on walking

“Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.”
Stephen Wright

One of the first things I noticed today as I made my way towards downtown Los Altos was the fact that I was the only person walking for most of the way. Sure, several Mums and children passed by with strollers for the first 3 blocks, then… nada. Cars kept whizzing by, though.

Very strange.

But also nice, as I didn’t have to worry about being run over by bicyclists or groups of joggers as one does in Eugene. Of course, to make matters perfect, I lost the map my sister set out for me – the one with all the local areas of interest highlighted (I added some myself) – within about 10 minutes of setting out.

I doubled back for a couple of blocks and then gave it up as a lost cause. I had the major streets memorized along with the cross-streets for the shops I wanted to hit. I made it to Los Altos without incident, people were very polite, and stopped at the first place on my list (ha! I remembered where it was and everything), Full Thread Ahead.

They’re a very dangerous LYS for me to step into. They were very polite, but in frenzied action getting ready for Stitches West, and left me alone for a while and didn’t treat me like a shoplifter (always nice). They had a wall of books, some of which I hadn’t been able to get my hands on in the (almost) five years I’ve been knitting. I must have spent 1/2 an hour wading through their collection (one of the women told me to at least make myself comfortable and cleaned a table off for me), and finally decided on E Zimmermann’s Knitting Workshop. I like all the designing notes on traditional patterns for things like lace shawls and guernseys. While there, I also picked up a skein of Cherry Tree Hill’s sock yarn (which was on sale!), in African Grey, and a Clover knitting counter pendant. I have to say that I have a very positive review of this shop, they were very friendly and chatty and somehow managed to get me signed up for their frequent buyers program. Since they’re going to Stitches, they also gave me a coupon for a ticket discount, too. I finally dragged myself out, just so I wouldn’t buy more yarn.

My next stop was to be Uncommon Threads, whose location I was a bit less certain of. I actually found them by accident. Whilst looking down a cross street, I saw a large sign for “Exotic Silks”. Without even stopping to think about it I started walking toward the siren sign. I turned and saw the LYS I had been in search of. It was right across the street from the silk shop. Oh, my. Conundrum. Well, yarn must come first, so I went into the shop and determined that I would get the supplies to teach A to knit (before I forgot again), which was lucky since this shop had more beginner’s supplies. They also had a fantastic supply of buttons (which I regretfully pulled myself from) and Nashua yarns. I only let myself get one ball (it’ll work with my Silk/ Alpaca!) with the supplies for A. I liked this yarn shop as well. They were a lot quieter than the other, and more traditional as well. But, they were friendly and encouraging and, again, didn’t treat me like a shoplifter (yay!).

I then, eagerly, crossed the street and went into the silk shop. It turned out that they were the actual business location of Thai Silks. THE Thai Silks that I got my pink silk dupioni from. I just stood in the doorway, staring, and knew that I was facing one of the greater Temptations of my life. It was as if Satan himself were standing by me, whispering terrible terrible things in my ear. It’s not fair that they were having a 50% off sale on things like painted silk charmeuse or, oh heaven help me, rayon/ silk devore. I finally decided that I would only buy a silk scarf and 2 yards of batik cotton (for my Mum) before I consulted with St M and D. Mostly because I’d feel justified in spending more with a plan in mind. Before I left, I memorized several of the more promising fabric’s prices, widths, and general info. Right now I can still hear a pink/ green silk jacquard calling my name along with a chorus of several rolls of raw silk noil.

Thinking back on it, it’s a good thing that I escaped when I did, all in all. By that point I was starving (I ate a banana for breakfast, yay me) and made my way back. On the way, I stopped in a fantastic (and quite popular) bakery and got a yummy sandwich. I even made a dork of myself dropping several things and being a general nuisance. Woot.

Just as I was about to cross the (invisible) line between Los Altos and Mountain View, it started to rain. I mock this rain. Having lived in Eugene for several years, this rain was pitiful. I just pulled up my hood and kept going. But, despite my own indifference to the weather, there was no way I was going to photograph my spoils outside. So, you’ll have to settle for an indoor, washed out, picture (sorry!) taken on my sister’s dining room table:


The first thing I noticed when I set everything out was that everything kind of matched. Weird. After that, I kind of collapsed, as I had a migraine (I’m an idiot and forgot to get my birth control refilled before leaving) and slept for several hours. Sooo, now here I am. That’s all.

Hopefully I’ll be able to do some more exploring tomorrow. I’ll even walk ^_^

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