Thursday, June 15, 2006
Princeton and environs yarn crawl
Part of being on vacation for a knitter is, obviously, checking out local yarn stores, right? If I were a stamp collector (which I used to be, 32 years ago--egads!) I would spend my free time searching out appropriate purveyors of all things philatelic. But I'm not, so instead I spent my evening visiting two stores and scoring some yarn that is not available within a 100-mile radius of my home--I include this info in case my husband the Darling Marxist Curmudgeon is reading this and wondering what in the hell his wife the A.D.D. Knitter is doing buying more yarn. The good news, honey: I spent less than $63! The bad news: Princeton is still the playground of the ultra-rich!
First of all, let me say that in all my shallow glory I am completely smitten with Princeton, NJ. If you've ever been there, you know the intense cuteness that I am talking about. Shops with Lily Pulitzer pink-and-green togs on display in the window, completely buff lacrosse players with awesome tans (I know that thinking lacrosse players are cute is not politically correct right at this particular moment, but lacrosee players are undeniably HOT and although it's certainly a sure sign of middle-age to be leering at barely out-of-adolescence 20 year old boys, I stand by this obervation), super-smart Poindexter types coming off campus for a quick shot of espresso before they head off to their political economy courses, and well-preserved Episcopalian women d'une certaine âge strolling the streets with their wicker purses and patchwork pants--hey, I love it all.
There are several establishments that I want to draw your attention to, one of them is the killer yarn store pictured above: Pins and Needles. This store was definitely worth the trip! They are open late on Thursday nights and so had many customers to deal with, but both employees were terribly friendly and quickly apologized for being so busy. No matter--I am the kind of customer that likes to browse on my own, anyway. That whole early 90's Gap-employee-greeter-in-your-face thing is such a pain, in my book. After browsing around I zeroed in on some Koigu PPPM, I'd been coveting it for a while and wondering what all the fuss was about. I bought two colorways--#120 and #146--and am eager to wind it and get moving on some socks.
Just around the corner on Nassau Street there is one of the best bookstores I've ever been to, EVER. Somehow over years I've begun going to those big box stores like Barnes and IgNoble and have started to believe their bullsh*&^ about it actually being a good bookstore--this has happened because, as I have stated before, there are no independent booksellers where I live. But going to Micawber Books has reminded be what a good bookstore is all about--they have new and used titles and their new fiction selection is the best I've seen. The children's section is huge and caters to every taste--in my case, this taste is for reprints of books from the early part of the century. Love Micawber Books and the nerdy yet stylishly hip crew that works there!!
I visited another yarn shop near Princeton in Pennington, NJ called The Woolly Lamb. This is a very large knitting and needlepoint shop that has a huge selection of yarn and canvasses. I believe you can judge the overall economic health of an area by the number of needlepoint stores that it can support--let's just say that Princeton had a lot of needlpoint stores, and Nascar, PA. has, well, none. The owner slightly freaked when I wanted to take a picture of the store for my blog--apparently a blogger had written some unkind things about her shop and she was gun shy--but after convincing her that my pen was not of a poisoned nature she let me snap some pics--SUCKER!!!
Totally kidding, her shop is great with an excellent selection--the only thing I bought was a Monkeysuits Sweater pattern. I'd never seen these patterns before and am looking forward to getting one on the go when I go home.
All in all, this early evening outing was just what the doctor ordered for this knitter who has been spending all day grading AP exams and feeling depressed about the state of secondary language education in this country...