First of all, a big thanks to Betsee for helping me figure out what was wrong with my font/point size. (I would link to her site if only I could figure out how.) I don't remember doing it, but somewhere along the way I had changed the setting. Now it's back where I want it.
Yesterday's trip to the yarn shops was not all that great. Two of the shops we had already been to before and they were still the same, of course. The new one we tried out was a little bizarre. Maybe not exactly bizarre but certainly not what most of us expect when we go yarn shopping. The place is called The Knit Nut, which should have been a warning. It's in an old strip mall between a liquor store and a dry cleaners. The window is covered with faded posters of various knitting machines. A hand written sign on the door listing their hours. Inside the place is jammed with knitting machines, most of them covered with what looked like old felt blankets. The place is dingy beyond words. The owner and her one customer/student were watching TV set at a volume that made conversation almost impossible. We felt like we were really in the way. But I just pushed on through as though I knew what I was doing. At first it looked like there were only yarns for knitting machine, stuff on cones mostly. After my eyes adjusted to the darkness (most of the light was coming through the poster covered windows) I found some shelves that had bags and bags of hand knitting yarns, most of them from now defunct companies. There were some yarns from Dyed in the Wool that I would have liked to get but I didn't want to spend that much money. (The prices were not outrageous. I just don't want to spend that much right now.) I did finally buy 10 skeins of Georges Picaud yarn. At $2.00 a ball it was too hard to pass up. Almost everything was in heavy plastic bags that have become stiff and brittle with age. By this time the owner had loosened up enough to start talking to us about her yarns and her business history. She was actually very nice. I would guess her to be in her 80s. She gave me a towelette to wash my hands when I left the shop. Carole had already found the bathroom so she could wash hers. If I'm ever in that neighborhood again I will probably go back and pick up some more of the vintage yarns. Now that I know what to expect it should be a lot more fun. I'll just take a filter mask.
We had lunch at a small Mexican place in El Monte. Really tasty stuff. And then we went to Temple City Knit Shop, just to sit and knit. There was no room at the table so we sat off to the side and tried to get some work done. I had always heard that the owner was a difficult person so I haven't been there very often. I don't think she's so bad. She is a little opinionated and has a very dogmatic style of delivery but basically she's just trying to be amusing. She has an annoying habit of moving her lips when you're talking like she's taking in what's being said through her mouth instead of her ears. I hear she's somewhere in her 70s. Bless her heart, she's just trying to keep things going. I can't imagine how she keeps the store stocked and kept in any kind of order. Order is probably too strong a word. It takes a lot of looking to see what's there. There are a lot of vintage yarns here, too. But she does have most of what's new as well.
I ripped out the shawl I started. The yarn didn't look good or behave well in the lace pattern. So I started a different pattern that I like better. First time I ever successfully did an invisible cast on. I had tried it before and given up. This time is worked just fine.