“I just want more of her.” A wonderful piece on the late lamented food writer, Laurie Colwin.

Mighty Knitters of Babylon

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Dear Ann,
Remember that great Bob Marley/Jimmy Cliff song? How did it go?
Mighty knitters of Babylon
Where we sat down
And there we wept
And did the tubular cast-on

Something like that, anyway. I cannot get this song out of my head since last Monday, when little Meli, Cara and I went day-tripping all the way to the Village of Babylon, Long Island, to finally spend some quality time at Other Ann’s super darling, ultra adorable, mega cozy yarn shop.
This shop is not, despite my sincere–and repeated– urging, called Mighty Knitters of Babylon. Even though I am sure this name would be a sure-fire magnet for every rasta knittah in a 100 mile radius. Sigh. You try to help people, you know?
The shop is in fact called The Village Knitter. Which I will admit is a good name. The Village Knitter is cute as a button and stuffed with yarn. There is also an excellent diner just steps away! The turkey burger with sweet potato fries was most excellent.
The revelation of the day, though, was the Clover Pom Pom maker machine. Imagine: a gadget that is as cute as a pom pom. Apart from cuteness, it is a marvel of engineering. You get a perfect sphere of yarn tufts, with no trimming. There are decades of science in this thing.
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Would you buy a used pom-pom maker from this woman?
I got all 4 sizes. In case I should be struck with a sudden case of pom pom fever. You can’t do much with just one or two sizes of pom pom. Go big or stay home.
I also got a batch of the elusive Ty Dy yarn in the greeny blue colorway called Meadow, which does not look at all like Meadow Soprano (disappointingly). Olive chewed the labels off of all 4 skeins the minute I got home, and we had to rewind them to restore ball integrity. (The sign of a real good yarn: tastes like chicken.) I have wanted to make something with this yarn ever since I saw the Oat Couture curlicue blanket Other Ann made with it for Meli’s baby shower, way back when.
My favorite thing about any yarn shop is the shop samples. Interesting shop samples are a yarn store’s secret weapon. The shops that just have droopy, manhandled swatches, or only have the samples the yarn companies sent in 1988, lack a certain je ne sais quoi. Fear not: at The Village Knitter, the je ne sais quoi flows like wine. There is a whole rack of qu-est-ce que c’est, plus a baby dress in Isager wool that will cause you make a baby dress whether you need one or not. It’s a real public service to display a shop sample like this.
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Friendly service at the cash register.
Next time you’re in town, we’ll crank up the bass on the stereo and head to Babylon so you can stir it up, little darling, and check it out.
Love,
Kay

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43 Comments

43 Comments

  1. Oh have you seen the pom pom makers that make heart shaped pom poms. Now THEY are cute. http://www.clover-usa.com/product/268067/3170/_/Heart_Shape_Pom-Pom_Maker_%28Small%29 The picture isn’t great on this page, but they are adorable in real life.

  2. Amazing. You’ve got me actually almost liking the idea of pom-poms for the first time since, oh, third grade or so. Or maybe it’s the cumulative effect of this and the Harlot’s recent posting on bootie fever (April 24 & thereabouts). Must get pom-pommiere and use up all that purple stuff in the stash making a bunch or two of grapes…

  3. That is definitely a fab looking place! My complaint here, though — and I could have issued it often with this blog — is that you have now gotten that song STUCK in my head (Stir it Up, not the Babylon one, since I don’t know it as well). @(#$*&$!! :)
    Now I’m going to have to listen to Marley to purge it. Hey, that might not be the worst idea — it’s been a while.

  4. It was a great day. That is all.

  5. I love that song. Fond memories of singing along with Linda Ronstadt’s version at top volume. Pretty sure I sounded just like her. Probably still do! But your lyrics are much much better!

  6. oh great – now I no longer want to work – I want to drop my life and go to the Village Knitter…

  7. thanks for the field trip report. i’ve already alerted my sister that we must visit the village knitter the next time i’m visiting HER in Babylon. sniff sniff. i miss home.

  8. Oh the Knitshop of Babylon
    Where we slapped down
    Our Visa
    On Stash Enrichment Expedition!
    Not nearly as good as yours but a fun way to waste time! Happy pom-pomming.

  9. oh my gosh, I am now starving for pom poms and sweet potato fries. But I have to sit at this desk for the next two and a half hours… argh!
    I never ever cared about pom poms before, but I LOVE that wreath!

  10. So Jah say:
    “Not one of my seed
    shall tear their own hair out
    to get gauge.”
    (No they can’t
    and you Know That They Won’t!)

  11. OK, I’ve been toying with the idea of making that Isager baby dress (based purely on Ravelry viewing, not an actual sighting). Clearly your post is a sign from the gods. Off to order the kit…

  12. Nice. Next time I’m on the LI, I’ll have to check it out.
    Everytime I head out there I always bug my peeps to go to yarn stores, and now I’ll have a good excuse.

  13. Oh, great…now you are making me WANT to go down to L.I.? Just what I don’t need to do.. Can’t you find me an upstate NY (i.e. north of the Hudson Valley, if you really want a challenge) yarn shop? C’mon….I can’t be trudging down to L.I. for yarn and claim that I had to be there for work when my clients are far, far away from home (Braintree, MA and Kenilworth, NJ and Japan… NOT Long Island). Argh….another of the travails of being a freelance/contractor who works from home…

  14. There is a great bag in the Spring 2010 issue of Interweave knits that uses Ty-Dy cotton; Jellyfish Bag. I love it, and the yarn is fantastic :)
    http://www.interweaveknits.com/galleries/bonus/spring-2010/Jellyfish-Bag.asp

  15. There is a great bag in the Spring 2010 issue of Interweave knits that uses Ty-Dy cotton; Jellyfish Bag. I love it, and the yarn is fantastic :)
    http://www.interweaveknits.com/galleries/bonus/spring-2010/Jellyfish-Bag.asp

  16. I love Babylon Village. Always-At-Aum is a great yoga studio there. The diner is great but the next time you are in Babylon go to one of the restaurants on Deer Park Avenue. Or ‘The Post Office’ Very very good.
    I love the yarn shop too ;)

  17. Just a side note … The Post Office in actually an old Post Office that was turned into a restaurant. The same guy owns The Library which is … you guessed it … the old Farmingdale Library.

