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Posted on by MK Carroll

Karabella Aurora 8

As I put my yarn stash into storage (again), I am reminded that I have plenty of yarn to work with and don't need to acquire much more. Mom, on the other hand, has been knitting and crocheting much of what I've destashed at high speed. Last week I handed her a bag of oddballs of Karabella Aurora 8 that had been sitting in a box since 2007 (because it had turned into two complete balls and a small heap of small balls of only a couple of yards each) and this week she showed me the hat she knit up from the full balls and then topped with a dense, squooshy, carefully hand-snipped pom-pon made out of the small balls.

Hat

Well, that kind of productivity ought to be encouraged, especially when it means I can help support YarnStory, a brand-new yarn shop that opened just a few weeks ago in Honolulu. The shop hasn't had a Grand Opening yet (the owner is waiting on several boxes of yarn), so I'm holding off on a full review, but here's what I picked up today for Mom:

Kaleidescope
Brown Sheep Co. Kaleidescope, 80% cotton, 20% wool. Pink/red dominant is color KAL-20 ANAHEIM, Paintlot 0310, and Blue/purple dominant is KAL-10 BELIZE, Paintlot 179.

Sari Yarn
Yarn spun from recycled silk sari fabric

Earthues Natural Dyes

Posted on by MK Carroll

Earthues Natural Dyes is a short drive over a bridge from Seattle to Ballard, on a quiet street lined with trees. Although Earthues specializes in natural dyes and classes in natural dyes and textile arts, a small selection of naturally dyed yarns is available for sale.

Earthues Dark Indigo Wool & Cotton

The range of colors is really lovely, from pale pastels to intense brights to dark hues with a lot of depth, like the dark indigo dyed wool/cotton blend above. The wool and cotton have taken the indigo dye at different rates, resulting in a yarn that looks like a comfortable pair of denim jeans. I'm planning to crochet a hat with this skein.

Earthues Plum

This wool yarn has a lovely sheen and a lot of bounce. There were only a few skeins of each color - in some shades, just one, which I found a little disappointing. None of them came in what I would consider to be a sweaters-worth of yarn. It's possible that they did have more in their backstock, but the people working there seemed to be quite busy and I didn't have much time to shop. What I bought is definitely enough for a scarf, though.

Earthues...cotton?

While most of the yarns were labeled, the labels didn't always have all the information I was looking for. This one, as you can see, just says "organic" on one side and "$8.95" on the other. No yardage, no fiber content, and no color name or number. This was one of a few shades of green, all of them lovely. It has a nice soft hand and some resilience. If it turns out I have enough, I'm thinking of making a string bag with this.

Earthues
The interior of the store is charming and colorful, with lots of examples of textiles.

Earthues button display
The buttons for sale come in a wide variety of shapes and materials (including bone, horn, shell, tagua nut, and wood) and many of them are dyed with the same dyes used on the textiles.

Earthues yarns

I would have liked to spend more time exploring the shop and getting to talk to an employee so I could get more information about certain items (like whether or not they were for sale). For example, there was a big bowl of tiny skeins of yarn in dozens of colors, but nothing to indicate whether it was for display only or if they were available for purchase, what dyes had been used, what the fiber contents were, etc. Hopefully I'll get to go back on another trip and be able to do more than just wonder about most of what is on the shelves.

Earthues, A Natural Color Company
5129 Ballard Avenue NW
Seattle, WA 98107
Telephone: (206) 789-1065
www.earthues.com
Yelp (map and reviews)

Kaua’i yarn shopping (Hanalei Strings & Things, Ace Hardware & Crafts)

Posted on by MK Carroll

Hanalei looking out over Hanalei, Kaua'i

I spent a recent weekend on Kaua'i and did a little yarn shopping while I was there. First stop was Hanalei Strings & Things, a little shop in the Ching Young Village Shopping Center in the middle of downtown Hanalei. It's a very touristy area with lots of shops and restaurants, and parking can be a little challenging during lunchtime on a weekend. Strings & Things combines yarn and ukuleles - Amy Singer would plotz.




Hanalei Strings & Things, Kaua'i Entrance to Hanalei Strings & Things



Hanalei Strings & Things, Kaua'i Guitars, ukuleles, and yarn

Hanalei Strings & Things, Kaua'i Books, notions, and yarn (including Kauai Botanicals hand-dyed yarns)

My visit was brief. You may have had a similar experience while vacationing with someone who is not into yarn? "Do you want to eat lunch first?" "No, you can do your yarn shopping first" - and then about 1o minutes later, it is clear that the person not into yarn is about to fall over from a combination of boredom and low blood sugar (I finished up my browsing, bought two skeins of Kauai Botanicals hand-dyed sock yarn, and we went across the street to Bubba's Burgers. By the way, Bubba's does old-fashioned burgers that remind me of In 'N Out). I did note that they have a pretty substantial inventory for a small space - lots of high-end yarns, some novelty yarns, books, patterns, needles, hooks, notions, and a cozy corner to sit and stitch at. Prices - like pretty much everything on Kaua'i - tend to be high. I'm sure the owner has heard plenty enough complaining about that - and it's an issue that they likely can't do anything about (welcome to the flip side of "life in paradise"). The Kauai Botanicals hand-dyed yarns were nice to see - there's a demand for souvenir yarn but not much available. These are yarns dyed with hibiscus, 'olena (turmeric), and red dirt (which Kaua'i is famous for). Various weights and fibers are available, and there was a lovely sample of a drop-stitch knit scarf done with pinky-mauve hibiscus-dyed ribbon yarn. I chose wool/bamboo blend sock yarn, one dyed with 'olena and one dyed with 'olena and hibiscus.

Kauai Botanicals hand-dyed yarns Kauai Botanicals hand-dyed wool/bamboo sock yarns

To the best of my knowledge, this yarn is available only at Hanalei Strings & Things.

Hanalei Strings & Things
5-5190 Kuhio Hwy
Ching Young Village Shopping Center
Hanalei, HI 96714
(808) 826-9633
Yelp (map and reviews): Hanalei Strings & Things

Later in the week, we stopped by Ace Hardware & Crafts. Yes, a combination hardware and craft store! Half of the store is your typical Ace Hardware, and the other half is your typical Ben Franklin Crafts store.

Ace Hardware & Crafts, Lihue, Kaua'i Ace Hardware & Crafts, Lihue, Kaua'i

 




Ace Hardware & Crafts, Lihue, Kaua'i Lily Sugar & Cream yarn, crochet cotton

 




Ace Hardware & Crafts, Lihue, Kaua'i Red Heart

There are yarns for making crochet leis with as well as a lot of Red Heart, a selection of crochet threads, Lily Sugar & Cream kitchen cotton, and Cascade 220. Needles, hooks, and notions too. This store is located in a more industrial part of Lihue, so not a lot in the immediate area for other attractions. Lihue is small, though, so it's a short drive to the beach and other businesses.


Ace Hardware & Crafts
4100 Rice St
Lihue, HI 96766
(808) 245-4091
Yelp (map and reviews): Ace Hardware Lihue