July 6, 2006
New and Improved
So last week when I was at Lettuce Knit, it was raining. Really, it was raining very hard, and this normally wouldn't bother me, (I try to accept Nature and all it's variability) except it was raining inside the shop.
The store has always had a little wee bit of trouble with leaking, it's an old building, it has a flat roof, the landlord is perhaps not as committed to worldwide dryness as is possible....but in the end, it didn't leak anywhere that there was yarn or books, and the problem was solved neatly with a bucket on rainy days. So it was that when the rain began while we were all sitting around knitting that evening, that Megan and Laura brought in a bucket, and we discussed ways to put the bucket to minimize splashing from the drips (one of the techniques suggested was to run a string from the ceiling to the bucket for the water to run down. Very funny moment when Laura was in a yarn shop... looking for string. ) and nobody worried very much.
Nobody worried very much until Mother nature decided to up the ante. Rain did not fall, rain pelted. It sheeted from the sky in colossal overwhelming waves of monstrous rain, and the ceiling began to leak. Laura duly placed a bucket, the knitters knit. The ceiling began to leak in two spots. Another bucket was nervously placed, knitting continued. Suddenly, a third spot began, and this time...this time it was over the yarn.
The room erupted. Seven knitters sprang up and bolted for the yarn. A brigade formed to move the yarn and books to safety, furniture was shoved, fibre was stowed...no knitter would let yarn suffer so much as dampness on our watch. While we moved yarn, placed buckets and laid towels (and completely trashed the store in the process)...a fourth spot started. (Not coincidentally, right over one of the spots that we were moving the yarn to. No system is perfect.) The ceiling began to bow, full of water...and I began to feel a little panic. (Yarn was threatened. It's my instinct to feel nurturing towards it.) "Poke it" I said. "What?" said everyone...
"Poke it, make a hole and let the water out, before it spreads all around."
"With what?" Said Rachel H. (Please take a minute to register where Rachel is standing while she asks this. She's in front of a wall of needles. Hundreds of pointy sticks. Hundreds.) It was classic. All of these knitters standing in a yarn shop, holding their knitting while standing in front of a needle display saying "If only we had some kind of pointy stick!". (I'd tease Rachel worse, but mere moments after a metal straight was procured from one of the knitters, I leapt up onto a chair, super-hero style, needle swung bravely aloft, ready to impale the ceiling and save the yarn.....only to suddenly find that my outstretched arm (attached to my five foot body) came quite a bit short of the ceiling.
As I stood there, arm up, needle high, ceiling far away, Rachel looked at me, looked at the gap between my needle tip and the sagging plaster above me and said, with complete seriousness and an air of incredulity that will never be repeated on this earth,
" Steph? How tall do you think you are?"
The rain continued the next day, and despite heroic efforts by people taller and smarter than me....
This is what the shop looked like yesterday. Closed. Our little Lettuce Knit, gone forever. Now the good news.
The new Lettuce Knit! It's bigger! It's the same great shade of green! It holds more yarn! It's got a patio! (It's inspiring me to a ridiculous use of exclaimation points!) That's right. In the span of less than a week, Megan and her crack team of yarn pro's moved the shop into the bottom floor of this awesome little house. The best part?
Be still my heart. Lettuce Knit now has a washroom. (There wasn't one before. We all coped by planning bathroom breaks before we came and limiting fluids while in the store.) I was so excited about this that I had a cuppa tea before I left the house to go to the shop, just because I could. When Megan's done fixing it up there will be a kitchen too...thus removing the last few barriers to me actually moving into a yarn shop.
The very best part?
Look. On the right, the old Lettuce Knit, and just down the street, just a smidge down, the new store! Same wonderful neighbourhood, same streetcar stop in winter, same bike ride in summer. Perfect.
I'm so proud of Megan, the owner. She's been bright and ethical and warm and lovely and firm all at once, and I'm really impressed by the way she combines her family and the shop. It can't be easy, but she's such a good person that I can't help but be happy for each and every nice thing that happens to her. (This may have something to do with why I keep spending my money there. Ethics in business is a real attractant for me.)
Not only was it the Yarn Shops big leap to a new place, but Amy's big leap party too. (There's a great set of photo's over at her place.) Amy's quit her day job and is becoming the full time writer/editor/knittylady that she's dreamed of being.
This was the look on her face when I said "Smile Amy...You're unemployed!"
There were many knitters of note there last night (including FiberTribe Caroline, who sailed in while I was tied up and was gone by the time I looked for her...Caroline, I wish we'd had some time!)
This is Diane.
I know it looks like Diane is holding an ordinary sweater...she is not.
This is a sweater begun by Diane in 1996, and finished...well. Just now. 10 years. I can't believe she went back and finished it...I mean, we all talk about it, but nobody really does it....
This is Veronica. You're not going to like her.
