A Birthday Yarn Extravaganza!

My friend Marilyn and I have made it a tradition to do a yarn crawl near my birthday in December. The first year we drove up the coast about 2 hours and visited every knitting store between here and there. Last year, we just did a mini-crawl, and went more locally to the yarn stores in Ventura County. This year, I decided it was time to head south. 

Along for the ride this year was Marilyn, me, my mom, and my friend Alyson. We got to Marilyn’s at 7:30 and headed south. Our first stop was Liscat. A charming, welcoming, and fun store. Definitely a favorite. The owner was very chatty and friendly, and so were the people sitting and knitting. The store had a ton of store samples scattered around and creatively placed, and there were some fun uses for stashbusting, such as the chair back covers. I wish I lived closer to this place, because I’d be there all. the. time. 

Yarn purchase:
Laceweight Ornaghi Filati Merino Oro in dark purple (
Ravel it!)
Fingering weight Aurora Yarns Acquerello (
Ravel it!

Next stop: Alamitos Bay Yarn Company.

While I do love their laceweight yarns, and their selections of both Lorna’s Laces Helen’s Lace and Fiddlesticks Knitting’s Zephyr is unrivaled here in SoCal, I find this store to be completely underwhelming. I’ve been in there exactly twice and the staff have either ignored me completely (when no one else was in the store) or made me feel like I’m interrupting brain surgery to ask a question about their inventory. Don’t get me wrong…they’ve never been rude or hostile, just…unwelcoming. Frankly, unless I’m going for something specific, I probably won’t make an effort to get back there.  But I still bought yarn. LOLOL.

Yarn Purchase:
Laceweight Lorna’s Laces Helen’s Lace in “Devon.” (
Ravel it!)
Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn in “A” (
Ravel it!

Now for my favorite: The Yarn Lady

I have a sentimental attachment to The Yarn Lady. It’s such a HUGE store with really great yarns, tons of toys and tools, LOTS of bags, and the friendliest staff around. I’ve been there on Bag Sale days and even then we’re greeted with bright smiles, cheery faces, and get cookies and coffee delivered to us when we’re in line. LOL Even this time, when we left, we got hugs. LOLOL It’s a happy place. And here’s where I bought the most, and I think we spent the most time there. By then we were getting tired, so it was nice to sit in the back of the store at a huge table and just go through pattern books and rest for a bit.

Yarn Purchases:
Collinette Cadenza in Velvet Bilberry (
Ravel it!), Florentina (Ravel it!), Jay (Ravel it!), and Jewel (Ravel it!)
Noro Silk Garden Lite in 2013 (
Ravel it!)
I also picked up a couple clear plastic bags for small projects or tools, as well as a 4 more sets of Addi Lace needles in various sizes.  

And finally, an unexpected jewel. Strands and Stitches.  

This little store has one room in the front for knitting and a room in the back for needlepoint, and in between is the register. But aside from that, it’s remarkably well-stocked, and the two ladies that work there were VERY nice. In fact, we didn’t realize it until we got back in the car that we were there after closing. They didn’t mention it, and they never tried to hurry us along. And they had nearly as much fun trying to find yarns for us as we did! Great, great little shop.

Yarn Purchase:
Fiesta La Luz in Iolite (
Ravel it!)

By then it was after 5:00, so we wouldn’t have made it to The Sheared Sheep, so back to Costa Mesa to hit the Container Store and Barnes and Noble before we had dinner and then headed back. We got home at about 10:30, unloaded the car, did a bit of fondling, and fell face first into bed. 

It was a great Birthday Yarn Extravaganza!

Lynda the Guppy
aka The Fish With Sticks

A New Experience

On Saturday morning my friends and I had our monthly knitting class at my friend Linda-With-An-I’s house. It was a zoo! LOL We had 8 people taking the class, a friend who had stopped by to visit, the teacher, and two dogs. LOLOL But as always it was fun. This is a great group of ladies, and we always laugh ourselves silly.

We had heard that just that past Monday a new knitting store had opened, so Alyson and I decided to check it out. It was an elegant little store (and I do mean LITTLE), but she made it feel very warm and welcoming. Her stock is a bit monotone at this point (same colors, textures, fibers, etc.) but I suspect that comes from being a new store owner. I’m sure her stock selection will fill out after a while.

The store itself is beautiful. Very elegant, with a nice rectangular table in front for people to sit around, as well as a huge cushioned window seat with pillows and blankets, and a little round cafe table in the corner for two (or more if you use the window seat, too). There are a couple more chairs towards the back, and then they have a back room with a large square table for classes. All this crammed into a teeny tiny space, but the way she has it organized, it uses the little space she has very well. I just wish there was more yarn. LOL.

The staff, though, were VERY friendly and welcoming, and I heard through the grapevine that the owner is open to suggestions, so it sounds like she’s on the right track. I hope she can make a go of it, because it really is a sweet little store.

Pearl’s Knitting Parlor
2993 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

It doesn’t look like they have a website yet, but I’m sure that will change. So go visit and let me know what you think.

Lynda the Guppy
aka The Fish With Sticks

Catching Up: Sedona

I spent my last few weekends in Arizona and I took some side trips. The first was with my friend M up to Sedona. M is both a quilter AND a knitter, so when we were planning her trip, I was looking into yarn and quilt stores. And boy did we score!

