Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Aaaah Life.....

Sometimes I feel like it's hard to keep my head above water. Our phone system (that we've had for 10 years) stopped working the other day. Now the phone rings and if we pick it up with the phone system then the person on the other end can't hear us - so we have to go through this convoluted process to answer the phone so that we can be heard. We ordered a new phone but it can't come soon enough! Then our printer ran out of ink. Last month our laptop that we use in the front of the store died. At home, we have a mouse. Our roof is leaking. And Zoe has pink eye and vomited last night because she cried so hard when I was trying to put the drops in her eyes. And I finished the beautiful Sublime sweater for Zoe - the one with the cables and bobbles, it looks great. I had her try it on this morning - after I sat on her for quite sometime trying to get drops in her eyes - and it fit very nicely. She wore it for all of three seconds - not even long enough to snap a picture of her in it for the blog - and then she threw it on the floor. I am finding this series of unfortunate events to be rather mentally exhausting! But on the bright side - we went to Max's school auction on Saturday night. It was a lot of fun. I went a little crazy bidding for things - but it made me feel better. We ended up coming home with a great framed and autographed picture of Mike Richter - former Rangers all star, skating lessons for Max, a tour of the 20th police precint for Max - plus he gets photo ops in a police car and he can get fingerprinted, some tickets to kids shows (Dear Edwina and Goodnight Moon & The Runaway Bunny) - and a giant snake that was a class project (I thought someone would outbid me for it - but I was the only sucker crazy enough to bid for it. Jeff was not so happy about that one.) We also won a day with Max's teacher for Max in a raffle. All in all we did pretty well. Richard Kind, the comedien, was the auctioneer and he was great - so funny. He really got everyone into the giving mode. And Bill Telepan outdid himself at this years auction - offering up 3 dinners cooked in people's homes - each going for $9,000!!! (last year it was for $7,500 and I was amazed) - so again - I let all of you reading the blog know - he is a very generous man - support his restaurant - it is delicious! He also is an advocate for wellness in the school and has come in and made lunch for the kids - which is a huge hit. He has a salad bar and made wonderful wraps...it's really a great thing! Anyway, they say the school brought in 20% more than last year, pretty impressive!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Modrian Dress

We finished the Mondrian inspired dress. Check it out on Zoe.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Something to think about....

I was reading an article in Sunday's NY Times about an independent book store that was closing down in Chappaqua, NY. As an independent retailer, with a small "local shop" myself, the article made me a little sad. It basically spoke about how hard it is for an independent local retailer to survive not only in today's economy, but in today's world of mega stores and the internet. The article discussed that it has become a game to look on the internet to see where you can find the cheapest item you are looking for. I'll admit that I do this myself sometimes. But then the article pointed out that "there are things you lose (when you do this) in ways that are not numerically measurable when a place like this (the bookstore) closes." "Downtown" loses it's vibrancy, it's uniquesness, it's excitement when there is little or no community support. When I think about New York City now compared to how it was when I grew up - it has certainly lost a lot of the neighborhood feel that it once had. There are still some local merchants left that you get to know, say hello to as you walk by and frequent because you know and like them....but for the most part - the drug store is an impersonal Duane Reade or CVS, the bookstore is a Borders or Barnes & Noble, the coffee shop is a Starbucks, there is a bank every other step, the furniture store is a West Elm or Pottery Barn...you get the gist. And it has certainly become harder in the brick and mortar world of Yarn too. While there are of course less "Mega" yarn stores, there are the internet Giants and the internet in general, free patterns, yarn swapping and gossip...all things that make it harder for the LYS (local yarn store - for those of you reading this that are not immersed in the whole online knitting universe) to survive. Anyway, it is just something to think about in general...what is our world going to look like in ten or twenty years from now? Will we ever leave our homes and our computers? Or just have things delivered to our doorsteps and then retreat into our own little worlds? I guess we'll see. And don't forget to sign up to follow the blog - or join us at The Yarn Company group on Facebook!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I set up a Facebook Group for the Yarn Company yesterday. Please join it - I am not sure exactly how I will use it - but I'd love for it to be a place where people can show sweaters they've made - ask questions, talk about knitting in general.... I also went back on Ravelry the other day - thinking we really need to put ourselves out there on it - but I just find it very overwhelming. How do stores use ravelry exactly? I wish I were more techno savvy. But alas, my interests lie elsewhere for the most part. For example, I am going to start bridge lessons tonight! I am very excited. I used to play a little many years ago- at camp actually (I went to a completely unstructured hippy dippy camp where half the time we went to our bunks and played cards instead of softball - and the other half of the time we were skinny dipping at Tushy Rock and singing union songs..."Oh there once was a union maid, who never was afraid, of the goons and the ginks and the company finks....." Okay - I am going off on quite a tangent...) Back to bridge lessons - - we have an instructor and another couple coming over to our house tonight...I think it should be fun. I remember really enjoying bridge and would love to become good at it - I should have been born several decades before I was - bridge, knitting - and I'd love to learn mah-jong too. Anyway, because they are coming over at 8pm - I really want Zoe to be asleep by then. I asked my babysitter not to give her a nap today so that when I get home I can just put Zoe down and she'll fall right asleep. BUT my babysitter just called and told me that Zoe passed out on the floor. Poor baby. It's not like she doesn't ever not nap. Pretty much every weekend she skips her naps and has no problem with it...of course on the one day I want her not to nap she passes out. Is that kind of like a Murphy's Law situation? I think so. Well, we'll see what happens tonight - I'll keep my fingers crossed. On the knitting front - I am still plugging away at Zoe's sweater. I am almost done with the 2nd front. The other day though I was almost done with the 1st front and I looked at it and about two thirds of the way down I saw one cable that was wrong, so of course I had to rip it. It was a bummer - I had to rip a few inches out of Jeff's sweater the other day too. It is very unlike me to make mistakes but I guess I am so tired - I am not paying so much attention. Also - we just started watching the Tudors on HBO. We love it - and I am absorbed - so I am not paying proper attention to my cabling.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Vacation Knitting Anyone?

