As I mentioned yesterday, I am out of town. Reno, NV to be exact. The Brain helped organize a conference for smarties and I tagged along for the ride.
First impressions: Reno is a LOT smaller than I thought it would be! I'll admit to being amusingly unaware of what most cities are really like. Before I moved to California, for instance, I thought everyone out here spoke like a surfer dude and was passionate about recycling. Before I moved to Pittsburgh, I was warned that no one out there used infinitives. A kindly, older coworker spent weeks coaching me on how to interpret things like, "The car needs warshed". (I was not at all prepared for "yinz" though. Nobody warns you about "yinz".)
You can understand, then, when I tell you that I blithely set off for Reno fully expecting it to be a slightly smaller version of Las Vegas. You know, because gambling = smokey casinos and flashing lights. And heck, I basically expect any city that I have heard of to be large and make an impression. Reno, however, is so far outside my expectations and I am pleasantly surprised by that.
Here is the view from my hotel window: Mountains! Clouds! So pretty!
Knowing that I would be left to my own devices while The Brain was whooping it up with all of his electrophoresis and spectroscopy buddies, I came armed with knitting. A lot of knitting.
Seven golf club socks that need to be shortened. This is a commissioned project from a customer at my LYS who wants the cuffs shortened to fit into his new golf bag better. The originals were knitted flat by machine and then seamed up so I'm not exactly in a hurry to get cracking on these...
The pile of blue Berroco Vintage is for a Sleeping Baby's Castle Blanket. I figured I could get started on it when I finished all my other projects after just one day. (Yeah, right.)
Next to that is a pile of pink and white yarn for a sample knit I was hired to do. I'm still waiting on the pattern, but I brought the yarn with me just in case.
The ball of blue/green in the front is some Knitters Brewing Company Sock-aholic in Jungle Juice that I'm using for Kitman Figueroa's latest KAL. I just started last night and I'm loving the color already. I'm only 6 rows in so the jury's still out on the pattern but I fully expect to be happy with that, too. ;-)
And finally, I have one completed Bridge of Roses sock and am ready to cast on for the next. This is a kit I bought from Knitters Brewing Co. at VKL and I think it's fabulous! The colors are wonderful and I like the challenge of the design. I still have a few more roses to embroider and then I can start Sock #2.
And as if I don't have enough yarn crammed into my hotel room, I went shopping on Monday! Jimmy Beans Wool is located right here in Reno so I couldn't pass up the chance to visit them. I saved some of my money from VKL because I was sure I could find what I was looking for at JBW and I was not disappointed:
Sheer Beauty swirl jacket and I was able to find exactly the right shade of MadelineTosh DK to go with it! (You can see the Shibui at the top of the photo, and the MadTosh underneath it. The colors are more vibrant in real life but my hotel room is kind of like a cave at the moment.)
I also found a new lace yarn from Juniper Moon Farm. Findley is 50/50 merino/silk and comes in 800 yards per ball! I picked up two balls because I'm thinking of designing something with them. I love the colors they had available. :) And finally, I picked up two more project bags, some darning needles, and some gift tags for sewing onto your knits. Not a bad trip: I found exactly what I was looking for, and I came away with some other useful goodies as well.
One more note about expectations. I know Jimmy Beans Wool by reputation. I subscribe to their newsletter and I have placed online orders from them in the past. (Fewer now that I work at an LYS, but I always appreciated their quick shipping and excellent customer service.) I knew that they had recently moved into a larger space so of course I was expecting some kind of Webs-like warehouse. Imagine my surprise (and delight, I must admit) to find that their storefront is actually quite small. And there is a COW PASTURE across the street! (Really, my mind just about blew at that one. First Reno is smaller than expected, then Jimmy Beans is not the giant megastore I had imagined, but to see cows across the street?!? Too funny.) Granted, most of their business is done online so they kept a majority of their stock in the back, but I really liked the atmosphere. It was just like any other normal LYS (in fact, it was one third to one fourth the size of the one I work at) and the woman working there was just charming. When I lamented that I could only find one skein of the color of MadTosh I was looking for, she immediately brightened and said that they only put out one skein of each color and that they had 10 more in the back. Then she went into the back and brought out all 10 skeins so I could choose which ones I wanted! I could see through a window behind her to a second room where two women were sitting at computers processing online orders (I presume). And when I tweeted about stopping into the shop yesterday, I immediately got a friendly response from them. How cool is that?!? All of my interactions with this company have been wonderful, and I highly recommend them to others. In fact, I may just make another trip back there tomorrow. :)
That's all for now. I hope everyone is having a week that is just as pleasant as mine has been. :)