We stopped at a number of quilt and yarn stores, so here are some highlights…

Our first stop was Quiltz in Phoenix. This place was massive. Because my mother is also a quilter (M was mom’s friend first) I have been to my share of quilting stores all over the country, and I have never seen one as well stocked as this one. And they had their fabric grouped well, too. A lot of stores do it by color or fabric, and they did to a certain extent, but they also grouped by theme. So if you were looking for travel fabric, that was on this shelf. Dog fabric over there. English Florals in the next room. Really a great store. We spent probably about an hour there and M doesn’t think she saw everything. In fact, while we were leaving we saw an entire stand-alone that had purple floral fabric on it that she had missed. And if you knew M you’d know how shocking it is that she missed an entire rack of purple. It’s unheard of.

Then we hit the road. I can’t remember where all we stopped, but we were hightailing it to Prescott. My cousin is going to school there and I heard there were good yarn stores out that way, and one we were NOT. TO. MISS in Jerome.

Prescott is a fairly small town. There’s a junior college and an aeronautics school and that’s about it. A town of a decent size, but it’s still SMALL compared to Los Angeles. Even compared to Phoenix. There was not one…not two…but THREE knitting stores in Prescott. One was literally around the corner from the other.

The first store was mainly for spinning, and I picked up some gorgeous teal roving. Really pretty with streaks of purple and gold running through. Not sure how this will spin up, but we’ll see. I wish I lived closer because this is the type of place I would come to learn about wheels. They really know their stuff.

The second store was nice. I’ve noticed Alpaca yarns are more readily available out there than here. I bought some great pink for a scarf and hat set for my cousin, this beautiful yarn that looks like a midnight sky, and a couple of patterns. One for the sky-like yarn.

The third store was more what I see here in L.A. A lot of space, not a lot of yarn, but what they had was really nice. And it looked like a comfortable place to sit and knit for a while. And if you needed needles, this was the place to go.

From there we were in a hurry to get to Jerome. I had heard that there was a store there that Should. Not. Be. Missed. I am so very VERY glad it wasn’t.

First off, the drive from Prescott to Jerome. NOT for the faint of heart. Beautiful, but very twisting.

We were trying to get to Jerome by 5, as that’s when the store closed. We made it with about 10 minutes to spare. Luckily the shop owner’s hours are a bit…flexible. LOL

Begin Shameless Plug #2

Knit 1, Bead 2 is one of those stores you wish you lived next door to. It is friendly, the owner was helpful, and the yarns were EVERYWHERE. And the Koigu! *swoon* Oh, my, the Koigu. I have never seen so much in one place before, and that’s even including the Wall O’ Koigu at Wildfiber.

I bought quite a bit of it, as you can see.

And M tried to help me out by making sure I left with a little less of it!

The thief! She’s lucky she didn’t lose that hand! LOLOL.

Once we left Jerome, it was clear sailing to Sedona. Found our hotel (actually timeshare) with no problems, checked in, and lugged all our belongings to the room.

And what a “room” it was!

The view from outside our front door…

Where we had our morning coffee at the Starbucks…

We did the Pink Jeep Tour (HIGHLY recommend them)…

and got to see some of the sights…

Check out Snoopy complete with Woodstock on his nose…

And did A LOT of shopping. Found some turquoise for me, finally. I even found a fish! M quite easily topped me in the “who bought more” contest. She bought the timeshare! LOLOL.
…But I still have my purple Koigu!

Next up: The Grand Canyon

The Guppy
aka The Fish With Sticks

Catching Up: Phoenix

You know, there are a TON of things I would post about on a regular basis. And what’s holding me back is, primarily, the time to upload the photos that go with. So today, I’m playing catch up. To spare those with dialup (and even those without) I’m posting thumbnails. Click any of them for the full picture. Also, I’m breaking this up because it’s WAAAAY too long otherwise. LOL
And you might want to send out for some food. You’re going to be here a while. LOL…
I spent 2 months flying back and forth nearly every week from Los Angeles to Phoenix for work. My job and my boss moved and I looked around at the dry, brown, hotter-than-the-surface-of-the-sun Phoenix and said “NO WAY!” LOL Too hot for me out there.
While flying I worked on a sock…
And then ripped it back completely. A shop owner out there told me the best way to beat SSS is to do them both at once. For some reason that was a concept that had eluded me. LOL So I completely ripped it back. And since I ripped it…what about making the Jaywalkers? So I’ve re-cast on about a month ago and haven’t touched it since.

While there I also worked on a scarf for my best friend out of some Alpaca sportweight she sent This turned out to be the pattern from hell. It’s a pretty pattern with no errors that I noticed, and the yarn is PERFECT for it, as it has a bit of a halo from the Alpaca and a lovely shine from the silk, but it kicked my ass. What you see there is absolutely as far as I had been able to get, and it took me about 15 tries and nearly two weeks to get THAT far. Needless to say, It has since been frogged…
…A pink scarf for my cousin that I am discovering I don’t like. LOL. I’m still plugging away on it, though, so she may see it in 2020…

And now Shameless Plug #1
While in Phoenix the first weekend, I quickly found the local restaurants, grocery store, bookstore, and yarn store. Not necessarily in that order, you understand. And while surfing through the NUMEROUS sites for all the yarn stores in the Phoenix area, I found Tempe Yarn and Fiber. They are wonderful. The couple that own and run it are so helpful. I went once to one of their knitting nights and found everyone there to be sweet and funny and they welcomed me immediately and in the few sporadic visits I made there, I never felt for a single moment like I was unwelcome or intruding into an already established group. And the owner (and I feel like a total jerk, as I cannot for the life of me remember her name) was ALWAYS willing to just whip out the yarn and show me something or help me with anything I needed. Had I thought to pack my spindle, she could have taught me to spin, too. And since she was ever so patient with my questions, I know she would have been an EXCELLENT teacher.
If you’re ever in the area, stop in. Lovely yarns, and lovelier people.
Next up…Sedona

The Guppy
aka The Fish With Sticks