Before I get into the details of today's yarn crawl, let me take at least a moment to thank my most awesome Dishcloth pal, Shannon! She's one tricky, kind gal! She used her middle name and kept me posted on the status of my goodies from day one. Yup. All of that goodness is mine, save the red canister in the back right. Those are - get this! - dog treats! The dogs are very excited, and wouldn't believe the same woman wrote "Cats rule, dogs drool" in her letter to me. I hope I don't leave anything out. There's a cute bracelet, dark chocolate with caramel, a brand of green tea I haven't tried before, two patterns, a scallop picture (I'm allergic, and was silly enough to say so in my questionnaire, so Shannon was silly enough to send me a scallop!), a beautiful beach scene bookmark, FOUR cloths, two soaps, and some Peaches & Creme, which I haven't tried yet. If you look hard enough, you can see that she even customized my letter with some sketches! I am spoiled, yet again. Thank you Shannon, and dear Devon, the hostess who made the match!
Now, I must note that we decided to punt Jamestown today, because of the weather and the travel time. (Only a couple of hours, but still...) Instead, we went to Richmond. We had plans for some non-yarn sight-seeing, but between the rain and the downtown MESS, we quickly abandoned all non-yarn and lunch plans.
First, we stopped at the Short Pump Ben Franklin. It too had some Cascade 220, lots of Patons wool and SWS, and was clean and lovely. (Yes, another Ben Franklin. I'm impressed.) I bought some swap and prize goodies and a few notions for myself.
Next stop was the Yarn Lounge. It was an interesting shop, but I think I was too hungry to really get too excited. It was also post-downtown mess stress, so there may have been some residual grumpiness on my part. The dog in the shop was cute though.
Third stop on the Richmond, VA round of the crawl - The Knitting Basket Ltd. on picturesque Grove Avenue. It was a crowded little shop in the basement of a toy store, but I found some Tofutsies and another swap something. There were many yarns I'd not seen before, but the Tofutsies were nearly lonely with the few other sock yarns. I seriously think it has more company here in my sock yarn basket! Anne spotted some silver charms at the register, so I'll have to let my family know they exist and would look great on my charm bracelet!
Then came Unraveled, Inc., in a little village-like shopping center. Friendly folks, some local wool, but nothing jumped out at me. Anne did purchase a few things there though. They kindly gave us directions to the last stop on our Richmond crawl, and that was very nice!
Last, but not least was Lettuce Knit. I don't think Anne was impressed, but I was! I found some Jitterbug, and something happened that has never happened to me before; they offered to wind it for me. Of course, I said "Please, thank you!" and was further impressed when Lynn pulled out a copy of the Jitterbug free pattern, printed on green, 8.5" x 11" paper, in an eye-friendly font. They also let me fondle some new sock yarns they'd just gotten in, but it wasn't in their system yet, so alas, it wasn't for sale. I will go back though, or at least beg my sister to stop in for more Jitterbug! (That's actually rather brown, flecked with all kinds of other colors. It was raining outside, so you didn't get the good outdoor light shots!)
Still, I have to report that I failed to find the two items I was most hoping to find... a special brand of needles and a certain notion, both for a swap. I can buy them online, but I was hoping to find them semi-locally, but to no avail. Likewise, despite my happy sock yarn purchases, both of which I was hoping to find in my travels, the overall sock yarn selections were very disappointing. The nice ladies at Lettuce explained to me why they stock so few sock yarns - gauge, fiber and colorways make it difficult to purchase and stock successfully with too much diversity - but I'm afraid it didn't make sense to me. Yeah, I have a marketing background, so I get some of what they were saying, but I just don't understand why the home state of Claudia's, which is rather popular online, can't do a better job in at least ONE store. And if you do find a decent selection of Claudia's, good luck finding two skeins in the same dye lot. POUT. I'm not the only sock knitter in Virginia. Ladies, there's a reason you can't keep Jitterbug and Claudia's in stock. Take a hint. BUY MORE, in more colors!
Tomorrow, I hope to sneak away early from work and show Anne my favorite local shop, Limerick Fibers, in Gordonsville. I'm also hoping they'll soon have their website open for all to see.