't sure if I could really justify a third skein.  However, I'd been sitting in Central Park listening to a guy playing his guitar and singing, including songs by REM, so I had to get it, given their song of the same name.  

Knitted Wit Victory Sock
Colourway - Cuyahoga Valley

I had a few hours to kill on the Saturday morning, and wanted to go to Lion Brand Studios (mostly because I knew they had a sale on, and the thought of getting some of the nicer yarns for a reduced cost was a tempting one).  In the end, the shop wasn't open at the same time I was free to visit it.  I also had Purl Soho on my list.  I've seen a video of it, and it looks like nothing on earth!  I'd planned to visit on the way back from Liberty and Ellis Islands.  However, I took more time than expected, by which point the shop had closed. 

Returning from Ellis Island

I have a very bad picture of me sitting inside Knitty City, in front of the bookshelf.  I hadn't even given it a glance!  I did have a plan to go back on the penultimate day I was in New York, but I decided that I'd done enough walking on the day in question, so didn't return after all.  

After walking to find the Alice statue, I didn't have the energy to return to Knitty City

Whilst I never went back to Knitty City, a couple of people had recommended Strand Books to me - and oh boy, was it a good recommendation!  The shelves for knitting and crochet were floor to ceiling; I had to borrow a ladder to peruse the top two shelves.  There was another lady looking for crochet books; every time I found one on the knitting shelves, I'd pass it down to her, just in case. 

Clockwise, from top left: 

  • Knitting in America by Susan M. Strawn 
  • The Best of Vogue Knitting: 25 Years of Articles, Techniques and Expert Advice
  • The Knit Generation, ed. Sarah Hatton
  • Knitting from the Centre Out by Daniel Yuhas
Knitting in America is one I saw at Knitty City; after looking it up online, it seemed right up my street - so I was very pleased to see it on the shelves at Strand Books.  (Ravelry page here).  Knitting from the Centre Out looked like an interesting way of approaching patterns and The Knit Generation featured designers I liked. 

They were also selling the famous Vogue Knitting Book - both the old and new editions.  I really wanted to get one of them, but didn't know if it was cheaper than in the UK, nor whether I'd have enough space in my luggage.  Despite the extra suitcase, books are heavy!  There was one by Amy Herzog which also had to go on the 'maybe later' pile.  

The last book from Strand Books, was one that is mostly intended for my very good friend and knitting mentor who had a baby, whilst I was in West Virginia.  If she likes the book, it's hers.  If she doesn't, I'll keep it.  Either way it works out, and some of the dresses are adorable

Also, in the knitting related purchases:

I first read about Kool Aid as a dye in Stitch and Bitch.  I couldn't quite get my head around the idea of using a drink powder to create a permanent colour to yarn.  I'm still not sure I've got my head around it, but with some packets of dye, space in the kitchen and an internet tutorial or two, I'm sure I can work something out.  

The final thing were a couple of bracelet charms which were on reduction at Girl Scout Central - the Manhattan shop for the Girl Scouts.  I thought they'd do quite nicely as stitch markers.  The one on the left is to celebrate 100 years of selling cookies; the one on the right is a Brownie elf.  

I'm due to go back to the US next year for a Scout camp, with Mr Knitty joining me afterwards for a holiday.  I'll either be going back to places I visited this year, or go somewhere new, with new yarn shops to explore.  It's a win-win.

What have you been up to this summer?

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