Friday, April 30, 2010

Brooklyn Style

I didn't make it to Purl. There just wasn't enough time. And there was lots of rain. And if you've ever been to SOHO, you know that there is no parking. But don't feel sad for me, it is ok. Because I realized that I didn't miss Purl, I missed Brooklyn General Store! I'm not sure why I didn't think about it before I left.

Have you ever been to Brooklyn General? It's lovely. And there is
loads of parking nearby! It's filled with so much loveliness. Walls of yarn and walls of fabric and felt and paint and knitting needles and patterns and roving; all things that I love. Despite having a little bit of a tummy ache, I excitedly drove through the tree-lined streets of Cobble Hill and Park Slope and Carol Gardens. Past the gorgeous brownstones and
some of my old haunts to get there. And it was closed!!! But don't worry, it opened within five minutes of me parking and buying a can of coke to settle my stomach.

As I walked in, happiness filled me. It is large and bright and spacious. In fact, it is the opposite of so much of Brooklyn. I carefully and thoughtfully picked out a few skeins of yarn and perused the fabrics. They always, always, always have amazing fabric. And not in an overwhelming way. I was torn between buying one yard of a few different fabrics or a few yards of one fabric for a little project that I have in mind. I went with the latter and was not disappointed.

I got to chatting with the owner and came to learn that she was a New Englander as well and that her in-laws live in Kittery, ME.
Small world, right? And I thought that it explained why I loved this particular store so much. There's just something about a
New Englander that translates.

I left with my goodies and a settled stomach, Brooklyn General can just do that to you!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Will Begin At The End

As I left NYC yesterday, it was with a heavy heart and tired eyes. I was wishing for a jet plane to get me to my home and my bed at warp speed. But I had a five hour drive with a pit stop first in Connecticut and another in Boston. I was looking forward to my stop in Boston, but wasn't positive that my excitement would win against my exhaustion. You see, I had a ticket to see Natalie Merchant at The Brattle Theatre in Cambridge.

I arrived a few hours early and made a pit stop for some coffee and down time before heading to the theatre. It was just what I needed. Some time to sit, sip coffee, hope on my computer and knit. While in NYC, I had been going, going, going and hadn't slept well for days. I was dead tired and I just needed to tune out.
Around seven, I walked through the rain to hop
in line. I was just about the 15th person there and one of the last people to make it under the awning. We quickly found out that the doors were not going to be opening at
8:00 but 8:30. Did I mention the rain? How about the cold? Oh and the fact that I am an old lady and like to be home on the couch knitting most nights at seven pm! But I have to admit that I enjoyed chatting it up with those around me. Natalie Merchant is rare and obscure enough that it is likely that others who are willing to stand in a rainy line for an hour and a half will be people that you enjoy.

Once inside, I was able to get an amazing seat. Fifth row center. I didn't mention this at the beginning of this post, but Natalie Merchant is it for me. I have been an avid fan of hers since my college boyfriend turned me on to her. Her albums have been the soundtrack to much of my life over the last thirteen years. So to say that I was excited would be an understatement. And she did not let down. Her newest album is a collection of song adapted from poetry. As a result, this wasn't your ordinary concert. It was really more of a lecture interspersed with amazingly beautiful songs. She was funny and sarcastic and lovely all at once. And a little intimidating. She is clearly a woman who has high expectations of herself and those around her which made me love her even more.

But what really matters about this post is that I met her. We were surprised to find out that she would be doing a signing after her performance. Me, tired?? No more!! I bought two albums and got in an exceedingly long line and proceeded to spend the next twenty minutes thinking about what I would say to her. My heart was racing. To say that I was star struck would be an understatement. Do I tell her that I think that she is lovely? Do I just say thank you? Well none of that planning mattered because it was out of my hands. My turn arrived and
I walked up talking about how exhausted she must be. She smiled, asked me if I made my bag and proceeded to tell me how much she loved it. Then she noticed my knitting. All of this occurred while she signed my album and one for aforementioned ex-boyfriend. I blabbed for a moment about Etsy and then it was over. The smile was permanently stitched onto my face. It remained as I walked through the rain. It remained as I took the parking ticket off my windshield. I smiled as I drove home at 12:30 in the morning. I smiled as I got pulled over for speeding on 95N. I smiled as the officer handed me the ticket for said speeding. And I am still smiling 24 hours later.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Empire State of Mind

I'm headed back to NYC tomorrow for a somewhat extended visit. I am looking forward to seeing these guys
and visiting Purl's new digs

and am desperate to squeeze in a visit to The Highline.

