A trip to California wouldn’t be complete without following some of its legendary coastlines and dropping into a yarn shop or two on the way. In the quaint, picturesque little city of Carmel-by-the-Sea, is the aptly named, Knitting by the Sea. Maybe knitware and sand aren’t a combination that instantly springs to mind, but this lovely yarn shop will soon have you convinced.
The yarn stock of Knitting by the Sea has obviously been carefully curated with a lot of love. If you’re bored of the big brands and looking for an insight into some of the amazing dyeing talent on offer with smaller operations, this is a great place to visit. They have a load of knitting accessories too, just in case you’ve come to the beach without your favourite stitch holder.
It’s perhaps a little cheesy but my favourite souvenirs now are some fabric or crafting item that reminds me of a place. Baah! LaJolla California Coast was perfectly suited the occasion of remembering a day of a long drive by the sea, with weather from every season along the way. I’m not sure the pale green would have been my choice for the Californian coastline but the navy speckles capture some of the moodiness of the ocean on the rocks. The yarn has a nice, tight ply for some added durability but is easily soft enough for a cosy pair of socks.
Anzula’s Nebula was another yarn I didn’t want to leave without. I love the richness of the subtle variegation in the greys and the sparkle is awesome. It’s very plushy and I think it’s going to have a good drape, though it’s little on the hairy side. Given how much I hate hairy yarns to work with, I hope it’s going to be okay but I’m sure nothing can be as bad as my devil skein of Manos Del Uruguay…
Another amusing highlight of the store is a rather epically proportioned cat, named Boomer, with a penchant for lying on knitting patterns or anywhere that maximum inconvenience can be caused. If you’re in Carmel, try and check out the incredible Chinese embroidery shop located a few minutes’ walk too. They have some beautiful pieces on display.
To me, it seems that America has an incredibly vibrant indie dyeing scene. If you follow Indie Untangled (subscribe at your own warning), there seems to be no end of beautiful yarns with themes ranging from the silly to the bizarre with what seems like new suppliers popping up every week. The dangers of internet shopping is that distance is no restriction and one such discovery from this mailing list of money sinks was the rather dazzling Llamicorn series by Pandia’s Jewels…
I loved the outrageous colour scheme so much that I felt I needed to see it in the flesh, obviously on the Super Sparkle Base. I had left ordering it a little late in my trip but huge thanks to Pandia for some really awesome customer service and letting me upgrade the shipping to expedited service just to make sure it turned up on time. The Llamicorn is super soft and the colours really feel like they just melt into each other and the stitch markers to match are just designed to bring a smile to your face.