Wednesday, July 05, 2006

One Man's Nightmare Is His Girlfriend's Vacation

Warning: Big ol' photo-heavy post ahead!

If we do indeed commit to moving to North Carolina, I'm going to need either way more self control or a much larger salary.

We saw a play and had dinner at our special place, and spent plenty of time with my parents, and it was a great deal of fun for both of us - but I'll try to keep it mostly to the yarny stuff. (There was also an offroading vehicle available to keep Travis from going insane in a house full of yarn-chat.)

But yes, the first day was dedicated to hunting down a few select yarn two states. I managed to narrow the list of stores that absolutely needed to be visited down to four (later a fifth came into play, but we'll get there.)

First was Yarns Forever in Greer, South Carolina. (Yes, we drove from the airport in Charlotte, NC into parts of South Carolina for a few hours, and then back up to Asheville...) See, I believe Yarns Forever is the only place in Florida/Georgia/Carolinas that carries Fleece Artist/Hand Maiden. I had to go. No photos of that shop, but I did part with the largest chunk of paycheck there. (Lovely women, a few nice chats, and Travis asleep with my purse in his lap on the couch in the middle of the shop. Charming.)

Next up, The Needle Tree in Greenville, SC.


Loved this too-cute shop and the women in it, a mother-daughter team who really loved good fiber. They'd just returned from TNNA (right?) and had a giant bin of my precious Ozark Handspun to show for it. (Now one skein smaller, bringing my total collection of cool Ozarks I can't stand to knit up to two.) They also carry Hanah silk ribbons - I bought a big bin of those - never know when I'm going to need a luxurious embellishment. And best of all, they had Murray.


This big wad of adorable was waiting for me when I walked in. They refer to Murray as the great shop protector. Here he is in all his terrifying glory.


Fierce, no? (No. But snuggly as the dickens.) I made another discovery while perusing the sweater sampler cabinet...slightly more ferocious - or at least more indignant about my presence - a discovery than Murray had been:


When you're expecting a sweater of new and different fiber and instead grasp the belly fur of an annoyed sleeping cat, that makes for a good laugh all around. (Later I dragged Travis into the shop to show off Murray - who I almost immediately had begun pretending was my own dog - and scared the crap out of him with the hidden cat as well.)

We finally headed north into the state we were supposed to be in, and so very nearly made it to my parents' house - but there were two more stops to make. (Three if you count my favourite vegetarian restaurant in Asheville.) But first, Yarn Paradise.


I love this shop - it's enormous, and very thorough. If they carry a line of yarns, they CARRY a line of yarns. The walls of Noro, Debbie Bliss, and Elsebeth Lavold alone are sights to behold. I didn't know there were 87 colour options in the E.L. Silky Wool yarn. Hell, I don't think E.L. knows that....

Finally, I wrapped up (after lunch, as Travis was becoming increasingly cranky,) at Earth Guild. The biggest selling point to Earth Guild, besides being a completely comprehensive fiber arts shop (complete with eight different spinning wheels on the floor for sampling), is the discount. Buy six skeins of anything (not all in the same line) and you get the discounted price. (Buying six skeins of Trekking is tough on the wallet...but buying three skeins of Trekking and three of Sugar n' Cream...haw haw.)

There might have been a truly glorious chocolate shop right across the street too, with the most seductive truffles you've ever tasted. These could lead to naughty, naughty things.


I'll flash the acquisitions so far in a minute...I feel I should give my hosts their moment of glory:


Mom and Spirit.


My step-nephew Jake, hard at work. (To be fair, this is a great kid. He's almost 15, so he's very typically a teenaged boy, but he's a good guy - funny, well-mannered, and obedient. This last part comes in handy for my parents when he's visiting. As Mom said, "It's nice to have a slave.") Also pictured, Travis' best friend for the weekend.


Dad, pictured with his '41 Chevy. He has had this car longer than he has had me. Thankfully, I've made better progress. But he's got it running and it's looking better every day - he seems to be making more substantial progress since retirement.


Mom and Samson. I know I fairly well managed to never show Mom's face, but I assure you she's beautiful.

Okay, so...the swag. (Sort of - I think "swag" implies "free"...but you know what I mean.)


For shock value...a bit more detail in some other shots below...there are a few miscellaneous items I didn't include, such as my Eucalan, some lavender tablets for stash drawers, and a skein of Rowan I needed to round out a project. Oh, and the five skeins of Sugar n' Cream don't get their own photo, but they are valued nonetheless. (Lovely dishcloths!!!)


The bulks: Debbie Bliss Cathay (for a Picovoli); Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed; Reynolds tweedy 100% silk (this one was on sale for about five bucks a skein, wahoo).


Sock stash doesn't count. Lorna's Laces in my school colours (UCF); Fleece Artist sock; a great Koigu green; two Trekkings.


The penny-pinchers...Ozark Handspun; Hand Maiden 100% silk eyelash yarn (great yardage at 725m); Hand Maiden 8-ply cashmere; the Hanah silk ribbons.


The fibers, clockwise: Blue merino and silk blend (gorgeous - already started spinning this one, made some serious progress); my new Louet spindle (love it); some basic wool top; a bit of tussah silk; a nice bundle of soy silk (sooo soft and yummy I almost hate to spin it).

We also added a stop on Monday, the Yarns to Dye For shop in Flat Rock/Hendersonville. I loved most how the owners lived in the big house on the same lot - the shop was sort of a huge guest house full of yarn. (Can you imagine a better guest house?) The owner, Donna, does some wonderful hand-dyes - and her co-owner husband knits too and was very knowledgeable about everything in the shop. Oh, and I had a 20% off coupon from Mom. Whee!


Trekking (on the needles for Travis); two Fortissima cotton socks; two Takhi New Tweeds (another Odessa?); Donna's hand-painted mohair; two Mountain Colours Bearfoots (Bearfeet?) - 20% off Bearfoot, double whee!

I've sketched out plans for some cedar yarn cubby shelves for the Fiber Room. I also have some project photos to share, but that can wait. And I also need to get a photo of the stuff Mom picked up for me in Greece and Turkey. But for now, I'm afraid this is all I got. ;-)

Oh, I almost forgot - my dad and nephew Jake put on a big illegal spectacular fireworks show. Wait, no...I forgot, my father declared the display was brought to us by "Captain Pyro and his sidekick Sparky!!!"


Sparky chose to avoid being photographed to protect his teenaged male ego anonymity.

(Rarely a dull moment in my family. Can you tell?)