Thursday, December 3, 2009

Knit tourism

I spent last week in Wisconsin - went to visit one of my daughters for Thanksgiving. She lives in Wausau, a smallish city that some locals claim is boring, uncool, in short Nowheresville. But I found plenty to see and do. I visited the LYS, Black Purl, on Black Friday:

The first thing I do in a new town is check out the LYS - it's one of my ways of taking the temperature of an unfamiliar place, kind of like checking out the coffeehouses or the bookstores. I loved Black Purl. How hip is that building? And the railroad tracks location? It looks like it belongs in San Francisco or NYC. I don't know how well you can see the edgy black-on-black decoration on the facade, but it's very cool. There's a better picture on the store website right here.

The store was packed with beautiful yarn; a big table in the front window was occupied by a bunch of knitters (including a young man) happily wielding their needles and chatting. I was wearing a new shawl finished for the trip (Aestlight, more on that in another post), and as I was paying for my yarns and magazine one of those knitters came up behind me and took it from my shoulders, threw it around hers, and went off to model it for her friends. (I did get it back.) Owner Beth Anne Paustian is a prolific designer too. You can see some of her patterns on her Ravelry designer page.

An afternoon visit with Knittin Brit Kim was another highlight of the trip. We managed to make our tea and hot chocolate last two hours while we yakked about knitting, spinning, and even some non-fiber-related topics. She's a local who loves her town; no disparaging words about Wausau from her! She also teaches classes at Black Purl occasionally.

Oh - and I got some knitting done. A beautiful Ice Queen for my daughter. I cast on on the plane heading east, and finished and blocked it the day before we flew home.

This one is done without beads and without the picot bindoffs, but it is still lovely, and just the thing for winter in Wisconsin. Designer Rosemary Hill gave me the yarn - my other daughter modeled the original Ice Queen for her. I still have to knit one for her - that's next on the list!


  1. What a great building and setting; I love those kinds of towns. I love how knitting provides such a great way to visit new places--it allows you to feel a bit like a local.

  2. I'm so jealous. How I would love to spend the afternoon knitting and hanging out with you and Kim.

  3. Believe it or not, Jessica, neither of us knitted a single stitch--too busy talking.

  4. That looks really good, that blue is a good color for Evie. I was trying to remember what colors we have for mine... copper beads right? But what color yarn? I was wishing today that I had mine, a hood would be perfect up here!

  5. We did talk knitting though - lots of knit talk.

    It was lovely seeing you Therese. I love the Ice Queen - you're right it's perfect for our cold weather, which has finally arrived. We probably won't get about freezing now until April (woo hoo! lots of perfect knitting & knit wearing time).

  6. Emma-smoky charcoal gray yarn. Do you want beads? It'll be a lot slower. How about just on the lower edge?