Hubby and I arrived in San Francisco on Wednesday, May 15. The next morning, I met up with Stefanie of Knitspiring Odyssey at a very unique yarn shop just a couple blocks from our hotel, ArtFibers.
I first "met" Stefanie about a year ago when Evelyn started her Ravelry group and organized a charity hat knitalong. Stef was one of the earlier members to join the group, and she was also the winner of the July prize, which was a box bag that I made. It was great to finally meet her in person: just as you'd expect from reading her blog, she's a real sweetie, and adorable to boot! Here's a picture of the two of us:
Stef really loves hats, and on that day she was wearing a gorgeous Sideways Grande Cloche that she'd made. Purple is definitely her color, don't you think? Also, I really need to get with the program and make that pattern!
Stefanie suggested ArtFibers as a meetup location because it was a shop she hadn't visited yet and was interested in checking out. If you ever decide to go there, make sure you have the address with you: the space is on the third floor of a small building sandwiched in on Sutter Street, so it's really easy to just walk right by the little doorway that leads to the elevator which takes you up to the shop.
But once you step off the elevator: what a space! The third floor loft is lined with windows, so there's lots of natural light, and all the shelving is kept at mid-chest level (for me) so that the overall effect is open and airy.
The owner of the shop, Roxanne, was really friendly and helpful, and spent a lot of time talking with us and explaining the concept. ArtFibers sources their raw materials from all over the world, and then has unique yarns created for their shop right here in the US. One thing that Stef and I both really enjoyed was the large posters on the walls with pictures and information about different fiber types.
Each yarn has its own little display, complete with a notecard stating the fiber content and many sample swatches in various colors and stitch patterns, so you can get a great idea of how the yarn works up. All the yarns are on cones, and the prices listed on the notecard are per yard - you can have as many or as few yards wound off as you want!
We spent quite a bit of time going up and down the aisles, touching all the samples and looking at the colors available in the bins. Of course, neither of us wanted to go away empty-handed - but boy, was it hard to make a choice! I finally figured out which yarn I wanted, but then couldn't decide between three colors. While I was thinking it over, Stefanie started flipping through a magazine and came across a picture of Veera Valimaki's Color Affection Shawl - perfect!
Roxanne got on Ravelry and looked up the pattern for me and we figured out how much I'd need of each color, and then she wound it off for me. I ended up getting a yarn called Carezza, which is a merino/alpaca/silk blend. Yes, it is as luscious as it sounds!
And here are the colors I chose: a silvery off-white, a gorgeous aquamarine and a misty plum:
Roxanne very kindly offered to ship my yarn to me, which meant that not only did I not have to carry it back with me in my suitcase, but she also didn't have to charge me tax! (Although I was surprised to learn that the sales tax is a couple percent lower in San Francisco than it is in Chicago.) Stefanie also walked away with some yarn, but I'll let her tell everybody on her own blog what she got :-)
By this time, a couple of hours had passed and we were getting hungry, so we asked Roxanne for a lunch recommendation. She directed us to a little French place just around the corner, Cafe Claude. This place and a couple of others were down a side alley that you'd probably walk right by if you didn't know there was something down there! I saw that type of thing in a few places in San Francisco - I think it's pretty cool! Anyway, I liked it so much, we ended up taking some friends there the next evening for dinner.
After lunch, Stefanie had to run off to a meeting, and I wandered back to my hotel . . . via Britex, which I'll tell you about another day!
So that's the story of my first blogger meet-up in San Francisco - it was a great start to a lot of great adventures with amazing people!