Archive for September, 2012
Last week I stopped by the awesome Benetton Pop-Up Shop in SoHo. It felt a little bit like a knitted Wonka Factory! The shop is only selling knits and it’s full of wooly goodness and some pretty awesome knitted decorations. (Caution, somewhat NSFW…I guess. I never thought I’d be saying that on this blog.)
Hanging on the walls are yarn bombs of everything from telephones to wrenches. And some literal yarn porn. (Sorry, Mom!) Little knitted buntings hang under instructional ‘how-to-knit’ decals and drawings of sheep wearing faire isle sweaters.
While some of the exhibit is raunchy, it’s really a tribute to all things fiber. I spent probably an hour just admiring the details of what could have otherwise just been a sweater shop.
Although I didn’t pick up any sweaters (I may have touched every single item of clothing in the store, though, yelling OH THIS ONE IS SOFT TOO!), I might be heading back there to grab something warm or discover new details. The shop will be up through the end of the year and if you’re a fiberphile (literally here, I suppose!) in New York during the holidays, I suggest you take a look for yourself. Bring your pearls so you have something to clutch!
What do you think? Does this nasty knitted art make you blush or laugh!?
Yesterday, I went to my LYS, Yarntopia for the last time! This is the closest I’ve ever lived to a yarn shop so it’s very selfish of me but I’m going to be sad to see it go. The lovely owner Dona, that is in there every day is closing up shop and going to Yarnphoria in Philly.
While I’m going to miss the comfort of an afternoon stroll to my LYS, Dona is throwing a big closing sale and I took advantage, of course. I ended up snagging some sock yarn including some yummy Malabrigo and two skeins of 2-ply Jade Sapphire cashmere. (Ok, I was only going to buy one but Dona really twisted my arm – as if I needed to be convinced – on the second one saying, “When will you ever get cashmere 30% off!?” YOU’RE SO RIGHT.)
If you’re in Manhattan Valley or Morningside, the sale isn’t over yet! Yarntopia will be open until Tuesday this week with a 30% off sale. Next weekend (Saturday-Tuesday 12-7pm) Dona will be offering whatever is left for 40% off! I bought a lot of yarn but she’s still got a lot there!
I’ll miss Dona and her shop! She is so helpful and friendly and she is in there every day! I hate to see a LYS go away but she’s not finished! I plan on visiting her in Philly at Yarnphoria.
Speaking of handmade gifting, I just went to a wedding! The first wedding of my friends, actually, so it was kind of a big deal! Katie and I have been friends since high school and all of our oldest friends took the trip down to Richmond, Virginia for an amazing party weekend.
But, let’s start at the beginning. As you know, I take gifting pretty seriously. Registry? I laugh at your registry. I wanted her gift to be unexpected and awesome and something she didn’t even know that she wanted. I wanted my gift to be memorable. But one can’t gift hand-knit socks for a wedding present. What’s a crafty girl to do?
For a while, I’d resigned to get something from my nemesis the registry. I had a few ideas of what I could make but I didn’t want to disappoint her. Then, at the bachelorette party, Katie turned to me and said that she got a feeling from the questions I was asking her (mainly about her monogram) that I might be making her something and that if I was, she was really excited. So that was that.
I decided it was about time I try my hand at embroidery. I haven’t done any embroidery since I was a kid. But I had a design in mind and I thought a pillow would be a cute gift filled with love for their southern home. And I can finally reveal to you what I’ve been working feverishly on for the past month!
My friends and I starred in our high school production of The Wizard of Oz. (Katie was Glenda, I was Auntie Em.) And since Katie and her new husband Colby live so far away, I wanted to give her something that reminded her that the rest of her friends were always with her no matter where we are.
It was a little too ambitious at first. I, as usual, didn’t really know what I was doing and changed my plans multiple times. But, I’ve realized that’s just how I do things. And I got to do lots and lots of chain stitching. That’s my favorite. The couching in part of the heart is wonky but I’m pleased.
Of course, I’m stubborn and refused to sew only a pillow case so I put together the back of the pillow and stitched the whole thing up and filled it with polyfill which actually makes it really squishy and huggable. Seriously, though, making a pillow case to put onto a pillow form would have been just as effective and probably easier.
I hope that Katie and Colby love it. They are such a lovely couple, it is so exciting to think that they will have this keepsake for the rest of their lives, commemorating their love.
Have you ever made a wedding gift? What is the favorite handmade gift you’ve given?
(instagram by my girl Ashley)
Tags: and your little dog too, chain stitch, couching, diy, embroidery, friends, friendship, handmade gift, handmade wedding, pillow, present, sew pillow, there's no place like home, wedding, wedding gift, Wizard of Oz
Oh, funny bumping into you. I was actually just thinking about you. Remember that time I came in and got a great birthday discount on six skeins of Madeline Tosh Pashmina? I had such a good time that day. I haven’t been avoiding you. I hope you didn’t get the wrong idea about that. I thought we were cool, that we agreed that I should shop at other yarn stores.
