blame it on the heat

greetings from the road... again!

Dr. K has been sincerely under the weather for the last few weeks, which unfortunately caused a change in plan for the Girls' 40th-Birthday-Debauch Spa Week. We've relocated from the (meticulously researched and I'm sure fabulous) Ojai spa to... Dr. K's house.

The change in venue is not without its perks, however: it's smack-dab in the middle of all my peeps. So there have been brief visits with all the members of the fam-damily, as time has permitted away from making tea and bringing juice to a wan Dr. K (who is on the road to recovery now, thanks for asking).

In fact, Dr. K is so much improved that I had time to slip away with Sister-in-Law Mooseknits for an honest-to-god Yarn Crawl! 3 stores in 3+ hours (and we even improved the carbon footprint by choosing 2 in the same town)! [You can read her write-up and confessional here.]

We started out at Yarn Dogs, where Mooseknits teaches and used to work part-time: what a great little shop. I was impressed by the amount and variety of yarn they display so well in a relatively small space. Plus, there were 3 young gals at a Kids' Knitting Camp working away on the couch with their teacher – always a great sight. The shop owner was gearing up for a breast cancer walk in SF this weekend, and the "Knitters for Knockers" pink T-shirt had pride of place on a mannequin next to the counter.

I succumbed, of course:

That's Zukii Design "Tokyo" in a lovely French blue bordering on periwinkle: 6 skeins for a top-down short-sleeved something or other;
and ArtYarns (sigh) Cashmere 5: NOT a lace-weight, mind you, but 5 parallel plies of 100% dee-vine cashmere. Mooseknits has a lovely pattern ("Espalier Wrap," available as a free download from her sidebar that makes great use of the one skein you'll be buying (at $45 a pop, it's nice to have a pattern that calls for only one skein, eh?) [KarenJo, I think this one would be great for your evenings at the ballet!]

We trundled on to Elisabetta in Los Gatos (old article in that link, sorry - don't see a website for them). Elisabetta has the dubious distinction of being the one shop where I've never bought yarn – but bought underwear instead. Yes, in the tradition of great French yarn stores, they carry (or at least used to carry) high-end lingerie as well as yarn. Really. I don't make this sh*t up. [Of course, if Boyhood ran the world, every yarn store would carry lingerie. But I digress.]

Italian yarn! More glorious cashmere! Enticing bags of sale yarn … under the main table … so one hour into the crawl and we are literally crawling. [What will a gal resort to for yarn? Don't ask.] Mooseknits scored a lovely poofy mohair blend in a light caramel brown, plus a fantastic cone of black wool/silk – perfect for that cardigan she needs in her wardrobe! Nice work, missy.

Last stop was Green Planet Yarn in Campbell. Spacious, welcoming, with a fantastic selection of organic and small-vendor yarn. Loved their layout and their displays (signs mounted on cutting boards attached to the wall at eye level is a neat touch). It was no reflection of their excellent selection and great shop feel that Mooseknits and I emerged unscathed: she has a regular knit night there, and I have a very small suitcase with me.

And, to be honest? There was another mitigating factor: the HEAT. The relentless, scathing HEAT they've put on for me on this visit. 96 degrees here in Los Altos yesterday; the car registered 102 the day before after a drive down from San Francisco. Kids: the fact that I could even fondle cashmere yesterday was amazing; the thought of buying some to drape myself in? too much to contempate.

The heat does explain one thing:
YarnDogsDay.jpgSee that bit of orange to the left?

[Okay, those of you who know me well are already chuckling about the color palette here: green? check. blue? check. orange? check.]

The yarn-filled day ended with a treat: a one-on-one, hands-on tutorial from an expert crocheter and teacher to help cure me of my remedial crochet skills. So now, thanks to Mooseknits, I know how to do a "foundation single crochet" that hopefully will help me to crochet my way out of a paper bag.

I'm even thinking of doing a wee neck wrap in the ArtYarns cashmere in crochet, to practice my half-doubles and doubles.

And by the way: that Zukii yarn? It's mercerized cotton, man.

Yup. It's definitely the heat.