So there is a really cool store in the Garden City area of Boise called The Twisted Ewe - but I didn't know about the "really cool" part until Tuesday (yesterday). I had been wanting to go, having passed the shop many times on our way back and forth from home to church, but I kind of have a huge yarn stash already and I kind of haven't been knitting much since we moved to Boise. BUT. Now that there is a newly emerging knitter in the house, I had a reason to scope out their website, at least.
I found, from the website, that there was a Christmas in July thingamajig going down yesterday, so we went first thing in the morning. I rather expected it to be a big event, with people there, but we were virtually the only customers the entire time we were there. Which was over an hour, actually. And the "Christmas in July" thing was just one small shelf of knitting- (and crochet-related, but this is a post mostly about knitting, I guess) notions and knickknacks. That surprised me. I thought it would be, well, the whole thing. But that's okay. This "fat" dish towel amused me! #iCanRelate
And there were several Christmas-themed knitted wine bottle warmers that were cute. Although I don't quite understand the rage about warmers for everything, including wine bottles. Don't you want your wine to be chilled??
Chloë didn't really know much about allllll the notions that could go into knitting, so I showed her a wall full of such things. I had given her (and myself) a strict $20 budget, so I wanted her to look over the whole store to determine what she'd spend it on. And we did look over the whoooooole store, which is why it took us over an hour to be there!
Yarns in the shop were generally grouped together by yarn weight, with a few exceptions. I appreciate this, because that's often the weight by which I decide on yarns I need - in my own stash or in a LYS (local yarn shop, for those of you who aren't yarn-obsessed but for some reason still want to read this post). LOL
Isn't that cool? All the OMG-er in me is thinking, that's a lot of yarn I could have used for other things! Do y'all really think the whole thing is yarn?
I like to pet yarn before I buy. Chloë appreciated this and did it too, because we both have sensory issues.
I think for a buck each, the shop sold these cute little Asian trinket boxes. Chloë and I were surprised to see them, because one of the sellers I bought from on Novica used them, too. And keep that rack of tiny note cards behind them in mind ... you may see them again later. ;)
I went around feeling all the yarns drew my eye, and I found a lot of new loves. I photographed the ones that I really felt needed to join my stash but for that budget limit. (You know, for later. When I actually start knitting again and run out of yarn. On the first of never.) So I just noticed, because they're different weights, that apparently I'm a fan of Juniper Moon Farm's yarns! Gonna have to make a note of that. (Sooooo soft.)
I always like it when LYSes have sample garments using a yarn I'm interested in, instead of just a small swatch like at Michaels or wherever. And Twisted Ewe had a lot of these.
Ohhh, and let you tell me about the Clearance Stand. You guys, it was ah-MAY-zing. There is SO much there, and some of it is really marked down. It was like an angel had descended from heaven and placed that there for me. You can bet that I spent a lot of time there.
Isn't this cool? The shop is full of this kind of funky, fun design for its displays, and this was my favorite. The Twisted Ewe is exactly like the kind of yarn shop I'd love to have and create when I grow up. Think I'll inherit it??
I got another couple about the "Game Over" wedding day socks. I had to explain it to Chloë, who thought they were getting a divorce. Hellew!
I have some Cascade Yarns yarn in my stash, and I've knitted quite a few things from it, but I find regular wool kinda ... scratchy. But this Luminosa is deliciously soft! I might have to add that to the stash in the future, y'know?
See those pompoms in the baskets? Chloë was in love with them. Super soft! There were all KINDS of different pompoms at the shop.
Remember when I told you in the last post that I had never washed my own hand-knitted garments before? And that Stephanie usually does it for me? Well. I do have a simple of wool wash in the toolbox I keep most of my notions in, and I do know that you need some kind of wool wash to bath your garments in. But that won't be enough for all the knitting going on in my imagination. Twisted Ewe has it covered.
They also have candles! So many different scents for different nosey preferences. I liked the cinnamon-y one I got a whiff of when I walked by, but Chloë liked a different one. That didn't surprise me; as much alike as we are mentally and emotionally, we have entirely different preferences for... everything. Everything!
Hmmm... I don't think I have any hemp fiber in my stash. Better start knitting, so I can add some, right??