She's holding a sweater that she's knitting out of wool she dyed herself, she's knitting it brilliantly, it's beaded beautifully.....
and she learned to knit two months ago. TWO MONTHS. She's knitting a beaded sweater out of her own handpaint. (And she's nice) Can you imagine what she's going to be knitting in a year? No, no, no. We don't need this sort of a person hanging around a yarn shop making the rest of us look bad. Brilliance should be reclusive.
Finally...I have a partial solution to the cherry problem.
I sent the tall teenager up there. (Doesn't she look happy to help?)
Posted by Stephanie at July 6, 2006 12:59 PM
Oh, wow! Can I possibly be the first?
She looks thrilled. The new and improved Lettuce Knits looks even better than the tall teen-ager!
I understand the woes of owning a business and watching the rain pour in through the roof. Congrats on her move and enjoy the new space!
Joyful posts full of photos of happy people and blissful end results!!! What a lovely Thursday.
How I wish I had been there to see you try to poke the ceiling! You're small enough I could pick up and then you could reach! hahaha, says the spindly girl with the big eyes who is freakishly strong.
The new store looks SO inviting! How far are you from Minnesota? whyah (I'll be there, MN, in two days!)
I may have to plan a trip to Toronto just to visit the new Lettuce Knit, if only because I adore funky-looking old brick buildings. Could you please arrange for Veronica to be out of town when I come?
Beautiful yarn store! I am going to have to make my way up to Canada, eh?
I envy you the Montmorency cherries. They are the very taste of my childhood. Climb the tree, eat until you pop, then pick all you can reach! Cherry jam can make a big hole in the overproduction... Can't wait to see you in Oklahoma City. The shrieking when I found you were coming made my family think I'd gone barking mad. Which of course I have.
Ya know, I was going to suggest yesterday that the girls be pressed into service...if they enjoy the cake, they should help pick, etc., etc...but I held back because I haven't yet earned the right to advise on teen issues. I guess great minds think alike.
Congrats to all on the Great Yarn Shop Rescue! It has all the makings of a miniseries, don't you think?
Even short, you are a superhero.
The new store is so cute! I wish that I lived in Toronto.
Congratulations on getting more cherries. You will have to share the recipe for the sour cherry cake, so all of us can enjoy. Perhaps you should branch out and start experimenting with cooking books. You could really surprise yourself. And Congrats to the new Lettuce Knit location -- those Canadians are incredibly resourceful! Maybe all us MN people can caravan up there for a yarn store visit and stash enhancement trip.
That's the kind of store I want where I live. There one that o.k. near where I work, but . . .
This has to be one of your funniest! I can almost smell the Cherry Upsidedown cake uummmmm
Stephanie...first, thank yo so much for the info on getting in touch with Blue Moon! Second, and I should have written to you yesterday...the MOST awesome way to get pits out of cherries is by using the smaller rounded end of a paper clip! Put it in the stem end and rotate it...the pit lodges in the space at the curved end and it can be removed in a jiffy!
"Tall Teen in Tree" - I love that shot. She looks positively thrilled.
And it is not a competition. Not a competition! Perhaps if I say that enough then the brilliance of Veronica won't give me a complex...
Your blog never ceases to entertain me! (I am sure you haven't heard that before.) I have been knitting for about two years now but I didn't discover the world of knitting blogs until the past few months. Now I look forward to reading everyday! Thanks for sharing your many talents with us! I look forward to reading more...
Now I really can't decide which is crazier, climbing out a window onto a teeny tiny roof to pick cherries, or trying to poke a hole in a ceiling with a knitting needle. Do you realize you could have brought down a flood which would have stunned even old Noah? Anyway, thanks for the pics of the new store. It looks awesome, and I will visit soon!
Okay, Veronica, I'm taking you off my Christmas card list .. dang you!!! Knitting for only TWO months and already making beaded sweaters with hand-dyed wool ...... (*insert jealous mutterings*)....
Wow, not only does the teenager look thrilled, but the angle of the shot makes me vaguely seasick.
What an amazing save for the yarn shop. Good thing everyone was there for the deluge or it might not have faired so well.
"Same wonderful neighbourhood, same streetcar stop in winter, same bike ride in summer..."
but a different landlord, one hopes?
Off to commission a run of "Steph...How tall do you think you are?" t-shirts. I expect Joe, Ken and the girls to be my first customers, but I expect a wide clientelle. It's a phrase with wide application...
What a great story. I'm so happy for Lettuce Knit. I think we should all work hard to support our local shops (and keep them dry when necessary!)
May be you just think you're so tall because you are the mother of these tall teenagers and since you are their mother, you must be taller than them.
Well, I'm 5 feet tall on a good day with a breeze, and I also think I'm much taller than I am. My husband is 6'4"...
Ooooo-the new Lettuce Knit looks so nice and friendly-congrats!
And I like how Megan's hair is falling into devil horns-is that mere coincidence?;-)
Clearly you forgot the part of the evening where we decided the blog Just Really Didn't Need another goofy photo of me... (you couldn't snap one last night when I was all dressed in grown up clothes and heels and makeup and everything? hmpf)
And darling, being your friend I say with some measure of confidence that I'm sure at some point you will prompt a repeat of that level of incredulity on this earth.
