Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Yarn Girls Go Shopping

Julie and I went "shopping" on Madison and 5th Avenues on Monday. "Shopping" in this sense means going around to expensive stores (think Barney's, Henri Bendel, Bergdorff Goodman...) and not buying anything- (who has the $$ in this down economy for $300 hats?) - but instead, looking for pricey knits that our customers can make for less! Well, we suceeded. We found lots of cute hats, scarves and other knit accessories that were $200 or more - that can easily be knit up for somewhere in the fifty dollar range. Already I've knit up a cute Balaclava out of Teva Duraham's Tundra (that's me in my knock off - above- think how great this will be in December when it is zero degrees outside!), and a chunky striped beret out of Blue Sky Bulky. Julie is working on an adorable cap with a brim out of Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted and Mercedes is making a chic scarf in black and white out of Karabella La llama. In the next few weeks we will get all the projects up on our website and hopefully get out a newsletter giving you some great gift ideas for the holidays that although they are still two months away - will be upon us before we know it. And who can believe that election day is less than a week away! To help ease your jitters between now and late Tuesday night (hopefully) - we are having an Election Day Sale! All yarns in the store will be 10% off. It is a great time to begin making some holiday gifts - save some $$ on yarn and ease your anxiety by doing a little "knitting as stress relief."

Friday, October 3, 2008

Computer Trouble!

Have we had computer problems!!!! A virus took over our computer a few weeks ago. Finally after Julie spent many many hours trying to get the virus off our computer, we had to call a real tech person to come in and fix us up (he was here for 4 and a half hours!) Then when he left - for some reason our virus protection was not on and over the weekend we got 2 new viruses. Julie managed to eradicate those herself. And she had to install new memory so that the computer would move faster than a turtle! So that's why there have been no blogs. (excuses, excuses...) But - we are hopefully back up and running. Things here at the yarn co are great. We have gotten in pretty much all of our new yarns and they are just to die for. Yesterday we finally received our Bottega 100% Cashmere - Julie will put it on the site next week. It comes in 11 great colors and is a good buy for 100% cashmere - 125 yards at 4.5 sts to the inch for $45.00! If your pockets are not quite that deep in these trying economic times - we also have beautiful merino hp - I must make a sweater for Zoe out of this. And new Teva Durham yarn, Tundra- it is thick like Tahki Baby but super soft and much lighter feeling. We made a cool raglan sweater that is knit from the top down - not really my thing this top down knitting - especially for an adult sweater - who wants to carry their whole sweater around with them?? But it came out nice and is a little different. We also got a beautiful organic multi colored merino wool called Nimbus. We made an adorable baby sweater from it - it has a cool diagonal edge at the neck. We stole the patten from Sarah Gochberg - she brought her little sweater in for finishing and we thought it was such a nice detail! I taught Max how to knit last week. He totally got it - although he does not have the patience to sit and knit more than a few stitches at a time - all of the sudden after the third or fourth stitch his eyes begin darting around the room seeing the gazillion other things he could be doing. But he wanted me to teach him because I am going to go into his 1st grade class and give them knitting lessons. Should be interesting. But - it is part of the first grade cirriculum at Waldorf schools so I figured why not give it a try! Tahki very nicely donated 30 balls of multi colored Baby yarn for the kids to learn on. I'm excited to do it! And I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Two weeks off. . .now that is the good life. I didn't step in a store, town or really go anyplace except the beach and back to our rental house for two weeks! Quite a change from the hectic life I lead in NYC! It was great and we had an awesome time! I dug huge holes on the beach, made great sand mountains for Max and Zoe to climb up and jump off, I actually went in the ocean, I ate lots and lots of yummy tri-berry pie with vanilla ice cream, did not exercise, played a million games of rat-a-tat cat and blokus, watched the olympics and the democratic convention, had picnic dinners on the beach and was just totally relaxed and content. It was quite a shock to my system to get back to NYC, throw a labor day BBQ, have school start for Max, come to work again and have many errands, doctor's appointments etc. to take care of. But, I am finally getting back into the swing of the daily grind. I barely knit a stitch while I was away. I finished Zoe's chevron skirt in Zara on the car ride out to vacation. But I didn't have a sewing needle with me so I couldn't finish it until I got back. And I knit a sleeve for Max's baby cashmerino sweater. That is it. But now that I am back and we have sooooo many great new yarns, my head is spinning with all of the projects that I want to make. The new Jane Ellison men's book has a great cable sweater that I want to make for Jeff out of the aran cashmere - maybe for his 45th birthday (he's 43 now), in the one of the new sublime books there is a great cardigan with a cabled yoke that I want to make for Zoe out of the cashmere silk dk and I want to make zoe a dress - modifying the chevron skirt I just made her. I will post some pictures of vacation soon! And lastly - Thanks to Tara for filling in while we were away. Nate is a great model!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thinking Pink

Julie and Jordana will be back next week and after being on vacation for two weeks, they should have a lot of projects completed to blog about. So until then you are stuck with me. I am starting to get a little sick of brown and blue and green. As soon as I found out I was pregnant with a boy, I have barely touched a ball of pink yarn, let alone knit with it. That was over three years ago. I pretty much only knit sweaters/blankets for Nate, a) because he is still young enough not to argue about what he wears and loves telling his friends that his mommy made this, b) my husband lost the golf club covers I knitted for him back when we were dating (and then admitted he never really liked them anyway) and therefore I stopped knitting for him, and c) I love seeing Nate in all his sweaters and hoping that one day he will pass them down to his own children. That said, there arent too many options to make for a 3-year-old boy, in terms of color and style. And when you are as obsessed as I am about knitting, you need projects you are excited about. So about two months ago I went up to the Yarn Co to pick out some new projects and saw the Dream Childs Dress and decided I had to make it, even though I dont really have a one-year-old girl in mind to knit it for. I knit the body of the dress in pink and added a red pocket and big red buttons - if any of my friends become pregnant with a girl, you are very lucky because I will give you this adorable dress. I started to like seeing myself with pink yarn so I copied Jordana and made her Samba Dress for Zoe in, of course, pink. When I went back up to the store to show the girls my new dresses, Jordana was working on the Cashmerino Aran Striped Blanket (from Sublime) and I had to do the same - of course using pink, orange, green and white. I am thinking about making an adult size because it looks amazing (if I do say so myself) and sooo soft. And finally, I couldnt resist going to my favorite section of the Yarn Co, the Zara shelves (see previous post). I just knitted a pink Sophisticated Baby sweater with orange trimming and pink/orange flower buttons. Unfortunately I dont have someone to model these projects but maybe my husband I will work on that - I certainly dont want them to go to waste! While I tend to babble when I blog, I hope you take from them how much I enjoy knitting and how much I love the Yarn Co and Julie/Jordana (and Petra, Mercedes, Leslie, Jen, etc). No matter how many times I go up to the store (and my husband will tell you that is very often), there is always something knit up that I want to make - if I havent said it before, the Yarn Co is by far the best knitting store I have ever been to and anyone living in NYC or visiting should not go anywhere else. And more importantly, Julie and Jordana have given me a hobby and a passion that continues to grow even stronger everytime I walk into their store and see more projects I want to make. Have a great Labor Day Weekend - is summer really almost over? Make way for the wools! Tara Goldsmith Elbaum

