Cheeseheads and Sharpies

I’ve been avoiding blogging about the last few days, not because it was awful or disappointing – but because it was so good, so lovely, so RIGHT, I’m at a loss for words.

Admittedly, Thursday was a bit stressful. I had been designated cruise director, a job I’m not often given, and since I’ve got that debilitating perfectionism problem, well, you guessed it. I wanted everything to be perfect. Doesn’t really leave you a lot of time to enjoy yourself. But I managed. 😉

Jen and I headed into the big city around 9:30 and met up with Vicki at her hotel. Lauren met us there and when we could pry Vicki off her bed with seventeen thousand pillows, we headed up to Tender Buttons. I think Vicki got a good picture of the place. It’s basically nirvana for buttons. Button Heaven if you will. VERY overwhelming. But somehow Vicki, Jen and I all managed to find the PERFECT buttons for our projects. (Lauren didn’t need any – but she was essential in the choosing.) Here’s what I found for Bohemia:

Lest the picture isn’t revealing enough – these babies are LEATHER. Aren’t they super perfect for the aran delight this sweater will (hopefully) one day become? As perfect as my buttons are, Vicki’s are better. I hope she shows a picture.

After TB, I took Vicki on her first ever subway ride to meet up with the rest of the gals at School Products. Ann, Nancy (go wish her a happy birthday today!), and Cassie joined the rest of us – I didn’t get anything, but a few of us walked away with goodies. Sadly, Jen had to leave us after School Products (hope you’re having a good time basking in the Caribbean Sun Jen!) but the rest of the troops made our way to Habu. Again, I’ll let others tell you about this place, since I’ve already given you my first impression.

With the tantalizing deliciacies of Habu under our belt, (that’s two yarn stores down, no yarn for Cara) we headed off to the Shake Shack for lunch. Vicki’s husband met us there and we stood in line for supposedly THE BEST BURGER in New York. (I’m sticking with the Burger Joint at the Parker Meridien, but it was very good.) Some guy asked me if they were like In-N-Out. No. They aren’t like In-N-Out. Nothing’s like In-N-Out – but that’s a whole other post.

We ate, we knit, we relaxed on what had to be one of the top ten weather days OF ALL TIME. Seriously. Vicki got really lucky considering the gross, disgusting weather we’ve been having. I’m sure she had a taste of it on Saturday, which I think was one of the hottest days in the city. But on Thursday it was clear, no humidity, blue sky beautiful.

Satiated by our burgers, we took the subway down to Seaport, leaving Nancy to go back to work at my old stomping grounds. I knew I recognized her from somewhere! Great to meet you Nancy. Seaport Yarns is crazy. It used to be a consulting firm, but post-9/11, the proprietress decided to follow her heart and open a yarn store – right in the middle of the consulting firm – at least that’s the story I’ve been told. I welcome a correction. (One thing to note is that of the four yarn stores we went to that day, NONE of them were storefronts. Meaning, three were in office buildings and one was in a residential building on the second floor. Gotta love NYC!) Seaport pretty much has everything and anything and I did come away with a purchase, even though I was made fun of mercilessly. (So what if I’ve only finished ONE pair of socks?!? Can you EVER have enough sock yarn?)

While Seaport has A LOT of yarn, I’d have to say their book/pattern selection is second to none. They have everything.

Cassie had to go after Seaport, so Lauren, Ann, Vicki and I headed uptown to the Yarn Connection to meet up with Kathleen, who was joining us for dinner. By that time, we were pretty much spent. The day started at 10:30 (9:30 for me) and I think we were yarn crawled out. The Yarn Connection provided a lovely table, some punchy conversation and a couple balls of yarn for me.

I’m thinking this will be trim for a long sleeve v-neck sweater (Nothin’ But a T-Shirt? The Vogue Tennis Sweater?) I have a bunch of chocolate brown Calmer, so these two balls will be the accent. What do you think?

After YC, we walked around aimlessly because by that time all my planning skills had pooled in my feet with about ten pounds of water weight (can you say swollen tootsies?) We ended up at some tables off to the side of THE New York Public Library building. Yes, the one with Patience and Fortitude. (How apt!?! We knitters should adopt them as our mascots. Anyone ever try to knit lion mane?)

Soon after, Lauren had to catch a train and the remaining four needed something for dinner. I seriously couldn’t think at that point. What should we feed Vicki? Something New York. Something she can’t really get in Wisconsin. Of course! Pizza! And not just any pizza, but John’s Pizza. My fave. (Okay, they have cheese in Wisconsin, but mozzarella? Please!) So Ann, Kathleen, Vicki and
I had pizza. And beer. And laughed and teased and laughed. I had a great time all day, but this was the highlight for me. These girls are irreverent and bitchy (in the BEST sense of the word) and funny and loving and just a BLAST! I’m so glad I got to meet ALL of you. Thanks for giving as good as you got.

