I’m from Oklahoma City, where we have some great yarn shops— especially L & B Yarn in Norman (20 minutes south of OKC), where I work. Last weekend my boyfriend and I drove to Austin to visit friends, and I got to go to Hill Country Weavers to look around for unique yarns I don’t usually see in local yarn shops here. It’s on South Congress, which was a really cool strip of fun shops (antiques, costumes, clothing boutiques, records, candy…) with ample amounts of street food besides.
So I set out in search of hand-dyed lace- and sock-weight yarns. It wasn’t hard to find some really pretty stuff! From left to right, I’m holding: Louisa Harding Grace Hand-dyed (hot pink), Madelinetosh Pashmina in Steam Age and Cobalt, Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 2-ply in Old Roses, Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Steam Age, and Madelinetosh Prairie in Malachite. What to choose!?
The store had a lot of very fancy yarns, but the more basic stuff as well. I saw some brands I had never seen before, like Solstice Yarns, who make a beautiful silk-blend sock yarn. There was Debbie Bliss pure silk and pure cashmere in tiny little hanks, lots of Ella Rae Lace Merino, Manos Lace and Maxima in colors I hadn’t seen before, Lorna’s Laces Helen’s Lace… so many wonderful yarns! Right when I walked in the door, I saw the Madelinetosh, which was what I was prowling for anyway, since we can’t keep it in stock at L & B… that stuff flies off the shelves!
My favorite yarn base ever, at least for what I like to do, is Tosh Merino Light, a supersoft one-ply fingering yarn that comes in really beautiful colorways. Madelinetosh Prairie is very similar, but laceweight. I decided to get one of each and then a Dream in Color yarn base I’d never seen before, called Everlasting 8-ply sock.
From the top: Dream in Color Everlasting 8-ply sock in Galaxy, Madelinetosh Prairie in Malachite, and Tosh Merino Light in Steam Age. They had a ball winder in the store, but my friends were waiting… so I waited until I was home to start winding my Everlasting 8-ply sock, and have started a scarf with it since. It’s really weird, since 8 plies usually make a much bigger yarn than a sock weight, but I imagine it would be wonderful for hard-wearing socks. Since I’m more into beaded frilliness, I started a beaded scarf with it, and the lace needles aren’t exactly agreeing with all the tiny thread-plies, but it’s working out okay. The color is beautiful, even though it looks more variegated once it’s been wound and knit (pictures to come of my finished object).
Overall, Hill Country Weavers was really cool (although it seemed to be more of a knitting shop than a weaving one?). They had a huge selection, all piled up in what seemed to be a dozen tiny rooms— it was a little hard to retrace my steps back to yarns I wanted to reconsider. I was impressed with the quality and variety of yarns they had, despite the relative messiness of the array.
Thanks for reading! I’ll be posting pictures of what I make out of the yarn I bought. I love visiting yarn shops when I’m out of town. :)