Dateline: Stockton, 7/11/08; Petaluma and San Rafael, 7/19/08
Recently I went on two shopping expeditions: one with beading friends to Stockton, and the other with knitting friends to Petaluma and San Rafael. There was a certain symmetry to the two trips. Each included six women (I was the only overlap). In each case, one of the women drove an SUV that fit all six comfortably. Since other people were driving, I was able to relax and knit in the car. Each trip involved about an hour and a half's drive. And by accident, the beading trip included one yarn store and the knitting trip included one bead store.
On the Stockton trip, our main objective was Bead Dreams, which has probably the best selection of seed beads I've ever seen. Other people came with specific shopping lists, but I just bought what looked good to me, hoping that I didn't already have the same color at home. After lunch at a nice crepe restaurant, we spent some time at Knit Witz, whose sign we happened to see on the way into town. There we heard that there was another bead store in town, so of course we made an unscheduled stop at Beads Plus.
The excuse for the knitting trip was to go to the Muench Yarns factory sale in Petaluma. The sale had a lot more yarns than just Muench, since Knitterly, a nearby yarn store, contributed lots of yarn to the sale. Most of the yarn was discounted 50%. I'm embarrassed to say how much I spent on yarn (which I obviously don't need more of); let's just say that I was the big spender in our group. We had lunch at a surprisingly good sports bar in a nearby mall. (I generally don't like sports bars, or almost anything with the word "sports" in its name.)
After lunch we headed south to San Rafael, where we stopped at two more yarn stores, Dharma Trading Co. and Marin Fiber Arts. At Dharma I resisted the temptation to buy more yarn, but I did buy two beaded scrunchies which I wear as bracelets. At Marin I couldn't resist a skein of lace weight Whisper in bright greens. While walking on the main street of San Rafael we happened upon Baubles and Beads, so of course we had to go in there too. I had been to their Berkeley store before, but not yet to San Rafael. You can read Vivian's account of the knitting field trip, with pictures, here.
Although I've talked before about my enjoyment of traveling and shopping by myself, I also really enjoyed these chances to spend a day with other beaders and knitters. I'll look forward to the next field trips!