Monday, June 27, 2005

Yarn Pilgrimage: Saratoga, CA

Visited an 'inspirational yarn store' yesterday upon recommendation of a yarn rep: Knitting Arts in Saratoga. I'd never been to Saratoga before, which is a small town just west of San Jose. It took me about 1.5 hours to drive down there from San Rafael. The store is nestled in the little 'downtown' area, filled with antique shops and upscale restaurants. Looks like a tony town. The shop is beautiful: clean, simple fixtures (many of which are from IKEA) and great lighting. The large back area is devoted exclusively to classes and work tables. Most of the yarn on display was novelty - fur, eyelash, etc. Lots of Crystal Palace (which was on sale this week for 10% off), Prism, Blue Heron, Colinette, etc. In the center of the yarn area was a small circle of soft-seating with a coffee table in the middle. There was a very very cool book on the coffee table (yes, it was a coffee table book) that I've never seen before called The Art Of Knitting. No patterns that I could see... it's more of an inspirational book filled with gorgeous close-up photos of stitches and images of experimental knitting - knitting as art. I may have to get this book someday just for the coolness factor. Plus I'm a whore when it comes to books. Sigh. That's what I get for working in a Borders for 4 years. You can bet your ISBN that my store is gonna have a rockin' book section.

Back to Knitting Arts: the people were super-duper nice and knowledgeable. There were many people shopping along with some sort of clinic going on in the back. An impeccably dressed lady in her 60s was standing quietly clutching a bag of knitting. "Oh[ knitting instructor's name]", the employee said, " your 3:30 is here." Knitting teachers are in demand - how cool is that.

A beautifully-dressed woman (perhaps the owner?) saw me browsing aimlessly, touching every ball of yarn within reach, and asked "can we perhaps help you find a new project?" I deferred, mumbling something about having too many projects. I was too sheepish to explain my real reason, to get ideas for my own shop. I never know how other yarn shop owners are going to react. "Aack, yet another yarn store? Leave now!" Heh.

Of course I couldn't leave without buying a ball or two (well, actually three) of yarn: Crystal Palace's Kid Merino, new for spring. I'd just ordered a sampling of it the other day and wanted to play with it. Seems very very cool (and cuddly). I'm gonna try making these socks with one strand each of two different colors held together.

Tomorrow I meet with the JCA rep. I plan on ordering Jo Sharp, Adrienne Vittadini and maybe, just maybe, some Artful Yarns. There goes my budget!

1 comment:

Peggy said...

Warren, this is all wonderful. Your dream is progressing nicely. Your descriptions and pictures almost make me wish I could knit...almost...but I'll stick to simple designs in crochet, and to needlepoint, which involves fewer difficult decisions, LOL. Best of luck in birthing this beautiful and creative business.