I hope to squeeze in a couple blog posts on my adventures, but I am not making any promises.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Tutorial

Over the winter I came across some very affordable cotton yarn at my (gasp) local Walmart. I picked up a few skeins, brought them home, and pondered them for a few days. And then it came to me, in the shower of all places, wash cloths! The cotton yarn makes them practical for a variety of uses in the kitchen, bathroom, and throughout the house. In addition, you can toss them into the washer and dryer without a worry.

Since today is the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, my gift to you is a quick and dirty tutorial on my Eco-Friendly Wash Cloths.

You need:
1 Skein of Cotton Yarn
Size 8 Needles
1 Tapestry Needle

MakeStar(MS): P3 tog, but leave old stitch on left needle, yo, P same 3 stitches together, removing the old stitch from the left needle.

Cast on 33 stitches
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: P1, *MS, P1; rep from * to end
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: P3, MS, *P1, MS; rep from * to last 3 stitches, P3

Repeat pattern until you achieve desired length.
And viola! You have a lovely wash cloth to brighten up even the most mundane tasks!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hump Day Highlights

On my way to the dumpster this morning!
An after school visit to the beach.
To me, this is the epitome of perfection!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Odds and Ends

Secondly, I wanted to share a book that I recently read. For those of you that don't know, I love, love, love books. My move to New Hampshire has provided me with the time and energy to enjoy them more than I was in Brooklyn. I always find it interesting to reflect on the books that I am drawn to and discover themes and threads that might come up. An obvious theme that I frequently run into are stories where a character knits, sew, quilts, or crafts. Somewhere in the last year, I read The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood. I did not want to e
njoy it, but alas I did. Very much so. I also unintentionally read her book Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine, because another theme that I keep coming back to is New England. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was upstairs at my local library looking for a different book entirely when I came across Comfort. I quickly snatched it off the shelf, drove it home, and began reading. I was looking forward to hearing about how this woman became a knitter, those are stories that I love best. But this little book was more than I expected. It was hearbreaking yet graceful. Painful yet hopeful. And is something that I think all knitters should read. If only to gain further knowledge of the healing powers of this craft.

And on a more cheerful note, I've had the greatest burger of all time. It was at MaxBurger and I had it on Saturday and I am still thinking of it. It was called the FattyMelt and it was a burger placed in between two grilled cheese. One grilled cheese had tomato in it and the other had bacon. Don't worry though, I substituted a salad for french fries.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I made my way to my dad's house this weekend. I was tired and cranky Saturday morning and wanted nothing more than to stay in my 'jammas and on my couch for the weekend. But there were things that needed to be done and people that I was anxious to see.

I've been really lucky to be able to go home to the same house that I grew up in. For me, the word home only conjures up only one image. A white colonial on a tree-lined street. It's been the same place for almost 32 years, I cannot imagine anywhere else. Even though as an adult I have a place that I call my own, I still refer to the house that I grew up in as my home. As I grow older, my appreciation for the stability that this structure provides me in invaluable.

I also feel very grateful to have many of the same best friends that I had when I was in elementary school. The relationships have grown and changed and evolved with time and circumstances, but so many of the faces are still the same. Don't get me wrong, we go through our ups and downs. We have dramas and crisis and stand-off's, periods of silence and disagreements large and small. But so often, the strength of the friendships seem bigger than anything that may arise. This isn't to say that it doesn't take work and compromise and concessions and forgiveness. It does. But the history also makes the celebrations much sweeter. And the conflicts that arise force my to reflect on the fact that I couldn't be much luckier in this area of life.

I had lunch with my friend's A and B today. I've known B since first grade and met
his wife, A in high school. And there is just something magical about sitting around a table with them and their three children and being able to tell their six year-old son that his dad and I became friends when we were six years-old!

