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

When in New Haven

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Dear Ann,
On Tuesday night, I soothed my Rhinebeck-deprived soul with a day trip to delicious beautiful New Haven, Connecticut, to hang out at Knit New Haven, a 10 month-old LYS that seems like it’s been around a long, long time. What a balm for the spirits! Some scenes, all documented with Gale’s Hipstamatic app:
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OK, so the HIpstamatic has turned Mary’s amazing blanket–made of stash extras and oddments in beautiful neutrals–into kind of a green shmattah. But in person, this blanket took my breath away, as did all of Mary’s knitting. Mary’s color range runs the gamut from mushroom to biscuit. But she works it so beautifully. This blanket got me all jazzed about random knitting with scraps–it CAN work, if you “prepare your leftovers” carefully, sticking to a palette that plays nicely together. There is an exquisite 4- or 6-row stripe of a laceweight mohair in there that just made me crazy. The textural differences are what make a project like this sing. My next blanket will involve varied weights of yarn, inspired by Mary’s. I’ve always wanted to do that, but somehow it’s a big step. Now I see it really works.
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For something completely different, Shoshana showed off the start to her Kiki Mariko rug from Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines. A woman on a righteous mission to bust stash, Shoshana is using Lopi wool that has got to be certifiably antique. We had a deep discussion of the felting challenges that result from sticking an enormous, flappin’ piece of fair isle in the washing machine. I recounted how I had re-felted part of mine whilst holding most of the rug outside the washing machine–good.times. May have to do that again. I still have a bunch of Brown Sheep Bulky and Manos leftovers, already prepared.
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A highlight of the evening was when Knit New Haven presented me with my very first handknit witch hat. I may stuff it with a little tissue paper for Halloween. Thanks, and I sincerely hope there was no subtext to this gift.
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A girl and her pizza(s).
Note the expression on my face. I think it’s called “beatitude”. A pizza-fume high. Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana, on Wooster Street, took me to the mountaintop. I am not one of those people who goes around screaming about how great this pizza is, or that pizza is. In my book, there is excellent pizza and pizza ordinaire (aka “a slice”); nothing to get all bent out of shape about. But Pepe’s…..Pepe’s…… was just…….transcendent. If you like a lo-cheese, black-bottomed, thin-crusted, garlicked-out-of-its-mind pie, with a draft Jenny on the side (for hydration), get thee to Pepe’s. Very grateful to Gale for making sure I got there, despite our tight schedule.
New Haven knitters: you are so lucky to have Knit New Haven. It’s a haven. Thank you, Linda and Julie!
Love,
Kay

37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. I love Mary’s blanket, too, and am feeling inspired to do some similar stash-busting. Wish I could see the colors she used more clearly, but given that your hair is green in the photo, I’m a little suspicious about accuracy.

  2. ‘prepare your leftovers’. Are you slipping these phrases in just to see if I notice? Well I did.
    You do look a bit green, you know… hope the pizza really wasn’t green around the edges! x x x

  3. My husband is from Connecticut and we drove halfway across the country so he could have pizza at Pepe’s. Visiting family and friends was completely incidental.

  4. Ah yes, “hydration”. Must remember that next time I have pizza, preferably Pepe’s!

  5. Her blanket looks so much better than my stash busting blanket that I started out of leftover sock yarn!

  6. I love, love, love CT and wish I could get to the coast soon. Bet the yarn shop by the sea is as charming as it gets. Cute photos, Kay! xo

  7. Frank Pepe’s is pretty damned good. But don’t tell anybody I said that, as I’m still a tried and true Tottonno’s girl. (Coney Island location. The other ones are crap).
    Lombardi’s and John’s are also good.
    The rest of the pizza in the world? feh.

  8. Oh and the yarn/knitting stuff is cool too.
    But I’m hungry. And pizza…

  9. and you better come back soon. I hear that you can just hop on your broom and skip the commuter train ride next time, if you hav eon your haberdashery.
    ps its just a matter of time before a local here comments that I should have taken you to Sallies, other end of the street from Pepes. New Haveners have big Pizza Opinions.

  10. I was gonna tell you that you should have gone to Sallies – then I read Gale’s post. I guess that’s the big New Haven controversy.. Sallies or Pepe’s. I’m glad you got to try it out.

  11. My brother went to Yale law, so I’ve had both Sallie’s and Pepe’s, but can’t remember which I liked better. But for someone who has family in upstate NY and spent 4 long cold years there, I can tell you that your Jenny, is a Genny or Gennie, with a G and not a J or you’ll get yelled at!!!!

  12. A day of knitting AND Frank’s pizza? Sounds like you died and went to heaven. : )

  13. I was waiting for the punchline…pizza at Pepe’s. The best! Now when I go to New Haven for the pizza (my parents used to go to Pepe’s when they were dating in the 40′s), I can stop by the local yarn store, too! Thanks!