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I am very excited to be filling in as a guest blogger for Jordana and Julie while they are on vacation. Considering that I have enough yarn in my stash to open my own knitting store (at least this is what my husband says), I have a lot of writing material. 10 years ago my friend was having a baby and I was doing my first summer share house in the Hamptons. While walking on the Upper West Side of NYC I walked passed the Yarn Co and something clicked - I could make a blanket for my friend's baby and also have an activity that would occupy me through all the lazy days of summer. Jordana taught me how to knit and I havent stopped knitting since. Over the last decade a lot in my life has changed (marriage, children, move to the suburbs) but knitting has been my constant. It's my "thing" - friends and family are always quick to ask me about my latest knitting project. At my bridal shower a few years ago, we had a knitting instructor come to teach everyone how to knit - everyone made a small square which became a blanket now on my sofa (thanks to Petra, who sewed together each and every square for me). Three years ago we moved out of NYC but I still continue to shop at the Yarn Co - I just buy a lot more yarn in fewer visits (hence the large stash). So now that you know a little about me, I would love to tell you about some of the projects I have been working on. Like Julie and Jordana, I absolutely love working with Zara from Filatura Di Crosa. When all else fails and I am stumped for a new project idea, Ill just choose a color of Zara that looks nice and base the project around the color. The colors are amazing and it's so easy to work with. We have one son, Nate, and he loves when I knit for him - so the majority of my projects are sweaters for him. I made the Yarn Co Zara Sophisticated Baby sweater with crochet trimming in green/brown - a really easy project for beginners and fun to pick the color combinations and buttons (I chose dogs as my son is obsessed). I also just made the Zara Baseball Cardigan in the Yankees colors (navy and white) with baseball buttons. I made the sweater for this fall, hoping Nate would wear the sweater during the playoffs. Now I think I jinxed the Yankees because they are playing terribly - I am hoping I can stretch the sweater or Nate might not grow so much so he can wear it next season. I tend to choose very easy projects so I can knit while watching tv or while chatting with my friends on the train into NYC. However, I found a project that involved intarsia in the Zoe Mellor book, and I decided to take a stab. I must say, I think the sweater came out great - navy Zara with red Zara trim, and a big white skeleton on the front. And finally, I made two sweaters for Nate with tons of Zara colors - I am now an expert in striping. Its just so hard to pick from all the beautiful colors. The single stripe sweater is from the Yarn Co older kids book (but just reduced to 2T size), and the thicker striped sweater is from an old Debbie Bliss book that Julie discovered a few years ago. I chose boy colors and added silver car buttons - and I cant wait for Nate to wear it this Fall/Winter. If you are looking to make a simple yet beautiful baby blanket, I highly recommend the Zara (of course) baby blanket from the Yarn Co book. You get to choose 4 colors of Zara and it's all garter - so it knits up in no time. I have made this for several friends and it is always a huge hit. Julie just made a Zara blanket for a friend that I want to copy - a really interesting pattern that she says is easy. And I get to use 6 Zara colors! I am also working on a sweater for Nate that I am really excited about. I saw a beautiful, cashmere sweater at crewcuts, the J Crew kids store. I couldn't justify paying their price so I brought the catalog to Julie - she wrote the pattern and we picked Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky yarn. I am also in the middle of the Pasha raglan sweater - I should be finished in no time because it is so quick to knit up. I have attached a few pictures of Nate in his sweaters. I better get back to my many knitting projects so I have things to blog about next week. Happy knitting! Tara Goldsmith Elbaum

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The End of the Summer

I love fall yarns but as we continue to stock our shelves with more and more wool I am feeling a little sad that summer is coming to an end. Max's camp ends tomorrow, we are going away for two weeks and then he starts school the day after labor day. Goodbye summer. Not that there are really any true relaxing summer days when you have 2 kids and a business. Summer doesn't change the 6am wake up calls or the mad rush to get out of the house - summer only means that the sun is rising earlier and we are rushing so we won't miss the bus and miss camp altogether - as opposed to simply being late for school. Nonetheless, I kind of feel like the end of summer means winter is coming and while I love the snow and skiing and winter sweaters - these days it is just a much harder season than it once was -- longer and more claustrophobic perhaps. I also feel like summer was very short this year. I'm on the public school calendar now and it seems like school ended and I blinked once and now it is starting again - I think it really is true how time starts to move so much faster the older we get. I mean Max was just a little lump in my belly and now he is going into first grade! And even Zoe is starting school in September and she is more or less potty trained! And Julie turns 40 today! Woe is me!!! Life is moving so quickly... My knitting even seems to be moving quickly - thanks to Mercedes and the Olympics. Mercedes finished my European market bag -it came out really cute! Julie will add it to our site next week. And while glued to the TV watching the super human Michael Phelps (all I can say is AMAZING!) and the women's gymnastics (no way are those Chinese girls 16!!) -I also made this adorable shrug out of synchronicity - ( it only took one ball for the 18 month size. It was a top down project which I'd never done before so it was a quick, fun project and I must say I liked being done when I was done knitting - no sewing it up. Might have been worth the use of double pointed needles for the sleeve cuffs! I am also almost done with a skirt I am making for Zoe out of Zara. It is brown, rose and a chartreusy yellow done in a chevron pattern. It is going to be great! I will take a picture of her in it and post it when I am done. I really enjoy making skirts and dresses for her, it is fast and fun! Well, next week and the week after we are hoping to have our dear friend/customer, Tara Goldsmith, blog for us while we are away. I am sure she will be a bit more reliable than we are. So look out for her posts - and I'll be back in 2 weeks hopefully with great stories about a relaxing vacation full of fun with the kids and husband!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


