All right, now that my prattling about driving
is done--sorry about that--it's time for yarns about my knitting activities on the road. In the span of an hour and a half, I may have visited everywhere that sells yarn in the Champaign-Urbana area and found time for a haircut.
On the way to Needleworks, the only local yarn shop my online research uncovered, I noticed that there's a JoAnn's less than a mile from my hotel. I've probably passed it many times since I began attending this film festival in 2001, but I never took note that the fabric store was there. (It's not like I had any use for it until now.)
I entered the LYS and was greeted immediately. I explained that I didn't know what I was looking for because I didn't know what I wanted to make. Kind of hard to select yarn when you don't have a project in mind. The store employees weren't short on suggestions, but a scarf or hat just didn't seem right with it being spring. Granted, the chillier temperatures might merit making one of those this week, but neither seemed right.
I mentioned that I wanted to knit something small and portable while at the festival. You won't need three guesses as to what word came out of their mouths. I get it. I should knit socks. It will happen, just not this minute.
I poked around the store and took some photos. Finally I realized what I could knit. The slippers I made my mom for her birthday are too big
. I could make her another pair. There was a yarn in a lovely lavender shade, but unfortunately it was worsted weight instead of bulky. (I'd try doublewrapping it except my first pair of slippers
turned out too big from doing that.) I left without buying anything and felt kind of bad about it since everyone was nice to me. I might make it back later this week, but it's hard to say.
I was in need of a haircut, and lucky for me there was a salon next to the yarn shop. The front desk clerk at my hotel was no help in directing me to a place where I might get a quick trim, but this place looked good enough for me. When I get a haircut it never fails that they ask if I know what setting they should use on the clippers. Note to those who cut my hair: I don't know because nobody ever tells me...not that I'd remember. I was happy with the job the hair stylist did, which often isn't the case at home. In taking a long time she must have been trying to stroke my ego like the others do. I appreciate the effort, but sadly, I'm aware that it's falling out up there. No use denying the obvious or stretching out what can be done in a few quick snips.
I figured I might as well stop at JoAnn's and see if they stocked yarn that I might like for my newly chosen project. No chance. This store was older and smaller than those at home. The yarn selection was maybe a third the size of what I'm used to seeing. I thought I might find the scarlet and goldenrod Lion Wool that I had wanted but couldn't find when I made the felted needle holder
, but they didn't have those colors.
On the way to Meijer to get some supplies I spotted Michael's. Their selection was not overwhelming by any means, but I made two notable finds. First, they have Lion Cotton-Ease. All I know is that Kristin
told me it was coming back after being discontinued. Apparently this is a big deal. I haven't seen it anywhere except here. I would have bought some, but I don't know what it is used for. Any clue?
Also, this Michael's had the two Lion Wool colors that I had been unable to find. The yarn also has the company's snazzy new labels. This felt like a small victory, no pun intended. If only I had my other wool with me, I could work on another felted needle holder this week.
I knew that my online search for yarn stores around here mentioned Hancock Fabric, so while I was at Meijer I borrowed the yellow pages, called the store for their location, and made my fourth yarn shop stop of the afternoon. To put it lightly, I was unimpressed. All they carried were Lion products. It looked like someone had taken half of the available fun fur and removed it from the shelves. There was also an unpleasant odor.
Can you believe that all four of these places are within two miles of where I'm staying? If sticking to the chains, they're probably all within a mile and a half, if not as little as a mile. I have entered the Bermuda triangle of yarn shops. If only what I saw was more to my liking.
As I trudged through the rain and tried to keep my newly purchased umbrella from turning inside out, I saw a woman making an enormous blanket while sitting in the line to get into the theater for the film festival. If the weather had been better, I might have stopped to take a picture, but I just wanted to take my spot around the corner under the fire escape.
I met up with the couple I've come to know from previous years attending Ebertfest and gave them the cat mat
I knitted. They were pleased with it and said they'd let me know how their cats take to it.
Depending how Thursday goes, I might try casting on the stitches for the coffee cozy on dpns. I could take the coward's way out and do it on straights, though. My patience and the room I have in the theater will be critical factors.