Austin City Crafting

This past week, I’ve been visiting my parents at their new home in Austin. Even though they’ve been down here for about six months, Mom hadn’t visited some of the popular yarn and fabric stores in the area, so that’s what we did on Friday. We spent all of our time on the south side of Lady Bird Lake around SoCo and Lamar. Here’s a couple highlights from our excursion:

Hill Country Weavers

Mom mentioned that this yarn store in SoCo was well recommended by some gals in a knitting meet-up group she attended. It’s right on Congress Ave and an easy stone’s throw away from some of the hipster places on the street. The store is a converted house, and every room has shelves and shelves of yarn. Yarn is tucked into just about every nook and cranny in the store, and it’s easy to get yarn-overload while in the store. I probably could have spent half the day in trying to pick out just ONE thing I wanted. (Fortunately, for our bank account, I already have two knitting projects in queue at home). Even though I didn’t buy anything, mom got a couple skeins of a super fine wool to make a shawlette.

Bolt Fabrics

When I looked up this place on Yelp, I didn’t realize it was upholstery fabric. If I had, I probably would have struck it from our list, but I’m glad I didn’t. Mom was able to see fabrics for some home dec projects she had in mind, and I found an awesome cotton print. The fabric weight wasn’t too heavy, but not too lightweight that I’ll need to line it. It’ll be perfect for a pencil skirt (maybe an A-line, but I’m thinking more pencil).

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TexStyles

Mom said she drove by this store every day on her way home from work, and always meant to stop in. Glad we did! I wish we had a fabric store this amazing in Seattle (Nancy’s comes close, but this place was beyond any I’ve been in, save for Mood). It’s a small room in a strip mall. At first, you wonder if they’ll have anything, and then you walk in to a sea of fabric. The owner drives to California to hand select the fabric he sells in his store (fun fact: Daniel Esquivel of Project Runway fame shops there) and instead of storing bulky bolts of fabric, he puts them on hangers, and has the walls covered in hangers of fabric. Makes it easier to sell a larger selection of fabric, in my opinion. Mom and I both walked out of there with something: I bought three-yards of a purple heathered knit that I’ll probably use for another sweater/t-shirt dress.

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I’ve strongly encouraged Mom to continue to visit her local crafting stores (because I would if I lived here!) I know it’s sometimes easier/cheaper to buy fabric online, but if we don’t support our local stores, they’ll go out of business and won’t be there when we want/need them.

Also, I finished my socks this week. Yay!

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First Knitted Socks

A couple weeks ago, I finished another knitting project: socks! They are one of the most popular knitted items ever, and definitely had a lot of new technique for me to learn like short-rows and heel-turning.

Socks for Shuan

Socks for Shuan

This pair was made for a friend who lives across the country. She said they fit a little small (her feet are much smaller than mine, so I couldn’t test them out before I sent them, unfortunately) so that was kind of a bummer, but the pattern worked out pretty well for me, otherwise.

The pattern I used was Red Heart’s Self-Striping Sock Pattern, and used their Heart and Sole sock yarn. This is my mom’s go-to sock pattern, so I figured it would be a good one to start with in case I needed to ask her for help. It’s a top down (as opposed to “toe up”) sock pattern that uses US2 DPNs, and was a good experience using DPNs (the hard part is casting-on so you don’t twist it!)

I think I want to make myself some knitted lace stockings after having tackled these, but I have another knitted project in the works for now (and a couple more in the queue too!)

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