Fun Stuff

Knitting and Crochet in the News

Yarn-Tangle

Happy New Year to you and your families! I’m looking forward to a long weekend and hope you’ll get some time off to relax, too.

Over Christmas break, I finished up a couple of projects for the baby boy. I’ve posted a few photos of my work on Instagram, and will be sharing more about them once I snap some better photos.

I’ve noticed a lot of articles about knitting and crocheting in the past few months, and thought I’d share some of them here in case you have time for some reading this weekend.

Fun Stuff

Funny Knitting Tutorial Video

Happy Friday! I hope you have a chance to work on piles of projects this weekend. And if you need a quick refresher on just how quick and simple knitting is, check out this tutorial courtesy of The Daily Show. The next time someone suggests that you should try selling the intricate shawl you’ve been working on for a month, just remember how easy it is (and how cheap the yarn was). 😉

Knitting Crochet Projects

Fun Stuff

Crocheted Granny Square Afghans on TV

Slate recently ran an article about the ubiquity of granny square afghans on American television shows. It was fun to read about the origins of some of those familiar set decor pieces. The article didn’t mention one of my favorites: the granny square afghan at the home of Parks and Recreation character Ann Perkins.

Parks Rec Crochet Granny Square Afghan

During the show’s first season, it was often seen in the company of Ann’s then-boyfriend Andy Dwyer (who spent much of his time on that couch while they were dating). No matter how you feel about basic granny square afghans, those TV couches would be pretty boring without them.

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TNNA Report Roundup

Although I didn’t attend The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) trade show in Columbus, OH, I’ve really enjoyed reading trip reports from the talented professionals who were there. Here are a few blogs where you can learn more about the event:

P.S. I’m so jealous about all the people who got to have Jeni’s Ice Cream. I’ve never tried it, but they have a bunch of locations now.

P.P.S. It looks like the 2016 TNNA summer show will be in Washington, D.C.

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Why I’ve Been MIA

I just wanted to check in to let you know I’m still here, doing well, and starting to attack my Ravelry queue once more! I’ve been scarce around these parts, but for good reasons: preparing for, experiencing, and then catching up after the most amazing trip!

There was a little of this:

Tower of London

And this:

Eiffel Tower Trocadéro

And of course, some of this:

Volvic Knitting Kit La Droguerie

I can’t wait to share details, and to get back in my normal routine of knitting, crocheting, and posting about knitting and crocheting. 🙂 In the meantime, I’ll share some more photos over on my Instagram account.

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Gilmore Girls Crocheted Scarf

I’ve been binge-watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix lately – it’s just such a perfect show to “watch” while crafting. I’ve already seen all of the episodes anyway, plus there’s definitely enough dialogue to keep you informed of what’s happening by just listening. I’ve found Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue-heavy shows (West Wing, Sports Night) to be good for this, too. 😉

Repeat viewings do reward you, though – there are so many awesome details in the sets! The Hooked on Houses blog has a photo tour of Lorelai’s house and the Gilmore mansion, as well as the Dragonfly Inn (and the town of Stars Hollow). For super fans, there’s also a thorough guide to filming locations for the show on the Filming Locations of Chicago and Los Angeles blog.

Needless to say, the knit and crocheted items on the show catch my attention – and there are a lot of them! One piece that I’d particularly like to recreate appears in at least a couple of episodes: Rory’s crocheted scarf.

Rory's Scarf

It appears prominently in Season 5 Episode 14: “Say Something.” This is the episode in which Rory borrows Logan’s limo service so she can comfort Lorelai in Stars Hollow. The limo causes a commotion in town, and Rory responds by poking out of the top and explaining that she’s “not usually in a limo.”

And good news for those who like the scarf as much as I do – there’s already a pattern that was inspired by this piece! It’s called, appropriately, “I’m Not Usually in a Limo,” and was designed by Maria Keays. (Available for free as of this writing.)

Rory Crocheted Scarf

In the closeups, you can see some of the details of this lacy crocheted pattern.

Rory Crocheted Scarf Gilmore Girls

The scarf made an appearance in at least one other episode. Here, Rory layered it with other cold-weather wear. I think this was from Season 4, Episode 17.

Rory Crocheted Scarf Gilmore Girls

Bonus: Here’s another scarf that’s similar in appearance but clearly isn’t the same one. This one might be knit? It’s hard to tell, but it’s pretty.

