#2010 Recap

In a little less than 24 hours we will say goodbye to 2010 and say hello to 2011. In this post, I will reflect on my crafting year.

I feel as if I had some success this year and some massive failures.

2010 Challenge Review:

When I came up with this idea to challenge myself. I didn't have any real goals. I just said that I would try to make things that I haven't done or haven't been able to do in the past, so I guess I completed by challenge by making a pair of socks, making the trial runs of the bsj, using patterns (something I never do), learning how to dye yarn and...hmmm...what else...I know there had to be more. I guess not.

I am going to pat myself on the back for 15 seconds for making the socks, but that is about it, cause Olivia is still sweaterless and I didn't make anything with cables or learn how to color knit. Considering I didn't give myself any real goal expect for do things that I never done before I guess I completed the challenge. I guess I just expected more from myself. O well, you live and you learn. I guess I better really think about the 2011 challenge.

  • Launched this blog
  • Finally figured out why Raverly is sooooooooo awesome
  • Made new knitting buddies (in real life and online) - Hey Rachel, Jan, Jackie, Miguel and Deena!
  • Over 400 people have viewed my knitting a lifeline video on YouTube. The funny thing is that I put that video up to teach friends how to create lifelines. I haven't done anything to promote this video. Who knew that other people would find it useful?
  • Organized a knitters take over the Q Train meetup - we didn't take over the entire train, but we did take up most of a car :)
  • Discovered new yarns
  • Finished 9.5 objects
  • Cataloged most of my yarn stash, finished objects and current projects

Finished Objects:
  • Lucy Scarf - I am using it
  • UGLY Blue and White Slipper Socks - Gave them to Amanda
  • Dyed Yarn - Not sure if I can consider this a fo, because I didn't make anything with the yarn; I just dyed it.

Almost Finished Objects:

  • Can't get rid of my knitter's block
  • Cable Black Hat - For Mr. Crawford - Kept jacking up the pattern - Frogged
  • Gray Meandering Ribbed Scarf - For Mr. Crawford - Didn't think it was long enough, so I pulled it out and was to keep knitting it, but realized I pulled it out from the wrong end and ruined it. - Frogged
  • Keep buying yarn and not doing anything with it
  • Green Sock - Didn't have point protectors on my needles and lost my sock :( - Frogged

On a whole I am happy with my 2010 crafting year, but I really need to make my 2010 knitting challenge a real challenge with real measurable goals. I guess I should start writing them down now, so I can share them with you in my next post.
Until then enjoy the rest of 2010!


Holiday Recap!

Hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas. I did. It is nothing like spending time with your family and then getting stuck on a bus for 15 hours! My dumb ass got a bus from DC to New York City during a blizzard. Don't ask me why? I was determined to get back to NYC to go to work the following day. The funny thing is that I got back and still can't go to work, because my neighborhood is shut down and I can't get into the city.

Even though I had a great time with my family and I finished all of my holiday shopping I did not meet all of my knitting goals for this Christmas. :(

  • Baby Olivia BSJ is still in the same place it has been for the past couple of weeks, so I compensated by buying her a bunch of cute little shirts and leggings.
  • Deb's scarf is only 50% done. I showed it to her to let her know that is being worked on.
  • Mr. Crawford's box of knitted goodies turned into Mr. Crawford's box of random things. Thankfully Suzy finished a hat a scarf, so he had something handmade in the box. I really need to finish this stuff ASAP, because one I don't want to drag these over due projects into 2011 and I want the owners to have their objects.
My sister gave me a cool knitting tool in my stocking. She put a pair of Clover Knit Lite Knitting Needles - Size 8 in my stocking. Every time we go to AC Moore I look at them and wonder if I should get them. So I was really happy that she got them for me.

Knit Lite Needles Review:

Really great concept. I have been in several situations where I wished I had them and now that I do, I hope I remember to use them. Lucky for me the scarf I am working on for my cousin is being worked on a size 8 needle, so I able to use them on the bus returning to New York.

  • The light is really helpful when you are working in a dark place or you are working with dark yarn.
  • The light isn't so bright that it will disturb the people around you.
  • Great for slippery yarn.
  • Uses 6 watch batteries to power them up. I have a feeling it is going to cost me an arm and leg to replace the batteries.
  • The batteries are not easy to put in. I had to put them in several times before they worked.
  • Battery life isn't great. One of the lights had died already and I didn't use them for very long.
  • Not the best quality needles. (I am an addi turbo girl, aka a needle snob, but they are great for this slippery yarn that I am using to make the scarf.)


Cast Your Vote!

Before I start today's post I would like to take a moment to let you know that I am not crazy. I may have sounded a little crazy in my last post. I swear I am not! I am just frustrated and I hate assholes. :)

I can't believe in a few days we are going to say goodbye to 2010 and say hello to 2011. As we get closer to the new year we are all going to start thinking about the good and the bad times of the past year and start laying out our plans for the new year.