Well, hell-OH, my pretty! See this sea-coloured yarn by Neighborhood Fiber Co.? It's my favourite color! Every ombre part of it! All of it! I need this! Yes, I do! Even if I have an identically-coloured Madeline Tosh skein that I haven't used yet after adding it a few years ago... Ecchhh. Yeah, I really do need to knit. (The main reason I haven't is pain. It's in all my joints and inside my bones, even my fingers. But I'll come back from this, y'all. Keep the faith.)
You know what I think about when I see this picture, when I saw this yarn shelf? That super-white yarn, though, I see a lot and I don't understand how. How do you get super-white yarn without bleach, but how do you bleach fiber without it breaking down the fibers? I don't get this. Someone explain to me how, because I don't feel like Googling it. Lolz.
I have some Ella Rae in my stash, but again, it's pure wool, not lush merino. This stuff is SO soft, but I probably won't add it to my stash because I don't often knit with chunky, yarns. You need to buy SO much of it to make the kinds of garments I would want to make, and frankly, I'm not Miss Moneybags over here...! But I was drawn to this particular colorway since my winter coat is the same color hot pink. Now that I'm writing this "out loud," though, it seems kind of a lame reason to be drawn to something so much that I needed to take a picture and post about it. Hee!
The shop also has fun buttons and magnetic knobs, which I didn't entirely understand because... why? To display things? I guess I just won't get that one, even if they are cool. I do, however, like the display of magnetic tin boxes on a magnetic rack, and being able to pull them off and change things around. I've wanted to do that in my house, like, forever.
I found this amusingly-stamped sentiment on a project bag, and I totally identified with it. I'm guilty of not swatching MOST of the time; I'm also guilty of things often not working out when I omit the swatching! So, yeah. I need this bag.
I love all the yarn bowls available at the shop. I didn't check any of the prices, but since tangling yarns as been a huge deal for me when knitting with more than one yarn, I kinda need one. So now I know where to go.
Baskets of knit- and crochet-related pattern magazines were available, and even more pompoms! I think there were some for every species of mammal. Except primates. That might get weird.
Artyarns!!! This is among my favourite yarn-producing company. They consistently produce high quality yarns. Here is Beaded Silk, which I've used previously, and which I'm not opposed to using again. Unfortunately, I did not find Artyarns' Cashmere, which I asked about. They don't carry it. I was showed some other brand's cashmere, but to be honest, I was not terribly impressed. It didn't feel soft and luscious like I want my cashmere to be, so I passed.
This emerald green Dragonfly Fibers yarn was amazing. It felt great, and I loved the colour combinations. Saving this one for the future stash memory box!
I knew I would find some Madeline Tosh yarns! They are among the best of the best, IMNSHO. I love, love, love Mad Tosh. Look at those gorgeous, brilliant colours! So thrilling.
And there was a whole WALL of Madeline Tosh! Yum, yum, yum yum yummy. I want it ALL.
This Katia Darling Rainbow here was nice, too. That's an understatement. It felt great, and I liked it much more than that Katia I have in my stash. ::Adds to list::
Seriously. No lie.
Alexandra's Cr--- something or other is... OMG. Can you stand what a gem this yarn looks like?! I cannot. I can Not.
There's even a large, round table for knitters to come and go, knitting in the shop whenever they please. I LOVE the sense of community involved with knitting. The Twisted Ewe even hosts a Tuesday Knit Night - with snacks! - for everyone to come together and, well, knit. When the two of us really get going, you can bet your sweet patoot we'll be there!
Ohhhh, so many pretty yarns. I need to get some. All of 'em.
Of course, Chloë was still there, doing a little "yarn tasting" right along with me. She was finding her own tastes and interests, too, which I loved. I want her to feel completely immersed in knitting culture while she's creating with sticks and strings, and be involved in every step along the way.
