Acorn Street Shop

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Well, Sunday I moved into the University of Washington dorms, and Monday I decided to take advantage of the free day before class started. I Googled Seattle yarn shops, found the closest one, and made the trek to 55th Street to find Acorn Street Shop. (There were a few more stops inbetween, involving getting incredibly lost and circling the dorm for about 45 minutes and a long conversation with a librarian, but I got there, readers, I got there.) It’s about two miles there and back from my dorm, so not a short walk, but a very beautiful one that, after the steep curve that is Pend Oreille Road, is mostly flat.

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Acorn Street Shop is an absolutely lovely place with friendly staff who are willing to let you fondle, try on, and explore to your heart’s content. They have a fantastic selection of yarn from bulky to fingering (unlike some local yarn stores I have gone to which eschew bulky altogether…for some reason), and a plethora of beautiful patterns. I purchased one myself, called Diamond Lattice Scarf, by Aixa Heller. I have a ton of scarves, and I don’t particularly have the wardrobe to match this one, but it’s such a great stitch pattern that I couldn’t resist. I have a few ideas for personal pattern modifications that’ll make this one fantastic for me.

As an aside, while I was there, a UPS man came in to deliver a box of yarn. Once he left, one of the staff mentioned to her coworker a joke about how she batted for the other team usually, but an exception could be made for him. I happen to bat for both teams, so I am always happy to find a place where I feel cozy not just as a crocheter but as an LGBT individual.

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I also got this fun trinket, which helps you keep track of rows! The beads slide easily up and down the cord but not so easily they go all over the place and mess up your count. These are by Jodi Herb. I’d link you to her website, but unfortunately, it seems to be down right now. You’ll just have to come to Seattle if you want to get your own. Acorn Street Shop is on 2818 NE 55th Street!

Then, since I had a little time, I crossed the street to a shop called Queen Mary’s Tea Emporium. And I found a Little Free Library shaped like a phone box!

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I love these things. Back at home they mostly look like little houses, so this one charmed me to death. No books I was interested in, but there was a call for people to add more, so maybe if I acquire any books I don’t need during my college years I’ll pop back and add some.

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The tea shop itself was fantastic; just as gaudy as you’d expect from a shop called Queen Mary, with 80-some varieties of tea that they mix on site and a great many teapots ranging from fancy to adorable. I was especially taken by a strawberry peach rooibos blend they had, but I let it go for now. When I’m moved into my permanent dorm, Hansee Hall, for the fall quarter, I’ll have more room for tea things, and I will come back for that rooibos.

 

College quilt!

I’m moving in to my dorm this Sunday (but there will still be a Sunday post, because of the magic of WordPress queueing) and my mum just finished what will be the crowning glory of the room. Last year she said she’d make me a quilt for college, so I designed a goldfish design made up of hexagon motifs, we picked out fabric together, and a year later, here we are. I know this is a yarn blog, but yarn people are well-able to appreciate other textile arts.

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I had to stand on the kitchen counter to get this picture.

The goldfish is based off of butterfly-tail goldfish. My favorite breed is actually the ranchu, because they are precious egg fish, but butterfly tails are so striking from above that I had to choose them.

Closeup of some of the different fabrics used here:

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I wish you could really see the detail of my mother’s quilting; the water is done in waves, the ripples have bubbles in them, the leaves have veins, the fish has diamond scales… but my phone camera is only decent, not magical.

I’m so happy. I think it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Now off to pack the rest of my things for college…

Infinite stitches

I identify as a crocheter, for the most part, because I’m better at it than knitting and because I do more of it than knitting. However, my best friend’s birthday is in August, and she picked out StarBurst Cape by Jeanne Abel, so I picked up my circulars and gave it a go.

Reader, this seafarer was utterly unprepared for what it is like to knit 270 some stitches in a single row. Crochet rarely increases that quickly or to more than two digit numbers. (Unless you crochet shawls, which I do not, because I feel that crochet as a general rule makes too dense of a fabric to make good shawls.) It has been tedious. Very tedious. This cape is worked in stockinette and reverse stockinette alternately, with radiating eyelets where it transforms from knit loops to purl bumps. Ergo, mostly it’s just purling or knitting, over and over and over again.

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Also, it looks an awful lot like a terrible purple lump at the moment. The yarn is Color Dance’s Moonwalk series, in the colorway Purple Rain. It’s not a terribly well known yarn, as it is from a local creator with a small business, but it can be obtained from her Etsy here and is truly a joy to knit with. Still, I feel like I won’t be able to fully appreciate it until it’s off the needles and properly blocked.

Eighteen more (very, very long) rows of stockinette to go.

Dear Reader

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the Seafarer’s Yarn blog. My name is Quillen, and in the interest of sparing my family excessive amounts of talk about wool and blocking and double crochets and all that yarn nonsense, I have instead decided to inflict such things upon the internet. Ravelry has reliably informed me that other crocheters and knitters are usually significantly more interested in listening to this sort of thing than one’s non-crafty family.

Some facts about me to start off:

1. I consider myself a crocheter and a toymaker, but occasionally I cheat on both my hooks and my toys with some fingering weight and a pair of needles. I can’t help it. I need variety in my life. I’m fairly equal-opportunity with my knit and crochet, but I am so, so bad at gauge and only engage in projects that absolutely require it if forced.

2. I like to make toys of animals, and particularly animals that no one else really cares to pay much attention to. In conservation biology, they talk about “charismatic megafauna”. That refers to the animal that goes on the zoo posters and looks charming so people will throw money at the zoo to save the pandas and the tigers. Crochet and knit toy makers are all absolutely taken with these kinds of animals (giraffes, monkeys, bears, ad infinitum), so as much as I too find the charismatic megafauna charming, I seek to branch out in the animal kingdom a little more when making toys.

3. I study Aquatic and Fisheries Science at the University of Washington! You can count on me to live up to the seafaring part of this blog’s name.

4. Unlike other yarn people, I sadly am catless. I keep fish. They are not as cuddly or adoring of me, the food-bearer, but they are less prone to sit on my yarn when I’m trying to block things.

There you go, reader. Welcome to the blog.