I have already started to think about my knitting plans for 2011. 2010 and was my year to challenge myself and now I am thinking about if I really challenged myself in 2010 and how I am going to push myself harder in 2011. (My review of my knitting projects for 2010 and my plans for 2011 will be in future posts.)

The one special project that I have on my to do list for 2011 is to make items for soon to be born nephew. I guess he is actually my great nephew, because is going to be my nieces' son. I am excited for his arrival. I don't have any children of my own and my niece is the offspring from my siblings.

He is expected to arrive the first week of March, so I need to start thinking of I ideas now. As we all know that I am the queen of procrastination knitting. FYI Baby Olivia still doesn't have BSJ. Hopefully I can get the knitting done on that this weekend, so that I can give it to her this week as a xmas present.

I keep going back and forth about what I want to make him, so I am asking you for your help. Please take a moment to vote on what I should make for him (his name is Mason).
  1. A Circular Blanket

  2. A Lucy Blanket

  3. Doctor Who Baby Blanket

  4. Stockinette BSJ (an interesting twist on Elizabeth Zimmerman's pattern)

  5. No Hole Hexagon Sweater
If you don't like any of the ideas that I have mentioned above feel free to suggest other patterns. I open to anything!


A Knitters Right to Say NO!

Today's post is more of a vent than anything else. Feel free to chime in. Let me know if I am crazy or if you feel the same way too. Sometimes I hate it when people find out that I knit. Not because I am embarrassed of the craft or care what others think of it. I just hate some of the questions that people ask.

Here is a list of some of my least favorites:
Knitting is that the one with the two sticks or one sticks?
Did your grandma teach you how to knit?
Do you do that because you have nothing better to do?
Why do you that?
Do you have friends?

But I think the one that gets my panties in a bunch the most is....Can you make something? When it comes from people who just ragged on me for knitting. Seriously am I supposed to be flattered that you want an Urban-Knits original after you just taunted me for twenty minutes, because I knit. I usually just answer this question by simply saying no. If they keep pushing, then I get bitchy and let them know if they weren't a grade A asshole maybe I would make them something, but it is too late now. Of course they are offend and can't believe that I am not flattered by them asking for something.

I also hate when people expect you to pay for the stuff that they want you to make them or they don't want to you for your time. Does my time and my yarn grow on trees that I can get more by just going to my backyard. (Everyone close your eyes and think of a world where you can free yarn off the trees. Now open your eyes.) Back to my venting.

If I choice to make someone a gift, then I also choice to pay for the materials and suck up the time that I am using for the project, but that is my choice. Would you ask Paula Dean to make a quiche for free? Would you expect Chris Rock to tell you a joke for free? So why do people expect knitters to give up their yarn and time for them?

Here are my top reasons why I can't knit something for every Tom, Dick and Harry who wants something:
  1. People don't care of their shit. You'll see them 6 months later. The scarf looks like it has been dragged around in the mud. They don't know where the other sock is.
  2. I am a lazy knitter. It takes me forever to finish a project so why am I going to add in a project that I don't want to do. Look how long it takes me to do the ones I want to do.
  3. People don't want to pay for the real price of handmade goods.
Good night! I am going to take my grumpy butt to bed.


Holiday Gifts!?

It's Thanksgiving eve and I am sitting in my Mom's living room. I'm watching tv and thinking about tomorrow's dinner. Out of now where a wave of dread suddenly came over me.

OMG Christmas is a month away and I haven't started any of the knitted gifts that I thought about making for family members.

Today's post is trying to get my myself organized and making realistic goals for the next 4 weeks. Feel free to chime in. I am going to need some quick project ideas.

Below you find a mini list of items I would like to make. It is a lot less enthusiastic than what I said I wanted to make as Christmas this summer.
The only person that I feel that I have to make something for is my Cousin Debra who has mentioned to me several times that I have never made her anything.

Person Present
Allison Socks
Auntie Bob Socks
Debra ?
Janice Fashion Scarf
One of the Middleton Girls Big Girl BSJ

The question now is what am I going to make her. I really don't know. I know she would love a scarf, but I don't know if I am going to have one completed in a month, because I am procrastinating knitter. I know what yarn I am going to use. I just don't know what I am going to make with it. I guess I should look on raverly and see what other people have done with Eco Duo yarn.

After writing this I went on raverly and I found this. Looks simple and quick. Would you be happy if you revived that hat and scarf as a Xmas present?

Plus I need to need to finish the final objects for Mr. Crawford's goody box. I am in MD for a couple of days, so I can try to finish up/start while I am done and I will make an effort to knit everyday. I can do this! I can do this! My hands may be bleeding at Christmas dinner, but I will be done!



