Tuesday, October 10, 2006


One day last week I went with a couple of knitting friends to see the new yarn shop, Abuelita's, in South Pasadena. I had already been warned that it was very small and had a very limited selection of yarns. That was certainly not an understatement.

The shop is very cute though. It's in a part of South Pasadena that is being regentrified. Actually I once considered renting an apartment in the building where the shop is. There is no entrance for disabled people, only a narrow flight of stairs that lead from the sidewalk up to the second floor. If you don't know where the shop is you might have a hard time finding it as there's only a small sign over the door. When you first enter you see the mural. Sorry it's so washed out. I had to use a flash since the entrance is quite dark, especially if you're outside in the bright sunlight.

The knitting yarn selection is very limited; some Colinette, some Lang, some Crystal Palace and a few other brands. The needlepoint selection seems to be better but since I'm not much of a needlepointer I'm not sure. There are two rooms of needlepoint canvases and fibers, but no Persian. "We don't do wool."

There's an enormous table in the knitting yarn room. I can't imagine how they got it in there unless is was assembled on site. The shop has a busy class schedule so it looks like that's how they plan to succeed. I bought four balls of Crystal Palace Blippity just because.

Knitting with Balls

I got a review copy of Knitting with Balls by Michael del Vecchio. You may know him from his blog.

I think I was expecting something different. The book is, however, well written and has a few projects that would be fun to knit. And there are lots of instructions and patterns for beginners.

I'm not sure if I would have started knitting just on the basis of this book. When I started to knit about thirty years ago there wasn't much available in printed form and I didn't know anyone who knit. I think people either knit or they don't and a book isn't going to motivate them to start. It might, however, keep them going. If you know someone, male or female, who'd like to learn to knit, this book would be helpful. Most of the patterns are really basic but they're a lot more interesting than a garter stitch scarf.

I'm a little put off by the title. It seems like a too obvious attempt to sell knitting to another segment of the potential knitting population, one that hasn't been successfully tapped to date. If you like Michael's designs you might want to get a copy of the current Knit'n'Style magazine. He has a sweater in there.

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