Hoboken, Life, Rheinbeck

A trip home.

I had the fortune of traveling to the NY/NJ area a few weekends ago. It was my "pregnancy gift to thyself". I spent the weekend in Rhinebeck, NY surrounded by knits, fleece, friends and apple cider donuts and the week in NJ with some family before heading back to New England.

I LOVE going to the NY Sheep and Wool festival. I still can remember my first time . I was SO giddy about seeing yarn and wanting to savor every moment. That first year I got myself a coffee mug from Jennie the Potter – ON A SUNDAY, WITHOUT A WAIT. Oh how times have changed!

This year, on Saturday, I stood on line (at around the time of the festival opening) – all 32 weeks pregnant – for about an hour and a half and didn't even get a coffee mug with a handle. I did though get a handle-less mug, a small bowl and some stitch markers. While I realize I may have been "crazy" to wait so long, I also didn't get there at 7:30 am – which is what I heard others did. 

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It was amusing standing on line. So many people walked by asking what on earth we were waiting for. Some scoffed at the idea of waiting so long for pottery, others just nodded their heads in approval and understanding.

I figured this would probably be the last time I would do this for a while so might as well stick with it. I am truly amazed and thrilled at Jennie's success! I tried thinking of similar pottery available like hers and there simply isn't any. I had a chance to say hello to her on Sunday and of course she was without a voice. I hope she got to put her feet up and drink a whole bottle of wine to herself on Monday.

From there I decided to walk the festival – slowly. Actually, I didn't even get to see it all because well, I am very pregnant and no matter how much "umph" I was trying to give myself my body need to SIT. Sitting and watching the fair offered up some great memories too. Matchy-matchy sweaters, some outrageous knits and good ol' husbands and boyfriends there to lend a hand with holding bags and bags of yarn made me smile.

I did come away with some good treasures:

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The new M"ewe"sic yarn from Green Mountain Spinnery, a few skeins of Jill Draper's Mohonk in Capiz Shell (which I kept asking her if she mean Mo-hawk or Mo-hunk? oh my Jersey accent), some O-Wool Balance Bulky, buttons from Melissa Jean and of course some Soak in the Fig scent.

On Sunday I got to see a few old friends from Hoboken. They travel together each year from Patricia's Yarns. Nothing like sharing a few apple cider donuts and some good convo to end the weekend on a high note.

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I also spent the weekend with some wonderful knitting friends in a cozy house a few minutes from the fairgrounds. It was the 2nd year I had done this and I can't see going to the festival any other way!

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So many good laughs were had this weekend AND I didn't even get to drink. ;-) 

Speaking of Patricia's Yarns, no trip to NJ is complete without a visit to her shop! I fully believe in supporting your LYS and since Patricia's was one of my firsts I had to get some yarn while I was there.

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Lucky for me she had just recieved her shipment of Madeline Tosh! I got two skeins of the Tosh Light, and a skein of the luxurious Extra from Blue Sky, top it off with a tin of the Milk & Honey lotion bar, I was set!

In the end, it was a wonderful few days. I miss NJ so much and was happy to be able to enjoy it. I even got to go to the Balthazar Bakery in Englewood (yes the same as NYC) and nearly bought them out of danishes. If anyone is coming to visit me and has that on the way – please feel free to bring me some! 🙂

Happy Knitting,

Fiber Co., Hoboken, Life

James and his blanket

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My dear friends in Hoboken suprised me with this beautiful blanket when I brought Baby James on his first trip to NJ. Knitted with Acadia from the Fibre Co. it's not only stunning but luxurious. Nothing less for my little man.

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It is in heavy rotation with his other blankets. Kid is so hooked up! I'm kinda jealous of him. But knowing me, I'll probably steal a little snuggle with it every once in a while.

I love the texture of each stitch pattern and I think he likes how soft it is on his skin.  

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Thank you my wonderful knitting friends! To Patricia of Patricia's Yarns for organizing and for those fab gals at Kelbourne Woolens for distributing such beautiful yarns. I am so grateful for you all.

As for life with James, it has been amazing so far. I'm trying not to blink.

baby baby, Hoboken, Knitting Books

What to Knit When You’re Expecting – Review & Giveaway!

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I am a bit behind on book reviews but I cannot NOT blog about this particular book before Baby H arrives!

It's Nikki Van De Car's What to knit When You're Expecting.

I got to know Nikki from my time in Hoboken, NJ while working (and playing) at Patricia's Yarns. I was so thrilled for her when she told me about her new book and I'm so happy to share it here.

The book starts out with some great tips on techniques and baby sizing sizing. I really enjoy the sizing part as I know I am trying to knit things that are seasonal and size appropriate. The book is cleverly divided into 3 sections called Trimesters.

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The First Trimester is filled with simple patterns including cute baby mittens, a beautiful honeycomb blanket and these SHORTS (so making those!), it's perfect for those first few months of getting into the pregnancy groove and if you're sick as a dog some simple stockinette is sometimes all you can concentrate with! (not to mention Pregnancy Brain!)