Look to your left. Do notice something is missing from the work ino progress panel? Mr. Crawford's scarf is gone. Finally! I really liked the pattern, but hated working with black yarn. I will never work with black yarn again. It is too hard to work with. And it limits where you can work a project. You always have to work in places with great lighting. I guess the next thing to add to the needles is a matching hat. I am trying to figure out if I need to make a blk hat. I feels so good to be done, because I started this scarf in May.
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I'm off da hook!

Holla at your girl, I'm off da hook!

The crochet blanket that I have been working on for the last couple of weeks for baby Legall is finally done! Not only is it done; I have delivered it to her.

I think it was the hit the Mom liked it (she oohhed and ahhhed), the Dad said he liked it and the baby just stared at it. She is only 2 mos old, so it is not like she could express herself verbally, but she kept looking at it. I guess that is a good sign.

After months of plotting, planning and a ton of mistakes I finally completed something for her.
After months and months of working on the same project it feels good to go to Raverly to check off the complete box and see one less project on the projects in process bar on the blog.

So what next (project wise):
  • Must finish Mr. Crawford's scarf (so close to being done. I just need to sit alone in a brightly lit room for about 2 hours or so.
  • I should make a hat to match the scarf. I am hoping to have his box of goodies in the mail to him by 12/1.
  • Finish Baby Legall's BSJ. I am so glad that I made the sweater large, because she grew so much in 2 mos. I am hoping to have it done by Thanksgiving. I don't have much to do. I think I am 10 to 15 rows away from being done.
  • 2 pairs of socks and 1 simple scarf for xmas presents.


Flying Fingers Review

Saturday, the knitting crew (Suzy, Deena, Misha, Desmond and I) with a special appearance by my non-knitting roommate Amanda left the city for a day of shopping in the suburbs. It was our day to hop on the yarn bus and go to Flying Fingers in Tarrytown, New York.

The yarn bus is a pimped out cargo van with 3 huge balls of yarn with 2 enormous knitting needles going though them that picks people up (for free) from New York City and brings them to Flying Fingers Yarn Shop in Westchester County. What a brilliant idea! I am sure if they didn't have the bus my friends and I wouldn't checked out the store. I am not sure why other suburban stores don't do this.

It was a 45 minute (maybe less) ride from downtown NYC to the store. The ride up was fun. We chatted the entire way up. I have no clue what we talked about, but I know there was a lot of knitting/yarn/pattern chatter, bad sex jokes and silly inside jokes. I felt sorry for Dillon, the driver, and Karen, the only passenger on the bus who was not a part of our group. Karen was visiting from Colorado to see her children run in the New York marathon. I am sure we gave her plenty to talk about over dinner with her husband and other travel buddies. I am sure she never expected to go a knitting journey with a van full of chatty women of color

Flying Fingers Review:

I am not sure what I expected, but what I saw isn't what I expected. It was small and cluttered. I had this crazy idea that since it was outside of the city that the store would be bigger than a city store and I also thought that because they have a special bus for the store that is must be the most amazing store ever.

The biggest issue I had with the store was there was too much merchandise for the little space. Stuff was everywhere. If I wanted to see yarn crammed into a little space, I would have stayed home and looked at my yarn.

Yarns were mixed up with other yarns. I had a hard time finding stuff. My poor little brain couldn't take it all in. I was overwhelmed. As soon as Amanda, the non-knitter, came into the store she told me she was overwhelmed and this store was so different than the other stores that I have taken her to. She came with us to find the perfect purple yarn for her new coat, but was quickly discouraged by the disorder.

Besides stuff being everywhere it wasn't clearly labeled. It was hard to tell what the cost or what yarns created samples. Some yarns had price tags and others didn't. Some samples were clearly labeled and others weren't. I tried my best to try to take a look at each section to find goodies, because I could tell hat there were goodies all over the store. They just needed to be hunted for.

Because of the clutter it was hard for me to find all of the Manos del Uryguay yarns. I kept hearing that Flying Fingers had the entire line of Manos yarns and that they had colors that no one else has. Because I kept hearing this I didn't purchase any during the NYC Yarn Crawl that I went on a couple of weeks ago, because I knew I was going to Flying Fingers. I wish I would have bought the yarn I saw on the yarn crawl, because I couldn't figure out what I was looking at on Saturday. I t was hard for me to really see what Manos yarns were there, because of the disorganization of the store. When I have a real need to buy Manos, I am going to Yarntopia, Downtown Yarns or Purl Soho to check out their selections because they were better organized and it was easy for me to see all of the pretty pretty yarns.

The staff was super helpful, especially Dillon, the driver of the van/salesman. I am not sure if he could tell that I was confused, because he helped me a lot when I was trying to figure out what was what. I recall looking at a yarn and he said do you want to see a sample of that yarn knitted up. As quickly as I said yes he showed me the sample. He did that a couple of times and it made my shopping experience much better. If he didn't help I wouldn't have purchased anything.