  18. I was sad and I laughed three times while reading this.
    Love you, you comic genius rasta knitter woman no woman no cry.

  19. No, Kay, the lyrics go like this: “They knit miles while babblin’ on” (It’s about a Tuesday night knitting circle…)
    Hey, nifty little gadget there. Now Olive can have “gray pomPOM mustard” on her “yarn that tastes like chicken” sandwich.
    OK. ‘Nuf said. Bye.
    LOveDiane

  20. Just have to say I saw a woman knitting Volt in the Continental Airlines Presidents club in San Francisco Airport. Your plan is working. (I was there as a guest, so I didn’t know if it would be out of place to rush over and gush and ask to pet her yarn. So we just nodded our knitters-in- public nod to one another and kept knitting.)

  21. Congrats to Ann & her store, she looks JUST right at that counter surrounded by yarny things.
    And NO thanks to you, I am sitting here at almost midnite trying to decide if
    Buffalo Fiber, Dread not knitters,
    There was a buffalo fiber in the heart of america….
    or No Woman, No rip.(la la la la); I remember when we used to knit….etc
    is a better parody.

  22. fun just fun thank you

  23. Oooh, oohhhhh, I wanna go! I know Ann’s sense of style, and so I just KNEW her yarn shop would be a wonderful li’l place. And if it’s anything like the last time I saw her, she might just drop a packet of horny goat weed in my purse or something. Good for a lot of laffs, that Ann is!

  24. What? No pix of the store samples??? Oh noooo. We want to see!
    Love from the Jerusalem suburbs, closer to the Old Babylon than to Long Island…

  25. I vote for a Kay & Ann duet to “Knitting in Babylon.” Rock on Reggae Womyns.

  26. I vote for a Kay & Ann duet to “Knitting in Babylon.” Rock on Reggae Womyns.

  27. I vote for a Kay & Ann duet of “Knitting in Babylon.” Rock on Reggae Womyns.

  28. Oooooo – I never thought about it until now, but I may need a pom pom maker. Please keep us posted with the Ty Dy project. Seeing photos of Other Ann’s baby blanket prompted me to order the Meadow yarn for a blanket, but it could possibly turn into something else.

  29. Please keep us posted with the Ty Dy project. I also fell in love with it from the photos of Other Ann’s baby blanket and order the Meadow colorway for a blanket — however, it could easily turn into something else. Any chance we’ll see the lovely Olive in pom poms? That’s a look she could rock.

  30. Kay, so so great to see you and Cara and of course Ms. Meli!!! Thanks for making the trek and picking up a wicked case of pom-pom fever!!!

  31. and I really should confess to Norma that my partner Kathleen is the style maker, she is keeping us stocked with all the latest and greatest!

  32. Did you get to Babylon by Bus? Sorry, had to ask! Martha Stewart had some wickedly cute pom-pom creations once. Almost made me want to do it.

  33. Now I have that song running through my head…thanks for the earworm!

  34. I wish i were closer to that yarn shop! looks great!
    Kay, where does one find the Oat Couture curlicue pattern? I admit, I am sort of a spaz when it comes to Ravelry…don’t know my way around yet…but I couldn’t find a link to order. And I must. have. it. now….

  35. That looks like so much fun. A day trip to a yarn shop is always a good time! The pom-pom maker is something I need to check out. I saw someone on TV the other day wearing a necklace made of small pom-poms (may have been Kelly Ripa). It was really cute and what a great way to dent your stash.

  36. I love this! I love Bob Marley’s setting of the psalm, and also Don McLean’s from American Pie.(There is a great clip on Youtube by TheFireburst that has Don McLean singing in concert.)
    I also enjoy making up new lyrics to familiar songs. They are most often sung at home, and are odes to the dog and/or cat, but can really be about any subject.
    How about:
    Oh, the knitters of Babylon
    If they will look,
    then they will find
    a yarn store from Purling Swine

  37. Hey, that’s one of favorite my LYSes! I used to go there all the time because my mother-in-law lives in West Islip, in walking distance of the Village Knitter. I’ve only been there once since it was sold to the new ladies, but they seem very nice. I need to get back there.

  38. Nice!! Now I have the Babylon song by Bony M running through my head…Its going to make for a long day. LOL
    Gotta get me one of those pompom makers..my last one was a total disaster…

  39. I met Ann and Kathleen at Camp(or Camp NotCamp per one friend) and I was wanting to get to their shop. Now I can pretend I have!

  40. The pom-pom maker of which you speak has been one of the handiest additions ever added to my “Box of Tools”. Prior to owning this wonderful device, my children, as well as other little people I know, were forced to walk around with seriously lopsided pom-poms attached to their knitwear. It truly was a joyous day I tell you! :) But I only bought 2 sizes, I did not know there were more!!

  41. You are so right about the greatness of yarn shop samples. I credit (blame?) my knitting obsession on the fact that, as a beginner, I stumbled into a yarn shop filled with sample items hanging right next to the suggested yarns, with the pattern hanging there too. I was inspired and then addicted!

  42. Babylon sistahs…..shake it!

  43. Envious, of course, and can’t wait to visit… almost worth a special trip. ; ) I can’t get over Meli’s baby shower being “way back when”!!