It was horrible to read what happened to Lettuce Knits, and wonderful to hear what happened next! I have been looking for a place to have a little "girl vakay"......Toronto in late July, early August??? Gotta visit Lettuce Knits now....especially with the hope of seeing you there Steph!!
Oh and about Diane.....let's hope she is really, really nice, or we will ALL be suffering from inferiority complexes! I have a friend like that, too. Published Author (13+ books!), attractive, wonderful family, great husband, amazingly nice, unfailingly kind......but she doesn't know how to knit. She thinks I'M the accomplished one! HA!!
Who doesn't love a story with a happy ending?
I thought of you yesterday at the library. There was a sign for a local program that puts people with fruit bearing trees in touch with food banks. No waste, help others, great solution.
I loved the store story, but your daughter's face as she's being oh-so-helpful in the cherry tree made me laugh aloud.
I fear the teen years.
I am heartbroken that I missed it. I had planned to be there, intended to be there, even headed in that diretion - but was thwarted. Will have to visit soon. The new store is gorgeous and it looks like you all had SO much fun. I have sympathy for the tall teenager in tree - my mother always sent me up after the apples. I'm sure my facial expression was equally as joyful. Enjoy your cherry cake (and be sure to give extra to the happy one).
Oops!! Diane is the Goddess of Stick-to-it-ive-ness! Veronica, is the over-achiever. Sorry.....
Hey Veronica, can you come to my house and teach me how to dye my own yarn? I promised my nieces they could Kool-aid dye their own sock yarn.
OMG! Nearly panicked! I'm planning a trip to TO in a few weeks and for a few paragraphs there (having completely missed the "New and Improved" headline) thought I wouldn't be able to make my very first ever visit to Lettuce!
Wow...need to go have a nap now...calm down...drink heavily. That was awful.
(P.S. So glad it all turned out okay...even better. I'm not the religious sort...but that was kind of a biblical rain wasn't it?)
Wow. What a stroke of luck that there was a store just down the street. I guess things really do happen for a reason, even if it means threatening yarn in the process. Good solution on the cherries - she does look very excited to be helping.
And Knitters come to the rescue yet again!!! I love the image of the "yarn brigade".
Good save, everyone.
Yay for Veronica. Nobody remembered to tell her she couldn't do it so she went ahead and did it and continues to do it.
Take "can't" out of the vocabulary and see what happens!
Well, what a stroke of luck that big ole rain came along when it did huh.. now you have a new store! I wonder how far NH is from Toronto. (off to mapquest)
I visited on Monday, in the middle of the move. Clearly, I should have extended my Canadian stay by a few days! Enjoy the new space (and send some of that sea silk south of the border, 'kay?).
Glad the yarn was saved! Love the new store. Being short myself I've had similiar experiences, but never to save yarn.
I can laugh at the expression on the Tall Teen's face, as I have been the recipient of that exact expression many times myself....
People told me that they get better after they don't live at home all the time. I reserved judgement, but my own teenager, home from her freshman year of college, is MUCH easier to live with than ever before.
If this post doesn't result in a mass migration of knitters to Toronto, I will eat my shorts.
You realize that the teenager's hair has turned into devil horns, right? I'd sleep with one eye open for a little while...
Congrats to Megan and everyone at Lettuce Knit - saving yarn is a noble cause.
Do I need a sponsor to move to Canada. I know moving there isn't easy. I want to live near Lettuce Knits. Oh well, I guess I have to plan my vacation to go and visit. Watch out Toronto, here I come.
I am so jealous of your cherry tree. I love pie cherries and they are very very scarce on the tree around here. the damn birds strip the tree before we can get to them. say nothing of the raccoons the squirrils and the foxes. Hooray for the new safe harbor for your Lettuce and hooray for the washroom. It is amazing what happens when a beginning knitter is not told that what she is doing is too hard, complicated, messy ad nausium. If they are simply given directions for whatever they ask to do they work wonders for themselves.
I was going to suggest that a cane is an excelent cherry branch bender but a tall teen is much better. Besides what better place to spend a lot of the summer but up a tree?
If I ever get a chance to go to Toronto again (it's been oh, 14 years?) I will definitely have to head to Lettuce Knit. I had seen the mention by Amy that they'd moved next door, but missed the reasoning. I think I'da had a coronary myself if I had seen the roof leaking over the precious, precious fibers.
Now, here's the question, were you holding a 9 inch or a 14 inch straight? 'Cus that 5 inches can make all the difference.
I had forgotten about Screech! I had a Screech T-shirt once upon a time...You are right, I don't think I like Veronica. No one should be able to show that much skill in so short a time! Read most of Knitty Summer 2006 online today, including your article on surviving wool and fiber festivals. Good to know it's okay to stalk spinners, even to approach you uninvited at such festivals should I happen to be at one at the same time that your are. But I find it cannabalistic that lamb is cooked and eaten by festival goers...that's like murdering and eating a family member! Horrid, horrid.