I am glad that after all of these years of talking about it I finally took the ride on the yarn bus.

Would I go Flying Fingers again?
Hmmmmm. Maybe. I didn't hate it to the point where I wouldn't spend my money there. I happy supported the shop and if I love the Madelinetosh yarn as much as think I am going to, I would go back and get some more.

If a friend wanted to experience the yarn bus, I would go with them. It is a nice quick trip. Or if a friend, who had a car, wanted to take a ride and get some great burgers. I would suggest Horsefeathers and take a peak in Flying Fingers just because I am addicted to yarn and wouldn't be able to resist.

Lots of good products but you be good savager hunter/detective to find them and since I really don't enjoy digging for my items it is not the store for me, but I do suggest that people check it out, because the staff is really nice. But if you are like me and you freak out from clutter, then don't bother. Cause you will get caught up on thinking about how you could rearrange all of the items.

My purchase:
  • 2 skeins of Berrco Ultra Alpaca - one black and one purple for Amanda's hat
  • 2 skeins of Lang sock yarn

After an hour or so of shopping we walked over to Horsefeathers Pub for lunch. I highly recommend this place. The food was amazing and you get a lot of food for your money. I had a turkey burger and fries. The burger was well seasoned. The fries were fresh cut and they were huge! I couldn't finish my burger. I took half of it home.
My table mates enjoyed their food too.


I'm in love and it feels so good!

Last Saturday I fell in love for the first time. I thought I have been in love before, but I have been greatly mistaken.

All week I have been singing this song. The love that has been fluttering in my heart for the past week has given me the most incredible feelings ever. I can't describe it.

People talk about love at first sight, but I never understood it until recently.

I have been seeing my new love around town for a couple of weeks. Our first encounter was during my trip to the
Yarn Tree in Brooklyn and then I saw them again at Knitty City in the city. After each encounter I always end up I thinking about them. Wondering if we would have the opportunity to be together.

When I saw my love last Saturday at the Wool and Sheep Festival I knew with all of my heart I wanted to be with them, but I was afraid that they were unattainable. I was also afraid that my friends wouldn't approve, but I was very wrong. When I introduced my friends to one who stole my heart. They agreed we should be together. Their approval meant a lot to me so after receiving their OK I ran to find my love.

When I approached my love I got there just in time. There was only one left and the Festival was shutting down for the day. I am sure at this point you are scratching head wondering what the heck am I talking about now.

My love is my
Jumbo Ball Winder made by Strauch Fiber Equipment Company. OMG this is the best thing I have ever purchased for my knitting life!

A couple of weeks ago I purchased the
Knit Picks ball winder and I hated it! I purchased it because it is $20 and it can be used as a hand held winder or as a table winder. It wasn't very sturdy. The handle kept falling out when I would use it as a hand winder. (Maybe it it better when you attach it to a table.) It is small, so it couldn't take a lot of yarn. The balls were sloppy and kept falling apart. The winder is made out of plastic. It is cheaply made. The pro of this winder is that it is a small, so it is easy to travel with it and I could tuck it away in my yarn box.

The Strauch Ball Winder is the total opposite of the Knit Picks ball winder. It is a conversation starter. It is gorgeous. It is hand carved out of wood. (I had the pleasure of meeting Otto Strauch (the creative genus behind the winder) when I purchased my winder.)

At first I was thrown by the $115 price tag, but after to talking to a couple of people and really examining I knew it was worth the price. The reason being is that I could see myself buying 6 of those knit picks winders over the course of a lifetime. I doubt that I will have to buy another ball winder for the rest of life. I may have to purchase the rubber bands that connect the two parts to each other.

Here is my review of the Strauch Fiber Equipment Jumbo Ball Winder:

  • Pro: It can take a lot of yarn and make large balls.
  • Pro: It winding system is very smooth.
  • Pro: The balls that it makes are beautiful and sturdy.
  • Pro: You don't have to bolt it to the table. I place my foot or my cellphone on it to stop it from shaking.
  • Pro: It is made well. Nothing is falling off.
  • Pro: Really easy to use! Pro: Educational intro video on the website that has great how to tips.
  • Pro: It is fast. I can ball a ball of Vanna's Choice yarn in approximately 2 minutes.
  • Con: The only draw back about the winder is that it is large. I am currently living is a small space, so I have to store it in a closet, because it is too large to keep out. I can't wait to get a place and have an area set up where I can keep it out and on display. It may be too heavy for me to take to friend's houses. If I am getting a ride, it is not going to be an issue, but I wouldn't want to carry it on the train.
I would recommend this winder to anyone who is looking for a winder. It is worth every penny and it will last you forever. Plus it will save you a lot of frustration.

