Saturday, Mr. N and I decided to put our newly bought car (!) to good use and head out for some exploring of this vast place that is Los Angeles.
Just as we we were packed up and ready to go for a day out by the beach (sunscreen: check; Hermione Socks: check), Mr. N inquired: “don’t you want to check if any of your knitting shops are around where we’re going?” And I’ll tell you, readers, I felt pretty dang lucky. Not only does Mr. N go along without complaint to yarn shops and stay as long as I’d like, he actively seeks out opportunities for me to buy yarn!
So, with a very important stop added to our day’s itinerary, we set off to drive the 45ish minutes to South Bay. I’m still getting used to the fact that it takes quite awhile to drive to places here. I don’t mind so much as I can knit in the car (or at least I will once I get used to being a passenger on LA highways — right now I’m a little spastic in the car, if I’m being honest!)
We decided we’d go yarn shopping first, and set out sights on Twist Yarns. There were a few yarn shops in the general area we wanted to be in for the day, but I settled on Twist because it looked like they dyed some of their own yarns. I completely underestimated the scale of Twist’s yarn line, however — they produce yarns in pretty much any weight you’d want in a whole range of fiber blends.
The shop is beautifully laid out, and I spent a long time just wandering around, squeezing all the pretties. They stock a lot of favorites, like Malabrigo and Manos del Uruguay, in addition to their own substantial range of yarns. There were plenty of shop samples too, to get you inspired.
The owner, Cathy, was in, as was a lovely shop assistant. They were both super friendly, telling me about the different yarns I petted and letting me know what samples were knit out of the yarn, if the pattern came with purchase (many of their samples are in-house designs), etc. I especially appreciated their willingness to answer my questions about some of the different non-wool and wool-bamboo blends (a nod to the high temperatures here) and how they behave, since I’m less used to knitting with them. I almost bought one of the above lovely gradient balls — a mix of 60% wool, 30% bamboo and 10% nylon.
There was plenty to tempt me in the way of sock yarn:
And ultimately, I succumbed … a pretty shop, run by genuinely nice people, and gorgeous yarn … how could I resist? I’ve enjoyed the speckles of my Hermione Socks so much that I went with a skein of Twist’s Confetti Sock:
And this lovely ball of very delicate lace … I was really taken by the green and the cool plum underneath it. It’s a subtle gradient, so I’ll have to find a pattern to show that off!
They have a great winding station, where you can wind your own yarn after you purchase — since my winding kit is all back in Philadelphia, I took advantage of it to cake my new sock yarn:
All in all, I had a really great visit to Twist — in addition to yarn, they also have a nice array of project bags and knitting accessories … I picked up some badly needed wool wash as well. They do have an online shop, but most of their yarn line is not listed there — if you want to see more of what they’re dyeing up, it looks like they post pretty regularly about what they’re putting in the shop on theblog (the bamboo sock was particularly dreamy in person) — I’d definitely recommend giving it a gander. (And many thanks to shop owner Cathy for letting me take some pictures of her shop and putting them on the internets — as always, the opinions I’ve expressed here are just that, my opinions!)
The rest of the day brought equally good finds, albeit of the non-knitting variety. We drove down to Hermosa Beach and walked along the pier. It had been a bit cool when we left the house in the morning, so I had packed my Banana Leaf Shawl just in case. I was so excited that, with the cool ocean breeze, I could actually wear it, and be quite happy for the cover on my shoulders. I already shared these pics on Instagram, but thought I would here too, as this is one of my favorite knits, and I haven’t had many chances to wear it since I finished it last May.
After scoping out the beach, we headed to Ju’s Poke, a place we found in my Best of LA magazine. I had never heard of poké before, but it’s everywhere here — so far, almost any area we’ve visited, I’ve seen one, if not more, cafes specializing in it. It’s a cubed raw fish salad that comes from Hawaii (you can read a bit about it here), and I’m still thinking about the one I tried Saturday … it’s really a perfect hot weather food:
Bellies full, we then headed to Redondo Beach and the Pier. We had a nice stroll, saw a pelican, had Mai Tais at Tony’s and played games at the arcade.
It was the first weekend in quite awhile that we weren’t traveling (or that Mr. N wasn’t working on his dissertation), and it felt great to go out exploring in my new sometimes-home. I even managed a few rows on my socks on the car ride home:
What did you get up to this weekend? Exploring? Olympic watching (guys, the OLYMPICS ARE ON, and I can’t fit that in this post too, but I am sooo excited!)? Some of both? Hope whatever you did, it was just what you wanted from the weekend!