Also in the shop: The Naked Bee lotions and balms for those of us who like to make our skin soft and yummy to touch. See that basket of itty-bitty samples on the bottom right? They were only 99¢ each! Who could resist? Not this lotion freak. I bought a sample to try, of course, and I've used about half of it by now. However, the first thing I noticed about my sample of The Naked Bee Moisturizing Hand & Body Lotion in "Orange Blossom Honey" flavour. (Yes, I'm American. No, adding those extra "u"s are neither necessary nor my native language arts. I just like them. They amuse me.) This flavour smells very strong, and with me having daily migraines and other headaches, it was a bit too overpowering for me. We're talking instant headache.
So I contacted The Naked Bee through facebook, and I asked them if they carried an unscented version - because though the scent is strong, the lotion works amazingly well - and they responded with a link to this:
Unscented! It's $14 for an 8-oz bottle, which is not ridiculously crazy at all. I might get some sometime. I hope it does not suck. I'm sure it won't.
Raccoon, people. This is insane. How? WHY?
I cannot remember for the life of me why Chloë is holding up this granny square, but here it is! Soak it in.
Confession time: Seeing a $2 bill, even though I've seen a bunch of them, is exciting for me, too. Every time. ;)
More Cascade Yarns scrumminess! Such soft goodies. The impulse to buy 10 of everything was becoming stronger, but I resisted. It was hard, though.
Whaaaa?! More Cascade Yarns I need to buy. And I love the blues in this selection. I really think I see a Blue Period coming on in my future.
I only see three of these Dragonfly Fibers Gradient Sets, but I wanted two of them. The third one was a duplicate of the greens. Maybe I want that, too. I don't know. I was shocked not to see some KPPPM at the shop, since it seems like it would really fit in here, but now I have to look up whether Koigu is even still in business. I can't imagine that they're not making bank off their amazing yarns.
I have knitted with some Manos del Uruguay in the past - a heavier weight than Alegria - and it is very special. In my opinion, it may even be more delightful than Malabrigos (shh!) yarn to knit with. And the colourway selection of Alegria is crazy.
I think I found the skeins of One Crazy Stitch yarn - which adorably include a free stitch marker that varies with each skin - on the Clearance Rack. What a steal! Gotta keep that top of mind when I'm in the market for more yarn. More Yarn. More. Yarn. Oh, sorry, my mind started salivating a little bit there.
Chloë found some yarns she reaaaaaally wanted to have, but they were outside her price range right now. It'll happen, Kiddo. It will.
Finally, it was time for us to start gathering our desired purchases and begin the checkout process. See those note cards (again)? There are guinea pigs, sloths, hedgehogs, and other cutie McCutiepants animals on them. I really wanted one, but I had a dickens of a time deciding which one to purchase. Which do you think?
I asked the shopgirl about cashmere, because I was wondering if they had Artyarns' version, but they did not. She showed me another brand (the name of which I forget) that they had, along with a knitted sample to feel. You guys, I did not love it. It was a little too scratchy for me. And, I'll be honest, it was outside my price constraints and I didn't want to pay for something that I didn't love. That's good, right? Also, the shopgirl (and the shopdude) were not altogether thrilled about me having my Nikon DSLR camera in there and taking a thousand pictures, so she was not happy when I asked her to pose with it for me to snap a foto. Until I assured her that she would not be in the picture. Then she relaxed a little. Phew.
(The shopdude, on the other hand, was really iffy about even letting me feature the shop on my blog. Really? Why?? Who doesn't like free publicity? It was definitely odd to me.)
I did do the Etsy search, which returned a lot of fun and exciting choices for this. I want to get them ALL for her!
At last, we were finished with our excursion! With bag in hand, we headed out to go do some mystery shops I had scheduled for afterward - but not before we took a few snaps! I think Chloë was excited about her purchase, too!
One last snap. And then we go. Promise. Oh, but wait! You want to know what gots, yes?
So, I bought three hanks of that Tea Rose-coloured yarn from the clearance rack, and Chloë bought the blue and purple (and there's more hidden within) cake of yarn. Hers comes with beads to string as she goes - something I've never done - and a pattern for fingerless mitts. She also got hers on the clearance shelves. To round out the purchase, I got the lotion sample, an elephant note card, and two Addi yarn needles to finish our products. Combined, we came in well under budget, so I was pumped about that!
So that was The Twisted Ewe. A super fun excursion! If you live in SouthWest Idaho, it's definitely worth the trip. Bring your wallet! ;)