Friday, September 19
Cris met up with me in Scotts Valley for the southern leg of the hop. Our plan was to cover about 200 miles, visit seven shops in about five hours, in Friday afternoon traffic. It's a daunting task and I love the challenge.
1. Luminous Threads in Felton. This is the shop closest to my work, but it's half knitting and half fabric. It's in a quint little mountain town, across the street from a new age-y market. Maybe just a little too quint and antique-y. I work in a small mountain town, if I get a chance to wonder out, I need more excitement.
2. We rolled down the mountain and head to the ocean. Golden Fleece in Santa Cruz had just moved to a new location. It used to be in a historic building on a back street, now it's in a commercial strip mall on a bigger street. Much more visible if you know where to look, but the store seems smaller and there is little parking. As I mentioned in the summary, personal attention sometimes gets to me and keeps me away from a small entity like a yarn shop. Another pet peeve of mine when it comes to visiting yarn shops, I prefer not to visit a shop during a group meeting, unless there is a back room to hide this group. I just don't like to be stared at, which is usually what a big group would do when they are done gossiping. I do this myself. Sitting at a big table, working on a simple project, don't have much to say to the person sitting next to you, here comes a new face through the front door, hmm, what might she be up to? Anyway, at the old location Golden Fleece used to have a big room for groups and classes, now they have a table on the right hand side of the door. In an one-room shop with no barrier, you are kind of just walking right in front of everyone. It makes my hair stand up.
3. A few miles away is Swift Stitch. A very small store tucked in the corner of a well remodeled big building. The owner used to work for Seagate, small world. Cris bought two skeins of Collinette Jitterbug in a beautiful blue green colorway. Just in case she forgets to tell you, she loves them.
4. Next stop is Yarn Place in Capitola. Getting out of Santa Cruz was a bit of a chore. There was heavy traffic on Mission, so with help from the ladies at Swift Stitch, I figured out my way down Swift, turn on West Cliff, and get back on Ocean and catch highway 1 from there. If you are local but have not driven down West Cliff before, put it on your bucket list. It's the most beautiful part of Santa Cruz, connecting Natural Bridges, the lighthouse, the wharf, and all the way to the Boardwalk. There are multiple small beaches along the way, a nice wide trail to walk or bike on, with Pacific Ocean on one side and nice houses on the other.
Yarn Place was a disappointment. The shop was small and disorganized, and the shopkeeper was busy talking to couple of women about her husband. I changed the water bottle for her, since it looked like she had some kind of injury and couldn't put the 5-gallon bottle on the cooler. I'm not athletic by any stretch, but some days I seem to be the only person change the bottle at work.
5. Now the long drive to Monterey peninsula. I'm so glad Cris volunteered herself for this ride. We've known each other for quite a few years, but only through various meetings. This time we finally have a chance to talk.
Monarch Knitting is lovely as usual. Very tired dogs sleeping left and right. Henry has been bugging me to get him a loom. I don't feel like wasting $50 on a kiddie loom, but $250 for the real thing is a bit much.
6. Knitting by the Sea in Carmel is a window to the town. A place wants to remain so quint that would not use street numbers. I've been to the shop only once many years ago. Shopping in the downtown of such a pretentious place intimidates me. By now Cris and I were both tied and hungry, so was the shop keeper, obviously. But that doesn't explain the card board boxes laying around, nor the significant lack of friendliness. Do I have horns and not know it? The crochet hat was lovely, but not enough to reach for my credit card.
7. We were almost late for Continental Stitch in Morgan Hill if not for their knit-along meeting that ended at 8:30pm, half an hour after the shop hop time. I visit their booth at Stitches every year, but this was my first time to the shop, first time to downtown Morgan Hill for that matter. It's a lovely place, but I'm not sure if there is enough reason to come back. Morgan Hill is along the way to other things, not a destination by itself.