I guess that I've fallen off the blogging bandwagon. But then again, so has everyone else. Where are we lately? Well, we're on Twitter, and Facebook (okay, I'm not on Facebook) and Ravelry, and Flickr, and, and, and. The population of Blogland seems to be falling.
Maybe it's because I tend to tweet about whatever suits me at the moment, but I've been pretty good about keeping this blog mostly about knitting. Maybe I subconsciously want to blog about that crazy guy I saw on the train last night. Maybe I'll start doing that, when the spirit moves me.
Whatever. I'm still good for the occasional post or two. To tell the truth I haven't been knitting all that much. I can't even use the wedding-planning excuse, because most of my tasks are done. Yes, I wrote "my." There's someone else involved with this wedding who still has a slightly longer to-do list. But that's not my problem.
The lack of blogging and noticeable knitting product hasn't stopped others from encouraging my efforts. To wit:
Yup! It's a label, a clothing label. Five hundred labels to be completely accurate. I'm supposed to sew one of these things into each and every one of my FOs (that's finished object). At the rate that I am producing FOs, it's going to be a very, very long time before I get to the bottom of that box. Oy! Maybe I should add some yarn to the wedding registry.
I never thought that I was worthy of my own clothing label. Sven's parents, apparently, thought differently. These labels were, I'm happy to write, my birthday present, and they were a complete surprise. They arrived one Friday afternoon via FexEx.
Actually, FedEx misdelivered them to a building down the street, and picking up this package was a bit of an adventure. After a bit of scrambling around lower Manhattan, I finally had the package in my hands. "What is this?" I thought. I noticed the customs labels. I knew that it was from Germany, and I had a pretty good idea that I was from Sven's parents. That part was easy. After all, how many people do I know in Germany who would send me a package?
So, I had better get knitting!
Yesterday after work, I headed to Midtown to visit M&J Trimming. You see, I have a pair of shoes that will not stay on my feet. These things should not, technically, be called shoes. "Flingers," perhaps. But, "shoes"? I don't think so.
Besides the fact that they don't stay on my feet, these "shoes" (for lack of a better term) are quite cute. Patent leather ballet flats with a trim of grosgrain ribbon.
It was the trim that gave me the idea. What if I had a cobbler sew lengths of black ribbon to the shoes? Then I could tie a little bow that would a) look cute b) keep these damn things on my feet.
So, it was off to M&J I went in search of this ribbon.
Let me preface these pictures by writing that if you need any kind of trim for any reason M&J will have it. Trust me. My first thought when entering the store was "Holy guacamole!" [Especially appropriate for Cinco de Mayo, no?]
I spent about 15 seconds walking around looking dazed when someone (the manger?) approached.
"Can I help you?"
"Oh, yes. I need some grosgrain ribbon. But first, I need to soak in this place."
"Ok. The ribbon is right here. [Lead me to the 10-foot high Wall of Ribbon]. But take as much time as you need."
"Wow, uh, thanks!" I was totally dazed by the amount of ribbon.
Then I checked out the trim sections. Again, I was completely overwhelmed by the selection. And, again, I stood there for way under a minute before I was approached by an employee asking to assist me.
So, suffice it to say, the staff at M&J is all over helping out their customers. If you go, you will most definitely be taken care of.
Finally, I'll leave you with the biggest buttons that I've ever seen. Just to give you a sense of scale, those buttons below the large ones are probably about one inch in diameter.
These had to be about as big as the palm of my hand.
Catch y'all tomorrow, with a sweater update!
Chez Subway Knitter has a new look for 2008. And this is my first post using the MT 4.0 interface (Interface, right? That's what it's called, no? Please somebody tell me if it isn't.). Big thanks to Steph for doing all of the designing, working out all of the bugs, and fixing a huge fundamental problem with Pair's initial setup of my MT account. It would have taken me two years to figure out all of this stuff by myself. I think that Steph's available for hire, if you too need a blog overhaul.
In the spirit of the new year, it's time for me to come clean with all of you. I didn't knit very much over my two-week break because (and I'm being completely honest with you here) I hated the project I was working on. Hated. Despised. Loathed. It wasn't the project's fault. The yarn could not be blamed either, so I'm not going to bother posting a photo of what I was knitting. Let's just say that it was a project that would not have suited the recipient in any way, and this fact wasn't helping my waning excitement in a project that was going nowhere fast.
Late on Tuesday I had a wee epiphany. I needed to finish what I was working on by the end of the week, yet I hadn't picked up the needles in days. It was time for a drastic change. So, on Wednesday evening I postponed Laundry Night for about an hour to visit Seaport Yarns in search of something new.
