Tag Archives: LYS

Good-bye Purl By the Sea-Another Local Yarn Store Closes

Overcast weather on Montauk beach

Overcast weather on Montauk beach

Despite the forecasts for heavy rain, my husband and I took off Friday and headed out to Montauk for one last visit to Purl By the Sea before Nora Franzetti closed its doors. Ever since we first discovered Purl By the Sea nestled behind the main drag in Montauk, it’s been the bright spot in our visits to the beach. It’s always been welcoming and friendly circle of knitters. Women who live in the area combined with those who vacation there regularly. Further, it had a great assortment of yarns including low priced work horses such as Lamb’s Pride as well as unusual high end specialty yarns. To add to the allure, Nora kept an amazing selection of knitting books.

The vibe in this store is wonderful and it’s closing is real loss to the knitting community. I feel very lucky to consider myself a part of this circle of women. They were very welcoming to my husband who tended to quietly take up residence on their husband’s rocker in the back corner.

We thought that we would be able to beat the rain. But by the time we got to the beach, it started drizzling and after an hour of camping out beneath our rain gear, we decided to head for Purl By the Sea.

Since it was our last visit, we spent most of the day there. It was the beginning of the 50% off sale and stuff was flyingout of the store.

I bought the last two Barbara Walker stitchonaries (Volumes 3 and 4). I also bought a 47 inch Addi in case I make another Hemlock Ring Blanket. Of course, I couldn’t resist at least one more addition to my stash. I bought a few hanks of Blue Sky Baby Alpaca to make a scarf which should be very soft!

Since the weekday trains back to Manhattan are scarce. We walked around Montauk in the light rain and headed back to the beach for a last look at the cloudy sky.

We treated ourselves to East by North East, a fancy local restaurant, which serves pan Asian cuisine. It was a nice way to cap off the day. Of course, our train didn’t get back into Manhattan until about 2.00am…

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

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Montauk Bound – Beach & Fountain Pen Shawl Knitting

 

Train knitting - Fountain Pen Shawl in Black Malabrigo Sock Yarn

Train knitting - Fountain Pen Shawl in Black Malabrigo Sock Yarn

Since Purl By the Sea is closing, my husband and I are heading out to Montauk to take advantage of the great ocean beach and the friendship that we’ve build with the other knitters at Purl By the Sea. 

My husband treated me to a wonderful trio of knitting books including Volume 2 of Barbara Walker’s stitch dictionaries and her Knitting from the Top Down. With Nora’s great array of books, it was a tough choice. 

I used the train and beach time to work on my Black Malibrigo Fountain Pen Shawl. While the Malabrigo  merino sock yarn is great to knit with (although I would caution against using black. In my defense, it was a choice of black or white since I waited for The Point to put it on sale.) It is light enough to be able to knit on the beach which is good since the sun light makes the knitting easier. 

As a pattern, here are the advantages and  drawbacks of the Fountain Pen Shawl:

  • For knitters, like myself who use stitch markers to measure each pattern repeat, the shawl required re-arranging the stitch markers at the beginning of each new set (or every 16 rows.) 
  • The patten wasn’t sufficiently interesting after the first set of repeats to keep my attention. Please note that this may be a plus for a new knitter.
  • The shawl used nups which are a sign of a hand made piece but do so sparingly for those who dread them or once per repeat.

 

Yarn Harlot Inspired Shot of Black Malabrigo Fountain Pen Shawl on Montauk Beach

Yarn Harlot Inspired Shot of Black Malabrigo Fountain Pen Shawl on Montauk Beach

Fountain Pen Shawl Detail on Beach - Note how each repeat looks like a pen nib?

Fountain Pen Shawl Detail on Beach - Note how each repeat looks like a pen nib?

 

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Memorial Day Means Montauk & Yarn

Montauk-The End

Montauk-The End

As beach-loving New Yorkers, My husband and I have ready access to numerous beaches including famous beaches within the city’s boundaries and those along the southern coast of Long Island and the eastern edge of New Jersey. Given our penchant for relatively empty beaches, an oxymoron in New York City in the summer, we like to take a day trip to the land’s end otherwise known as Montauk. Of course, the three hour plus train trip isn’t everyone’s idea of heaven but I bring knitting and my husband brings reading.

 

The beaches are wonderful with their sparse dunes and bent over wind bent trees. We were among the hardy souls who braved the windy weather on Memorial Day. We nestled just below the dunes to be sheltered from the wind which  was too much for our umbrella. We needed to wrap up with hoods to keep the flying sand out of our hair.  The sands buried our blanket so completely that if we hadn’t be laying on it, we would have never found it.