So yes, I am still tired and cranky and wishing that I had one more day in this weekend, but I feel filled up. And for that, I am grateful.

PS---what's the deal? get your butts down to the last post and enter the give-away already!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Here It Is!

I realize it's taken me a bit to get my butt in gear and get this give-away going, but here it is!

I will be giving away one of my Fabric Flower Hair Pins

and my Raspberry Sorbet Scarf

Here are the rules:
It's going to be a rainy and dreary four days up here in New Hampshire. Leave me a comment on what you like to do on rainy weekends and a winner will be chosen at random and announced on Tuesday!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Give Away

Visit my
Facebook Fan Page and vote for which item you'd like to see in the upcoming give-away!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chocolate~The Way Life Should Be

We each brought a yummy treat to the meet-up on Sunday. I am terrible about planning ahead on these things and usually end up scrambling at the last minute. So, late Saturday afternoon, I finally got around to it. I looked through my pantry and my fridge to assess the situation. It was looking pretty dismal, nothing really sprung out at me. But with a little creativity, I came up with a recipe that I will certainly use again. I had chocolate pudding, easter candy, and some homemade chocolate chip cookies that were starting to stale. Where is this going you ask, well stick with me because it turned out to be chocolicious!

First I threw the cookies into my mini food processor (remember, I used to live in Brooklyn, you have to have everything in mini just to fit it!) and pulsed until I had a fine grain. I melted two tablespoons of butter and added it in, giving it one last pulse. I dumped it into a greased pie tin and used a measuring cup to press it into place. Popped it in the oven for less than ten minutes and got to work on the easter candy.
I had lots of chocolate bunnies that I knew I wasn't going to eat. At least not without a dollop of peanut butter on it! I coarsely chopped them down into bite size pieces and put them to the side. Pulled out the Jell-o Instant Pudding (yup, that's what I said. don't judge!) and got to work with my milk and whisk. After working the ingredients up for a froth, I tossed those chocolate chunks in, took the cookie pie crust and put it into the fridge to set. And there it was, done!

But, things don't always work as planned. Sunday morning, I got up picked some mint, placed it on top and wrapped it up to go. The minute I got to the meet and greet I realized that
chocolate pudding pie was NOT the way to go! I mean really, who eats chocolate pie with their fingers. Everything else was finger food-cookies, veggies and dip, cheese and crackers, you get the point. So at the end of our time together, I casually grabbed my pie before I left. Embarrassing, right?! The thing was, I knew my friends A and G and their daughter would appreciate this pie for all of its chocolatey goodness. I couldn't deny them this level of gratification, you understand don't you? So after a dinner of steak tips, mac and cheese and green beans we indulged in the ooey gooey chocolate goodness.

Monday, April 12, 2010

NH Etsy Street Team Meetup

Yesterday I hopped into my little car and drove up to Concord. After a few weeks of planning and coordinating, the NH Etsy Street Team was meeting up to share our talents and knowledge. I was looking forward to putting faces to each person's shop and email address. It was a bright and beautiful day, perfect for a drive with the windows down and Wilco turned up. I was a bit nervous, feeling a bit like the new kid. All of that disappeared when I walked in and was surrounded by kind crafters.

After a bit of mingling and getting-to-know-you's, we sat down and introduced ourselves. It was remarkable to see that in a group of 25 plus, there were very few repeats. Everyone seemed to
have his or her own craft and niche. How cool is that?!? From artistic apparel, to recycled plastic bags, to dog toys, to gorgeous glass beads, beaded coffee scoops, and elegant photo boxes. It was an amazingly talented crown and very hard not to audibly ooh and ahhh over each person's work.

We shared a lot of information about selling on Etsy,
but also about manning a small business, and marketing. This information was really helpful to me. I am just getting started and have very little business knowledge. I learned a bit about the difference between being a sole proprietor and an LLC, gathered some new marketing ideas, and feel ready to branch out into the Craft Fair world. But more than anything it was just really great to meet others who are on the same journey as I am.

Thank you Kim for organizing us and supplying us with so much information, it was greatly appreciated! I can't wait to meet up again!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Favorites

Did you get the Anthropologie Catalog this week? It's like Christmas morning in there! Here are some of my favorites:

I like this hat. I'm a hat girl and this one is perfect for spring. Just the right amount of Holly Hobby with some urban flair.

