Yarn Crawl
Saturday March 16th 2024, 9:40 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knit,LYS

With Stitches gone, the yarn stores set up a week-long Bay Area Yarn Crawl, and I understand a lot of other areas are holding them, too. You print out your Bingo card, you have each store stamp their name in their little box on your card (Nina printed out three out of curiosity and they were all different) and there are goodies. People get out of their ruts, run into old friends (we did) and discover new stores and help them out a little bit.

It’s the closest the shops can come to setting up a Stitches conference on their own.

It would not have been something I would have paid much attention to–it is safe to say I do not currently lack for yarn.

Nina didn’t need any either, but what she did see was an excuse for us to spend a day doing something we would both enjoy. And man did we ever!

She wanted to start off with Fengari’s in Half Moon Bay. I hesitated, remembering tourist-town yarn prices, but caved quickly as I reminisced about how, when Holz and Stein, makers of the best knitting needles I’ve ever found, made from the leftover wood from making musical instruments, announced that they were ceasing to export from Germany anymore–shops everywhere sold out of them quickly as people stocked up.

But a year or two later, it turned out, Fengari’s still had some.

In a back room, not as well lit, and you had to know and you had to ask. I don’t remember who tipped me off. It took me two trips to the coast to talk myself into spending what it was going to cost, but good tools last a lifetime and I treasure every pair. I bought about twenty.

My favorites were rosewoods, several varieties of which were now on the CITES endangered list, and that may well have been part of H&S’s calculus.

A knitting needle speakeasy. (I kid. It was remaining stock.)

So! We were at Fengari’s, a good twenty years later, and I asked if they had any, still, shaking my head and declaring it an obvious no because, hey.

And they said, We don’t–but actually, Royal Bee up the coast might well.

Royal Bee was next on our list anyway.

They actually had some: three pairs. In size 7 and 7.5 mm. Not US sizes, millimeters. In US sizes that would be like 10 3/4 and 10 7/8 and there isn’t quite a Harry Potter train station reference in there but there ought to be.

Nina likewise had declared them the best needles there are and took a pair home even in that size because you take what you can get.

We drove up the coast from there, reveling in the ocean to our left and the beautiful countryside to our right. The tunnel! That was on my bucket list! I told her. When Devil’s Slide collapsed into the ocean again and Caltrans got tired of making bridges and then watching them go poof, they finally after years of arguing bored under the mountain so that the wildlife corridor could continue above.

I had wanted to see that view (the Mavericks surfing spot!) and then that tunnel for years: not enough to make the drive over just for that, because it seemed silly, but I’d wanted to anyway. And now we had! Score! And she got to, too! It was silly and it was wonderful and we had a glorious time of it.

At the end of the day I’d bought: that pair of needles and a jar of fig ginger chutney at Royal Bee. Who goes to yarn stores to buy bespoke chutney, but for $12 I could be curious once.

So, needles. A jar of jam-ishness. And a single, vivid, colorful skein of Malabrigio Rios.

From Fengari.

And after the bridge alongside the long narrow Crystal Springs Reservoir (N-Are you looking for the Flintstone House? Me-I always do! N-My husband always does too!), then a few minutes later wending through Stanford’s greening hills of Spring rising above the roadway as we neared home, I looked up at the small wild oaks dotted here and there rising to the tops above and told Nina I suddenly realized for the first time where some of the inspiration for this afghan might also have come from.

And I would never have realized it had we not just spent the day we had.

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

We had our Rose City Yarn Crawl last weekend. Not many stores, and at least one downtown, where I don’t drive. There used to be a lot more stores around. I don’t know if it was COVID or something else that closed them all down.

Love the Flintstone house! Also, Fr Junipero Serra statue … I call it the holy bowler 🙂 (I think he’s feeding birds or something.)

Comment by Anne 03.17.24 @ 12:17 am

I’m so glad you had such a fun time. There aren’t set yarn crawls near me–I guess the stores are too spread out around here–but 10 of us went up to Sarasota yesterday for the Miss Babs trunk show at A Good Yarn in Sarasota and had a fine time! It fills the soul, doing things you enjoy so much with like-minded friends.

Comment by ccr in MA 03.17.24 @ 8:30 am

That sounds like a wonderful day!

Comment by DebbieR 03.17.24 @ 9:13 am

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>