Great post! Congrats to Amy as well. I feel her pain and excitement too, as I just left my job after 14 years to get our house ready to sell. We're going into self-employment (my spouse, roommate and I) and a move out of state. We're planning a wine bar, but I'm still trying to convince the men that yarn needs to be involved!
One more thing I love about knitters: our obviously skewed sense of priorities. Water coming from the ceiling? No problem: nonchalantly grab a bucket. Water coming from the ceiling located over yarn? Everybody freak out.. This may be related to why I never go to the grocery store without a sock but often forget to bring money.
So, Icarus? C'mon, I need updates to stay motivated. The rows keep getting longer, yet strangely, the shawl never seems to get any bigger.
a. YAY for Lettuce Knit!
b. Your tall teenager is beautiful. :)!
I am not sure why, but this post makes me very very happy. I have yarn store envy, though.
Maybe I could open the US franchise and call it Radish Yarns...?
Whoa!, just noticed this: Tall teenager and I look remarkably alike. Horns and all. Only I've been to college, so I have more gray in my hair. And there's nothing remotely tall about me.
We vertically challenged individuals are rarely put off by such trivial tidbits as relative distance between us and the offending/desired object, be it sagging ceiling or can of coffee, back of shelf. How tall do you think you are? As tall as you need to be!
Way to go, Veronica! What a woman. I had read about the new shop happening, it was great hearing about the event that lead to why, and really, as long as the fibre was saved....it really is a lovely new space and yay, washroom, and ahhhh, a kitchen in the making? Now *that's* a yarn shop.
I had also read about Amy's Leap party, life certainly has its' moments, the ones we live for.
Tall teen in tree, that was great, perhaps she'll cheer up once the cake is baked.
PS Verra nice article in Knitty, read it yesterday afternoon and started searching for wool/fibre fest in my neck-O-the woods.
YAY! Yay for lettuce knit! That's such a great place, and Megan is so cool. Yay for good karma! YAYAYAYAYAY! I must get myself to Toronto, preferably on a wednesday.....
I second the vote for cherry jam! Good with sweet cherries, absolutely divine with sour ones! I read all that about your wonderful "LYS", and all I could think about was "I don't have a yarn store" and sniff back tears into my teacup. Glad it all turned out well!
Once the kitchen is finished perhaps Megan will be so kind as to let you have a sleep-over with the yarn at times. eh?
I selfishly gasped when I saw that first photo of Lettuce Knit. The gasp was not primarily because that wonderful shop would be closed, but because I was planning to infiltrate that very SnB so as to make lots of knitter friends when I move to Toronto next month!!! I'm so relieved to know that the shop remains alive and well. For all involved, of course.
Sue M (soon to be of Toronto, currently of Victoria, formerly of Iqaluit, formerly of St. John's)
The store is great. I have a few pictures (from last night) of how it looks like from the inside. It was so much fun that you signed my (your?) book, hee hee.
And yeah, sadly (for me, and gladly for all the others) I forgot my soccer whistle last night, dammit!
Bravo Lettuce Knit!
Can you believe that i have mixed business with pleasure one day in Toronto and went to shop there with my briefcase, my suitcase and in business attire.. Megan was there to show me that little slipper of her she was knitting in Malabrigo.. Yarn I took in 3 different colors along with books. Damn, however, i had to leave a lot behind.. Nice person, nice store, it was November - i wish i could go this Summer...
How horrendous! I would've gone down with the entire place, too, to save that rack of gorgy needles...
The new place looks beautiful! Enjoy your patio!!
Is there just something about landlords, roofs, rain, and yarn stores? We had a LYS close after the rain poured in on the yarn, and the landlord's reaction was to UP THE RENT. While making no repairs. The LYSO declared retirement and left. I am SO glad Lettuce Knit has a happier ending/beginning! And I second the motion on sending some Sea Silk south of the border; I wonder if LK does mail order?
I'd like to be one of the first to own a "Steph...How tall do you think you are?" t-shirt. Thanks.
You're too funny!
That's so wonderful - I love it when good things happen to good people.
I'll be visiting Niagara Falls in early Aug. with my nonknitting sister, 15-year old son, and 14 year-old niece. We're planning a day or two in Toronto, so I am scheming a visit to Lettuce Knit.
Poor Lettuce Knits! I'm glad that everyone mobilized quickly to keep the yarn flowing! We had ceiling problems at our LYS (Village Wools in Albuquerque, NM) recently, but not rain related. Someone broke into the yarn store over a weekend and smashed up all the ceiling tiles, getting lots of debris all over the yarn. Interestingly enough, they didn't steal one single solitary skein...must have been some teenagers who ate one too many portobello mushrooms ;)
I feel the pain of a leaky ceiling. Fortunately, our leak is in the sunroom, not in my fiber room. Excellent job by all knitters involved to save the yarn! And the new shop looks wonderful! I might have to plan a trip to Toronto just to visit that shop! (Hmmmm...I think exclamation points are contagious.)