How cute are these? I don't think that I need to say any more.

On my Spring/Summer to-do list is refinishing my bureau. I bought it just over a year ago. It was sitting at the end of a driveway with a sign that said "For Sale $100." I went to the door and asked the woman if she would be willing to sell it to me for $75. She agreed, but only if I agreed to take a bagful of fresh tomatoes from her garden. Ummmm, ok! I think that these pulls would be a perfect finishing touch.

I am the cardigan queen. It is likely that I wear one every day. They are perfect for work, cover up the chunky bits, and can be dressed up or down. Since I am not a sweater knitter, this one would be a perfect addition to my large collection.
What were your favorites?


I guess that I am on a kick here. So, bare with me over the next few days as I share my finished neck warmers, scarves, and cowls. As you know, I started this guy in Washington D.C. and finished it sometime early in the week. I also picked out the buttons on my last trip to Joann's. I have to say that I am really enjoying finding the just right button for each piece. I was initially overwhelmed by the volume of buttons and dismayed by the way that they were displayed, but after taking a deep breath and committing to the task at hand, I started to enjoy the treasure hunt.

For some reason, I kept putting off attaching the button. This morning during another power outage, (is this the fifth or sixth over the last few months?) I picked up needle
and thread and got to work. And I have to say that I am pleased. I am in love with the color and think that the
button adds just the touch of detail that it needs. I also think that this will suit and please an older client. Although I love chunky cowl's, they seem better suited for young women because of their trendy nature. This cowl has a bit more elegance and class to it.

Alright, off to complete the more mundane tasks of life. laundry, oil changes, and grocery shopping. Hope that you are all enjoying your Saturday.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Here it is! My sky blue neck warmer is complete. And I'd really like to keep it. It's warm and cozy and soft and the buttons! Oh, the buttons. They were not at all what I had in mind when I went looking. I had planned for something wooden, something natural, but then I saw these and well, it's like they were made for this neck warmer!
It knit up super quick, I just used a rib stitch and added button holes near the end. By using the Blue Sky Alpaca and a random bit of fuzzy yarn that I had in my stash, it zipped by on size 15 needles. Last night I was kept awake by a persistent cough, but I managed to keep myself busy by knitting up this little guy.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Did you go out and get the mini mouthful ice cream sandwiches yet? No? Well, I still think you should.
Over the weekend I took a trip down to DC to visit my big sister. It was a short trip, le
ss than 48 hours that included eight miserable hours of blocked ears from the airplane descent, watching the Sox kill the Nationals at the new stadium under the bright sunshine, my first ever burger from Five Guys, a chance encounter with the entire cast of Glee and a fair amount of knitting. Because my trip was so short, I didn't get to do any sight seeing or have a chance to visit with friends, but it was great to be reminded that all of the brown we are currently
experience up here will soon turn into blossoms and spend some QT
with my sister.

I started knitting in the airport in Boston, I was just too excited to wait. I had picked up a skein of Blue Sky in Frost and happened to also have a skein on lace weight in the same color. My initial plan was plan was knit this looooong luxurious scarf with long tassels at each end. But sometimes all good plans have to change. I squeaked out a chunky, ribbed neck warmer before the plan even landed in DC. I need to find the just right buttons for it. My plan was to pick some up yesterday, but evidently Joann celebrates Easter like the rest of us. As soon as I find them, I will post a picture of the completed project. When I got to my sister's, I grabbed the other skein of yarn that I packed and got to work. Although the weather is warming up, I've been busy working on scarves, cowls, and neckwarmers so that I have an
inventory ready to go before summer is out. I went with a herringbone pattern with a ruffle and am hoping to finish it up tonight. I have to admit, I am looking forward to be done with it, feeling a little bored and ready for the next one.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I am sorry for my silence. I took a very short and very busy trip down to see my big sister this weekend. I promise to post more about it tomorrow, but for now I am feeling tired and a little bit under-the-weather. In the mean time, please run to your closest Trader Joe's and buy yourselves a box of Mini Mint Ice Cream Mouthfuls. They are worth it.