Friday, June 16, 2006

Travels with Yarn

Yesterday I drove to New Ulm MN which boasts that it is the Polka Capitol of the U.S. and was declared by the U.S. Census Bureau to be the most German town in America. It is little Germany. I had a lunch appointment at a place called the Lamplighter where a sign is posted that they have the Best Burgers in Town. No, no they don't. They have the best burgers I've ever eaten!!!

After the lunch appointment what is next door to the Lamplighter? Nadelkunst. Yes people, a needlework and yarn shop. Is that fate or what? In the back of the store they have yarn and I found the owner, Cindy (who encouraged me to refer to her as Nutty Cindy) and two friends. They were knitting and looking at One Skein. They were also discussing a recent bout of salmonella that one of them suffered which wasn't exactly what I needed to hear after gorging myself on a giant burger (literally couldn't have walked away from that giant burger if someone were across the room wagging worsted weight cashmere at me, that good). Also in the back were a collection of the cutest felted bags. Cindy tells me that they sell as fast as she can knit them and I believe it. At the counter Nutty Cindy showed me the most beautiful beaded purses EVER! She has an unbelievable collection of patterns, etc. for them. She told me that she has researched and unfortunately there are as many bad patterns for beaded bags out there as there are good ones. She obviously has found the good ones because these bags are to die for.
Here is her policy (I hope I've got this right Cindy, it may be the Nutty part): Call her up and she'll help you select materials and ship them to you. She doesn't charge for shipping. If you receive the materials and your vision and Cindy's didn't mesh, send 'em back she'll pay for the shipping again. Nutty Cindy and Nadelkunst are sadly webless and blogless, but you can call Nutty Cindy at (507) 354-8708. She'll be in back knitting with friends during lunch. NOTE TO CINDY: if putting your shop number on my blog causes you one bit of inconvenience, you have my card, call me. If I got the policy wrong, same thing. I'll take it off the blog.

After getting lost twice getting out of New Ulm, I ended up in a town called Klossner that I've never heard of. But the folks at the Farmers Union Cooperative helped me on the right path. They told me I was the fourth city person lost there that day. I guess Klossner is one of those places that you trip on rather than seek. Anyway they gave me directions, but the directions took me around St. Peter MN. The problem? There is a yarn shop I wanted to try in St. Peter. At that, the clerk said Mary Lue's? Yes, she was a knitter! Other than getting lost, the business travel gods are on my side at this point. Well, she pointed me to Mary Lue's where I bought these:
Not the greatest picture. The color spun is for yet another child's poncho (you have to be able to wash kid's clothes people) and the Katrina is for a top I've got cooking in my brain. It is rayon and elastic and has a cool shine to it. Plus, Katrina is the German version of my name and what my mom sometimes calls me. (she's Irish so go figure) I thought that it was only fitting that I bought it after my day in the most German town in America. I haven't seen it in any of the local yarn stores. Here in the city the yarn stores only carry snob yarns. I don't mean that in a bad way, I'm as big a yarn snob, at times, as anyone. The craft stores carry Paton's but not a very big selection. I think in small towns, they have to double it up and sell Lion and Rowan at the same place. They don't have giant big box craft stores.

And finally, upon my arrival home last night I found this in the mail.
Knit Cards from Major Knitter as part of her great March Madness sock yarn collection. Okay, here is the crazy part. She knit the swatch out of the yarn I contributed!!! And she did it for everyone! I can't even comprehend this level of organization and commitment. I'm stunned. These are the cutest cards ever and I have to buy some. Jennifer, I can't find anything on your blog about how to purchase. Please, please, please let me know soon. Thank you for the note cards. I love them.

Okay, long long post. Thank you for suffering through my wanton abuse of parentheticals (yes abuse according to MFF) and crazy punctuation. In the meantime, if you find yourself lost in southern Minnesota, don't be afraid to stop and ask directions to the nearest yarn store.

postscript: can't get my spell checker to work so I might have spelling errors in here too. No, I'm not illiterate, I'm enthusiastic.


Tygher Knits said...

I love Patons' Katrina. I need to eventually pick some up for a .. well .. for something. I just want so badly to knit with it.

Chris said...

I love wandering travel days like that! But there is another yarn store in St Peter that's TOTALLY different - the Tangled Skein.

Those cards are great!

sydney said...

Now that sounds like a fun adventure!

I knit a top out of Katrina and I like it. It has a nice shine and I like the texture. So far it has washed well too. The yarn is stretchy but not too stretchy.

renee said...

I've got to try the Lamplighter in New Ulm next time I'm down that way. The Lamplighter used to be the name of a strip club in St. Paul, so I guess that'll be easy to remember.

I also have used Katrina before and loved it. In fact, I saw some on sale at Michael's in Shakopee once and bought up a ton. I know I saw some somewhere else, but I can't remember where.

Amy said...

I'm definitely going to New ULm. Sounds great.