All I can think is, thank goodness there were knitters there when the leaks started! Imagine if it had been overnight -- I shudder to think of it. The new store looks lovely, and now I really want to go to Toronto!
This sweater was originally made for my daughter in 1996, however she is 11 years old now and knows how to knit....hmmm, it is now a gift for my niece. I am honoured that it was mentioned in your blog.
Lettuce Knit's new home is absolutely fab!!!
1 WEEK?!!! I've helped unpack a yarn store. That's just brilliantly fast!
Megan's not just ethical, she's a wonder woman and has a team of wonder knitters. 1 week. The mind still boggles. If she gets DSL in there, perhaps Norma will visit and hermit there during non-busy hours?
I have suspicions of your stash being of a near size.
Dood! Where's the love!? I told you to take advantage of the kids! Slave labor! All the way!!
How did I miss the post about the cherries? Dude, that had me laughing so hard that my boss came over to see what was wrong with me. I obviously shouldn't be reading Harlot at work.
And that last picture is why we have tall teenagers. I'm 5'3" on a good day, my boyfriend's older daughter is 5'8" (at age 13). She comes in very handy, and the height makes up for the occasional moodiness (I understand the moodiness will increase, she's only 13).
We should all have lovely yarn shops close by that open 24 hours a day.
Criminey, how many knitters ARE there in your neighborhood? I try not to envy. I really do. But sometimes it's so dang hard.
What a joyful post - I love happy endings! The picture I love best is all the bike parking - reminds me of home.
Ha! I love those moments of "g'da!" (Like ta-da! only not proud).
“This is Veronica. You’re not going to like her”
ROFL!! Stephanie, it was a delight meeting you last night I hope you come to Snb at Lettuce Knit so I can continue to enjoy your very wicked sense of humor. Thanks for the post it has been a total boost to my ego!
- If this book writing and knitting thing stops working for you, you should consider stand up comedy!
(The force is with this one) Veronica
I have, for four decades, wished for more hands so I could accomplish all the knitting I want to do. Looks like Veronica has them. Thank you, Veronica, for "channeling" experienced, busy knitters everywhere.
It appears that these are salad days for Lettuce Knit. I relish their success!
Such a gripping tale! Mother nature gone wild! Yarn in peril! Brave heroines who are flustered yet resourceful. And in the end, a happy ending AND a washroom. Who needs TV?
P.S. That is one happy teenager...NOT!
Wonderful; great yarn shop, lovely people. What more could I want? I'm moving to Toronto.
The store should have a new name since it is in a new, bigger space. I think it should be renamed "Lettuce Knit More". I also think that since my daughter is gone for the entire month to her dad's house, that I should come to Toronto. Maybe then I could get someone to show me how to purl. *sigh*
I'm working in Washington DC just now and am returning shortly, to Toronto, and absolutely, this shop will be first on the list to visit.
Way to go.
I really just can't believe I'll be leaving Ontario in a matter of weeks and never managed to come and knit in Toronto. The new Lettuce Knits looks so fabulous! Perhaps Megan wants to start a chain, and open a branch in my new Montreal neighbourhood? Or maybe in my new apartment? Tell her I'll make room.
I'm willing to bet that she looks a lot happier eating the cake or pie! lol
OK.. I think a road trip to LK is in order.. With you lecturing for the weekend, and lots of trips to LK, and then knitting, then gossiping,, oops I mean helping each other, then ... you get the picture.. In early fall.. what a way to start out the fall season. Perfect excuse to visit the North country...
Congrats to the resourcefulness of knitters!!I'm sure we could solve the world's problems in no time if they would just ask us!!!!
Hugs.. & love the pic of your daughter.. warning.. it gets worse... daughter is now 22, but only 5'1",, her hubby is 6'3", lol that is funny... the revenge is starting to happen..lol
i want something....
see, you talk about the stash so much that i want to see it... I think you should do a stash expose. joe cant possibly get mad if in doing so he realizes exactly how much yarn you have cause A) i suspect he knows anyway, men are often less oblivious than wed all like to think and B) you have now published 3 books about yarn and knitting so you can totally write yarn off as a business expense. but the point of all this is that i want to see all of your yarn. make it a series, sock yarn one day, mohair the next. photograph all of it and then write it up. if you cant tell what some of it is then, esoecially with the gifted yarn, chances are that the sender will read the review and remind you what it is and you can then put a label on it..haHA. but anyway
flash your stash, stephanie. flash it. all of it. or at least the sock yarn. or at least write us a review of sock yarns and which ones are good and bad and all that stuff cause i dont think anyone knows more about sock yarn than you.
How nice to have a convenient yarn shop where people congregate. I love my yarn shop but it is a 30 minute drive away and I think the only people who hang out there are the extremely charming elderly sisters who own it. It does have a fireplace though. Makes the place seem 100 times cozier, even with the gas log instead of the real thing!
I laughed so hard at this post (good thing no-one was around to look at me like I'm crazy for laughing that hard at a computer).
