Okay, I'm going to leave the Museum and Butchart Gardens and other random Victoria posts until later. I figure most of you are reading this for the fiber content. And the sooner I get this up and done, the sooner I can get stuff into Rav.
On my fabulous trip to Victoria, we went to three yarn stores. Two were in Victoria and one was in Nanaimo. I missed Fibrations by a day, which was a total bummer. But that's okay. I did sufficient damage as it was.
There's the Button & Needlework Boutique on View Street just 3 blocks away from where Princess lives. It's a store that specializes in some knitting / crochet but also embroidery and needlepoint. I was really, really tempted to buy another needlepoint kit from them, but I figure since I have several in my crafting cupboard which I haven't worked on in years, that would be an exercise in foolishness.
They had a limited but okay selection of yarns. None of the yarns appealed to me, but some of their notions did.
I think I posted the yarn shot on Instagram, but for those who don't follow me there, or who like bigger pictures, here's a shot of their yarn wall. It goes along the stairs (which leads to a staff-only off-limits area). The shorter/smaller skeins going up the stairs are tapestry (needlepoint) yarns.
I never feel I can take photos in yarn stores, which is stupid. But I did this one surreptitiously and then whipped the phone away.
In Button & Needlework Boutique they have notions made by local artisans. I was absolutely entranced by the acorn tape measures. The acorns are made of different sorts of wood.
They also had sets of needle keepers and scissor holders (complete with scissors). Naturally I didn't take pictures of all of them, because I am a dolt. I went into this store three different times before actually buying the scissor set and the acorn. They called to me and kept preying on my mind. I thought they would be a longer term souvenir than yarn.
The scissor keeper and needle keeper set are made from rosewood. They had others, but this one called to me. There was a birdseye maple set which was also nice, but I prefer the richer colours of the darker wood.
And they had oodles of the acorn tape measures. The one I got was zebrawood with a maple top. Aren't these amazing? [And I took them in my carry-on bag on the way home because apparently you can have scissors with blades up to 6 cm. No more puppy snips for this gal!]
I was mesmerized by the acorn tape measure. You wind the tape measure back in by twirling the little stem thing. Most ingenious. And the tape is satin ribbon rather than plastic.
So that was my grand haul from Button & Needlework Boutique. If I were a sweater maker I would have bought buttons. They have buttons galore. And out of some beautiful materials. I was very tempted, but I know I'll never be a sweater knitter.
The second fabulous yarn store in Victoria is Beehive. It's been around since 1906 and has only changed hands four times or something like that. They carry all the standard stuff. They don't have a ton of needles (no Hiya Hiyas, which is my measuring stick). But they did have a good Sweet Georgia selection. They had the new Party of Five gradient sets which I've been eyeing up. I had seen the Jelly Bean set on the Sweet Georgia yarns website and had been lusting after it. They also had a set of charcoal to grey and a set in the neutral brown range. So I immediately gravitated to the neutral set to go with the Jelly Beans. I intend to make an Inara shawl out of them. The colours in the Cobblestones gradient set are mostly new. They had full skeins of three of the five and I settled on the second one. The lightest (Linen) was a bit too light for contrast with all the colours. So I went with Fossil.
They also had a skein of Mink in ToughLove sock. I have been coveting Mink forever. So into my cart it went.
In the Jelly Bean range there are three new colours - Clementine, Tangerine and Persimmon. I was sooooooooo tempted to grab full skeins of Clementine and Tangerine as well. But I restrained myself. I can always order them from Sweet Georgia. Right?
Feast your eyes on these babies!
This is the contrast Fossil skein for the Inara shawl.
Okay, Typepad is being difficult. Hmmmm.
The Mink is one of those colours which is hard to describe. It looks different in different light. It's a purpley taupey kind of colour, but it has hints of blue or grey in some lights.
Same skein, different light.
Now let's try again with the Fossil, shall we?
Nope, it's being difficult. Image 2013 doesn't want to show itself. Well, it's the single skein in the first photo. Sigh.
I convinced Princess to get two Addi sock rockets (2.25 mm) so she can try knitting her socks with two circs. She knit most of a sock (to the toe decreases) in a 9" Hiya Hiya sharp circular. But she knits continental (go figure) and prefers the small circ. I knit English (flicking) on DPNs. The only possible compromise for me to teach her how to do socks is for her to use two circs. They're basically DPNs joined in the middle.
We went to some local store or other called Ozzie and Lizzy (I think) which sells all kinds of neat stuff, including purses and bags. They sell brightly coloured leather bags for outrageously low prices. Princess was smitten with one in teal. It has a single strap and she thinks the width of the strap will be more comfortable on her shoulder than the little spaghetti strap things on her Coach bag. I saw big bags which have another pouchy thing inside (I think they were called 2-in-1) and figured it would be a great yarn / knitting bag. They had mustard and red and cobalt and green and grey. I gravitated toward the green. Then before I knew it, Princess whipped out her card and purchased them for us.
