This weekend is the second annual New York City Yarn Crawl. This year, the prize baskets are more deluxe–and more plentiful– than ever, and it looks to be a fun time for stores and customers. This year, one of my fave old-neighborhood spots, the City Bakery, is a “friend of the crawl,” with its own prize basket. (If you stop in at the City Bakery, I recommend the hot chocolate with homemade marshmallow, or the “Kay Gardiner Special,” a cup of coffee with a marshmallow on the side.) (No, they don’t really call it that.) (Also, two words: pretzel croissant.)
There is also a scavenger hunt again this year, in which we will be looking for a knitted apple in each shop. Try not to be frenzied about it, OK? Last year, there were reports of frenzy. Remain calm. In dignified, ladylike fashion, find each shop’s apple, note the info on the tag, and gently email that info to the scavenger hunt.
A Yarn Crawl Tribute Contest
Mindful of those who can’t be in New York this weekend, and also of those who can be in New York but want another chance to win stuff, I’ve got my own little prize drawing this weekend.
The prize: BOOKS! A whole stack of books!
I have looked at all of these books, and they are all special, and they are all good. The winner gets all of them.
1. Vampire Knits
This one has something for everybody: if you are a vampire or a Twi-mom, if you want to knit a scarf that looks like it was found at a crime scene, or if you’re still searching for that stitch pattern that resembles clots of blood. The best horror-themed craft book since Zombie Prom: Shock Frocks From Beyond the Grave .
2. Jil Eaton’s Knitting School
I will always be grateful to Jil Eaton for freshening up baby knitting back in the 90s with her bright, modern MinnowKnits designs. (Remember the overalls? And the Brittany Jumper?) Jil’s latest book is great if you are a beginner knitter, or if you want a good solid reference book with patterns, from a knitter, designer and teacher who really knows her stuff.
3. Warm Knits, Cool Gifts
I was looking through the patterns in this book one by one, enjoying myself and trying to figure out what was the Sally factor, the clever touch, in each pattern. Then I started reading the pattern instructions for the blanket, and said to myself –not for the first time–“SALLY MELVILLE IS A GENIUS.” Sally has figured out a really cool way to seamlessly join strips or squares into a blanket, and explained it very clearly. I say no more, lest I spoil it for you. Blanket knitters: get this one. Other knitters: you will like it, too. For knitters, by a knitter’s knitter (and her daughter, who is no slouch either).
4. Purls of Wisdom.
This one is great for anglophiles, and others who like a book with a beautifully understated, traditional design. It’s another how-to-knit and all-round reference book, from across the pond. A handy collection of beginner and basic-wardrobe patterns.
5. The Art of Knitted Lace
I make no claims to being a lace knitter. I have trouble remembering the difference between knitted lace and lace knitting (don’t tell me; I’ll only forget it again). But this book is beautiful, a fine addition to the knitted lace (or lace knitting) genre, with contributions from a group of talented designers.
6. Knitting Mochimochi
Amigurumi are those cute little useless things that some people devote their entire crochet habit to making. This is a book of knitted amigurumi. Amigurumi are fiddly but funny, and so adorable.
See what I mean? A couch with eyes!
A teevee! (If I really wanted to make Carrie happy, I would knit her amigurumi. Girls love this stuff, even if they are way past prime Hello Kitty age.) This book is worth it for the photo styling alone.
7. Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes.
And finally, one that is not a knitting book, Mess. Keri Smith’s books are hard to describe, almost more like games, or art classes or fun time-wasting, than books. Each page gives you an idea for something weird or funny to do, often involving damage to the book itself. A great gift for young creative types; Wreck This Journal was my kid-birthday gift of choice until I ran out of kids I hadn’t given it to. (Carrie actually did tie a string to her copy of Wreck This Journal and drag it around outside, and I think she also took it into the shower at one point.) With Keri Smith’s books you entertain the left side of your brain (or is it the right side?), and end up with an odd piece of art as a souvenir. Keri Smith also has a date book out now, which is intriguing to me, since my ordinary date book usually looks like a Keri Smith book by the end of the year. Anyway, whoever wins this collection will get a respite from all that knitting, with Mess.
OK, the rules are:
1. Post a comment to this post giving your best guess and/or suggestion as to what my dog Olive’s costume should be for Halloween.
(This is Olive, bored and unadorned.)
2. Entries expressing the view that dogs should not wear costumes for Halloween, or otherwise harshing on people who dress their dogs up in safe, comfortable and ADORABLE outfits for holidays, will be disqualified.
3. Comments must be posted before 6PM New York time on Monday, October 11, 2010. Winner will be announced on Tuesday.
4. The winner will be selected by random drawing, not by correctness of answer.
Here’s a clue:
I might be knitting a little something from the Mochimochi book before sending it out next week, just saying.
Happy Yarn Crawl, happy Columbus Day, and Happy weekend to all!