I'm glad everything worked out with the shop. :-)
The cherry tree - you can chop the top off of it in the fall, so that next year the cherries will be easier to pick. There are several pick your own fruit orchards around here & that's what they do with their fruit trees, so that customers can easily pick the fruit.
I have just recently seen that very same teen face in my own home. Something to do with my not being grateful enough...oh yes, she set the dinner table without being asked. I am overcome....It was her second moment of work today.
Happy Day! New yarn shop! Tall teenager up the cherry tree! It really can't get better than that, can it?
What a life of adventure you lead. I want to make you a cape!
As a new knitting shop owner, that post filled me with fear and awe. I'm so impressed she was able to up and move store in a week! It took us over a month to get painted, papered and shelved! The new place looks fantastic!
You had me on the edge of my chair, so glad that all worked out and was saved. So am I reading right that SnB is Wednesday evenings? I wonder if I can find the place on my own (either using the bus or my car). Last time, DH was driving.
I need a good friendly neighborhood yarn store so I can have some good fun like that and that cherry picker needs some trousers! :)
Look at all the happy knitters! I really must move to Canada.
Don't tempt us so much. A yarn store within biking distance sounds like a dream. I heard that GW asked that Canada buy (and keep) the 6 New England states as a 60th birthday present to himself, thus eliminating those democratic states from national elections. Sounds like a good idea to me.
That may be the first yarn shop washroom I have ever seen without a set of metroshelves stuffed with bags of yarn stock making it all but impossible to sit down.
First- God love your lovely girls for helping with the cherries, I just knew in my heart they would come through for you. Lettuce knit looks absolutely lovely, it even has a stained glass over the door. Does anyone live upstairs from them? If so I hope they are knitters and love party people. Looks like all ended up well in spite of not haveing string and something to poke a hole in the ceiling ! haha I know now that if Diane can FINISH a sweater she started 10 years ago that I have a chance to finish some UFO's. thanks Diane for doing that. Veronica --you go girl !!!
See, now that's the fun that I envy!
Being a parent with kids still under the roof does have its perks.
Wow I didn't know about the new store, now I'll have to venture my way up... err.. downtown to see it! I knew there were stich 'n bitch meetings downtown Toronto but I'm too shy to ever go to one. I have very little experience knitting, it's too overwhelming, but I love it anyway. I just found your blog tonight for the first time and I love it and found it hilarious. I will definitely be a regular visitor.
Is that Icarus in your hands over on Amy's blog???? You all look like you are having WAY too much fun...
Wish I had knitting buds to hang out with like that....enjoy the summer up there!
From steamy, hot-as-hell Georgia...
You must speak with Amy about the pictures she includes on her blog. She's an editor, right?
I wish I had a sour cherry tree - I love sour cherry pie (well I put sugar in of course!) Williams Sonoma has a great cherry pitter for not too much $, you could save your dpns for SOCKS.
if the goddess gives you a drip, she will also give you a bucket to catch the drip. good Karma,eh?
hurrah for veronica! i've known her for oooooodles of years, and was so happy when i learned she'd been bitten by the yarn bug. i'm super impressed by that sweater she's creating! wow!!
hi, i stumbled upon your blog through technorati's top 100 blogs. the title 'yarn harlot' intrigued me and i thought it was a blog about some saucy stories.
1.harlot according to oxford dictionary is "prostitute"
2. yarn according to oxford dictionary is spun thread and also defined as "a story"
so, i thought this blog was about a "prostitute's story" - and i came looking forward to some saucy stories...
what a surprise!!! a pleasant surpise nevertheless, because the energy and the photos in this blog is very pleasant indeed.
just wanted to say hi..
I want to move to Canada. How does one do that? (other than renting a U-Haul) I realy realy realy want to move to Canada. I am an awful American ;)
Great post, Stephanie! The mental image of you standing on the chair, poised ready to attack the ceiling--oh, the hysterics. I nearly did myself an injury. (Did anyone start humming La Marseillaise or something??) Congrats to you all on the new store. May it live happily for many, many years! (Rams, if you get those "Steph...How tall do you think you are?" t-shirts made, I'm second in line! I'd still like to see Steph with something that says "Will tour for pants." I'm *so* tempted to run off an iron-on transfer of that and hand it to her when she hits Portland in Sept. ::evil grins::)
I would LOVE one of those "Steph...How tall do you think you are?" t-shirts. Love the picture of the tall teenager in the tree. I especially like the way her hair forms 2 points like the boss in the Dilbert comics. How tall is she? My mother (who was also 5 feet tall) used to always ask me to get things off the top shelf (about 7 feet off the floor) when I wa a teen because "you are so tall." I am a whopping 5'3". Maybe this is something every 5 foot tall woman does?
I meant to also say that the tall teenager looks about as happy to as any person that age who is not surrounded by a group of peers (& often even when in the midst of peers).
The new shop looks wonderful! Definitely the silver lining in this cloud was bigger than the cloud itself!
