Yes. I did wind up yarn for socks before going up north -- in fact, just to be safe, secure and prepared, I wound up some Artyarns Merino 4 in addition to the Koigu. The Koigu is from my visit to Yellow Dog Knitting in Eau Claire one Sunday last September, and the Artyarns is from a wonderful trip to The Knitting Room in Fond du Lac before tha... or, no, I think the Artyarns was from Temptations Needlework when we went to Sturgeon Bay (oh yeah, there it is, I even blogged about it). No matter which way you link to it, I've had both of those yarns for quite a while. Did I start socks with either of them?
Maybe so. Notice the PICOT cuff? I love it -- and the manner in which it's done... and hopefully I'll do it in just that manner when I get to the second sock. The pattern instructs to cast on... knit... knit some more... yo, k2tog around... knit... knit... then turn the provisional cast-on to the inside... Huh? Provisional cast on??? (This is where reading ahead -- if not the whole pattern, at least a little bit -- comes in handy.)
I did indeed do a provisional cast on, using a crocheted chain and it was slick like -- slick stuff -- except that it's very important, when joining into a round, to pay attention and do it in such a manner so that when "unzipping" commences, it will progress in the same direction as the knitting. Um, yeah, mine was set to upzip the other way. So I unzipped and threaded waste yarn through the stitches and then knit off that, but it would be SO SLICK to knit each live stitch as it's unzipped. And I will.
I purchased the Fixation at the Knitter's Nook in Minocqua, the last of my three northwoods vacation yarn stops. It's a very quaint, small shop on the ground floor of a little house, right around the corner and off the main drag downtown. The customer service was great and, for a small shop, there was a very good selection of fine, quality yarns.
I also visited the Yarn Barn/Charms 'n Such in Phillips. The selection of yarn was... well, mostly Red Heart/acrylic and not what I'm after (though we all know there is a place and a purpose for the Red Heart -- and no one ever made it look so good) and, to be perfectly honest, the Yarn Barn is not purely a "knitting" store. What they did have was a fantastic selection of tools for a lot of different crafts -- including knitting -- very good to know. I would have purchased the DPNs I needed for the Wee Wallaby (the yarn and pattern for which also accompanied me and was also, basically, untouched, along with the sewing machine, but that's neither here nor there), had I not already purchased them at...
Hidden Talents in Woodruff (also part of that earlier "Minocqua" link) on the day we arrived. Hidden Talents was very, very small, but incredibly well stocked with good, basic yarn and plenty of extras. I think the shop owner is very in touch with her clientele and what they want.
I've added the new Wisconsin shop links to the sidebar. I may fluff up that list and make it into a separate blog page (anyone try Typepad's new "pages" feature?). I'll be heading back to the northland, on another fiber frolic, at least once more this summer -- in late July. If anyone is in (or can be in) or around the Hurley area (I know, it's WAY up north), let's talk...
Today marked the start of our local farmer's markets. I have so far enjoyed strawberries with some cheese, and there will be salad with supper! I've got plenty of sugar snap peas from the pergola, too! Mmmm, yummy white Irish cheddar from Nala's fromagerie.