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Knitty City is Up, Purl Soho Is Down

New York, New York, it's a wonderful town! Yes, I'm back in the Big Apple, here to cram in as many Broadway Shows as I can, and knit or crochet during any spare time. Visiting yarn stores is also on the agenda. With luck (I haven't checked yet) one of the 300 museums in town will be having a fiber-related event, and then I can attend in good conscience.

My first night I stayed at the Freehand Hotel (I like to move around a lot, because lugging luggage across sidewalks and through subways is my idea of clean, fun exercise, and because it gives me a sense of where to stay (or avoid) for next time). The Freehand Hotel was gorgeous, but badly lit:

I'm not one to knit at my desk ... I put my laptop on the desk, the project in my lap, and I crave a good overhead light, which wasn't available here. Of course, I always sensibly pack my miner's style headlamp (purchased so as not to wake up Mr. Uncle Stashley whilst on holiday together), so I can wear that and see my work perfectly illuminated. I look horrible, but that cuts down on the amount of time I take selfies, so everyone's a winner.

Don't be afraid to rearrange the furniture in your hotel room (or yurt, wherever you're staying). I happily unplug appliances (I never use the TV, for instance), to make room for my waffle iron or whatever essentials I've brought with me. Chairs are tugged around, ottomans nudged into place. Once I had the misfortune to stay in an AirBnB with no seating whatsoever, so I sat on the floor, on a pillow, and pressed my back against the edge of the bed, and knit there, God help me.

On my first full day in town I investigated some yarn stores that were as yet unfamiliar to me. School Products Yarn in Midtown was, alas, closed, but a deeper trek to Downtown Yarns all the way on Avenue A paid off, and I acquired a handsome new 5.5mm crochet hook made in Vietnam of Forest Palmwood. There was also a dog I could pat (I miss my dog instantly when on vacation, and touching other dogs oddly makes it better).

The subsequent night (yesterday) I saw (don't judge) SpongeBob SquarePants, the musical, and it was surprisingly quite good. Don't know why this should be a surprise, given that almost every single review said it was "Surprisingly Good!", but it was. In the second act, an even bigger surprise: Bob's pal Patrick was given a knit shawl, pink and green, and (a) I noticed instantly it was knit, and (b) wondered who did it and how long it would have taken? Because it was large. I hate to give away spoilers, like "in Act Two Patrick is given a knit shawl," but I don't think it ruins the play.

(Mind you, my nephew is prone to telling me things like "don't worry, it seems like she dies but later you find out she's okay" and when I protest that not only do I now know she dies, sort of, but that until this moment I hadn't even realised she was in the film, he shrugs and says he doesn't think he's ruined it for me, so your mileage may vary).

I went online trying to find pictures of the shawl, but there are none, so perhaps this is in fact a spoiler of the highest order, since the producers have gone to great lengths to keep it secret. I can divulge it is pointy, but that's as far as I'll go, you'll have to see the show yourself to learn any more.

I brought with me two projects, one sensible, one foolish. The sensible one is my new Christmas stocking, the Falling Snow Stocking by Jennifer Hoel. It requires only two colours, so only two balls of yarn needed to make the trip with me. I have included a photo of it looking wistful on the windowsill, gazing out at the New York City skyline (I'm not crazy, I know knitted projects don't have feelings—it's only after you bind off that they acquire souls and personalities of their own, duh.) If you have any projects on the go that only require one ball of yarn, well, even better! That's very sensible travel knitting, and I wish I had your judgement.

And then there's the foolish one. It's my beloved (only) crochet project, Sophie's Universe, where one changes colours most rounds, and if I finish a round each day I'll need ten colours before the trip is over, hence ten balls of yarn. I have brought four balls, and it isn't enough! I will have to pay a visit to a yarn store again, to acquire more Cascade 220 in an assortment of additional colours.

Speaking of colours, as I sat in my newly rearranged hotel room with my miner's headlamp on, lovingly counting the stitches and making double crochets in most but skipping the fifteenth etc., I noticed a remarkable similarity between my housecoat (a colourful item supposedly from somewhere in Africa, picked up on a recent jaunt to Salt Spring Island), and the colour palette I'd developed for my bedspread-to-be (yes, Sophie, that's your fate).

And there's nothing wrong with that—I only wish I'd thought of it sooner. If you're a bit worried about colours, just be flagrant about it and copy the hues and tones of a well-regarded piece of apparel in your collection, or take down one of the smaller drapes and tote it to the yarn store for comparison.

I have since switched hotel rooms and am in the Hampton Inn Times Square, which is a bit less dim, thank goodness. Tomorrow I'm off to an AirBnB again, but if I recall correctly, there was a chair in the photographs, which (fingers crossed) will perhaps still be there when I check in.

I am sorry to go on about this crochet project in what is ostensibly mostly a knitting blog, but I am afraid Sophie's Universe will be with us for some time, as she is intended to become a bedspread, and I have just this very minute compared her current state to an actual bed, and there is still a discrepancy in size:

So I have a ways to go, it would appear, before she is finished.

On The Needles

(I will mark with a ! those projects that have advanced, and !! those projects that are new to the blog.)

!Falling Snow Stocking (Round 39)

!Sophie's Universe crochet project (Part 3: Round 25)

!Sweater Sample (from the Sweater Workshop, in the short rows section)

!Vice Versa scarf (double knitting!) starting the eight row of squares

!GGN Norwegian Ski Sweater (about 13.8 inches into it, from the bottom. There's a magical time in every sweater project where, no matter how much you knit it, it never gets any bigger. I am there.)

!Persian Dreams Blanket (row 43 of the second hexagon)

!A Random Blanket (about 40% through)

On the backburner:

Really, no point mentioning these forlorn projects again. I get it. I have a lot of UFOs, and the attention span of a—what's that over there? That glinty thing? Oh, where was I ....

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