So, I haven't worked since last Wednesday (quite the life of leisure I am living) - and when I walked into the store this morning I couldn't believe all of the yarn that is on the shleves! I love this time of year - getting our fall yarns is always so exciting and inspiring. In the last week we have recieved our Rowan yarns - felted tweed, kid silk haze and cocoon - all in sumtuous colors. We also got the new Rowan magazine, the new Rowan stidio book (which is really good) and a few other new books from them. We recieved a good percentage of our Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and Cashmerino Superchunky colors, along with some books. And we got the Sublime cashmerino silk dk and the Sirdar baby bamboo. I just want to knit with all the yarns in all the colors! Ideas keep popping into my head faster than I can write them down. Mercedes is making my bag that I started last week - it's going to be really nice - but I made a mistake on it and when I took it off the needles it was GIGANTIC - I had to rip the whole thing out and I couldn't bear to begin again since I already had a skirt project for Zoe in my head. And I just made this adorable little shrug out of a ball of Alchemy, Synchronicity for the store. Julie will put it on the site tomorrow or next week. The 18 month size took exactly one ball. I want to make one for Zoe too. All right people out there - you have to start coming in (or calling)and begin making your fall projects. We have lots of beautiful yarn and we need to pay for it! Also, Julie and I are tired of being ladies of leisure - we're ready to get back into the store and help people pick out great projects! How's that for an unabashed plea! Check out our website to see all the great new yarns and colors, - I am not placing the links to all the yarns as the link thing does not seem to be working correctly lately. Also, if you do not already recieve our newsletters you should sign up via our website to recieve them - we let you know whats new and if anything special is going on - we just got a new program that makes them look a bit more interesting. Hope everyone is having a great summer and looking forward to fall.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I am ready for this weather to break! It is hard to pick up yarn and needles in this heat - even in our well air conditioned store. But - I must I dropped the baby cashmerino sweater I am making for Max (yet again) and am making a European Market Bag right now. It is going to be really cute I think. I am using two strands of the Berroco NaturLin,, on a #10.5 needle and doing a simple lace stitch. I'll put it on when I am done. I got the idea after reading Time magazine about how "green" businesses are flourishing and the how the woman's business that brought these bags to the US is thriving! I figured why not make one that our customers can make and then use. I tried to take the easy way out and just find a pattern for one - but most of the ones I found were crocheted - and that is not my forte - so I decided to design a simple knit one! So now you can either buy one of Jen's Go Green Go Knits bags or make your own market bag! Another good project for these heatwave days is socks! I never thought I'd say it - but they are quick, small and fun to do. We just got in this great Noro Silk Garden sock yarn,, and Mercedes made a cute pair of socks out of just one ball. She used a super easy pattern from the book Getting Started Knitting Socks by Ann Budd. We are expecting several more sock yarns in August. That's it for the knitting news.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

