Knitter on tour, part 2

If bad things happen in threes, I should be done with navigation difficulties for this LYS Tour.

On the surface, my plans for today weren’t all that ambitious – just 8 LYSs, 6 of them in Seattle. The hard part was that with Steve back at work, I also had to handle school drop off and pick up, which meant that in the middle of my touring, I was going to have to head back to the other side of the Sound to pick up the kids, and then head all the way back. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do when yarn’s involved.

The day started on a very sweet note – since Lexie was on vacation the week they did the Mother’s Day cards in her class, she did hers yesterday and I got it this morning. It had a tea theme, but the cutest part was the note inside the teapot card: “I love my Mom because…she knits me stuff.”

Seemed like the perfect note on which to head to Churchmouse Yarns & Teas.

Churchmouse Yarns & Teas, Bainbridge Island WA

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I was there before opening, but wasn’t surprised to see the doors were already open with busy shoppers inside. Churchmouse was my shortest stop, because it’s the only one of the LYSs on the list that’s actually local to me.

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From there I headed to the Bainbridge Island-Seattle ferry; I once accidentally (showed up at the wrong time) took this one the other direction, but never from the island, so that was fun. After having lived here for almost 2 years, I still get a kick out of riding the ferries. Once on dry land, it was back to touring.

Bad Woman Yarn, Seattle WA

This year, I made sure to put Bad Woman Yarn early in my schedule. Last year, I dashed in as they were packing up for the night, so I didn’t get to see their nice set up.

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This time, I wanted to be able to actually look around in a leisurely manner – there’s quite a bit to see for a small store.

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So Much Yarn, Seattle WA

So Much Yarn isn’t the prettiest on the outside…

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…but they do have plenty of yarn!

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I found a really sweet yarn in there with sparkles that I’m pretty sure Lexie’s going to love…even though I added some green to her favorite pink and purple combo.

Seattle Yarn, Seattle WA

My last stop for the first half of the day was at Seattle Yarn.

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Inside I came across a nice surprise: Shannon Mullet-Bowlsby of Shibaguyz Designz was there with a new design collection and all the fun yarn he used. (Jason was there too, but of course, I missed him.) They’ll be there for the rest of the tour, if you want to check out some great designs and yarn. I snagged a couple skeins for some swatching – Jeffrey wants a zippered cardigan from it.

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Oh, and there’s plenty of other yarns to check out too.

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Then it was time to head back across the Sound to get the kids. This time, I ended up on the Fauntleroy-Southworth Ferry…and almost accidentally got off at Vashon Island. That route’s tricky, y’all.

As soon as the kids were home with Steve, it was back to it for me. In an attempt to dodge as much of Seattle’s nightmare rush hour traffic as possible, I opted to head to Serial Knitters in Kirkland first – it’s a bit more out of the way, so if I missed any yarn stores, I wanted them to be in Seattle (and this almost turned out to be a premonition). But the trip to Serial Knitters was quite smooth…except for one small misstep. I forgot that my GPS, Wesley, can’t handle this exit and flips out after sending me the wrong way. Unfortunately, although I love Serial Knitters, it’s far enough out of the way that I visit rarely, and I don’t remember the freak out until it’s too late. As usual, it took 3 of the 4 clover leaves on that exit to get me pointing the right direction.

Serial Knitters, Kirkland WA

But I made it.

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Serial Knitters may be my favorite store on the tour (don’t tell the others…and come to think of it, don’t tell Serial Knitters about Makers Mercantile). I had a hard time picking something out, partly because there were so many happy knitters there (a frequent “problem”) and partly because of the selection. One thing I knew I was getting as soon as I saw it – a double Yarn Buddy!

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Then it was off to Seattle again, and I ran into my second travel misadventure. I had planned pretty well for traffic…but you can’t really plan for the car that stalls on the floating bridge on 502. That back up slowed me down quite a bit.

Acorn Street Yarn, Seattle WA

I wasn’t too far behind when I got to Acorn Street…but finding parking was a bit tricky. I ended up several blocks away and up a hill. Walking down was a bit painful for my knees. Walking back up was worse. The sacrifices I make for yarn…

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And to get to see the ladder and imagine having one in my future craft room…and having shelves of yarn stacked high enough to actually need a ladder…sigh…

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It was as I was leaving Acorn Street that another yarn crawler gave me a warning about my planned final stop that, in retrospect, I didn’t give enough thought to…but that’s for later.

The Fiber Gallery, Seattle WA

I made things a bit tough on myself here; I forgot they had parking behind the store and ended up a couple blocks (and across a busy street with no crosswalks) away.

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I couldn’t seem to settle on anything here for a while, and spent a bit of time chatting, although I was aware that time was ticking. It was about 7:30, and the tour ended at 8pm today.

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I did finally make a selection and get moving…and that disregarded warning jumped up to bite me in the rear.

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See, there’s a section of Seattle called Ballard. Ballard has a lot of people of Norwegian descent who are quite proud of their heritage – so much so, they throw an annual parade. And today was that day.

Guess where The Tea Cozy Yarn Shop, my planned final stop is located? In Ballard. On the parade route.

I ended up circling the blocked off streets, trying to find a spot I could squeeze into. Unfortunately, the streets were parked solid, turning them into one way roads (which got interesting anytime I met a car going the other way – which was frequently). Meanwhile, I was watching time ticking down on my dashboard clock.

Finally, I found a spot a good distance a way, 2 minutes before 8, and set off at a rapid walk. Halfway there, I finally admitted to myself that this was a futile gesture. The only shot I was going to get was going to be the outside shot…

The Tea Cozy Yarn Shop, Seattle WA

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See that open door? So did I.

In fact, there were several knitters in there finishing up as I dashed in, out-of-breath and disheveled. One of the staff looked at me and said with a smile, “You made it.”

Yes. Yes I did.

I got my stamp. Not only that, but I got my door prize entry, looked around, bought some yarn, and even got a frequent buyer card…all while being given the impression that the staff had all the time in the world even if it was 5 minutes after closing when I showed up. Award for the Most Gracious LYS of 2013 goes to The Tea Cozy Yarn Shop.

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LYS Tour stats (today):

  • LYSs visited: 8
  • Miles traveled round trip: 191.3
  • Time spent traveling and visiting LYSs: 11 hrs, 47 min
  • Ferries taken: 3
  • Yarn purchased: 18 skeins

LYS Tour stats (total):

  • LYS visited: 10 of 24
  • Miles traveled round trip: 316.3
  • Time spent traveling and visiting LYS: 15 hrs, 16 min
  • Ferries taken: 3
  • Yarn purchased: 28 skeins

LYS Tour 2013 Day 2 track

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3 Responses to Knitter on tour, part 2

  1. Jackie says:

    You did it!

    I’ve never heard of a yarn buddy before and now I must have one!

    • Jen says:

      You do – really, they’re life changing! :-) I’m a bit ashamed to admit it, but my wonderful collection of yarn bowls is gathering dust. I never pull from the center of a yarn cake anymore; I use my yarn buddies for everything.

  2. scienceknitster says:

    I stumbled upon Serial Knitters when I visited Seattle in the Fall of 2011 — love that place! I wish it were my LYS!