Suffice it to say, I didn’t get home until after midnight. Apparently Kathleen and Ann got home much later – but hey – that’s what happens when you live on LonGUYland! 😉

Want to hear about Friday? Read on…

Friday I gave Vicki (and myself) some time to recover. I felt bad that we didn’t get a chance to see any of the prettier yarn stores in the city, so I went in around 2:30 and we headed down to Purl. (I knew Friday was going to be a great day because I immediately found street parking everywhere we went. I parked a total of FOUR times on Friday and never needed a parking lot. I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but in New York City? That’s a parking day from the gods. And Vicki even got to witness an awesome parallel park job by moi.)

I really only had a couple of things on my shopping list – and number one was sock yarn and a pattern for my Socka-Pal-2-Za. I hit paydirt at Purl: some beautiful tomato red Koigu and a lovely lace pattern from Evelyn Clark. That woman can do no wrong in my book. I also picked up the Koigu colorway I liked and didn’t get the last time I was at Purl.

What’s even better is these new socks will fit in the Knit Red AND Summer of Lace AND Socka-pal-2-za KALS. I’m such a sheep.

While at Purl, we ran into a bunch of the Drafty Ladies and another out of town blogger. It was nice to meet you Alison! Hope you had a great visit! Cassie so kindly pointed Vicki and I in the direction of The Point, where we were supposed to meet Colleen for some knitting time. Colleen was lovely, as always and I’m so glad we got the chance to meet up with her. Cassie and Anne were fabulous knitting companions as well and I even got to see my potty partner Joy again! Best of all, Vicki found the super special yarn she had been wanting – but I’ll let her tell you about it.

After The Point, I got to take Vicki to an exhibit – and not just any exhibit, but the reason Vicki got to come to New York! Seems she really is Royalty! Her husband has developed his own country – with gorgeous maps and money and a compelling history and brilliant paintings. The exhibit was intensely fascinating, as the idea of micro-nations is something I never knew existed. The amount of detail invested in these “nations” is just amazing. Really, truly amazing. I was honored to be their guest. (And the ULTRA UBER COOLNESS that was there was crazy. I mean, all of nerdy super cool NYC seemed to come out for this exhibit. I was impressed!)

Anyway, it was time to say goodbye to my friends. Vicki – I can’t tell you how happy I was to meet you! Completely genuine in all respects, I’m proud to call you my friend. I’m glad I could make your visit a little easier.

Sappy moment over. I’ve got lots of work to do this week. Two jobs in the hopper, the kids are coming for July 4th weekend, I’m still exorcising demons and Georgie needs a ride to the train. Have a great Monday!


  1. It was tons o’ fun, wasn’t it? The feeling is mutual and more, Cara. Thank you so much! I promise to show pics this week of all the things I should show pics of, too.
    ; )

  2. Wow, that is quite a yarn crawl. I want to know how much mileage you logged on your metrocard! The exhibit sounds fascinating, and I am entirely with you on your opinion of Evelyn Clark.

  3. Too bad that we all ended up eating pizza slices that night, but not together! I’ll have to try John’s sometime. I want to see that bottom Koigu knit up!

  4. I LOVE NY & your excursion sounds fabulous!! Guess what…I ended up buying the Canon EOS 20D. I already had a lens from my other Canon so it was perfect!! It is so quick compared to my little digital! Though one day soon, I’d love to get the macro lens! Thanks for your input! 😉

  5. Glad that you all a had such a great time!
    The pictrue of the pink trekking yarn made my heart beat extra fast. Does it have a name or number? 🙂

  6. You all had such fun and you, my grrl sound like a perfect host! Perfect sock yarn shopping (if discriminating) and perfect colors. I’ll know who to call if I ever get to the NYC area.

  7. You were a terrific organizer Cara. Thank you. And great yarn purchases. Mmm…love that Koigu.

  8. It sounds like a wonderful trip! I love your yarn purchases; especially the Trekking. And In-N-Out: there is just nothing like it. I keep hoping they’ll franchise north and get to western WA someday.

  9. Wow Cara! What an awesome little knit store fest! You lucky girl…I love NYC. I’ve never been to the yarn shops there..isn’t that sad?!
    The buttons are fabulous!

  10. Ahh, I feel like I was there. You do such a great job summarizing these things. A few things:
    – You can make the socks but you’re not allowed to wear them with those sandals in the picture
    – The pinky yarn is beautiful
    – Demons deserve to be exorcised! Keep it up, you will thank yourself in the end.

  11. Watch out Julie McCoy! She could plan a few measly activities, but could she plan a yarn crawl in NYC, write and take amazing photographs — I don’t think so 🙂 Sounds like a fantastic couple of days. And, of course, great finds – love, love, love the red Koigu.

  12. i’m so glad you had a good time! the stuff from purl looks amazing.

  13. Yup, it was one heck of a time. We have to do it again, real soon. Either in New York, or up here.

  14. I missed you! Okay, so you only didn’t post for a couple of days but I still missed you! I’m glad you all had such a great time…it’s fun to live vicariously through you!

  15. I’m still having a great visit, thank you! Nice to meet you, too. 🙂

  16. Reminds me of the NYC yarn crawl I took last summer. Busy, busy lady you are! Glad you had a great time.