Here are some photos of my love and I spending time together this week.

This was my first ball that I made. Very loose.

Here is a ball after a little practice. You can already see the difference.

I am cooking with gas now!

Here is a full view of my love.

I am sure I will post more photos after I use it with my swift.

PS I am not being paid by this company to advertise their product. I just really like it!
Hey , but if they want to pay I will take one of their yarn swifts for free. :)


Confessions of an Addict

My name Petrina and I am an addict.

I recently came to the realization that I am an addict because:
  • I will do anything to get money to get my next fix.
  • I lie about my habit.
  • A good portion of my income is spent on it. (I refuse to figure out how much.)
  • My friends are junkies too.
  • I never leave the house with my drugs. When I do leave the house without something I always regret it.
  • I try to get everyone to do it.
  • I have paraphernalia all over my home.
  • Sometimes I sit up all night doing it, because I just can't stop.
  • I would rather cater to my addition then do certain things that I once enjoyed.

I have been an addict now for a little over six years. It started off harmless. I figured I would try it out with some friends. I thought it would be something we could all do together. None of knew us how that decision would change our all of our lives forever. We would have never guessed how much money and time would be spent catering to our addictions.

For years, I had toyed with idea of trying it. I remember when I first moved to the city I went to the corner of 8th street and Broadway and picked up some stuff. Figured since I didn't spend a lot of money on it I wouldn't be mad if I didn't get the high I was looking for. I remember rushing home to try it. Hoping that my roommates weren't home, so that I do it without them judging me.

I remember sitting on the floor looking at my new found treasure with glee with the hopes of getting high, but of course I couldn't figure it. So I threw away my cheap items and moved on to something else.

Years later, the notion hit me again, so I spoke to some friends to ask them if they ever thought about doing it and to my surprise they were interested. So I asked around to find out where I could score and I started making calls. I live in New York City, so it doesn't take long to get anything. I was able to find a dealer within a few days. I called my friends and told them that I found a place and that the fee was $135 and we needed to pay in cash.

I am not sure how long it took for us to get everything together, but I will not forgot the night I tried it. I remember walking up this dimly light stairway with my friends. There was something odd about the stairway. For a moment I wondered if were in the right place. Then we saw the door of the place were going to. Walk in and paid for our goods and then waited to be served. My friends and I weren't the only ones there. There were other newbies there waiting for their first taste.

As we sat there and waited I wondered. Did I just waste my money on something I may not or may not give me the high I am looking for? I wondered what was I going to do if I really liked it.

A few minutes later a hippy looking woman came out and introduced herself to us. You may think that I am going to tell you that my first experience was amazing and that I never felt a high like this. Nope not all. It was awful. I couldn't figure out what to do with the needle. My friends figured it out quickly and I could see their faces lighting up. I could see that they were getting the high that I wanted. The entire night I struggled. I remember going home that night feeling stupid for spending all of that money and not getting the high I was looking for.

I remember talking to my friends and them telling me how great it was once they got started and that I should try one more time. One night I met Suzy at her office after hours while no one else was there. She wanted to teach me in private.

I remember Suzy, Cheryl and I sitting around in a circle and they set me up and told me how to hold the needle, so that I could it get it just right. I couldn't do it. They kept setting me up and I kept screwing up and then finally everything worked and I got my first taste.

After an hours of practicing how to cast on I finally got it! Then we moved on the knit and purl stitches. By the time the second class came around I was ready for more. Once our 6 sessions of lessons ended I was a full blown addict. Wanting to try different yarns and patterns.

6 years my addiction has changed over time. When I first started it was more about knitting for hours and hours, but now my addiction has changed more into shopping. Buying and buying and buying yarn and other items.

Today, I was trying to figure out if I should work some overtime this week and I quickly answered my question with a yes. I can use that money to buy yarn during my day at Flying Fingers.

I know I am not alone. Feel free to share your addiction stories with me.


New York State Wool & Sheep Festival - Review

It was another gorgeous weekend in New York. Even though we had a major wind storm and it was really chilly it was nice to be outside all day. Especially after I put on my my newly purchased hoodie.

Yesterday (Saturday, October 16th) the girls (Suzy and Cheryl) and I headed up to Rhinebeck, NY for the Annual New York State Wool and Sheep Festival. I never had an interest in attending the festival, but for some reason I got a bug up my ass and I wanted to go this year. OMFG why didn't I listen to people sooner and go there. The festival was awesome. Tons of vendors selling amazing merchandise. Lots of things to see and learn about. Did I mention lots of stuff to buy. I bought a lot of amazing things. (You will find my list of goodies below.)

I really thought that I was going to hate the festival. I thought I was going to be surrounded by nasty smelling animals and that I would either have to pee in dirty porta potties or wait in line for an hour. Once I go there I realized that none of my fears were true.