When I sent you my email last week, Stephanie, I was just about to fly to the UK on a holiday (I'm still here and here for three weeks in total). Luckily, modern technology has allowed me to keep up my 'harlot' habit! So here I am, typing from my brother's flat in London (Chiswick to be precise).
I'm telling you this to lead into the question 'do you know where I was yesterday?' Liberty of London! Feeling the yarn and drooling. No, I wasn't drooling on the yarn. Close to it though. I left inner London with 10 gorgeous balls of RY Cashsoft yarn in a lovely cream colour (pattern already picked out - RY's Classic Garden: Book Two. The pattern is called 'Bloom' and it's gorgeous too if anyone wants to check it out). This purchase is my 'touristic' present to myself on this trip.
I'm not sure where I'm off to today but I think I'm going to see if there's a Lettuce Knit wannabe in the London area...
Wow! I would LOVE to have a yarn store like yours, I would be there CONSTANTLY just walking around smelling all the different yarns. I live in Dublin at the moment and they don't have a single yarn store with nice yarn, all acrylic... Can't believe that in the country of Aran sweaters there is so little knitting going on!
I want a Lettuce Knits . . .
Everything really does happen for a reason! The new shop looks great. While I'm happy for the customers, I'm even more happy for the owners. How on earth have they worked there all day with no restroom! Yikes.
OK, It's official, I want to move to Toronto. You do seem to have a disproportionate amount of ace blogging knitters and even people who learn to knit in Toronto seem to be touched by the magic. Does it rub off on you if you visit a while?
does anyone else think that the teenager resembles a nocturnal creature? The hair looks suspiciously like bat ears --- So it's true! kids really do turn into vampires when they become teenagers! The sleeping all day and up all night thing makes sense now...
GREAT NEW SHOP!
Wow -- I was just at Lettuce Knit a few weeks ago, and could not believe how many entrancing yarns were contained in such a charming tiny space. My heart did an extra thump when I got to the part of the story with the closed and empty shop, so many thanks for giving the full story with the happy ending. (Although I'm still left wondering what would have actually happened if you had been able to poke a hole into the plaster...)
The traveling sock didn't get to go to the opening of the new Lettuce Knits? It's just not a party without the sock!
Coffee literally came out of my nose when I read the part about you trying to poke a hole in the ceiling! Hilarious! I'm glad the yarn is safe and sound :)
The community is sooo cool! I'd like to have someone to share ideas with.... Yesterday I was sitting in the kitchen and struggling thru my tree pattern sweater. Father passed by, looked disapprovingly at me and asked why I don't do some workout instead. Mother passed by some time later, pointing out that my activity is completely useless because if I need a sweater, it's cheaper to get one in a H&M sale for half price of the yarn, adding that only maniacs bother with making their clothes because it's not economical and that I should go and do something useful instead. Parents suck:-)
"Brilliance should be reclusive" made me snort so hard that the coffee come up my nose.
The new shop looks lovely. Will she be installing a fold-away cot?
OHHHH!!! I want to go!!! I like the new cherry picker!
Ooh, the new store looks great and I love the washroom. I'm tempted to come all the way from the states to knit there! I can't wait for my son to finally start school in a month so I can actually spend some time knitting at my LYS :)
as someone living just outside of toronto, i can't say i often get in to the city without a great deal of forethought and planning. BUT i have been meaning for soooooo long to go visit Lettuce Knit and now after seeing the party of the grand opening of the new location, i've just got to go! i think i'll make it a double feature and hit mabel's fables too! combining a couple of passions all in one go. on another note, does anyone out there know what became of a knitting store in vancouver called KNITWEAR ARCHITECTS? i really, really loved them and now they seem no longer to exist. have they moved? disappeared? re-named themselves? can anyone help me?? merci!
OMG - you shop at the same LYS as Amy Singer?!!! I really need to move to Toronto...
Is everything in your community so lovely? Is everyone so nice? Do you really have free sour cherries for pedestrians, and beer at yarn shops? When can I move there?
Regarding the Cheerful Tall Cherry-Picking Teenager, just tell her that, after looking at your blog photos, you've decided that picking cherries really makes her hair look freakish, weird and anti-social, and this embarrasses you as a mother, so you don't want her to pick cherries anymore.
That should eliminate the cherry problem.
As for what to do with the cherries besides make cake (which sounds divine) you need to learn to make Cherry Bounce. Get a really big pickle jar or crockery thing. Fill about 2/3 full with pitted ripe cherries. Buy enough rum to cover the cherries and fill any remaining space in the jar. Cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit for a few weeks. Strain liquid into individual bottles and make your own nifty labels. Allow to "develop" for at least 3 months. Give as holiday gifts or consume yourself. Serve as you would a cordial, lightly chilled in nifty wee glasses. Tasty either straight and chilled or diluted with soda water.
Don't throw away the sodden cherries, they can be used in "tipsy" cake or pies, which can be frozen for the holidays.
As for a picking device for those hard-to-reach cherries, get an telescoping golf ball grabber (available for about $10 US at any sporting goods shop). Gently pry open the little metal loop meant for snagging golf balls, until it resembles a hook. You now have a branch snagger to bring those unreachables closer.
