When my brother told me last year that he was planning to move to Austin, I couldn't buy a plane ticket fast enough. For years I'd been hearing about what a great city Austin is & I couldn't wait to check it out for myself. And while I think I've been spoiled by Seattle's unique neighborhoods, high walkability & gorgeous surroundings, I will definitely go back to Austin to check out all the stuff I just couldn't fit into my 5-day trip.
What I did manage to fit in were a few trips to some yarn shops. I'd heard good things about Hill Country Weavers so I visited them first. The shop is a converted house within a short drive (or a very long walk) of downtown. They had a good selection of yarn, including harder-to-find stuff like Brooklyn Tweed & The Fiber Co.
The preserved house layout made for a fun labyrinth of rooms to explore.
They even had a full room devoted to books & magazines, including lots of back issues.
They've recently published their own first book, Kismet, which includes weaving patterns embellished by knit & crochet. I don't weave so I didn't pick up a copy but it's an interesting concept.
What I did pick up was a skein of Hedgehog Fibers sock yarn in the Copper Penny colorway. This is an indie dyer out of Ireland that Hill Country Weavers has just started carrying. I don't really have any other colors like this in my stash & I'm hoping it will be a good match for Cookie A's Monkey socks.
A few days later, I visited Gauge Knits. Unfortunately I was already packed for my flight home (in fact I was on my way to the airport when I stopped by) so I had to take these photos with my phone. Hopefully they convey the warm, comfortable environment of this shop, which was enhanced by the awesome, friendly employees.
This shop also had a wide selection, including a lot more locally-spun or dyed yarn by brands like Little Green Finch (sold exclusively by Gauge) & The Fiber Co-op.
This shop includes a lending library where you can take out books for about three weeks at a time to decide if you'd like to buy them.
The allure of local yarn (the perfect souvenir!) was too strong to resist so I grabbed one beautiful skein of heavy lace/light fingering weight superwash merino by Little Green Finch & two heavily discounted skeins of sport or DK weight wool by The Fiber Co-op. The plan is to combine them into a two-tone shrug.
Now that I've wrapped up two long-term projects, I'm getting antsy to cast on or start spinning another, but don't want to get distracted from my Buttony Sweater, which I'm making rapid, if still enigmatic, progress on. I have a couple of quick projects in mind & really should start the Xmas knitting so I'll let you know next time what I decide.