Close encounter with inspiration and gluten free baked goods

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I dropped in to Maker’s Mercantile in Kent, Washington, to enjoy their anniversary celebration on Saturday February 28. I arrived early and was amazed to see a long lineup of customers waiting to get in the door! I know this is a special store from my own experiences, and apparently a lot of other people know this too!

Along with mimosa’s served on a tray, customers were handed a raffle ticket for an hourly drawing. My style is usually to hang back and observe, so I watched as customers lined up at the gluten free bakery, Rylie Cakes, (http://www.makersmercantile.com/pages/our-bakery) to get breakfast, espresso, and baked goods.  Karin Skacel greeted  customers and took orders while Rylie herself, along with a small crew of bustling staff, efficiently served up the food.

Since I like to come home with a few choice sweets I confess I got a little worried nothing would be left, but this worry was overcome with the desire to look at yarns in the store.  The full line of Skacel yarns are available, along with local yarns, a wall of Turbo needles, and another wall of buttons that overwhelm.

On this day I was looking  for a high-twist sock yarn to make a second version of a cardigan/wrap I am designing for my own high-twist sock yarn “San Juan”.  I am part of BK Collective patterns with two designs to my name and many more in my head.  With one foot in the yarn company and one foot in design, I like to create patterns that work for my lines of yarn.  I also want knitters to be able to adjust them for readily available yarns or from their stash.  So having a version knit in a commercial yarn is a way to appeal to a more knitters.

Now I admit it had been awhile since I have purchased yarn. When I started the yarn company I drastically downsized my stash to a few unique yarns with sentimental value, such as yarn obtained on a trip.  So I had not experienced that yarn-buyer’s rush in awhile.  You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? That endorphin rush you get when you are looking for the perfect, inspired colorway, and you find it?  That feeling as you drive home that you are carrying precious treasure? The almost undeniable urge to sit down right away and begin a project with that fiber slipping through your fingers? This was the experience I had been missing, and Maker’s Mercantile helped me get it back.

I always like to see the samples knit up in yarns and learn about new patterns from designers as part of my browsing experience.  I like to jot down pattern names and look at them later in Ravelry.  This time I was irresistibly attracted to a cowl by Alex Tinsley called “Chevzam by Dull Roar”, knit up in four colors of cotton.  The grey on a bright background of several tones of yellow is fascinating to me.  I had to snap a photo.

2015-02-28 11.09.47Another color pattern that caught my eye was a display of Stephen West designs.  I snapped a picture of a grey-on-red patterned scarf from WestKnits Book 5.

I recently confessed on twitter that I like to cruise used book stores looking for stitch dictionaries. It is a little obsession of mine. Even better is to see some of those stitches expertly executed in an inspired design. I feel a swatch binge coming on…

I made my choices of yarn, needles, and a couple of buttons to sew on my knitting basket.  Then I joined the line at the bakery counter at the back of the store to purchase a hand-made pork pot pie for lunch along with a lemon bar, a coconut lime bar, and a miniature triple berry pie for my husband. (One must stave off complaints about cabinets filled with yarn, after all!) With a bag full of edible and knittable booty I was ready to return home having taken in sights, tastes, and heavenly inspiration.

If you too want to get inspired, find your way to Makers Mercantile:  http://www.makersmercantile.com/pages/visit.  You will find a supply of Jorstad Creek Tweed Sock displayed near the other local yarns!