Saturday, January 14, 2006

Quest for Fibre

My final Christmas present is almost finished (yeah, late)...and horrible horrible horrible I'm running out of yarn. Like the rest of the knitting world, I'm on a yarn diet, but surely topping up for an existing project doesn't count, right?

I'm making Knit and Tonic Wendy's "Marilyn's Not-So-Shrunken Cardigan" (great pattern) for my friend Amy, but I've substituted Zara for the Elsebeth Lavold tweedy silk.
The gauge, yardage, weight, etc all match but there's no denying the dwindling pile of Zara, so today I was on the hunt for more chocolatey brown shade 1663. Never mind that it's minus a hundred and I'm carless [why drive when you can Ride the Rocket?]: I have a new digital camera and a deadline that has already whizzed by.

Now, Toronto is the Florence of knitting, we're told, and we have a heap of LYSs to support the Renaissance, but damn: if Leonardo had had to cover the miles that I did to find the last tube [did they have tubes?] of paint for the Mona Lisa, the Louvre might be a lot less crowded today.

First stop: Back to the source of my 8 balls of Zara. Here we have the paradiso/inferno of knitting in T.O.:
Imagine the most yarn you can and then double it, and you're close to picturing Romni. My mother thinks it's a firetrap, and it's true that you don't want to get preoccupied in the merino aisle and forget to check for exits. The staff varies from lovely (Laura -- so nice! Jonathan -- darling new dad!) to surly as hell but most local knitters put up with the spotty customer service because they have So Much Yarn.

But not Zara 1663...nope, not even in a different dye lot. EVERY OTHER shade, natch.

Anyway, moving right along, I zipped by streetcar and subway to this place. Wedged between the barber and the PizzaPizza [heh heh]: see the sign in the window? Yep, 50% off everything in stock -- the owner is packing it in and selling to someone who's going to run a yarn shop but doesn't want the inventory. It's a dream: I'll find the Zara for HALF PRICE. Yep, a dream...she doesn't have a shred of Zara. Dang and blast.

Okay, no problem, I'm a professional, don't mind the frostbite, thrilled to get back on public transit....

Well, I suppose I'm a bit of a drama queen, because I only had to go another six stops to find Village Yarns [where I forgot to take a picture because my blood sugar was low and I'd lost feeling in my fingertips] and praise be they had a profusion of Zara and several 1663s. Plus, it's a nice little shop with an assortment of solicitous women to help out. I'll go back, in the spring when it's warm and the stash is more svelte.

The dyelot isn't the same (I couldn't even find a PHOTO of the right colour), but to hell with it: I'm going to use it on the hems, edging, button bands, and ruffles. And call it a design choice.


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