Learn how to crawl: the New York City Yarn Crawl is on through Sunday, September 25.

Downtown Owls

Dear Ann,
You would think Avenue A was the ends of the earth, for how rarely I get there. I go up and down the West Side like it’s nothing. Is there not an L train? Are there no crosstown buses?
On Friday I was wandering around the East Village like a tourist, snapping pictures. For a treat, I dropped in to say hi to Rita at Downtown Yarns, and ended up doing something I never do: sitting down and knitting for a couple of hours, enjoying the Avenue A breeze through the screen door and a therapeutic natter with Rita. Plus I bought some yarn. Needless to say. And an owl pattern. (Shut up.)
Brooklyn may have its squirrels, but we have our woodland creeturs in Manhattan, too.
This window faces east, so it was hard to get a picture. GO THERE. It’s worth a visit. A window full of handknit owls, each one different, staring with unblinking vintage button eyes.
Rita’s shop is full of inspiration. Real inspiration, not just buy-yarn-now inspiration (but that too). You feel lifted up and energized. For example, there is now a Knitted Apron in Carrie’s future, which is much cooler than it sounds. (I knit Carrie 2 things in January and February, which got a combined wearing of TWO TIMES, both under the duress of maternal insistence. So you would think I’d have learned my lesson. But no. I’m not going to be above telling Carrie that Belinda bought it on the street in London and sent it over–she will basically wear anything that has been bought on the street in London. So mum’s the word on her mum’s knitting. Plan B is to knit them for her friends, who will of course wear them BECAUSE THEY’RE COOL–and because their mothers didn’t make them.)
In other news, I am happy to report that Olive’s Quilt is all quilted up, the basting pulled out, and a Controversial Embellishment has been accomplished. HOWEVER, I will not be putting the binding on it until I get to the cutting board and sewing machine, so it may be a couple of weeks. STAND DOWN, dog-crafters. I am ON IT.
Here’s a hint about the Controversial Embellishment:
Don’t worry, Ann. It’s going to be OK.
P.S. Ann, this one’s for you:
A redwork sampler–HAND KNIT–in Downtown Yarns.

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  1. Twit-twoo.

  2. I hope Carrie doesn’t read the blog, otherwise you’ve blown the cover on fobbing her off saying I’ve sent the apron over… good idea though. Actually I might really and truly have something rather fabulous to send her, involving one of Neil’s old shirts that might be a bit like said apron.
    What is a Redwork sampler? I thought it was some sort of knitted barcode… x x x

  3. I’m glad you gave a hint as to the Controversial Embellishment. When I read the first mention I assumed that Olive herself had christened the quilt (which would be normal for a puppy but disheartening for the quilter).
    And yay for the love on Downtown Yarns. I adore Downtown Yarns. It’s just that, as you said, it’s hard to get to.

  4. I think Belinda should do a guest post to teach us some British-isms. I want to incorporate “fobbing” into my conversations, but I have the feeling it will sound really dirty if I misuse it!

  5. Aren’t those owls cute??? I love the idea of telling the kids the things I knit them came from some exotic far off place so they’ll wear them without being guilt-tripped. Definitely gonna try that! Olive looks like she can’t wait to have her completed quilt. My Louie would have eaten all those markers before the shutter snapped.

  6. Wow, what a cool window display for a yarn store — I want to go just to see the Owls. And what a fun knit — no end to the possibilities. Be sure to show us when you are done (as if you wouldn’t).

  7. What is controversial about fabric markers? Unless, of course, you are using the Wrong Kind of fabric markers. The fancy markers, with the brush like tips are much nicer and have better colors. And don’t forget to heat set all markers!

  8. Maybe you could start a campaign to return sheep to the Meadow?
    And for what (little) it’s worth, I think you will be much, much happier if you take a hiatus – just temporary, mind you – from daughter-knitting-projects and channel ALL your knitting magic toward Olive and your friends. Really.
    Your friend,

  9. I too wondered what a “redwork sampler” was. Ya learn something every day!
    I think that hand-knit one is way cuter than the real kind!

  10. Owls and Olive! Great combo!
    Can’t wait for the “controversial” canine counterpane. Kay, if it’s coming from you/your imagination, I KNOW it’ll be special.
    Keep on keeping on.

  11. Um, probably that would have worked better as a link to an article on redwork samplers. Whoops!

  12. You are the only person who could actully make me think that knitting an owl would actully happen, now I must google owl pattern:)

  13. uh Kay?
    You’re making me a little nervous with the Crayola markers RIGHT NEAR Olive…. a painted dog???
    m in m

  14. That redwork thingie is funny.
    I know the fabric markers [shudder!] will be fine and all, I’m just saying that puffy paint fabric markers look more three-dimensional and AWESOMER. They even make sparkle ones, I bet.

  15. The owl in the tip photo has legs! It’s walking out of the shop!

  16. That Olive. She makes me swoon. Can I borrow her for a walk?

  17. Don’t you think that Rita and Pearl are holding down the knit ends of Manhattan. Remember thinking when R opened Downtown Yarns that seemed such a big leap. Who would go there?
    Clear that I am not such a great prognosticator of trends. Still missing Knitty City while very pleased with Portland, O. Often have imagined conversations with you on “deep issues” of gender and religion.


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