hi from the other yarn girl

Jordana has done most- ok 99.9% of the blogging. But since she missed a week, I thought I might take a stab at it. Jordana and I are barely working together this summer. Summer is a bit slower so we don’t really need both of us at the store and this way we get to spend a bit more time with our children and get errands done a.k.a spend more money. So I read the blog to see what she, and more importantly, her kids are up to. Even though we aren't seeing much of each other our younger 2 children, Nicholas (mine, he's 19 months) and Zoe (you know all about her) are. They play almost everyday, sometimes twice a day, at the park. Nicholas calls Zoe Za Za – I think he said that before he said Mommy. Last week I got a first glimpse of what I will be doing all of August. We received our fall shipment of Zara and Noro Sock Yarn called Silk Garden Socks. We actually ordered several sock yarns and sock patterns. This will be new to the Yarn Co. We are excited about it. I have to admit, I never made a pair of socks – but I am going to make a pair as soon as our solid colors of Koigu PPM arrives (I will double the yarn). The majority of our yarns will start coming in August 1st (the poor UPS guy has to carry huge boxes up our steep and narrow stairs). Once this happens, I am relegated to the office with the camera and computer as I add the new yarns and new colors to our site. I haven’t done as much knitting as I like this summer. I did make Olivia a dress and a baby blanket for my friend Lisa's new baby. The only time I really get to knit is in the car. But now I am determined to become a driver, so I'll have to find another time. I do have my license, but I grew up in NYC and never really had the opportunity to drive that much. Now I just have to gain some confidence and clock some hours behind the wheel. Now to my knitting sad story. The dress I made for Olivia was the first knit dress I ever made for her. She chose the yarn and the color – and after it was all done and looked so cute on her decided she did not like it. Somehow I convinced her to wear it to her pre-school graduation. She had it on and she complained that it felt "too heavy." I accepted defeat and told her to take it off. She had a point. She was used to wearing light cotton dresses, not a knit dress that had some weight to it. I decided this weight might be more bearable in a skirt. So I cut the dress and made it into a skirt and top. Olivia will probably wear neither, but my son Nicholas loved the skirt. I had to chase him around my apartment to take it off. (See the picture) Hmmm, blogging isn’t so bad. I am sure Jordana will be back next week. If not, you may hear from me again.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I can't believe it is already July 9th! I don't know where the last month has gone, it has been a whirlwind! Max's school ended - which meant many required activities. We had his art show, his end of year class party, the kindergarten end of year picnic, his movie premiere (he made a great movie about Bob Marley) and several half days stuck in there just to throw life off! Then, of course, we had our big blowout June sale - had to make room for all the fall/winter yarn that is on its way imminently. Then Max's camp began, he is loving it but getting on the bus every morning is a bit rough. The first day I cried after I put him on - he looked so nervous and like he was about to burst into tears. All day I had a stomach ache and thought "what kind of a terrible mother am I- putting my 5 year old on a bus alone where he knows noone?" But of course he got off the bus and was happy as a clam with lots to tell about his first day. And everyday is like this he is not thrilled about getting on the bus but then has lots of great events to report once he is home. They have breakfast for lunch once a week (apparently a big highlight), he is going to take his deep water test soon, he rode in go-carts by himself with noone running along beside him and did not crash, and today was water carnival day - it was going to be his best day ever! Don't you love the enthusiasm a five year old has! Then it was July 4th weekend and we went away to visit friends. When I get home tonight I have to post a picture of Zoe that is hilarious! We had a great time - but going visiting is always tiring. And I've been taking Zoe to many doctor's appointments (poor baby is getting tubes put in her ears on Friday). So, suffice to say there has not been that much downtime. ' I have hardly even been knitting...actually that isn't true. I made my friend Lisa who just had a baby girl the Victoria dress ( is on the cover of our baby book. I did it in red with pink fizzy trim. Came out great. I made one for Zoe last year - and I put it on her the other day to go to a birthday party and she was the talk of the party. She actualy walked to the party (10 blocks) and so many people stopped her to say how cute she looked. I also made myself a linen shrug in grey ( - also a great fast project - I needed something to wear over my black dresses. And I am in the middle of making Max a sweater out of baby cashmerino - but it is a little slow going and boring but I'm plugging away. I also read two books - James Frey's new book - Bright Shiny Morning - at first I hated it - very disjointed - but in the end I really enjoyed it. He is very easy to read and a good story teller. I also read Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs - if you liked Running with Scissors you'll like it - very similar - I can't even imagine such a childhood! Next I think I will try America, America by Ethan Canin. I also got invited to be in a book club. I am a bit ambivalent about it - I am not really a book club kind of girl. I like to read what I want when I want and am not so into discussing the books - but we'll see. We are getting all of our Zara yarn in tomorrow or Friday and some Noro sock yarn. Other new yarns will start coming at the beginning of August. Ok- anyone wany to take bets on whether I will post again next week?? Hopefully.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Before I begin telling you all about our trip to Columbus, Ohio for the yarn show - i just wanted to remind everyone that our ANNUAL SUMMER SALE is going on right now through Thursday, July 3! Most yarns are 10%-30% OFF and we need to make room for all the new fall/winter yarns that will be arriving in August! So come in or check out our website and place an order! ( So, Columbus was mainly good. We had to get all our shopping done on Saturday- so we moved through the place at record speed. First we hit the Koigu booth. We ordered beautiful new colors in the multi Kpppm and - BIG NEWS - we finally ordered Koigu Solids! We have avoided doing this for several years, despite wanting to do it, because the color range is so overwhelming and it is nearly impossible to choose. But we sat down and put our noses to the grindstone and we ordered 25 beautiful solids! We should get them in late August/early September. We'll keep you posted. Other great stuff: We ordered 2 new yarns from Prism. A hand dyed merino that is 5 stitches to the inch. I think it was called symphony. It was really beautiful. And we got a Prism sock yarn in lots of fun hand-dyed colors. We arte also getting indulgence and angora from them again. We are getting this great dk weight yarn from Crystal Palace called Panda Silk. It is a bamboo and silk blend. It is machine washable and comes in beautiful, rich multi colors. We ordered some great new colors in Unique Kolours Absolutely Fabulous throw kits, lots of beautiful Blue Sky yarns - many of which are coming in new colors, new Lexie Barnes and Della Q bags and needlecases and lots of new books. We also found some great carded button sets that will look great on kids sweaters! Oh - and we tried to make the switch from carrying manos to carrying malabrigio yarn. BUT apparently they had a fire in their wasrehouse and it will be 6 months until delivery is back to normal AND they want payment up front for the first order - which if we replace Manos would have to be huge so - maybe next year. But we tried! Got to get going now - but in my next post I will have to tell you a bit about the all nite party that went on in the room next door to us and got us our hotel "comped" for the weekend. And about my new sleep training mission with Zoe (she won't sleep in her crib and vomits if we put her in it at night - last night we began this program to get her falling asleep in her crib and not vomiting when we put her in - but she vomited before we ever got her into the crib!) Happy Knitting!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I finally got Zoe to pose in two of her new summer outfits that I made her. She loves the Banyan skirt. I made it a little longer than her Tiger skirt - but otherwise it is the same. Banyan comes in great colors and it is very nice to knit with. Her Tika dress came out great also - I was going to do this three row fairisle pattern - but it was too much work - so I just did a cute A-line dress with two row stripes. Again, there are lots of fun color options - I wanted to get some more pictures on - her mayra sweater, her sky cardigan and her soya top - but she was done - so next time. Got to get to work - we are seeing another rep to order more yarn for the fall. I think she has muench, classic elite and punta del este. And next Friday we leave for Columbus to go to the yarn show. I can't believe it is June next week!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I am sure that I am light years behind those of you reading this blog but... I have recently discovered For those of you who do not know what it is: "Ravelry is a place for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, and dyers to keep track of their yarn, tools, and pattern information, and look to others for ideas and inspiration." It is very cool. You can keep track of all the yarns you have, all the projects you have made or are in the process of making and best of all you can see what tons of other people are making. The site divides projects into different categories so if you are looking for a cable pattern, you can click on cables and see a bunch of cable projects that people have made. Many tell you the source of the pattern and what yarn they used. Another great thing is if you really like a particular yarn and want to make something out of it, you can search that yarn and see what others have done - it definitely provides lots of knitting inspiration. At the moment, we are trying to get a bunch of our projects up onto the site. It seems like it will be a great place to showcase our designs. We apparently need to join flicka in order to get the photos on - so Julie has to deal with this - but hopefully we will get this done soon. When we were trying to figure out how to add our photos, we searched our names and it was awesome - all these photos of projects that people have done out of our books came up. It was really great to see so many of our projects actually being made by people we don't know. There are tons of them on the site. To get onto Ravelry you have to sign up and then wait about two weeks or so to get your "invitation" - it is not really an invitation - it is just that the site has grown so quickly - they are adding people onto it bit by bit so that it won't crash. I am not really so big on trolling the web for knitting inspiration and such - but I think this is a pretty unique site that most knitters will enjoy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Julie and I have begun our fall buying. There are quite a few nice new yarns out there -- it is always so hard to decide what to get and what to get rid of! We saw our Knitting Fever rep two weeks ago -- Knitting Fever carries Debbie Bliss, Noro, Sublime and some others. Debbie Bliss is coming out with a really nice new yarn called Como - it is 90% wool and 10% cashmere and knits at 3 stitches to the inch. It is very light and soft. And it comes in her usual beautiful palate of colors. Another nice new yarn we found is an Organic Merino Wool by Sublime. It has a slightly felted look and is a dk weight. We are also going to get a new Noro yarn called Yuzen - it is silk, wool and kid mohair. It comes in 5 great colorways. And a new Silk Garden sock yarn! We couldn't decide whether to get the regular Silk Garden again - so we passed - but we could be convinced otherwise if many of you had a strong opinion about it. Then last week we saw Diane and Stacy from Tahki Stacy Charles. We ordered a ton of Zara, Zara Plus and Torino Bulky! They also had some really nice new tweedy yarns - Sedona - which is 90% merino wool and 10% silk and knits up at 4 stitches to the inch. And Tweedy Angora - which is super soft and has a very subtle tweedy effect. We ordered a fun boucle yarn that will be great for scarves and edging - Riccolo. A Teva Durham yarn - Tundra that is 2 stitches to the inch but super light feeling. And Merino Cable - a wonderful merino wool that has a unique twist and knits up at 4.5 stitches to the inch. Plus many other staples and new yarns. This Thursday we are seeing the Westminster rep - Rowan, Gedifra, Nashua - so hopefully they will have a great new line also. And we go to the TNNA yarn show at the beginning of June - so much yarn - everybody will have to start knitting like crazy so we can pay the bills for all this great new stuff!!!! Finish up your stashes this spring because you won't want to miss all the excitement that will begin here at The Yarn Co. in August! Is there anything that people are looking for in particular that we can think about during our visit to the show? More organic yarns, more hand dyed? Any ideas are welcome - and we will consider them!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Scroll down and take a look - I finally posted a picture of Max's Tiramisu blanket. He loves it - it is so soft and cuddly!


