about the essentials of life...knitting, designing knitting, yarn for knitting...you get the idea...

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I'm a knitter, knitting pattern designer, and spinner. I also dye yarn with both acid and natural dyes.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

California Dreaming, Part II

Back in San Jose - I visited one of my favorite yarn shops ever. Wish this were close enough to be my LYS! It's commuknity. I first found out about it by stumbling across the blog written by the owner as she worked on opening the shop, though I think that it has changed hands since then. It was one of those serendipidous things - I found the blog, wished I could see the shop, and found out we were going to be in the area all within a couple of days. So, last year I was so excited to actually find the shop. It lived up to, no, surpassed, my expectations as far as ambiance. It's truly a calm, welcoming, kind of sheltering place for fiber artists. I wasn't so fond of the inventory last year, though. I have some sort of bias against shops that seem to carry the entire Rowan, Jo Sharp or Debbie Bliss lines. No reason whatsoever, I admit. Completely irrational, but there it is.
This year, however, was a different story. The inventory was much more varied and much more interesting. They had some great lace weights and a large inventory of sock yarns. I think, though I'm not sure, that this is the place that had such a huge selection of Cotton Classics. It's curious to me that the West Coast shops I visited on this trip all seemed to have so much more color selection than I've seen elsewhere. How lucky you guys are!

And my purchases here: some Frog Tree Suri Aplaca for, you guessed it, socks and a couple of Harmony Guide books. I can never find these, so I've decided to get any any time I actually see them. They're such wonderful reference books!

After my visit to community, I drove out El Camino Real, trying to find the yarn shops and other points of interest. This was all new territory to me and it was fascinating. All of the place names that I'd read about and visualized so differently. Somehow I had the idea that Stanford was in the country. Ha!

I didn't have much luck with the yarn shops. Most were closed (it was Sunday) and the one that I really, really wanted to find, I couldn't. I sure the explored the neighborhood, though, looking for it. I called for directions, but no one answered. Redwood City was a visual tree, however, so I didn't mind too much. Oh, the shop was Amazing Yarns. Someone on the Knitlist recommended it. She said that it is built around a redwood tree. Sounds heavenly...

Speaking of the Knitlist (or was it Knittalk?) - I've read all those posts from Half Moon Bay and been really intruiged. I just had a quick and hazy memory of passing by on the Pacific Coast Hwy a couple of years ago. My memory was of fog hugging the water - an eerie kind of mood. I wanted to see it again and check out that spookiness. I checked the map, checked the time and decided I could do it. I turned off the Camino and took what I thought was going to be a highway to the coast. Well, it started out that way. For about 10 minutes. Then it turned into a traffic jam. Absolute gridlock. For a couple of hours. It was in the midst of the heat wave, I turned the AC off to prevent the car from overheating, and I waited. And waited. For No Apparent Reason. I marveled at the scenery and enjoyed the fragrance of the trees and tried to ignore how thirsty, hot, sweaty, and eventually, hungry I was.

Finally, got to the village, still in traffic, took one of the first turns, and the first parking space I saw. The village is charming. It looks like it should be fictional! Not at all gloomy and foggy - at least at this time. I'm not even sure I have connected the correct memory to it, but I was in a completely different place than a couple of years ago. I walked around and around, found a bagel place for a cool drink and snack (too late for lunch, too early for dinner). I wasn't looking, but I found a funky yarn shop, Fengari. It's in an old storefront type building and doesn't appear to have experienced much modernization. It feels like the old west type of general store. There is yarn everywhere, and I do mean everwhere! In boxes, baskets, precariously pereched on shelves. in stacks on the floor, everywhere! Patterns, too. I liked the relaxed feel of it, but I'm a Virgo, the Martha Stewarts of the cosmos, and I would go crazy if I worked here! Inexplicably, I didn't buy anything. Too frazzled, I guess. Also, seriously dreading the trip back to San Jose.

And, today's eye candy:

Gives new meaning to the phrase 'flower bed', doesn't it?


Blogger Scoutj said...

The owner Nathania of Commuknity os super cool!

August 08, 2006 4:11 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Wish you would have take me with you! Sounds like you had a wonderful time!

August 08, 2006 7:57 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Wish I had been with you. Looks like you had a wonderful time.

If this publishes then you'll have a comment lol


August 08, 2006 7:59 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

Hi, Jamie!
Yes, I think she was the person that I visisted with. My, you're all over the 'net! I run into your buttons and yarn all over the place. Great work!

August 09, 2006 1:57 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

Thanks, Paula!
I do have the comments set up for approval. Got a surprise once and decided to play it safe.
I did have a wonderful time and there's more to come! Keep checking back...

August 09, 2006 1:59 PM  

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