You see, I moved across town and I just didn’t have the time for something so long distance. I was really sad about it, seriously. (And I was also sad about the really amazing shwarma spot that opened up on the corner, like, four months before I left. I haven’t found a decent falafel anywhere else.) But my new apartment was so much better. And, well, it’s just kind of a shlep to get over to you.
Oh my new LYS? You heard about that? Yeah, we’re really happy together. And remember how I said I couldn’t believe how close my apartment was to you? Only five blocks? My new LYS is only three. It’s a pretty great place. The selection isn’t as big but I think it really cuts to the stuff that I like. And they’re never that busy and they’ve always got what I need. Heck, my new LYS remembers exactly what I’m making! Yeah, it’s pretty wonderful, I know.
I mean, I know that a lot of people have been talking about how I bought a few skeins at Purl Soho and that LYS in Jersey. But, well, we’re pretty open to that, me and my new LYS. And, honestly, those rumors are just rude. If you want to know the truth, I’m on a tighter budget now so I’ve really been knitting from my stash. I’ve been making a lot of socks. Seriously.
Well, you look really great. And I’ve got to run. I mean, I don’t really have to run because my new LYS is open til 9. In the summer, too, yeah. But I should go. I’ll come by sometime and the girl at the register can say, “I haven’t seen you in a while” but not because she hasn’t just because she says that to me every time I’m there. I do actually miss that…and I miss the big wall of Malabrigo I can just run through my fingers. And I miss the little displays of KnitScene magazine by the register…
But, listen. You and I were something. I wouldn’t change a thing. I know you miss me but this is just the way it’s got to be. I’ll see you soon, sometime. Maybe.
photo via purl bee
I’m all about giving hand made gifts. I like seeing genuine excitement instead of looking for a gift receipt. That feeling of pride as they unwrap it makes it just as much a present for me as it is for them. I like that my friends know that I really took the time to think about them and put lots of love into what I’ve made for them. And when they like something that is so full of love, it makes my heart swell.
That being said, I don’t often receive hand made gifts.
It’s a strange phenomenon, right? I’ve got a passion for things that are made from scratch. I know how to appreciate a good handmade gift! Well, my wonderful and talented Aunt Sherry made me an awesome handmade present for my birthday!
Isn’t he adorable!? She made this little guy after taking a class at an AENJ conference. (She’s always got the coolest crafts! And I’m still fascinated by the swag she brings me!) He’s made of alpaca from Back to Back Alpaca where you can also find a kit! I just want to cuddle him! It’s so exciting to get something so fun and so full of love from someone so close to me. (Love you, know you’re always reading!)
I was so excited to give him a spot on the shelf above my sewing machine. He looks very proud! Link is keeping him company.
I really don’t know anything about needle felting but it’s a craft so I’m obviously curious to learn more! (This book looks adorable!) Maybe my next present can be a lesson from my Auntie?
Do you know how to needle felt? What’s the skinny? Do you receive any handmade gifts?
Last week was my birthday. Jon and I finally went to The Dutch. (Try the Devil’s Food Cake!)
Last year we had planned to go to The Dutch, too. In fact, Jon made reservations. But then there was this hurricane that everyone lost their minds over and the whole city shut down and they cancelled our reservation and closed the restaurant for the weekend and we never bothered to go. Remember Hurricane Irene? It wasn’t a very big deal in the city once it was all over but at the time, everyone was freaking out. (I know it effected more people up north and I hope they’ve recovered over the past 12 months!) That was my birthday.
Since the mayor decided to shut down all of the trains, one thing lead to another and Jon was asked to stay in a hotel near his office for the weekend so that someone could be around from his department if no one else could go in on Monday morning. So he called me and asked, “Do you want to stay at the Dream Hotel for free for your birthday weekend?”
Because everything was closed and also because it was my birthday and no one could tell me not to, I spent most of it in a bath robe watching National Geographic shows about being in prison and sipping on wine (so classy, I can’t stand it) while knitting these socks. And I haven’t posted them yet. I didn’t even make a project page for them on Ravelry or take proper pictures. How did that happen?
The pattern is the Traveller sock by Diana Gates. They’re the first toe-up socks I attempted. And, frankly, I fell in love. Toe-up socks FOREVER! I used some stashed Aslan Trends Invernal yarn which is awesome although thick for socks, now that I’ve made a few pair. It’s a worsted angora-merino with nylon so it’s super soft and squishy but durable. I honestly don’t remember which needles I used. The pattern calls for size 5…that sounds right. Who knows!
I wore them a ton over the winter. I’m sure you can tell because they’ve felted a little around the toe and bottom of the cables (It’s kind of gross to picture my socks felting from my sweaty feet rubbing around inside my shoes. You didn’t just come here for pretty yarn photos, did you?) They’re perfect weekend around-the-house socks or perfect throw-on-loafers-and-get-bagels-Saturday-morning socks. And if you follow me on instagram, you probably saw a lot of them. I’d definitely make another pair in a minute. I’m not all about fussy socks so these are just what I like. Pretty simple with a nice clean detail, super soft and cushy, and quick to knit up. Ravelry project page forthcoming!
Have you ever spent a birthday knitting?