So, we are back from Disneyworld! The trip was great - but exhausting. Max and Olivia had a very fun time - Olivia met all her princesses and Max went on a gazillion roller coaster rides. Max and I worked the Magic Kingdom so that we rarely waited on a line - getting there early, going on the super crowded rides first and fastpassing anything we could. The key to our sucess was the realization that you can use your fastpass anytime after the time it says you can come back - not just during the alloted timeslot. Anyway - we went on Space mountain about five times - I like roller coasters - but I'll be happy not to go on another one for quite a while. We also went to MGM studios one day. I would say this is definitely a place that could have been skipped. But - Max and I had read a book a few weeks ago called "Horrible Harry and the Drop of Doom" and Max really wanted to go on the Disney version of the Drop of Doom - the Tower of Terror. He was so excited to do it - when we got to MGM and there was already a crazy line for it and I told him we'd have to fastpass it and come back in an hour or two he nearly burst into tears. But when we finally did it - it truly terrified him. He did not like it one bit. It was funny - he rarely gets scared - loves roller coasters, trapeze - things that go fast...but this ride inside a spooky haunted hotel - where the elevator drops 13 stories (and goes up and down and up and down...) - did nothing for him. It made me ill. But other than that we had lots of fun - saw parades, ate cotton candy, swam and went down the water slide - it was good mother son bonding. I am happy however, that I will not be heading back to Disney until zoe is 40 inches tall! On the way home Max wrote a book about Disney for his teacher. (He had wanted to get her a $90 Mickey Mouse watch as a present - but I thought she'd like this better) He drew pictures of the rides and wrote about them. I was very impressed. we put the pages on different colored construction paper and then bound it with yarn in his favorite colors. I was kind of sad to give it to his teacher. But he was very proud. The only knitting time I got was on the plane there and back. We were stuck on the runway for two hours going there so I got a lot done. I started another sweater for Zoe out of brown Sky yarn. It is a raglan cardigan that is done all in one piece at the top - I think it will be very cute. The weekend before we went to Disney, Jeff and I had to go down to DC for a wedding. A wedding on the first night of Passover! (The engagement party was on Yom Kippur) - So, we left Max and Zoe with Jeff's sister in Princeton so they could go to the family seder and we went to Church. The wedding was nice - the best wedding band I've ever seen -but a trip to DC for 18 hours is very tiring. The car did provide good quiet knitting time though - I am almost finished with Zoe's striped dress out of Tika. I made 2 row stripes and it looks very cute. Zoe is going to have quite the wardrobe this spring/summer.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I did not post last week --things got a little bit hectic in life as they sometimes do. But life is getting back to normal, so here I am. I finished Zoe's top out of the soya cotton - it came out so cute! I put these great butterfly buttons on the straps and they definitely make the top. I am so excited that it is supposed to get very warm at the end of this week - maybe I can put her in one of the cute summer dresses/ skirts I've made her. She is getting so verbal - it is amazing. She is starting to say three words at a time and talk in the first person. The other morning while eating breakfast I put something on her fork and started to feed her and she grabbed the fork out of my hand and said "No! I do it!" And now when she wants some thing it's no longer "want it" it is a very definite "I want it!" My babysitter also told me that she dropped something the other day and said "damn it!" - something to be proud of, huh? I guess I'd better watch my mouth - especially since Max said "F - it!" the other day. Oy. This weekend Zoe got her first haircut. She really doesn't have much in the way of hair - but people kept telling me that if I got it cut it would grow back faster. I really was loathe to cut it - it is hard to get rid of any hair when there is so little - but I really want to put her hair in pigtails someday so I figured I'd try the haircut. She was really good and was so happy when afterwards she got two lollipops! She was so cute riding in the backpack on Jeff's back with a yellow lollipop in one hand and an orange one in the other. Jeff especially loved it when she rubbed the lollies in his hair and on his neck! The sad thing though is that it was such a non-event. When Max got his first haircut I brought a camera took lots of pictures....with Zoe, no camera, no big deal. But we do have a lock of her hair to save. Jeff thought the haircutter was crazy when she gave me the lock of hair. I told him that they give us a certificate with the date of her first haircut and we can keep it forever! He was puzzled aas to why we might want to do that. I told him that I had Max's hair - and I even knew where it was. Jeff went from puzzled to amazed and dropped the questions of why we might want the hair. And Max enjoyed looking at his hair when we got home. Next week we go to Disney! We are flying on American, on an M80. Needless to say that last week I was freaking out that we might not be going - but they say all is back to normal - we'll see. But now Julie's son has a 103 fever - a virus - right in time to give it to Olivia. And to Zoe - who was feeding herself and him Pirate Booty yesterday. Last year Olivia got strep throat while we were at Disney. She puked on Max on the bus to Animal Kingdom. Then Max got strepon the way home and puked all over the cab a block away from our house. Ah - memories. Everyone should keep their fingers crossed that we have two healthy children next Tuesday!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Eat at Telepan!

