Friday, September 29, 2006

A Mini-Tour of Santa Monica

Yesterday I met MT, a knitting friend, in Santa Monica, over on LA's Westside. The facts of driving in LA are that it usually takes at least an hour to get to anywhere that's over 10 miles away. That time/distance was my commute when I was working, and DH still drives that. These days it seems that there's heavy traffic regardless of the time of day.

My friend has a really busy schedule, so we don't manage to get together very often, and we always look forward to a meet-up. First we went to an awesome bead store. This is the first bead store I've been to, so I was stunned by all the goodies, major sensory overload. MT helped me put things in perspective, and after lots of looking and choosing and rethinking, I got beads for 3 sets of stitch markers, plus some really quality findings. I am SO going to have to practice that twist-around-the wire stuff. My friend had made the earrings she was weraring, and is so talented; she made a beautiful little spiral as the decoration at the bottom.

Lunch was at a little cafe just down the street, and while we munched out on prosciutto and mozzarella on ciabatta, we had our usual show-and-tell of projects. She had a little shoulder shawl, light as a feather, in a gorgeous handpainted yarn, plus a project she's just started with a peachy-pink-coral mohair, lovely little variations in the colors. I showed off my camel-colored seamen's scarf and the Kiri I made this summer in a lavender sportweight cotton.

The program had us going to two LYSs, but we didn't make it to the second one. Yarns Unlimited has 10-foot (or taller) ceilings, and the yarns are stacked that high. I was ISO some Brown Sheep or similar superwash yarn for the hats for the Alaska boys. They carry the Bulky and the NatureSpun, but not superwash. But they had some Dale of Norway Freestyle, which is superwash, and in smaller skeins. Since I needed just a bit of two colors for accents, this was a happy find. And then MT showed me the 'back room'. Oh. My. God. Still more yarns, most of them in bags, and a major treasure trove of deeply discounted clearance items. I found 12 skeins of some beautiful mid-green Italian superwash at half price, $3.50/skein; they now have a good home at CBM's yarn shop. There was also some incredibly soft 100% merino fingering weight yarn, but all in very pastel shades, nothing that said "You HAVE to take me home!"

By that time, we had only half an hour until MT had to pick up her boys from school, so we said goodbye. I also had some other errands to do, and headed east. On the way I was about to drive right past Stitches from the Heart, which is a small LYS run by the national charity. They provide clothing for babies and kids in need, and it's always fun to check out what's going on there. Since my car brakes for yarn, I doubled back and went in. They carry some upscale yarns and a wide selection of the best kinds of acrylics for baby clothing. There was an adorable polo shirt made from just over one skein of some aran weight in greens, so I picked up the two skeins. The owner/managers have a "customer loyalty card", and I had finished filling up my card the last time I'd been in, several months ago. Imagine my happy surprise when they said my reward was *any* of their wooden needles! Including Lantern Moons! Now you know I'm pretty much a circular knitter, but there were some gorgeous 10 1/2s just staring back at me. No-brainer? Absolutely!! Now for scarves in that gauge, I can use my Lantern Moon straights and enjoy the beauty and smooth finish.

Then to other errands, all on the way back home to Burbank. BTW, Borders has Wendy Johnson's book (her blog is Wendy Knits!)in the '3 for 2' section right now. Good buy!

6 comments:

Clay Bethelbridge said...

You do very nice craftwork. Have a wonderful day!!!

jayne said...

Sounds like you had a really fun day. Mmmm...bead store overload. I would have liked to watch you in there. Bead stores are dangerous, but delightful. I can't tell you how envious I am of those Lantern Moons. Urban Yarns sells Lantern Moon straight needles (I prefer straights to circs), and I felt a pair. Mmmm...wanting some badly, but they were over 25. Cdn. a pair!! Maybe for my birthday.

Bri McStan said...

My semi- hippie defintely Dead Head roommate from high school lives in the Santa Monica area. She's started a import jewelry and beads business. When you are ready for your next foray into bead-dom, I'll get her info. I can't wait to see what you end up making. Get some pliers!

junior_goddess said...

Gosh, Barbara-

STAY AWAY from the beads. It's REALLY easy to spend tons on the beads!

Wish I had a choice of brick and mortar yarn stores....

Mary Tess said...

My goodness, I'm famous! Thanks for the compliments. I had fun, too.

Cindy G said...

Oooh Lantern Moon, my friend Lu has a pair of those big ones for scarves and she loves them. They should make work on your charity scarves even more fun.