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.