I can't believe it is already April. Almost time to wear all of our great new tank tops and tee shirts. Mercedes just finished this fantastic new tank top out of a new yarn by Berocco called Seduce. It is light and falls really nicely. The pattern is from the Norah Gaughan Berocco book - it is #5 - called flow...a very appropriate name. There are one or two other cute things in the pattern book and a few not so cute ones - but I suppose that is par for the course. So, I gave up on Zoe's dress. The three row pattern was killing me. I will just knit the same style dress with 2 or 4 row stripes. I figure, why make life any more difficult than it has to be?! Instead of starting on the dress right away - I just wasn't prepared to rip what I had already done at the moment - I started to knit a little smock tank top out of Sublime's Soya. I love the soya yarn. It is really nice to work with - and has a wonderful hand. I'll tell you though, 11 years ago when Julie and I bought the store I never would have imagined that I would be knitting with soy and bamboo and organic cottons. If someone had told me I'd be making a sweater with made out of soy I'd have told them they were nutty. Now I have some non-knitting related items: First, Julie and I are taking Max and Olivia(our 5 year olds) to Disneyworld in 3 weeks. If anybody has any tips, suggestions or warnings - let us know! Saturday, Jeff and I went to the Max's school auction. It was fun - a lot of good items to be had. We won a movie and lunch for max with his teacher, Cara. There was actually a bidding war for her in the silent auction, two other parents and I stood at the sheet and kept raising the bid - we finally came to an agreement that Cara would take them all and we'd all pay up. If we hadn't done that it could have gotten ugly as to who would write down the last bid before the items closed. Max was so excited when we told him - he is totally in love with her - it is very cute. We were also hoping to win a live auction item - Bill Telepan ( a parent at Max's school who owns the excellent restaurant Telepan) - offered to cook dinner for 8 in someone's home, wine included. We had a good budget (or so we thought) - but it went for $7200!!! Then he offered to do it a 2nd time if someone else would match that bid - and it was immediately matched. Then he offered it up a 3rd time - and again - snatched up for a mere $7200!! We go to public school!!!! Crazy. But very generous of Bill Telepan - so if anyone needs a great restaurant to go to (I've been several times and greatly enjoyed it) I would highly reccomend Telepan - you will have an excellent meal and at he same time support a very nice and generous person! Good Karma. Finally, a question. What is wrong with some people? Julie and I took a pilates class this morning and as we were leaving a yoga class was coming in. Julie was sitting on the ground putting her shoes on and a woman literally began to put her mat down on top of Julie's feet. She could have put her mat down anywhere else in the room (maybe 2 other people had come in for the yoga class already) - but she chose to put it down right on top of Julie. Okay - maybe this was her favorite spot in the class (not three inches to the left or to the right) - but she could have waited until Julie got up. This is still bothering me four hours later - I probably should have said something at the time but I held my tongue - so now I ask - what is wrong with some people???? Yoga / Karma / Do unto others...???? Bill Telepan she was not!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


On Friday we took Max and some of his friends to go flying on the flying trapeeze. It was so much fun! We did it at the NYC trapeze school, - it used to be located on the river and was outdoors - but for the winter they moved it to 30th between 10th and 11th - it's in this cool bubble. Max and I have done it before - and he totally loves it and has no fear. He just climbs right up the ladder and off he goes. It really is a great thrill, my heart beats so hard as I climb up the ladder and as I reach out for the bar - but once I start flying it is awesome. I even got caught. (that means I flew through the air, got my knees latched onto the bar, let my hands go and someone on another bar reached out and grabbed me!) I video taped it all - I will have to try to put some video up so everybody can see Max's bravery and my high flying skills (I am working on figuring out how to get my video onto discs and onto you tube.) But in the meantime, just to get a taste, check out Max's friend Henry, he is 6! Not so much to report on the knitting front. I am still working- very slowly- on my dress. You can kinda see a picture of it - it is the 2nd one in - the girl wearing the boots - But it is very slow going - I must get up to nearly 400 stitches after row 5. Maybe it will be ready for next summer. It is not a knitting project that I want any of my customers doing!! I also began yet another dress for Zoe from the new Ella Rae book. I am doing it out of Tika yarn,, in navy, green and white. I had a hard time deciding between that color combo and the red/orange/tan. It is a great yarn, I love knitting with it. It is super soft. The pattern itself is a little wierd - it is a 3 row repeat which is a real pain in the butt because that means you cannot carry the yarn up - but have to cut each time. I am going to have a lot of ends to weave in.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I (well really Julie) figured out how to get the pictures on - so check out my little girl in her Samba Dress and her new Tiger skirt. Now that I know how to get pictures on look forward to lots of them - I've been trying to convince Max to let me take pictures of him in all his sweaters and cuddled up in his new blanket. We'l see - I might have to think of a good bribe...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Am I nuts?