There is nothing like an upcoming warm vacation to get the summer knitting juices flowing. With many school's spring breaks coming up - we have been doing a steady business in "vacation projects." Smallish items that can be easily packed, to knit on the plane and on the beach...in cotton, of course. Baby and children's sweaters are always good. Purses. Stuffed animals. Or even a cute tank top for an adult is not to much to lug around! Take a look at some of the items people have been picking up and if you come back from your vacation with anything cool send us a picture and we'll post it on the blog! Creative focus silk kids' cardigan: Daria bag: Banyan skirt: and the Snake: I am going to Jamaica in a few weeks - and I am trying to figure out what to bring. Definitely not Jeff's sweater - too big, too hot and too expensive if I lose it! Hopefully Zoe's cable/bobble sweater will be done by then and I am going to start a dress for her - but it is intarsia (color knitting) and that might be a pain on the beach - so I have to figure something out. I am going to need some good books too. Suggestions are always welcome. This past week I haven't been knitting much...I don't know if I mentioned it but I got an Apple laptop for my birthday and I have signed up for private lessons at the Apple store to learn how to use it. ($99 for the year and you can have an hour private lesson once a week!) I am currently learning how to "make movies". I've downloaded all my videotapes of family vacations, birthday parties etc. and last week I learned how to edit them. I can add text, still photos, music and have scenes fade into each other - it is very cool! Next week I will learn how to share my movies - maybe I will try to share one here. After that I am going to learn to build a website. Should be interesting...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Follow our blog!!!

First things first - did you know you can become a follower of this blog and I think you get notified everytime I post (so exciting right???) - Well I have one follower -thank you! For anyone else out there reading this - I think you should become a follower too. It would make me feel like I am writing and people might actually be reading it - it would be so nice. So I am beseeching you - (is that right??) to please follow the blog! Just scroll down to the bottom of the blog and click the "follow" link. Anyway - is it cold out there or what?! I could barely breathe on my way home from bringing Max to school this morning. I waited or the bus for what seemed like an eternity and when it finally came I could barely feel my fingers. I decided that there was no way I could go to the gym - how could I even think of taking any of my clothes off? (pretty lame excuse - I know). Instead I went home to work on one of my many non knitting projects that I've undertaken in the last week. First - I made a poster for Max's school of the kid's in his class knitting. His principal asked me to put together 5-10 photos that they could hang on the wall outside the office. So, I had some of the photos of the kids developed and taped them to a nice piece of black foam board. Then I used silver marker to write on it. It came out pretty well - I probably should have used a stencil for the writing part - but it's fine. Next I worked a little on my anniversary gift for Jeff. Times are tough so I am making him a present. I am making him a corkboard out of all the wine corks that he has saved over the years. I think you can buy something like this from the skymiles catalogues for not to much money- but it's the thought that counts. Yesterday I went to the lumber store and bought molding and plywood - and had them cut the molding so I could glue it onto the plywood to make a frame. I also bought some wood glue and antuque gold colored paint. (All of this cost more that if I'd purchased the damn thing from the airline catalogue - but I have to remember that it's the thought that counts!) So yesterday I put my frame together and painted it. Today I began gluing the corks onto the plywood. It takes a long time to do this - and then I have to hide it somewhere that Jeff won't find it...I also hope I have enough corks - I laid them out - roughly before I bought everything - but it may have been too rough. We'll see. Unfortunately, I did not have time to work on my other project - putting my videos from my video camera onto my computer! I've been doing this all weekend - I only have one or two left. I has been really fun seeing videos of max when he was 1 and 2 years old. He was so cute! On Friday I have a lesson at the Apple store and I'll learn how to edit my video and make cool movies. I am so excited! I also worked on my knitting projects over the weekend. Max and Jeff went back up to Vermont to ski - (Max is now doing double black diamond trails-he is a far cry from the adorable two and a half year old that dressed up in my black sundress and a withches hat and recited Beauty and the Beast word for word. It's true - I have it on tape) Anmyway - I plopped Zoe down in front of several hours of Dora, Diego and Lola & Charlie (a bad mother...?) and I worked on my organic cotton cardigan for Zoe - I am almost done with the back. And I worked on Jeff's aran cashmere cable sweater. I had put it down for a while because I made a mistake - and it is tough ripping out all those stitches...all those cables - but I did it and am almost back to where I was. Take a look at Zoe's organic cotton sweater in the works!