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Monday, March 16, 2015

NYC, here we come!

My friend Robbie and I went on a self-directed yarn crawl this weekend.  I took the train in to meet her.

While on the train into the city, I realized that I forgot my notions. I had changed bags and completely forgot to transfer them.  I felt so vulnerable without my notions.

I realized my oversight when my interchangeables needles were loose while knitting a swatch. How will I tighten them?  It was an 'Oh S#!t' moment.  Then it occurred to me that I could use a thin paper clip to tighten them.

Measure swatch.   'Oh S#!t', no notions.  Thankfully, there's a ruler app.

Our plan was to visit six stores in two days.
Friday was to be the nicer day, so we planned around that:
Downtown Yarns (Greenwich Village)
Purl Soho (Soho)
String (East Side)

We had random people helping us wherever we went.  We were about to cross the street (admittedly before the light changed) and a lady standing next gently admonished us and urged us to take our time, not to rush. We walked in the same direction for a bit and  I asked her if she'd spend the day with us. ;)

On the subway to Bleecker street we couldn't hear the guy announcing.  When he said "watch the doors" it was loud and clear.

When he announced a stop, it sounded like the teacher on Charlie Brown. We tried to use a subway app to no avail. There were two young guys that could barely speak English, they looked out for us.  Every time the subway stopped, we'd look over at them to know if it was our stop.

When we got out of the subway, we tried to use a Starbucks app to find the nearest shop.  A passerby overheard us and directed us. The moral was that people were better than apps. Every time we attempted to use our apps, a person interceded faster and better than the app. We decided to proceed "old school" and actually ask people the rest of the trip.

Found Starbucks, enjoyed our coffee, got our bearings, and chatted up a Swedish family visiting with a 14 mo old and 3 yo. We walked to Dowtown Yarns.

Downtown Yarns is on Avenue A. It was a delightful little shop filled with interesting yarns and samples.  The women there were friendly and helpful. We each found a hat we wanted to make, they were store exclusives.

There was even a shop dog!

The most unusual yarn I saw was Nettle Yarn.  I asked what (on earth) people used that for? Wash clothes was one example.  In a word, OUCH.

From here we walked to Bleecker St. My first neighborhood, when I was born.  It was really cool to see where my parents (and I) lived.  Their descriptions and landmarks were spot on. The first two apartments I lived in were literally right around the corner from each other.

One was a 3 story walk up (tough with a baby), so they moved to the (then new) 6 story high rise, or a "modern tenement" as my dad called it because the fire escapes were on the front.

I may not have remembered any of it, but I literally walked down memory lane. 

Next we walked to Purl Soho. It was a very pretty shop to look at. Many of the samples that have been in their newsletter were displayed on tables.  They had a reasonable assortment of yarns.  It was not as warm and welcoming as Downtown Yarns had been.  Robbie found yarn to make a baby sweater. 

I bought Koigu solids to knit Peat Fingerless (Fair Isle) mittens. 
I'll add a natural and black to the mix.

We took the subway to the East Side to go to String. Cynthia was expecting us and gave us a tour.  The shop looks great. It's on the second floor with windows all the way across and lots of seating for knitting and hanging out. There were samples for inspiration and friendly, knowledgeable staff. Stacy Charles happened to be in shop at the same time, that was a nice treat to see him too.

                                                                   © Linus Ouellet 

I bought more Koigu to make these Candlesmoke mittens,

the background is a sparkly purple (keep your comments to yourself) the foreground is a soft grey.

We enjoyed a delicious dinner at Vivoli Retaurant. There are few things better than a day filled with yarn, good friends, and good food.

Then, after walking 11,500 steps, we fell into bed to do it all over again tomorrow.  It was a wonderful day. More to come....

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