Friday, October 19, 2007

Round 1: LYS Shop Hop 2007

I feel like I've been rode hard and put up wet. We hit 8 yarn stores on Day One of the 2007 Peninsula to Pier Yarn Shop Tour. But it was fun.

Round 1.5 was today, I went to only one place, Knitting by-the-Sea, in Carmel. Then I came home and lay down for an hour. Must save my strength for tomorrow, when we do the last 7 stores.
Many thanks to Marie, who did the research and mapped out the battle plan and scientifically figured the routes, plotting and printing all for the navigator (me) and backseat co-pilot, Martha. We had such fun, and adventures, too. One of the high points wasn't even a yarn shop, but this: Transilvania Restaurant in Los Gatos. We were magnetically drawn there purely by chance, and empty tummies; we had already conquered 5 yarn stores and were running on fumes. "Sushi?" "Nope." "Pizza?" "Nope." "Gelato?" "Well, it seems appealing, but probably not a good idea." This cozy and unusual place materialized in the nick of time, and we were saved from what could have been sugar overdose tragedies. The waitress was a gem, and the food was absolutely divine. Definitely worth a trip back.

Back to business, theoretically this post isn't about food. We started the day at 9 sharp, drove to Capitola for our first stop, arriving with about ten minutes to spare. Unbelievably, they weren't open yet!
We had to be content with just pressing our noses to the glass of The Yarn Place. Very nice place, cheerful, helpful staff, good selection of interesting yarns. Definitely skeins up.

Next we drove on into Santa Cruz, for The Golden Fleece
What a treasure this shop is!
Great yarn, lovely people, their one-skein pattern is adorable, the coziest mary-jane style slippers, I'm so excited to get started on them.
They also had these on display:
Knit characters from Wallace and Gromit, available as a kit. Be still my heart!

From there we drove on to The Swift Stitch, tucked into the corner of an interesting collection of shops and cafes, worth exploring at leisure some future time.
Another very nice store, though the lighting was not great, but still an interesting variety of yarns, very helpful staff, and a unique one-skein pattern and yarn being offered for this Shop Hop. They also had an amazing scarf made of sculpted roving, and a wild collection of knit-clothed dolls.

We had a bit of a drive through redwood scenery to Felton, to Luminous Threads.
They had an absolutely stunning quilt in the window,

and the store itself is quite lovely, with a great collection of fabrics, buttons and yarn, quite charming and helpful staff, again, worth another visit at leisure in future.

We soldiered on, driving over the winding mountain trail that is scary Highway 17, and arriving in beautiful Los Gatos. With my affinity for all things cat, I'm shocked I haven't found a way to live here.
Equally shocking is to find a yarn store called Yarndogs
but it's true.

Such a great store, really a delight. Fabulous variety of yarn, great staff, really warm feeling overall. Even though we were almost starving, we hated to leave. We knew we had to find something to eat when we started imagining that the skeins of yarn resembled food.

Los Gatos itself is like a piece of art, the trees are turning colors, the park in the center of town gleamed like an emerald, all quite beautiful.
After our fortifying lunch, we drove over the mountains down into Santa Clara valley to
The Rug & Yarn Hut, in Campbell.

I should only say we had been spoiled up to this point. There are reviews of this store online that say it all.

We encountered a slight navigational storm after departing and had to circle the area a few times to reach escape velocity, but we made it to our next stop, The Knitting Room, in San Jose.
Very sweet, patient people, vast selection of plentiful, quality yarns, worth another visit. They also have a knitting group for men, yay.

At this point, we were hot, tired, needing coffee and the rejuvenating sweet air of our own Peninsula, so we sped home.

Marie and I ended up meeting independently at Monarch Knitting, for the perfect end to the day.
I've said it many times, before, I love this store, and the people therein (and I'm counting Sakura and Charlie as people, though they might take umbrage at that).


Los Gatos Girl said...

I had the opposite experience at The Yarn Place. Maybe it's me :-) but they're always exahusted and annoyed when I walk in.

Glad you liked my home town. Transilvania Restaurant does rock. It used to be a Lisa's Tea Treasures, and they had the best overstuffed chairs in the front window that were perfect for sitting, knitting, and sipping. I do miss it.

The Rug and Yarn Hut is what it is. It's consistent, and the owner is the kindest person ever. She's been through a bunch, and has her Life Challenges, and yet, she's always willing to take as much time for you as you want. It's a definite safe harbor.

I really enjoyed my trip down south to see Knitting By The Sea and Monarch Knitting. In fact, I wish I were closer!!!

And like your conclusion said, definitely not again next month (and I only hit 9 stores), but next year, I'll be ready.

Los Gatos Girl said...

p.s. since this is a knitting AND cat blog, I should say that Winston and Madison were most upset that they couldn't come along. However, they are only 5 months. Maybe next year.