The animals were there and they were smelly, but they were easily avoidable. The bathroom situation was great. They had real bathrooms! No porta potties! And they were clean! That alone made me a happy campier. When you have a bladder the size of a thimble that is always an issue.

While my friends played with the sheep I waited on the short bathroom line, so I didn't have to smelly the funkiness. I did see two super cute alpacas near the gate as we left and that was more than enough animal interaction for me.

The setup was really interested. Again, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I am sure I would have been wrong. The festival took place on the Duchess Count Fair Ground and all of the vendors are set up in barn house. The setup reminded me of flea markets that I used to go to growing up. There were approximately 10 barns.

Vendors sold everything from, live sheep, fleece, roving, yarn, books, clothing, maple syrup, jewelry, meat, bread and much more.

And me being the good American.New Yorker that I am, I had to do my best to stimulate the economy of upstate New York by purchasing the items below:
  • Strauch Handmade Ball Winder - Check out the website and you tube video. I am truly in love with this thing. I think my next post will be about my love affair with my new winder. Yes, it is pricey, but it is worth every penny. If you need a winder, get this one.
  • Birch wood yarn swift
  • Blue cheese
  • Blair's Mega Death Hot Sauce - This is no joke. My mouth burned for 20 minutes.
  • New York State Honey - for my allergies
  • Dip mix packets - :( The packets are downstairs and I can not remember the name of the company
  • Gourtemtible Candy - It is so yummy that I wish I didn't buy it. I am so afraid that I am going to eat them.
  • A Cute Kid Sweater Pattern - It's one piece so I can't screw it up
  • Summertide Wine
Notice a certain product isn't on the list. Drum roll please. I went a wool festival and didn't buy yarn.

Honestly, I couldn't. I think I would really have to take myself to rehab if I did. Especially since the night before I went to Micheal's and bought two bags of Vanna's Choice yarn to finish Olivia's jumbo blanket, start a blanket for my forthcoming great niece or nephew and make a silly scarf for myself. Plus I have bought a lot of yarn recently and planning to buying more soon.

Let's take a quick look at my (yarn)life for the past couple of weeks/future plans:
  • I went on to the yarn crawl last weekend - I got 12 skeins of random wool yarns
  • I went to the NJ Smiley's sale a couple of weeks ago - I got 24 skeins of merino wool
  • I went to Micheal's the night before heading to Rhinebeck - purchase an ungodly amount of Vanna's Choice
  • I am going to Flying Fingers on November 6th
  • I am going to the NYC Smiley's sale in December.

So I couldn't do it. Plus there were so many other things there to buy. All week long I kept asking myself what did I want, because I knew that if I came back with more yarn I would not be happy and the only thing I could think of was a swift and a ball winder.

I am really happy that I finally go a good ball winder and that I have a swift. Now I don't have to ask Suzy to make balls for me and I don't have to wait in long lines at stores to get my skeins balls and I don't have to hear store managers bitch that I want something balled that is apart of their standard complimentary winding.

I haven't tried the swift yet. I hope it is good too. For those of you who do not know what a swift is click here.

Even though I didn't buy any yarn that didn't stop me from touching it and falling in love. I fell in love with 5 different yarns. I wrote them all in my trusty note pad in phone, so I can always buy them online if I ever use the stuff that I have. It was nice to finally touch the legendary Socks that Rock yarn. It is awesome! Once I figure out the method to two socks at home, I am buying some.

If you have been to the New York State Wool and Sheep Festival, then start making plans to get there for 2011. It is worth leaving the city for a couple of days and surrounding yourself around nature and beautiful things. Start putting your dollars away now, so that you can have a nice chunk of change when you go there. I am normally the girl who takes $60 dollars to every sale and I took a couple of hundred of dollars, because I didn't want to deny myself from the possibility of buying something amazing. Go with a group of friends and make a day or better yet a whole weekend out of it.

Sorry I can't report if the food is good there, because some how we managed not to eat there. Our lunch was tasting all of the cheese and other food items from the vendors. Then topped it off with wine and candy.

On a whole it was a great day and I look forward to going back next year.

I left my camera downstairs so I will post the photos I took in another post.

But here are a couple of shots I took of my new love with my camera phone.


New York City Yarn Crawl - Part Two

Sunday was another amazing day in New York City. We had the same perfect weather as Saturday and I spent another day foundling yarn with Suzy.

Suzy and I couldn't rest until we saw certain stores so we headed to the city for another day of crawling. It is good to have a friend who shares the same addiction. So here are my reviews on the stores we explored on Sunday (and my purchases).

33 E 65th St (bet Mad & Park), 2nd Fl
(212) 288-9276

Located in an apartment building on the Upper East Side. I wondered how many people in the building are knitters/crochets and how much money they spend at the store.