I finally finished Zoe's skirt this weekend. All I've had to do for weeks was the i-cord - but it was just so boring. But I did it and sewed it together and I must say the skirt is adorable. The pattern is from Barefoot Knits - with some tweaks (like the boring i-cord) by me. I made the skirt in orange and brown cotton classic, it looks a little tiger-like - I might have chosen other colors if I had to do it again - but I don't - so orange and brown are good. I need a cute brown top to go with it for the summer - brown is a hard color to find for a little girl though. I took some pictures which I will post soon. (I am having trouble with the pictures - what is the best way to get them on?) I basically tortured Zoe the other morning, dressing her up and trying to get her to stand still for a million pictures. I got some cute ones - although the photo session did end in tears. I am still working on her cream sweater in the Mayra - just one sleeve to go. However, I've gotten a little side tracked...I decided to knit a dress from the new Rebecca book for myself. I think I might have lost my mind. I cast on 242 stitches for the skirt part - and everyother row I do yarn overs and increase a gazillion stitches until on row 7 I finally do some knitting 2 together. I haven't actually counted how many stitches I get up to - but this morning it took me a whole episode of In Treatment to do my row with the most stitches. I'll be done with the dress by next summer and then it probably wont even fit well. For some reason though I really want to make it. I am making it in a new yarn we just got - GGH Leona - it is half cotton and half acrylic - but very light and drapey and I think it will be excellent for the dress. I chose a nice navy that I'll wear with my corkies. Let's see how long it takes for me to become disenchanted with this project!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Just got back late last night from a fantastic weekend of skiing! We (Max, Jeff & I - we left poor Zoe home) went to Solitude mountain in Utah and it was really great. Max went to ski school and was going down steep blue trails and riding chairlifts by himself by the end of the weekend. And at Solitude some of the chairlifts don't have bars that come down - it freaked me out a little - having Max on such a lift without an adult - but I was brave. The only time I almost vomited though was when Max and Jeff went up a really long lift with no bar and I was sitting behind them watching Jeff on his Blackberry and Max squirming a bit. My heart was in my throat. But on a better note - we had fantastic weather - it snowed the first day and was beautiful and sunny the next two days. And I skiied like a champ! I went down double black diamond trails, through trees, down steep stuff with bumps and I am here to tell about it. It really was a nice mountain - not too crowded, lots of terrain, good ski school - I would highly reccommend it! And flying to Salt Lake City is soooo easy. Really, the trip is almost the same as going to Vermont and the skiing is a million times better. On the plane I worked on knitting a cardigan for Zoe out of the Gedifra Mayra yarn. It has a cute lace bottom that I stole from one of the Sublime books and then it is just a plain drop sleeve cardigan, in off white. It will be perfect for the spring. I also started reading Eat, Pray Love - a book I've been avoiding because everyone has said I wouldn't like it, given my lack of any sort of spirituality and my love of long, engrossing novels - but I actually really like it so far - Elizabeth Gilbert is a great writer - very funny and wonderfully descriptive. And I even got to watch a movie while I was knitting on the way home. I watched Gone Baby Gone. Disturbing, but I liked it a lot. So, all in all the weekend was a sucess. But it is always nice to come home. Also - check out the post above - I put some pictures on of Zoe in her new dress that I made out of Katia Samba.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bad Bloggers

So, we haven't blogged in a month. Bad Bloggers! I am making a new commitment - to blog at least once, if not twice a week from now on - so those of you out there that are actually reading this - so sorry. In the past month things have been a bit hectic around here. We've gotten almost all of our new spring/summer yarns. We have a ton of great stuff - you should definitely check out our website - Getting it all out on the shelves and onto the website takes up a bunch of time - but it is here, it is on the site and now we just have to knit up samples. We've got some beautiful linens and linen blends (my personal favorites during the summer months) - and just so many great colors. Another new favorite of mine is the summer sublime line of yarn. There is an organic cotton that is to die for and a soy and cotton blend that I am planning to use to make Zoe a jacket that is in one of the new Sublime books. On another note, part of the reason I've been so remiss here is because I was on vacation. We went to Jamaica for a week. The weather was great - but as all of you with young children know - when you go away with your kids, you cannot really call it a vacation - more like a change of venue. All of us in one room - with Zoe waking up at 5:30 am was a little tiring. But she thouroughly enjoyed running around the lobby of the Ritz Carlton in her PJs at 5:45am, flirting with all the employees as they arrived for work. And we weren't the only ones in the lobby - so she had many other early morning playmates. A word of caution to anyone out there planning a family vacation - I would steer clear of the Ritz Carlton in Jamaica. While it is a perfectly fine place - the kid's club is basically non-existant and the food is TERRIBLE. We did end up getting Max this lifegaurd/babysitter with two other 5 year old boys - and he took them out on a Hobie Cat and played soccer and basketball with them and swam with them - so it all worked out - Max had a great time...we've just had better luck at Club Med. Max also fell in love with Reggae down there and is into Bob Marley now - it is very cute. Tune in soon. I will be back - and maybe Julie will be too....

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Spring Yarns

It was pouring rain in NYC on Friday. It certainly did not feel like spring was on its way! On my way to pick Max up from school I decided to stop by the store (even though it was my day off) and dry off a little. When I stepped inside, I stepped into spring. There was lots of yarn all over the floor, in the process of being unpacked, checked in and stocked. It did look a little messy and I was happy it was Friday not Tuesday (Julie's day off) -- but it also looked beautiful. So many bright colors in great fibers...I just wanted to stay and admire them all day. We got Rowan Summer Tweed in - this is one of my favorite spring yarns --perfect for a transitional sweater. We also got Millefili Fine and Porto Cervo, two basic cottons that we carry every year. Then we also got a bunch of new yarns - Desert Flower and Sonora from Nashua - Desert Flower is a cotton/linen blend and comes in subtle multicolors. It is sure to have great drape. Sonora is silk, linen and viscose. It has a crimp to the yarn and comes in muted colors. Each colorway has a color and then a taupe color twisted together. Very pretty. From Gedifra we got Mayra, which is mostly cotton and a little poly. It is very soft and comes in great colors. We also got Ayala which is viscose, poly and linen. The yarn has a slight shimmer from the poly - that dresses it up a little. We also got two great new yarns from Skacel --Fashion Silk - which is mostly silk and a bit of poly and is about 3.5 stitches to the inch. It comes in very rich colors. And Soja Bama a soy and bamboo blend. It has a nice drape and great colors. All of these yarns will be on the website as soon as Julie can get them up. (She is in charge of the website) I can't wait to start knitting with them - but first I have to finish Max's blanket. I think I have about forty inches - so I'm almost there. But actually, I am going to Jamaica next week and think I will choose a great spring project to take with me as I cannot schlep the blanket!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Driving in my car...

