I've read of people spending three hours in a yarn store and now I, I'm happy to say, am one of those people.
I have been dreaming of double-pointed needles for the past few days. I'm ready to makes hats and gloves! Having been to Imagiknit, I decided to spread my wings and try a new store - ArtFibers.
ArtFibers is awesome! I spoke with Roxanne on the phone prior to going and when I got to the store, both she and Kira were a big help. Roxanne took a look at my pattern and showed me their yarns which would achieve that guage. I sat in the "Yarn Tasting Area" and, with Kira's help, worked on a few swatches until we found the right yarn/needle combination. She told me I knit "really, really, really tight" but I'm not sure how to knit more loosely... The yarn specs at 19s=4" with some #8's, but I got 21s=4" with #9's. Look out!
The yarn I got is gorgeous... it's 70% extrafine merino wool and 30% silk and is a mix of deep, dark navy, eggplant, a greenish-brown, and some jewel-tones of each of those. The colors are very rich and complex, yet the transitions are very subtle. I'm going to attempt some fingerless gloves!