I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Barbara and Lisa on Thursday when they were in town. This was the first time I had ever met any of the Elannites. I was meeting Barbara in the lobby of the Hyatt on Union Square. She told me what she would be wearing when we spoke on the phone earlier in the morning, but I was so scatterbrained that I could not remember what color that was. However I just had a feeling that I would be looking for somebody with knitting needles... and I was right! There was Barbara, sitting in an armchair knitting a sock. This is Barbara, wearing a shawl she designed. I should have taken a photo of the back, it is made of this beautiful variegated yarn (Lang?). I hope she posts the pattern for this shawl (hint hint hint).
Lisa met us in the lobby shortly after I arrived. She sold me on the KPO needle set. I had seen it on the website but didn't quite get how it worked. She showed me how easy it was to put together. Omigosh, what a clever design! The connector thingamabob is ingenious, the cable was surprisingly flexible (more so than the Addis!), the tips are sharp, and it all comes in a great compact binder. I want! I want! I want!!!!
Lisa is a busy girl back home in Alaska. Despite being in a rural area, she delivers quite a lot of babies. I was also surprised when she told me she only had 4 yarn stores within a 60 mile radius.
Oh, and this is me and Marisa.
We walked over to ArtFibers, just a few blocks away from the hotel. You can easily miss the store if you blink. But once you find the stairway leading up to the shop, omigosh, you are in a knitter's candy shop! Love how yarns are organized, and how they have swatches of the each color and yarn. There's also a comfy corner where you can play with some of the yarn and knit up swatches before deciding on what you want.
Barbara & Lisa had visited Artfibers the day before and I got to see their yarn haul. Beautiful stuff, I'm sure you'll see it on their blogs. Lisa entertained M while I drooled over, er, I mean shopped for yarn. Barbara helped me choose colors & yarn. M enjoyed playing with Lisa while I shopped, and really attached herself to Lisa. M is very picky about who gets to hold her hand (she often tells DH, "NO!" when he asks for her hand), but she wanted Lisa's hand when we walked back towards the hotel after shopping.
Living in San Francisco for most of my lifetime, you'd be surprised to hear that I had never stepped foot into this store before. And I even used to work downtown in Embarcadero Center (and had a great view, see photos below), about a 10 minute walk away. I only started knitting in November 2004. This was 2 months after I quit my job, so I was no longer going downtown every day. Then after doing some web searches for knitting stuff, I stumbled upon the Knitting About.com forums where I learned about Elann. I placed my very first order from Elann in December 2004, some Filatura di Crosa 501 for my first baby blanket which I knitted during a trip to Carmel in January 2005. I've pretty much been ordering 99% of my yarn online since then. It's just so much easier to shop online, especially since M arrived. Vicki told me about Artfibers a while back when she visited the store once, but I can't remember whether I was still pregnant then or whether it was after M was born.
Of course I did not leave Artfibers empty handed....
I loved their Hana 100% Silk yarn, 26 stiches x 34 rows =4"/10cm on US #3 needles; I got 224 yds of color 12 (the 2 small balls of purple) and 537 yds of color 23 (the rosy cone on the left). It wasn't until much later (now) when I realized that the suggested needle size is US3 (3.25mm) needles -- not that this is a problem when I have 11 circular needles of that size, but... Eeks! I've never knitted with anything that small before!!!
Another one I was drawn to was Alfabeto 76% silk 19% superkid mohair 5% wool yarn, 22 stiches x 29 rows =4"/10cm on US #6 needles. Those are the two balls on the right, 500 yds each. The blue is color 11 and the pink is color 1. I think Barbara also got some Alfabeto in color 1. I'm so glad they had swatches at the store because I was lukewarm to color 1 from the cones; it was the swatch that sold it.
My favorite is the red cone which is their Kurasawa silk 50% extrafine merino wool 50% yarn, 20 stiches x 26 rows =4"/10cm on US #7 needles. I have 678 yds of color 4.
Ok, there's a reason for listing all this info. It's partly for the curiosity my readers, but mostly so I can search my blog later on and figure out what I have in my stash without having to dig through the very few boxes that comprise my stash. ;-)
Besides my Artfibers haul, I also placed an Elann order earlier in the morning. More Highland Wool (for Mom's vest and possibly some shawls) and Berocco Softwist. I had never seen or felt the Softwist before, but decided that the Berocco yarns can't be all bad after a pleasant surprise working with Berocco Air (another yarn I bought sight unseen). Of course there's always the chance & fear of opening my little white box and discovering that I hate hate hate that Softwist yarn... then would I do with 30 balls of the stuff???
Here are some photos of San Francisco which were taken in 2000. You can click on the photo to see a larger version.
This was the view from my desk. When I was bored, I could look out the window to watch the boats/planes/helicopters go by or watch the tennis players below. It was nice to work in the Embarcadero Center buildings, such a convenient location. It was especially nice after they renovated the Ferry Building across the street, where they had the Farmers Market; lots of great shops & restaurants there (mmmm.... cheese, wine, chocolates, gelato, pastries, deli, and other goodies)
Here's another view from the office. Yes, it can be distracting at times. ;-) Would you believe that there were times when it was soooooo foggy that all you would see is white?
Looking at Coit Tower from a pier that is a short walk to the left of the Ferry Building. (It's the pier you see in the other photo, 2 pics above)
Just more views from this corner of San Francisco... the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island.
The Ferry Terminal, adjacent to the Ferry Building.
These are the Embarcadero Center buildings, with the Hyatt Regency Hotel on the left.
This is one of MUNI's light rail vehicles. Photo taken on a foggy overcast day on West Portal Street ... not exactly a "touristy" part of town, so I wouldn't be surprised if you had never heard of it.
This is the Tech Museum in San Jose, CA.