Tuscany Yarn, in my town, finally opened its doors one last time for two days of shopping mayhem. The owner passed away from breast cancer in the Spring, I believe. Since then, her husband closed the shop and it has just sat there. I drove by it on my way to my husband's work and would gaze in at all the yarn and wonder what he was going to do with it all.
He did a really wonderful thing. He opened the doors for two days - advertised only in our tiny, free local newspaper with a lovely ad that showed a picture of his wife and family. He said he wanted to give back to the community with the sale. So, instead of collecting money for himself, we shoppers wrote our checks directly to one of 3 charities.
I went on Saturday morning and there was a small, not overwhelming, line in front of the shop. It got crowded quickly, though! Several friends showed up and I couldn't even chat with them much because of the small space and all the yarn-seekers.
I bought a gorgeous tote bag with lovely pockets all around the inside by Vera Bradley (the owner loved her bags and had her back wall dedicated to these purses and bags,) and an ID case and checkbook cover to match the wallet I bought a couple of years ago. So far I am loving the bag - it's fantastically roomy and lovely.
I bought 2 colors of Anny Blatt fine kid to use for shawls. I picked up some funky Noro Sakura to use for Rosaline's birthday cardigan this year.
I picked up a couple of books - a Debbie Bliss kids' pattern book and Rowan's Yorkshire Fable book.
I wrote my check to the breast cancer charity they had chosen.
Two friends I'd told about the sale were done shopping at this point, too. So we went and got some coffee together. It was lovely to escape the crowds and terrific to catch up with them. One of them is pregnant and is so freakin' beautiful you could just plotz. She truly glows and is more relaxed and content than I have ever known her. She's decided on a homebirth (woot!!) and getting to chat with her made me so happy!
Sunday, Mike and I went to his parents house for his dad's birthday brunch. When we got home, it was after 4:30 and I requested permission to see what was left at the yarn store.
And there was quite a bit left, and best of all -- the crowds were GONE GONE GONE. I decided to go nuts buying some of the books I love that never go on sale and you can't get them at Amazon. I took the time to go through the binders for some single pattern leaflets (like Fiber Trends and the like.) I had a big stack of books that I carried up to the counter for them to hold while I went back to look at the yarn.
I chose some Noro Cash Iroha in a gorgeous deep red color. Enough to make a sweater for myself. I found 2 lovely skeins of Alchemy bamboo hiding under some solid colors and snatched them up. I bought a bag of Southwest Trading Company's Karaoke - bamboo and wool - in a gorgeous heathered burgundy colory. Also enough to make a sweater for myself.
There were some gorgeous Frog Tree Hill alpaca scarves hanging on the wall that weren't there on Saturday. Gorgeous, hand knit, soft -- fantastic. Priced way too high for my blood, even 1/2 price. But I asked the owner and he told me he'd take $10 apiece for them, so I grabbed 3 for Christmas presents. Black, blue, and grey.
Then, as my total was being rung up, I had a lovely chat with the owner. We talked about losing someone you love, and how you always think of them every day. We talked about the shop and how nice it was to shop there, and how much his wife loved it. I told him that my mother had died of cancer, too. And it felt good to be able to indulge a hobby I love so much and know that 100% of the money I'm spending goes to cancer research.
But I knew I was in trouble when they told me the total! I'd have to do some fancy footwork to make sure my checking account (I keep a separate account that I fund with my eBay sales so that I can spend on things like this without pulling from Mike's income,) would cover both checks! Then I was told that -- oops! -- they had forgotten about the books!
I think I was turning green just as the owner told them to just give me the books. Which was pretty fantastic - I had an alarming stack of books, including a bunch of dog-eared copies of older Vogue Knitting magazines. And I really was financially maxed out... I don't know what I was thinking.
He locked the door behind me as I left and that is the end of Tuscany Yarn. I will really miss it.
And I am on a knitting diet now until Stitches West.