In the 2nd Trimester patterns get a little harder with striping and lace work. My favorites are the Tutu, Ike's Vest and the Autumn Leaves Sweater.

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Finally the 3rd Trimester section is brilliantly filled with quick knits! As you get closer to that due date you never know how much knitting you can get done. 

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The chicadee hat, time flies booties and the above Owl and Monkey pillows are my favorites here.

All in all a great pattern book that is filled with knits for not only your special one but for friends and family who are also expecting! 

I'm happy to offer a copy to one of my fabulous readers! Leave me a comment by Tuesday, Feb 26th.

Happy Knitting!

And then it was done..., cardigans, Hoboken

FO: Fable Cardigan

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Well I've grown a lot in the last couple of months! 

While I've enjoyed knitting the babe a few things I have also been a bit selfish and made a couple of things for myself. I keep hearing that "things will be different" when the baby comes so might as well capitalize on the knititng time.

I have loved this cardigan ever since I saw Kate wearing it at a workshop held at Patricia's Yarns. I remember at the time she didn't have a pattern written but was working on it. Sure enough a few months later there it was on the Kelbourne Blog! 

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The cardigan is simple but stylish and I can already tell a wardrobe staple. I've already worn it so many times and it doesn't bother me that I can't quite button it up!

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The only trouble I came across was pooling. I had to alternate skeins for the first time ever to give it a nice continuity. I even paired certain skeins together using the darkest for the collar.

Pattern Details
Fable Cardigan by Kate Gagnon Osborn
Fibre Co. Terra, colorway Butternut
US 6 & US 8 needles
Buttons from JoAnn's. 

I made the 37" size. 

A helpful note for those who make this, for the collar, I picked up 3 for every 4 rows and was pretty much spot on for the stitch count. 

I really can't believe how close it's getting to Baby H's due date. I really truly cannot wait to meet him!

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Hoboken

Knit it.

It all started with a voicemail.  

Well, I guess it really started way before that back to when I first moved to Hoboken in 2005. I lived in a cute 2BR duplex that was a mere stones throw from the recently opened yarn shop, Patricia's Yarns.  I was very new to knitting then and a bit excited (I think I skipped there the first time?) at the idea of living so close to a LYS!

Over time I got to know the shop owner, Patricia, who has since become one of my closest friends. During those early days, Patricia and I would spend time in the shop talking about anything and everything and of course, knitting. Many yarn purchases, a shop relocation, a dog, a baby, some knit nights and moments that will always remain untold on this here blog later, our twosome turned into 3, then four and then a full on knit gang. Our gang of fiber fanatics come from all walks of life. There are men, women, older and younger, designers, engineers, scientists, strong drink makers, teachers, executives, nurses and a PHD MD student who we endearingly call "Dr. Dr.".  

The only thing we love just as much as knitting is wine.

One member of our band of knitters, Michelle, happened to be someone who went to the same HS as I did. I reconnected with her at a beginners knitting class I was teaching at the shop. We immediately hit it off. Add a bottle or two little bit of wine into the reunion you would have thought we were long lost sisters. So when we were exchanging numbers at a loud bar Michelle thought it best to call me on the spot and leave me a message because that is always a Good Idea drunk.

It went something like this (forgive my vague interpretation, Michelle). "MAAAAARRGAUX!!! It's Michelle!!! I cannot belieeeeve it! (something a bit incoherent in here) Save it! Dial it! Drink it! F it! Knit it! Purl it!!  And save this message 'cause I'm gonna wanna hear it!!"  Of course by the next day, our memory of the night was a bit fuzzy but the discovery of the drunken message left many of us with sore laughing muscles on top of our hangovers. I will never delete it so long as I can help it.  

Since then the saying has gone through many iterations but always had Knit it. Purl it. Drink it. as it's core. It has in a way become our knit group motto. When I found out I was moving, I knew I needed to think of a good way to immortalize our saying for the shop. Enter a A Vintage Poster.  My blogless friend Dana  came across this fabulous site and thoughtfully shared it with me. I immediately contacted the designer and she whipped up a few versions of our "catch phrase" and I fell in love with the one below.  Sara at A Vintage Poster was SO awesome to work with and happily told me that if you want a Knit It! poster for your gang of fiber fanatics you can order one by emailing her at avintageposter at gmail dot com.

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Patricia immediately found a prominant place in the shop for it's display.

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I find it poignant that this will hang in the shop even though I may not be there everyday. I hope it will serve as a reminder to how much fun we had during all those afternoons and crazy knit nights.

To you, my Knitters, thank you for making every moment SO wonderful.  There are so many things I want to say but really I think you all just know how you have touched my life. Thank you for your encouragement, guidence and support. I am going to miss you all very much.

knit it.
purl it.
never forget it. 

Love,
Margaux

*photo of shop courtsey of Chris