Seaport Yarns. The weirdest yarn "store" that I've visited to date. Why "store"? Well, it's not really a store. There's another business being run out of the same space at the same time. Indeed, when I was shopping, the occupant of the office I was in briefly put aside her business deal ["Look at the EXPOSURE I'm getting you! Do you know how many people are going to be in town for Super Tuesday? Thousands and thousands! This is the type of media time that you want."] to sigh in my direction "Do you need any help?" Of course, the answer she was expecting was "no". I said no.
Combine that with the space's visual qualities, and you don't get a place where you want to spend a lot of time browsing (and thus, buying). It's not comfortable at all. The office is so chaotic and disorganized that I wanted to beat a path back out almost as soon as I walked in the door. Imagine the pre-renovated warehouse at WEBS moved into a 1990s Manhattan office interior with all the merchandise spilled onto folding tables and stuffed into half-broken display cabinets. That, my friends, is Seaport Yarns, only without the bargain prices of the WEBS warehouse.
The lighting was terrible! It was so poor, in fact, that I had to wonder if there was some kind of electrical problem affecting the ceiling lights. Nightime is not the best time for color accuracy anyway, but with dim florescent fixtures it's impossible.
Besides the office-worker-cum-store-clerk, there was one woman working the whole space. And she, I must say, was a lone bright spot (figuratively, of course) in this scene. Personable and knowledgeable, she seemed to know where stuff was, but she was much too busy to provide anything beyond the basic level of aid. At least two full-time people are needed to properly staff the store. I can imagine that the multi-room layout lends itself to easy shoplifting.
Anyway, I finally found what I needed and got out of there. I left with some GGH Goa which suited my needs perfectly. I was a bit surprised that GGH sells to this place. I have heard that it can be difficult for stores to become GGH stockists (to use the British term) and I wonder if other, better, NYC stores are losing out.
[I can give only a hint at what I'm knitting.]In spite of the shortcomings I was impressed with the depth of the inventory at Seaport Yarns. Of course, you couldn't find anything without a map, but in a brief survey of the various rooms I noted that many of the typical go-to brands (Rowan, Noro, Koigu, Malabrigo, etc.) were available, and I didn't see a huge heap (I mean that literally here) of novelty yarns. This store could be great, and it's filling a need in a part of the city where there are no other woolly outlets. In the right space, with the right kind of business (something design oriented, perhaps) and with the right kind of employees, this could be a funky example of a creative shared use that results from an overheated real-estate market. I'm sure that there are a lot of Wall Street types who knit. Unfortunately Seaport Yarns is in an environment that's ill-suited for retail. The owner needs to hire a professional organizer, find an electrician, invest in some proper display furniture, and find another staff person.
It would be lovely to have a yarn store close to work, but I can't imagine that I would return here. Maybe some long-time New Yorkers know if my experience is typical, or is a result of an upcoming relocation. I heard that the store is closing at the end of the month and will reopen in a yet-to-be-determined spot. Let's hope that the owner can find a proper retail space to give the store a chance to flourish.
The time has come for chez Subway Knitter QNS to become chez Subway Knitter BKLN:
The knitting? It's just a simple scarf with dropped stitches. I told you that I'm all about the chunky accessories this year. The yarn is the Curlz that Shireen made me buy at String.
I spared the blog most of the drama and the emotions of getting to this point. Unfortunately, I didn't much spare those around me. Believe me, no one is happier about the moving than I am. Even those who were subject to my non-stop tirade about the ridiculousness that is real estate in New York City. Not even Sven who, as I write, is mired amongst moving boxes, bubble wrap, and packing tape, making sure that all his worldly goods are safely stashed. The Spiders Official Movers (tm) are arriving bright and early tomorrow morning.
I hope this explains the silence of the past few days. Between packing, painting, IKEA-furniture assembling (gotta love those Pax wardrobes) and sleeping, there wasn't much time for me to knit or blog.
Stay tuned for exciting tales of knitting on the 2/3!
No, it's not a finished sweater for Kate, although by now I certainly should be able to do that.
Look, I bought a new bag! What a surprise. Okay, it's not really a surprise, if you've been reading here for any amount of time. If there's one thing that I can always find an excuse to buy, it's a new bag.
Cathy's making these bags and selling them in her Etsy store. Mmm, mmm, with all the Ravelry madness around here, I had forgotten all about Etsy. I don't do enough exploring on Etsy (and my checking account weeps with gratitude).
I love my bag! Cathy uses hers to tote around small knitting projects, like socks. I can certainly see this bag coming in handy for that. I, however, use it for my just need to run down the street bag, or my just going for a quick dinner in the neighborhood bag. I throw my wallet, keys, Metrocard, and phone in there and I'm ready to go. I also find the strap handy for looping over a bicycle handle, or looping on another bag (like a shopping bag).
The craftsmanship is excellent. Take it from someone who sews enough to know that she would need a lot of practice to sew this well, especially with beefy upholstery fabric like this. Look at the interior!
And look how those stripes match (great job with the zipper, Cathy)
I really love this bag!