Dunes at Montauk Beach

Dunes at Montauk Beach

Montauk Beach - Deserted due to wind

Montauk Beach - Deserted due to wind

By mid-afternoon, we were ready for a visit to Purl By the Sea. Purl By the Sea is a wonderful local yarn store run by Nora Franzetti  who is also a real estate agent in Montauk. The store is packed with a great selection of yarns from the budget conscious Lamb’s Pride to small producers. There’s a large table in the middle of the store that her husband built. It always has a great of friendly women crowded around with lots of food, chocolate and laughter. My husband who was nestled in the spouse’s rocker said that he felt good listening to the laughter. 

Cotton Color Selection at Purl by the Sea

Cotton Color Selection at Purl by the Sea

Yarns burst out to greet knitters at Purl by the Sea

Yarns burst out to greet knitters at Purl by the Sea

Manos deep color hangs over the knitting table at Purl by the Sea

Manos deep color hangs over the knitting table at Purl by the Sea

I bought some aqua colored Tahki cotton to make the Medallion top from the cover of Vogue Knitting Summer 2009. (Since I had 4 1/2 balls of white in my stash from a yarn swap, I only bought 5 balls. due to the fact that  the women tried to talk me into another color, I think that there will be more if I run out.) I plan to make it on my vacation in June.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

G is for Good-bye-The Point NYC is Closing

The Point NYC Yarn Store  

The Point NYC Yarn Store

It is with great sadness that I write this post. The Point NYC on Bedford Street in New York City’s West Village is closing. The news was announced by Helene the owner on Sunday evening at their sale. It was followed by an email outlining their “Going Out of Business” sale Sunday evening. Everything in the store is 30% off. 

The Point NYC was a bright spot among the New York City yarn stores. It was a small shop with baskets of yarn hanging off of the walls with a cafe and free wifi. It was a mecca for  knitters as well as locals to stop have a snack in a colorful, creative environment. 

Knitted Yarns Editor at The Poing

Knitted Yarns Editor at The Point

 

Knitted Hats at The Point NYC

Knitted Hats at The Point NYC

From a yarn perspective, The Point NYC tended to have a more upscale selection of brands with a fondness for smaller producers such as Brooklyn Handspun. As a knitter, its strength was its warm, inviting environment. It was filled with tables where groups of knitters could gather on a regular basis or just drop in to look and meet new fellow knitters. This open knitting environment will be missed. 

While I have always had a project with an interesting yarn from The Point NYC on at least one set of needles, looking back, it’s not the knitting that I remember but rather the friends that I spent hours knitting with. Over the years, I’ve met a group of fellow knitters at The Point NYC who I might never have met otherwise. We have become friends and I looked forward to seeing them each week. I am filled with tears as I write this. 

Most special for me was the fact that I announced my engagement at The Point NYC with a bottle of champagne after the store closed in September 2007.

Engagement announcement at The Point NYC

Engagement announcement at The Point NYC

Heidi and the Two Carols at The Point NYC

Heidi and the Two Carols at The Point NYC

The Point Engagement Celebration September 2007

The Point Engagement Celebration September 2007

The Point NYC will always have a place in my heart. It was a very special environment where there was always a smiling face. I will truly miss my regular visits and the welcoming staff. Goodbye!

F is also for Fiber Friends!

F is for Fiber Friends. While I am indebted to the animals whose fleeces (yet another “F” word!) become the beautiful fibers that I knit, fiber friends refers to actual people.   What would we do without them? 

One of my UWS Knitting friends!

One of my UWS Knitting friends!

 

Fiber friend hiding beneath cowl in Noro sweater at LYS (The Point NYC)

Fiber friend hiding beneath cowl in Noro sweater at LYS (The Point NYC)

Knitting friend casting on at LYS (The Point NYC)

Knitting friend casting on at LYS (The Point NYC)

 My fiber friends and I connect over our mutual love of yarn and knitting. We’ve met in person at knitting circles, LYS and other knitting meetups. We’re always there for each other in good times and bad times. Whether we know each other via real life or the web, we’re friends. We’re a wonderful, precious part of each others’ lives.

We accept each other regardless of whether we’ve just started knitting or have been knitting for ages. We accept each other whether we use amazing, expensive fibers like cashmere or inexpensive acrylic. 

The ties to our fiber friends are strong when there’s yarn at hand to be purchased or traded or just plain admired. They are there to egg you onto to that next purchase regardless of the size of your stash.

The best part is that they’re always there willing to lend a hand and listen. It doesn’t matter whether your boss was in a bad mood or you had a major misfortune. These relationships are worth more than gold.

For me, my fiber friends have been a treasure!

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

F is for Fiber, Fiber Festivals and Fiber Farms

Overflowing basket of yarn at Rosie's Yarn Cellar in Philadelphia

Overflowing basket of yarn at Rosie's Yarn Cellar in Philadelphia

When it comes to writing about fiber, I could go on and on filling miles of online space as I’m sure many of you could as well. There’s the wonderful stuff that we find at Sheep & Wool Festivals that comes from the people who raise the animals or dye  it using a wonderful palette of colors. Of course, some of this may retain its lamby smell as the Icelandic lace weight my husband influenced me to buy at last fall’s Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival. (Don’t worry–I have it well wrapped in a plastic bag to keep its small contained!) 

