What a fantastic day out we had yesterday. The lovely St Petersburg Fiber Fanatics had arranged a great yarn store crawl AND a visit to an Alpaca farm.
First off we met at Needles and Knobs a fine yarn store, just up the road from our apartment. This shop is owned by Audrey who was very welcoming and didn't seem to mind us invading her shop all at once. I bought the new issue of Interweave Felts and a book I'd been looking for, The Eclectic Sole by Janel Laidman.
Then, before the day got too hot we went to the alpaca farm. Shi'loh' Alpacas, run by Jamie and Bob. It really is, as she says, "an oasis in a concrete jungle." I couldn't imagine where about in crowded Pinellas County there was room to keep alpacas. We turned off a main street, lined with car dealerships and strip malls and the usual stuff, down a twisty little road, though a lovely quiet little neighbourhood until we came to their little sign, out front of their lovely house. And I'm still thinking, but surely the alpacas don't live here. Oh yes they do. Just out the back in the yard (it's a big yard, meant for horses, with a barn at one end), were her eight alpaca males. Beautiful animals. We spent a good couple of hours with Jamie and Bob and learned all about alpacas and how they look after then, and a good deal about the economics of alpaca breeding which was fascinating.
The sweet little black guy is called Darth Vader and the grey one at the back is Lancet.
This little guy is Topher and he was a real sweetie, the baby of the group. We had a great time. Unfortunately, froma spinner's point of view they didn't have any fiber for sale, this years shearing was off being processed and not due back for a few weeks yet.
Next up was Knits and Krafts on SEminole Blvd, where I'd been earlier in the week, just a quick stop as it was on our way.
Off we went for lunch after that to the Lucky Dill Deli in Palm Harbor - a little slice of New York in the Florida sunshine. It's a real NY Deli serving the most fantastic sandwiches, lunches and desserts - the cheesecake is legendary!
Hunger sated we carried on to Uncommon Threads where they sell yarn and fibre for spinning. I was in my element here and bought some great fibres.
They are, from left to right, Hapy Hippie hand-dyed soysilk in colorway "Age of Aquarius" from Conjoined Creations, handpainted bamboo in Regal Blue from Fiberlady.com and finally some merino silk blend in lovely shades of purples and lilacs and blues.
The last place we went to was Fiber Arts (I'm sure they have a website but I can't find it right now) in Tampa. What a lovely shop! Thay have a whole room full of Noro, and another with a whole wall dedicated to sockyarn. It's one of those shops that just seems to go on for ever with little rooms stuffed full of the most delightful (and expensive) yarns. This was a shop, we decided, for "ladies who knit". Beautiful stuff, but mostly not for your everyday knitter. They did, however have the first 2 volumes of the Norah Gaughan patterns I had been searching for so I was very pleased. I didn't buy any yarn there - mostly because I thought if I started to buy things I might not be able to stop. I don't think Mr Visa would have been very pleased with me - or Pete for that matter. No, we can't pay the mortgage, but look.... I have cashmere/silk/alpaca yarn.
That concluded our tour of yarn stores of the area and I had a great time as, I think, did the others. It was a really great day out.
Today we're off (Pete and I today, no knitters) to the fleamarket in Oldsmar and then in quest of a comic shop that's over that way somewhere.