Rory Scarf Gilmore Girls

Fun Stuff

Getting Started

Do you remember learning how to knit or crochet? When you’ve been doing something for a long time, it’s hard to remember where you started and how difficult it was. That’s certainly the case for me – I’d rather forget the frustration and frogging. 🙂

A woman named Dayna has started posting about a series of challenges that her family and friends have given her to help her learn new things and get outside her comfort zone. Aside from being a great idea in general (who hasn’t made a “bucket list” at one point?) I love that one of her challenges was to learn how to crochet from her mom.

It seems that, more often than not, this type of craft is passed down from one generation to another. It just makes the hobby that much more meaningful. Who taught you to knit or crochet?

 

Fun Stuff, Yarns

New Orleans

The husband and I celebrated a milestone anniversary this year with a cruise out of the Port of New Orleans. Neither of us had been to NOLA before, so we specifically chose this cruise so we could spend a couple of days there prior to setting sail. We stayed quite close to the French Quarter and focused most of our time in that area since our stay was short.

Naturally, the trip included a crafty shopping component. In the spirit of keeping things relevant around here, I’ll cut to the chase and deliver the yarn store goods first. Then, if you’re interested, stick around for some other trip highlights. 🙂

Yarn

The Quarter Stitch on Chartres St. is lovely, with a selection that’s broad without being overwhelming. There was definitely a “community” vibe when I was in the store – the staff was very friendly, stepping in to offer customers advice on patterns and chatting about the merits of different fibers with customers. Overall, a very pleasant experience.

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I picked up a skein as a souvenir of the trip. I just love it when yarn stores pack your purchases in fancy wrapping. Here’s mine, on the ledge of our hotel window.

BlueHeron1

I’m a big believer in the importance of providing a unique and memorable customer experience. There’s a lot of competition in the market, and seemingly small gestures can turn a relatively ordinary experience (making a purchase) into something special. Ribbons? Tissue paper? Heart-shaped confetti and an adorable tag? My yarn purchase is still stored in this wrapping, in fact, and you can bet I’ll remember the store when I’m ready to use it.

And here’s my yarn – a skein of my beloved Blue Heron Rayon Metallic.

BlueHeron5

I picked the Mossy Place colorway because of its fun and festive shades – a reminder of the vibrant character of the city. I also had my eye on the Tapestry colorway, but ultimately couldn’t resist this one.

BlueHeron4

Gorgeous as always – I just love this yarn and save it for really special projects. (I just finished my Gail shawl in Turquoise – it’s blocked and drying as I type!)

Visiting

Although our stay was short, we discovered that there really is something for everyone who visits. And, apparently, anyone who is in the market for real estate. Whatever your stance on the supernatural, there’s a property for you. (Budget allowing, of course. 😉 )

NewOrleans3

Food & Drink

One of the first orders of business was to check out the infamous Bourbon Street. The Pat O’Brien’s location on Bourbon Street has a beautiful courtyard – a welcome oasis after traveling. Hurricanes and mint juleps all around. Speaking of unique customer experiences – they wash out your glass for you, box it up and let you take it home as a souvenir. Again, small gestures make a difference.

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We ate dinner at Mother’s one evening, which is something of a New Orleans institution. It’s not cheap, but they do make a great po’ boy.

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Rounding out our tourist-heavy food & drink itinerary is the obligatory Café du Monde pilgrimage. We stood in an impressively long line at the “to go” window, to avoid an even more daunting line for those wanting to eat “inside” the airy structure. There were some areas to sit behind the French Market, and so we grabbed our beignets and coffee and sat in the relative peace and quiet to enjoy. Yes, it’s touristy. Yes, it’s a long wait. But we weren’t about to visit NOLA for the first time without doing it.

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Sights

We also made our visit a cultural one, stopping at two Louisiana State Museum sites in Jackson Square: The Cabildo (pictured below – and note the jazz musicians playing on the nearby balcony) and The Presbytère. The latter is home to a compelling Katrina exhibit with multimedia displays and artifacts, plus a Mardi Gras exhibit that includes many costumes, parade float components and other treasures.

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Jackson Square is so pretty, and look! Thanks to a combination of luck and a sudden, short burst of rain that cleared the area, I got the iconic Jackson Square photo without a ton of (other) tourists in it. I know everyone takes a photo from this spot, but it’s still by far my favorite one from the trip. 🙂

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We peeked inside Saint Louis Cathedral while we were there, too.

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One of our last stops was Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1. It was quite a hike to get here from our hotel. I’d done a bit of reading about the cemetery before our trip, so we saw most of the highlights (including Nicholas Cage’s pyramid tomb…). If we’d had a bit more time, I think we might have benefitted from a guided tour.

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So there you have it – our short and sweet trip. Have you been to New Orleans, and if so, what were the highlights of your trip?