We just got back from a fantastic trip to Seattle and had such a fun vacation! We stayed at the Pan Pacific hotel, which I highly recommend. It's conveniently located, clean, and has good service. The best part? It's beautiful! Let's put it this way: if Habu were a hotel, it would be this one.
We saw and did lots of fun things, but I'll just tell you about my yarn adventures.
First, I went to Tricoter. It was a nice store, and the people there were friendly. There were some really lovely yarns there, but they were arranged by color. If I were the type of person who would say to myself, "I need to make a red sweater," then that would be great. But I'm not. No, I'd rather look at yarns based on their other qualities--content, gauge, feel--and then see if I like one of the available colors. So I did not buy any yarn, but I did buy the Loop-D-Loop Vol 2 booklet there because they had a sample of the mesh-and-rib short-sleeve pullover from the cover knitted up, and it really caught my eye.
Next up was Hilltop Yarn East in nearby Bellevue. They have lovely yarns and are also very nice. There is a fairly extensive collection of patterns and back issues of magazines. I came across the hard-to-find Spring 2006 issue of Interweave Crochet. I think people often get this for the Babette Blanket, but I wanted it for the Pink Frosting tank (Ravelry link). Yummy!
One of the fun things we did was to take a ferry boat over to Bainbridge Island. The views are fantastic, and Bainbridge Island itself has some very charming places to shop. For us yarn addicts, there is Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. Yes, they have teas and teapots, as well as needlepoint supplies in addition to the knitting goodies. And yes, the knitting goodies are good! The yarn selection is very well edited and the shop samples are all really appealing! I came away with Kim Hargreave's Heartfelt Collection.
The most interesting stop was at the Kinokuniya Bookstore in the international district (thanks for the tip, Janet!). If you have any interest whatsoever in Japanese craft books, this is the place to go in Seattle! I bought 2 booklets, but I was tempted by so many. Who cares if I don't read Japanese! Many of the designs are just inspirational to have. I would have bought some stitch dictionaries, but I had the kids with me and didn't really have a chance to go through them properly, so it'll just have to wait for another visit. I also found myself drawn to several crochet books and a number of sewing books, especially Pattern Magic, volumes 1 and 2. I could go on and on!
And in case you're curious, yes, I did buy yarn as well. That happened at Little Knits. Some of you may have ordered from them online before, as I have. Going to the store is a whole new experience. We drove out to West Seattle and followed the GPS directions. At first, I thought I must have entered in something wrong because the directions led us to the middle of what looked like a residential neighborhood, and there were no signs anywhere. Turns out, though, that the directions were right. It's in a house that is bursting at the seams with yarn, yarn, and more yarn. They were shipping out internet sale orders, so things were a little chaotic, but Sue and Erica could not be nicer! There are only 2 "retail days" on Thursday and Saturday, but as long as you understand and can tolerate the setup, you are welcome on any day that they are there (ie. not Friday or Sunday). I picked up some olive-brown Katia Bamboo for a Pintuck T-shirt and some gray Barufffa Cashwool and pink Malabrigo Lace--one of these is intended for a Butterfly Tank and the other will be in the stash for the next time some lace inspiration strikes.
Although I never get to do as much knitting as I'd like to on vacation, I did manage to do enough to finish up the front of Eastlake (sans eyeletes) and am up to the armhole bindoff on the back.
I love the design but am getting a wee bit nervous about how this shape will actually look on me, so I'm pausing to seam up what I have and try it on before going further. Another reason I loved the hotel is that I was able to actually block the front piece after I finished knitting it up. This meant that 1) the tub was super clean and I had no reservations about using it, 2) the towels were nice and cushy and absorbent to soak up the excess water, 3) there was enough room on the coffee table to lay out the piece on a towel, and 4) the housekeeping staff respected the "Do Not Disturb" sign I put on it.
All in all, a great trip! :-)