  14. News Flash–THIS JUST IN! The Texas Rangers have beat the New York Yankees!!!!! Woo, hoo!!!! My part of Texas abounds with much cheering and revelry.
    Okay, so this has nothing to do with your post, Kay. Please tell Joseph I’m sorry that his Yankees lost (not!), but he’ll have to come visit the Rangers Ball Park in Arlington, TX now.
    Please also tell Gale to lose the green tint–it does nothing to enhance the complexion!
    Mary G. in Texas

  15. LOVE Pepe’s! Been going there since college when I dated a Yalie (back in the dark ages—the pizza is the best thing out of that relationship!) and now, whenever I go to Ikea (autre temps…) BUT have never gone to Knit New Haven and will definitely make a trip there in the near future. (My own local LYS has a bit of an attitude that I think people who knit witch hats couldn’t have, if you know what I mean….

  16. I only lived in CT for four years, but out here in the pizza wasteland of the Midwest, I still dream about Luna Pizza on Franklin Ave. in Hartford, and Lena’s First and Last on Park Rd. where you crossed the line from West Hartford into Hartford. And that’s just Hartford pizza. New Haven pizza takes it to a whole ‘nother level.

  17. Quite inspiring. Particularly because even though I am so not a mushroom and biscuit kind of girl, some of that always ends up in my stash.

  18. Pepe’s is definitely memorable! So glad you got to experience their pizza. I can almost feel the crisp air and smell the pizza.

  19. my dad grew up in Milford, CT and when transplanted to the West, he told endless stories of Frank Pepe’s pizza–the best in the world–and how there was so much oil, it would “run down your chin”–his highest pizza accolade. I finally made it to New Haven with my parents a few years before their deaths and Daddy was right! Frank Pepe’s Pizza is sublime. Nothing like it. Thanks for jogging my memory.

  20. looking good green and yellow but good
    tis all hollows eve time you are in style
    i am a member of the nation where is texas

  21. Hmmm…you say the expression on your face is beatific. When I first saw it, I thought it was more of a “hurry-up-and-take-the-d@mn-photo-so-we-can-eat-already!” expression. Either way, beer, pizza, and yarn are three of my favorites, and I bet you were a treat for the New Havenites…so good all around, I say!

  22. I miss my LYS! Having just moved to NYC for school, I now have some new ones, but nothing like the one back home. I wish I could have made it home for the night… Kay, I’m glad you enjoyed New Haven. But, just sayin, BAR or Sally’s is better for pizza.

  23. You look good in hipstamatic.

  24. “Beatitude” looks good on you.
    So glad I finally got to see the whole post. For some reason my computer kept not opening all the pictures (was it the dial-up?).
    The “stash blanket” is especially intriguing. If the “New Haven” ladies could send you a clearer picture, that woud be g-r-e-a-t!
    LoveDiane

  25. The scarf being worn in the witch’s hat picture and in the pizza picture … ooooohhhh, where is the pattern?
    To inspire sympathy (and the pattern) I am allergic to yeast which is found in most/all boughten pizza crust.
    Janey, who is more than slightly scarf-crazed at the moment

  26. Gah!!!!! New Haven is my childhood home, my ancestral home as may family members still live there. Alas, I’m on the West Coast now and rarely have the opportunity to visit… Knit New Haven is a yarn store I’m eager to vist anyway, but then you have to go ahead and mention Pepe’s Pizza and now I’m totally drooling and jealous.
    Must. Find. A. Way. To. New. Haven. ASAP!

  27. On a different note, I think that your hat looks quite a bit like the choosing hat in the Harry Potter. What do you suppose that it will choose for you?!

  28. Dearest Kay,
    I love you to death. I must, as a native Rochesterian on the Genesee River, however, make one small correction… Gene (Jenny is correct pronunciation) :) So glad you enjoyed.

  29. Put any large item between 2 pieces of fabric. then you can felt it with soap, water and rubber boots.

  30. Hi – what is that cute sweater pattern on the manequin in the picture with all the scarves? Cute, cute, cute – would love to know. Thanks!

  31. 1.) Did Olive find a taker for the baby blanket?
    2.) What kind of cool cruiser bike are you posing with in the top picture?

  32. 1.) Did Olive find a taker for the baby blanket?
    2.) What kind of cool cruiser bike are you posing with in the top picture?

  33. Can’t wait to see Olive’s Halloween costume. Still imagining her as a “pig in a wig”….
    Happy Be-earlied Halloween!

  34. Visit on All Hallow Day itself and imagining you in your gorgeous knit pointy hat embarrassing your younger child ["please, Mom, do not come with me to trick or treat outside--just the building where they know you...please!"]. Or, you stop in tomorrow morning at nearby Starbucks, startle folks on way to subway, bus, and remind them to vote on Tuesday.
    Ron came by just now and noted how mellow you look in contemplating pizza. Both send you much love. We’ll be in City early December to see Roxie, so will try to meet up with you and Pearl.

  35. Just found out that I am going to New Haven in a couple of weeks and I now plan on going to Knit New Haven and hopefully trying a pizza at Pepe’s! Love garlicky, thin-crust pizza! Thanks for the travel suggestions!

  36. At last, a reason to love New Haven!
    xo
    Franklin (Harvard ’92)

  37. There is now a Pepe’s on central Avenue in Yonkers. a lot closer than New Haven. Its just a short way up Central from the Thruway. Yummy