Cute store. Interesting selection of yarns. (They had this camel yarn that I am still thinking about.) All of the yarn are branded with their logo, so it was hard to compare prices to other stores or to go online and research them.

They had a lot of great samples of children sweaters displayed around the store. Unfortunately, they will not the patterns unless you are purchasing the yarn there, which leads to me believe that they do not own the patterns and that I could find the patterns online.

The one thing I didn't like is that the prices were not on any of the yarns, so I had to keep them how much the yarn I saw. I felt like I shouldn't be in there if I have to ask how much everything cost. I don't like not knowing the prices of thing. I am poor and I need to know how much something is before I buy it.

Go check it out. It is worth a look

Items purchased:
None, but I keep thinking about the camel yarn.

181 Bdwy (bet Dey & Cortland), 5th Fl

This is the first time I have been to seaport yarn since they moved. This space is a little better than the old one, but it is still a mess. I seriously think the owner has massive organization issues. Every time I see this show I think it should be showcased on Hoarders, Buried Alive or some news special about people who hoard.

Even though the store is a mess they have great merchandise. I found several items that I have been looking for the last couple of months. I even found an item that I liked several years ago.

The owner is interesting. If you go there be warned that she can be a little moody.

Go, but know what you are looking for and be prepared to do some hunting.

Items Purchased:
None, but there are several things I think I am going back for.

459 Broome St (bet Greene & Mercer Sts)
Phone: (212) 420-8796

I never went to this store, because assumed that it was going to be snotty and over priced. I gotta say that I was really really surprised by how much I liked it. The staff was helpful and answered all of my and the prices weren't bad.

The store was lovely. Bright and nicely laid out. The only issue I had was I wish the aisles were a little wider.

Go check it out.

Items Purchased:
4 Skeins of Eco Duo Cascade Yarn

I can't wait for next year's yarn crawl!

You would think that this would be the end of my shopping tales. Oh no my friends this is just the beginning. Next week, the girls and I are taking a road trip to Rhinebeck, New York to go to the New York State Wool and Sheep Festival and the first weekend in November we are going to take a road trip on the Yarn Bus to check out the Flying Fingers store in Terrytown, NY.


New York City Yarn Crawl - Part One

Saturday was a gorgeous day in New York City for so many reasons. The weather was perfect and I spent the entire day with Suzy (and some of the day with Miguel) touching yarn and exploring local yarn shops.

This weekend is the 2nd Annual New York City Yarn Crawl, so this post will showcase what I purchased and reviews of the stores we went to.

Here are my reviews on the stores we crawled to. (The list is in the order that we went to them.)

2274 Broadway @ 82nd St, 2nd fl

My review:

I would only send my most hated enemy to this store. This store is awful! They have decent merchandise, but the customer service is the PITS. This is the second time I have gone to this store. I didn't like it when I went before and I will make sure never to go there again. The sales people act if they do not want my business. I would love to do a social experiment to see if they are snatchy with everyone who walks in there or just snatchy with certain types of people.

I wanted to buy a pattern for this really cute kid's sweater and the woman couldn't even bother looking to see if she had the pattern. I am not even sure if I told her that I wanted to buy the 24 balls of yarn I would need to make the sweater if she would have even moved. The last time I checked a small sale was better than no sale at all.

Items purchased:
Nothing - never going back
Attempted to buy a sweater pattern

Stay away

Knitty City
208 W 79th St (bet Bdwy & Amst)
212.PURL.TWO (212.787.5896)

My review:
For some reason every time my friends go to Knitty City I am always busy. They would come back raving about the store. I keep saying I gotta check it out, but never made my way up there until this weekend. After going there I see why everyone loves it. It is awesome and I can see myself spending my a good chunk of cash there.

The customer service was great! The store was packed with people participating in the yarn crawl and they had a table full of regulars sitting around the knitting table, but some how they managed to interact with everyone who came in the store. I felted welcomed and started pursuing the walls.

They have a lot of great yarns, but I have to go back and really look at the everything. For some reason I was over stimulated there and it was hard for me to focus on all of the pretties. I am not sure if it was the way that the store was laid out and that it was a little cluttered. (For those of you who don't know me clutter makes me insane and makes my mind melt.) Or was it Every section I went to had such amazing yarn. I didn't know where to look or touch and I was afraid to buy anything because I didn't want to blow my $100 budget there so I stayed close to Suzy and tried to hide my excitement. I think I just keep repeating we have to come back here another time, so that I can really look.

The good thing about staying close to Suzy was that she discovered all of the cool knitting accessories that were for sale.They actually had things that will help me with the BSJ. (Ha ha I'm already thinking about the next BSJ I haven't even finished this one.) So I got a bunch of accessories there. I was happy to spend money there and can't wait to go back with a project in mind.