Oh yeah, mine even comes with a little wallety thing as well.
When I say cheap, I mean cheap. Mine was $64 and hers was $49. That's about $25 USD....
But when we got them home, Princess kind of wrinkled her nose. She said hers "smelled funny."
So I put my nose into mine. And I had to agree.
There was definitely a detectable fishy odour.
So we left them to air out for a couple of days. No dice.
They still smelled of fish oil.
Then Princess, who is the Google Queen, checked on the internet for possible causes and solutions.
Some leather goods made in China are processed with fish oil instead of vegetable oil, and therefore have a distinctly fishy odour.
Yup. That would be the culprit.
The first remedy she found was to wipe the leather down with white vinegar. So we did that. Several times.
We also put open jars of vinegar inside the bags to see if it would get the smell out from the insides.
Mine eventually mostly smells better after several wipings with vinegar.
Hers, however, required sterner treatment.
Here she is with it on her head.
She ended up completely immersing it in a vinegar and water solution and leaving it for a few hours.
If that doesn't work, she is going to try leather cleaner.
The Google machine also said that one solution is to take it to a leather care place where it can be treated. Which, as Princess pointed out, defeats the whole purpose of a $50 bag.
I'm happy to relate that mine smells better. I think I will perhaps put some leather conditioner on it.
Anyway, we were heading up to Nanaimo to meet Princess's MIL for lunch, so I wanted to go to Mad About Ewe. It's the only retailer of Hedgehog Fibres yarn on the Island.
It's a beautiful store with samples all over the shop, tons of bookcases with the largest selection of knitting books I've ever seen, a huge selection of needles (including a few Hiya Hiya), and yarn and fibre galore. They have a lot of the common stuff, and not a lot of local stuff. But I was on a Hedgehog mission.
They sell a fair bit of Fleece Artist and Hand Maiden as well, but I have oodles of that in my stash and don't need any more at the moment. They had some stuff for sale, such as some of the Sweet Georgia Party of Five kits (the originals, not the gradients). I got the Honey Fig set in the Glitterati sock (which was the only choice for that colourway). There was a set of one of the brown/blue/grey ones (Rusted?) in the MCN base, but I'm not a fan of the colours. Not my cup of tea, so to speak.
And they had Hedgehog Fibres Sock yarn as well as some skeins of the HF Twist (which is a 2-ply BFL/Nylon). I have already publicly declared my loathing for BFL, so I wan't chancing it.
I did get a skein of Boombox (which I've had my eye on forever) and a skein of Budgie (which will likely become socks for Princess) and a skein of Pheasant which Princess thought was very me.
AND they had sock blockers.
When we were in the Beehive, I asked whether they sold sock blockers. The answer was "no." In fact, said the sales girl, the only place you can buy them is on the internet.
And Mad About Ewe, apparently.
One of the women working in Mad About Ewe was Lynette who is Le Tissier Designs on Ravelry. As I was leaving, I commented on one of the pi shawls hanging from the ceiling. It was amazing - beaded and lovely. It's the Garden Gate Shawl. As it turned out, it was her design and she not only knit it (with 6/0 and 8/0 beads), but she also hand painted the yarn after the shawl was done. She knit it in natural Lopi laceweight and then painted it after. She said it took about 8-9 hours to do the hand painting and a couple of months for the knitting.
It was stunning. It rivals the Evenstar. So if you get a chance, check out her stuff on Ravelry. Her various tea cosies were all over the shop. I admired them but she didn't mention that they were hers as well. In fact when I looked up her stuff on Rav, I discovered that most of the things I had seen in the shop as samples were her designs and her samples.
Anyway, I would move to Nanaimo just to have Mad About Ewe as my LYS.
Here's the haul from it. I think I posted this on Instagram, but I'll also give the component parts here.
I just thought the fish bone buttons were too adorable to pass up.
The sock blockers (see the previous post - Aug Blog #3 - very last photo way down at the bottom) also came from Mad About Ewe. I got size Medium again which are perfect for me and Princess. I may at some point invest in a size Large pair.
That's it for the Souvenir Yarn Haul. Sweet Georgia dominates, but what can I say? I love her yarn.
I've been hoarding Party of Five sets.
I did get my last instalment of the HF Skinny Singles club. I'll leave that for another post. I don't understand why they don't send two complementary skeins. I don't like mixing yarn bases, and I'm hard pressed to find a pattern which will work with the various combinations I've received. Maybe the new Ambah O'Brien mosaic one. Hmmm.
I didn't get a chance to try to sign up for the next round of HF clubs and they sell out in about 30 seconds anyway.
Oh well, it's not as if I don't have a humongous stash to knit from.
With that, fair readers, I am going to sign off. Upload my stash stuff into Rav and then go down and make dinner.
Sadly summer is almost over. It's 8:00 and it's getting dark. Only one more week of summer then it's back to school. I somehow have to try to get my arse out of bed early so that I can be on the road around 7:00 to beat the traffic. Blech.