At the other end of the spectrum are the pre-packaged balls that colorfully crowd the shelves of our favorite LYS. For me, that includes The Point NYC and Knitty City. I love the fact that The Point clusters the yarns by brand and color so that they burst out of their baskets. By contrast, the yarns in Knitty City are packed into their cubbyholes and spill into baskets on the floor. 

In between are the cones of various yarns and mill ends that I buy at Silk City Fibers. They come in a wide variety of contents and the colors may not always be my first choice but they’re well priced and always become wonderful cherished items. At the core of my stash, there are some large cones of wonderful materials including mill ends of cashmere and cashmere blends (which I plan to make into amazing shawls since some of it is laceweight), some thick Chunky in Sweet Potato orange from which I’ve promised to make my husband a sweater (although he insists that a pair of socks would be much better), 2 pounds of black (yes you read that correctly) lace weight Italian linen which I will either make a shawl and/or mix it with a grey and white linen mix to make my After Dark Nightie #2 and a matching bathrobe from the first Mason Dixon Knits book. 

Alas, there’s too much yarn and not enough time to knit it all!  That said, I believe that it’s important to let the fiber tell you what it wants to be . It’s not that the fibers actually talk (that would be silly!) Rather, I find that it’s necessary to test some swatches and see what type of pattern works best for the yarn. For example, the spring sweater that I’m working on required several swatches to see what stitch would work best. I am lucky that I don’t find the math required to adapt a pattern to be a chore (although I would argue anyone can do this math but that’s for another blog post). Further, I am flexible and find beauty in a wide variety of fibers! 

I am a HUGE fan of fiber festivals. They are wonderful outdoor activities that allow knitters to mingle with other lovers of yarn producing livestock, spinners and dyers. The Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival in May and the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival (known as the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival) in October are the two that I attend. While they encompass a wide range of activities, I generally spend my precious time there focused on stash enhancement.

Calmly taking in the NY State Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY

Calmly taking in the NY State Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY

Fiber producing animals at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

 

Lastly, there are fiber farms. While I have only visited one, it was a wonderful experience that happened during the first trip my husband and I took back in the summer of 2005. Based on a brief entry in our guidebook, we drove from Lennox, MA to the middle of the state to Tregellys Farm. The owner was an incredibly friend chap who spent time talking about the farm and its wonderful assortment of animals including the heirloom equivalents of livestock. They also had camels and yaks.

Tregellys Fiber Farm in Massechuetss

Tregellys Fiber Farm in Hawley, MA

Llamas at Tregellys Farm

Llamas at Tregellys Farm (Of course, they may be alpacas?)

Fiber producing yaks at Tregellys Farm in Hadley MA

Fiber producing yaks at Tregellys Farm in Hadley MA

 

Boyfriend (now husband) & Camel at Tregellys Farm

Boyfriend (now husband) & Camel at Tregellys Farm

More fiber producing animals at Tregellys Farm in Hadley MA

Fiber producing llamas at Tregellys Farm in Hadley MA

Stash Enhancement-President’s Weekend Sale at The Point

The Point used President’s Day to clean out its winter inventory. According to Manager Patty Lyons, there was a line of knitters waiting for her when she arrived to open up. Most of the time that I was there, there was a line to check out.  One woman happened to come in to purchase some needles to sew a piece together and abandoned her purchase due to the wait!

By the time I arrive, some of my favorite fibers had been picked over due to the major discounts. In particular, I had planned to purchase Noro’s Sakura, a varigated fiber which has silk wrapped portions. I’ve made a tank top/vest and a sweater from it and love the ability to make the stitches pop out by reversing the stitches (i.e. purl instead of knit). I did manage to get 5 skiens in a black and grey color way which is enough for a woman’s tank top that will look great under my grey and black suits!

I expanded my purchases to include Noro Daria, a cord like fiber, which was discounted 75%! I bought 3 skeins of a blue/purple colorway for my friend Amanda who has been making handbags. I found 8 skiens another two jewel colorways in greens and magenta which I purchased to make a top. I figure if I use the colors creatively the difference will look intentional! Although since my purchase, I am considering using the fiber for yippot for my wedding. I will combine it with some gold fiber from Silk City Fibers to make truly memorable keepsakes!

Lastly I bought a cotton/silk Noro called Lilly. Since I prefer to buy sufficient yarn for a project, generally a sweater, I purchased 6 skiens of a fushia, blue, orange colorway and 4 skiens of orange. This way I will have enough to make a long sleeve sweater. I will integrate the two colors. In the sunlight, the orange is very bright but the two colors work together.

All in all, it was a fun shopping experience!

Note to self: Arrive early for next sale at The Point to get prime choices!