Items Purchased:
Kitchener Stitch Key Chain
Stitch Markers with Information
Double Pointed Needle Holders (for small needles) - can't find links to show you :(
Double Pointed Needle Holders (for large needles) - can't find links to show you :

Go and go often!! :)

974 Amsterdam Ave. (SW Corner of 108th St.)
NYC 10025

I really liked this store. It was organized well. I was able to focus in this store and didn't feel over stimulated. Each section was organized by the weight of the yarn. They had great merchandise. I wrote down a couple of things that I wanted to go back and check out. Because I was not familiar with a lot of the products I am not sure how the prices compare to other stores. The staff was friendly. I would go back.

Items Purchased:

As a Brooklyn girl I am willing to make the trek from Brooklyn to East Harlem to go to the store. I think it is well organized and they have late hours for us working stiffs.

Before heading to the East Side we grabbed pizza from a place that sales JUMBO slices. The pizza was good, but I wish it was a little crisper. I would go back and try it again. Sorry, but I don't remember the name of the place.

Annie & Co.
1325 Madison Ave (bet 93rd & 94th)


Cute store. A little on the pricey side. The staff was super nice and friendly.
Chatted with several staff members and customers. Jotted down A LOT of names of great yarns. I picked up this skein of yarn and it was $47 dollarsssssssssssssssssssssss. WTF! Who pays for $47 for one skein average size skein of yarn. Not me. I have to admit that the sales table had some great but nothing was calling me. Suzy bought a bag of Rowan yarn that was 50% off the original price.

I would go back there again.

Go there and touch the expensive yarn. It feels so good. You may find something you can afford on the sales table.

Downtown Yarns
45 Avenue A (bet E 3rd & E 4th)

Great store is in the heart of the East Village. When I arrived in front of the store. I realized that I have walked pass it a million times and never paid attention to it.

The store has a lot of character. The front door is a screen door. For a typical for a store that you will find on Avenue A. It looks like it is really small from the other, but it is well organized and there are a lot of goodies to find. I enjoyed looking at all of the samples hanging around the store.
I also had a great time meeting other yarn crawl participants in the store.

The staff was really sweet, funny and super helpful. I asked about some cute children sweaters hanging around the store. As soon as I asked the girl about the sweaters she immediately went to the pattern book and started showing me the patterns (what a novel idea). Of course I had to get the pattern for the little sweater.

The store had a great selection of yarns and their prices were great. So great that I had to buy yarn. I was proud of myself that I didn't buy yarn all day, but I could help myself when I saw good quality wool yarn for $7 dollars a skein.

Items Purchased:
4 Skeins of hunter green cascade yarn
4 skeins of aqua cascade yarn
Pattern for a kid's sweater

Go there! Even though there aren't any other yarn stores around it is still worth the trip to the neighborhood. Great bars and restaurants near the shop. Prices are good. There is something there for everyone.

I would love to hear what you guys think of these stores.

Time to rest. That was just the first day.


Don't Talk About it, Be About It!

One of my favorite "street"/urban phrases that I hear on the subway all of the time is "don't talk about it, be about it." The phrase popped into my head while I was working on Olivia's BSJ and I had to use the phrase as my next blog post title.

I've been talking about her BSJ for months, but I have nothing to show for all of my lip flapping and finger tapping. So I stopped talking about it and I have been working on it. As you can see from my Ravelry progress bar I am about 80% done. Finally!

Please Jesus, let me get to the end. If this thing is not done, by my next trip to Maryland, I am having a fire sale and I am giving away all of my knitting needles and yarn. Cause I can not call myself a knitter if I can't finish a little BSJ by Thanksgiving. (Stay back vultures I haven't given up yet.)

I should also put that same challenge to myself for Mr. Crawford's scarf. How the hell am I still in the same place as I was a month ago? Maybe I need to talk a therapist about my knitting issues.

Even though I am not knitting I am still shopping for knitting paraphernalia (that will be the topic of my next post.)

Anyways back to the BSJ.

It is really cute and snuggly (I made it out of cotton). I can't wait to finish it.

I found the cutest Hello Kitty buttons on eBay. I think the buttons will be a cute touch to the sweater.

If my weekend goes as planned, then I should be closer to the finish line by the end of the weekend.

The funny thing is that when Martha (Olivia's Mom) and I originally talked about me making the BSJ we both thought it would be cute to make it out of cotton. But instead of remembering that conversation and starting with a cotton sweater I went to Lion Brand and bought the merino wool. I guess Miss. Olivia isn't interested in wool. Cause this cotton one is moving right along.

The question now is what am I going to do with the 6 or 8 balls of pink and purple merino wool that I bought for her sweater. I can't return it for the red merino that I have ogling for months, because I opened it and Suzy balled it. Any suggestions?