First, I want to say that it is very exciting to see that we have at least one person following our blog! Glad you found it and we will be sure to ask you any technical queries that come up! Next, I don't know what we were thinking doing this blog thing…if we don't have time to knit, how do we have time to blog???? But anyway --this past weekend we (Jordana, Jeff, Max & Zoe) went up to Stratton, VT. I was very excited to have four hours of driving time – which in my fantasy world equated to four hours of knitting time. I was all set to start a new blanket for Max, which he requested since his baby blanket that I made him is too small. I picked out some nice navy Tiramisu yarn,, which I planned to double on a #15 needle and garter for 56 inches-- then put a grey and red border on later. Perfect car knitting! Perfect that is if you actually get to knit in the car. We picked Max up from school at around 3pm, right after Zoe's nap. I popped a Dora DVD in and thought we were good to go. Zoe, however, while she loves Dora, hates the car. And she began moaning and crying virtually immediately. Max then began whining that he couldn't hear – and that he didn't want to put headphones on so that he could hear. So, needless to say, peaceful knitting was out of the question. I then climbed into the back and tried to soothe Zoe with some crackers and other snack foods. After about an hour and a half, as she was demanding more crackers and I was looking for them, she decided it would be a good time to vomit. And so the drive went…we then watched a Goodnight Gorilla DVD about a hundred times (which Max was a pretty good sport about) until we finally got to the pizza place in Lebanon NY where we were supposed to meet our friends – who it turned out were still about twenty minutes behind us because the had a yacker in their car too. So, we sat down at the pizza place and ordered. Max then announced that he was not going to eat until his friend Isa got there – to which I very nicely replied that I did not care if he ever ate again. But Isa did come and Max did eat and the rest of the drive up to Stratton was fairly peaceful with two sleeping children. So I knit for maybe 45 minutes. Then, both woke up as soon as we stopped the car when we arrived at Stratton. Max went right back to sleep but Zoe was up until almost one and would not let me take my hand off her all night – much less actually put her in the pack and play. The rest of the weekend was great though– Max went to ski school. He skied down a black diamond (he is 5) – and I knit a bit while Zoe napped and then skied on Sunday. Both children slept almost the entire ride home and transferred successfully. I didn't get much of the blanket done – but I did get a new knitting project to do since Max lost his hat that I just made him. And – I'll probably get to make the hat today as I stand on line for two hours outside his school so I can sign him up for the after-school activities he wants to take! (That is trying to put a positive spin on things).

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Since our venture to Secaucus, not too much has happened. We did get a nice new yarn in called Cotanani. It is a blend of pima cotton and merino wool and it comes in beautiful colors. I am also trying to get some knitting done. We have a lot of customers who are perfectionists. If they are knitting a striped garment, all the colors have to coordinate just so. If they start a project that they don't like, they stop. Me, on the other hand, once I start a project, I rarely stop. I am lazy and part of the fun of knitting for me is to finish things, so abandoning a project or restarting one is just too upsetting for me. Well, I began knitting a log cabin blanket for a friend's baby (see picture at bottom) and I really did not like the colors. I was close to telling myself it would be fine in the end, but this time I did not take the lazy approach. I chose new colors and re-started and it looks so much better. I also have to get going on knitting 3 scarves for my daughter's Pre-K teachers. I was too busy at holiday time to knit them gifts so they will get Valentine's Day scarves.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

We went to AC Moore in Secaucus this morning to do a Yarn Girls' book signing. Julie and I had never been to a giant craft store like that before. While the signing itself was pretty uneventful - we signed maybe 6 books- going to AC Moore was fun. They have a crazy selection of crafting items. Pans in all shapes for baking cakes, lots of fun ribbon, stickers galore, beads, rug hooking and oh so much more. Their yarn selection was not anything to talk about - but it is a place to send people looking for less expensive acrylic yarns. Before we left we did do a little shopping ---Julie bought a ladybug rug hooking kit and a giant pad of paper for her daughter Olivia and I (Jordana) bought some stuff to make my son Max a Pez dispenser display (I saw it in Cookie magazine). Since we weren't to busy signing books, we did get to sit and do a bit of knitting. I am knitting this adorable ruffle skirt out of Cotton Classic for my daughter Zoe. The pattern is from the book Barefoot Knits by Christine Schwender and Paula Heist. It is a great book with such cute patterns for little girls. I actually made one already that was too small for Zoe - so we'll just use it as a sample in the store. I think the authors of the book did not account for the fact that two-year olds wear diapers and that makes their bottoms pretty big. No worries though, it's always good to have a store sample. Hopefully we'll post it on our website soon. And stay tuned here for a picture of Zoe in it once I finish. I think I will make her a matching halter top also. I must say, although Max is fun to knit for and super appreciative -I love having a little girl to knit for!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Our First Blog

The cold rain scared away our customers yesterday afternoon at our store, The Yarn Company. So, Julie decided to try and figure out how to create a blog. This is something that we have been thinking about for a while now, but had no idea how to do. In fact, just several months ago, Jordana didn't even know what a blog was! However, with a little internet research and minimal technical knowledge, Julie has brought us and our store into this new universe. It is funny, when we bought The Yarn Company ten and a half years ago, we were the youngest yarn store owners in the country. Now, we're just two thirty something women (almost forty – egad!) with two kids a piece, who are just trying to keep up with technology in a business that we once thought was all about tactility. We've come to realize, however, that technology and keeping up with it are important even in the realm of yarn and knitting. Our website ( allows us to reach customers who would never have stepped through our doors, from all over the country and even in different countries. It allows our customers to browse our yarns and designs even when we are home playing with our children or out with our husbands. Other "how to" sites make it possible for panicked knitters to find the answers to their questions even when their local yarn store has shut down for the night. And You Tube lets knitters learn new techniques from the videos of fellow knitters. So now we have a blog. Now we can share our excitement over new yarns and new designs with everybody on a daily basis. Now we can let everybody know what's new with the Yarn Girls and the Yarn Company blow by blow. And maybe somebody can help us figure out the answer to our most pressing question of the moment: How do you run a retail business, take care of two young children and a husband, keep your house clean (or at least not dirty) get the laundry done and still have time to knit??? We look forward to blogging. Julie & Jordana