Also good for coaxing wayward conures out of trees.
The usual cautions apply with this device around utility lines, of course.
This Louisianian's heart does a litttle stand-still at any thought of flooding, whether water comes up from below or down from above. I am so glad that Lettuce Knit has dry digs.
Diane is doing such a great job with her knitting because she has a great group of knitters to hang with.
I'm serious, (and only a little bitter). A knitter needs to hang with a pack.
What a GREAT leaky-roof story! Hooray for everyone behind the solution that was more than a solution! (And here's hoping, given the proximity that it is not the same landlord.....)
As for the cherries - my mother (of blessed memory) had a wonderful reaction to the offer of sour cherries (either already picked or you come pick 'em) - she made cherry borscht! Sorry, it was a long time ago and I don't have a recipe.... But see
http://www.empirekosher.com/jump.php?contentpage=pages/recipes-view.php (I don't remember wine in it but.....) There are a number of others on the web involving sour cream and the like, http://www.recipecottage.com/soups/cherry02.html
Cherries and sour cream? What could be bad?
The Pink Techno Asian and I were in stitches about this. She called me so we can giggle with each other since there are no fiber-inclined peoples at our offices. Thanks for making a brighter day!
Just too wonderful..it's amazing how water can get everywhere ( having had a leaky roof for two long years until we had funds to fix it). I just laughed so much and all those ladies look so very lovely .
DH says you've obviously watched too many old re-runs on TV. I shouldn't have read your email to him because I have a feeling the next time I whip out my pocket knife to fix something he'll call me MacGyver... When I read the email to DD she didn't know what you meant -- then I realized, duh, we don't have a TV. I explained, and she said, "Like Rube Goldberg?" I said, "Well, sort of, but with better shoulders, more hair, and a sense of adventure."
I had a chemist friend many years ago who had a still in his basement where he made cherry bounce from scratch (potatoes, cherries...). It was an amazing concoction.
Very glad you all were at your LYS and able to rescue the yarn! The new store looks so welcoming. Why do you have to be so far away?
Great story, Stephanie! How cool to have the new shop just a few doors down from the old. Shame about the old building though. I want my own shop so just a little jealous. Best of luck with Lettuce Knit!
Cherry jam is always good ... lotta work, but good. That many cherries, you could sell the jam.
Wow! I was at Lettuce Knit that night and left just as the rain was starting and the knitters had to relocate inside. I had just stopped in on a trip to the big city (I live 2 hrs NE of TO) for my first time and was so marvelled by the selection and overwhelmed all at once but couldn't stay long. If it weren't for your blog, I never would have discovered that gem of a store and wouldn't have heard about the waterfall through the roof (and I can picture how bad it was...I was driving on the highway in that torrential rain) and the subsequent move to the new location. So glad to find all that out and can't wait to make another trip to the new and improved LK. Thanks for the update!
definately celebration time ! both the yarn shop AND the cherries. thanks for the great recipe BTW. :-)
Love that yarn shop! How wonderful to have a place like that to go to.
Great pic of your tall teen picking cherries.
I have got to get to mine somehow...the cherries are sooo high up. Damn you nature!
The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul
has been on my mind lately. yes, even
before your blog entry. I think it's high time
for a revisit to this book.
also, Lee Valley should have a handy tool for you to get the Too-High Cherries.
Well the best part of the Lettuce Knit story is that Megan had all of you wonderful knitter-friends around her when the disaster was happening. No doubt your laughter and problem-solving helped her through a time that could've been scarey (all that inventory in danger of being ruined) and maddening (why oh WHY didn't the landlord fix those leaks a long timea ago?) Ok - she probably felt scared and mad anyway, but with you all there, it had a tinge of hilarity as well. Looks like she found a GREAT place to relocate!
Synchronicity: This morning I was telling hubby about your Yarn Rescue. In mid-sentence, since I was simultaneously turning newspaper pages, my eyes settled on a column about YOUR book, Knitting Rules! The newspaper is giving one/some away! Not wanting to waste such an obvious "sign", I immediately filled out my postcard precisely as instructed. Can I possibly lose? Great news about your LYS relocation, BTW!
Awesome story...but you neglected to point out one of the best aspects of the new locale....if its in the bottom floor of a house, that whole leaky roof scenario will never happen again!!! (And I'm with Tommy--I want to see your stash...I need to know if I'm a total w.a.c.c.o. with the size of mine...) Kudos to tall teenager... tell her it's like bungie jumping, only useful...
Concerning too damn much fruit. In a house that I lived in we had a deer herd that slept in the back yard and a fifteen foot fence around the garden. the deer ate all the apples that fell in the grass. then they got drunk and wobbed around in circles backwards until they fell over. Perhaps there are some raccoons that will help with the fallen fruit. they are absolutely hilarious when they are crocked on fementd apples and should be great to watch on cherry fizz. how about the marauding wool stealing squirrils? A squirril with a hangover sounds like rough justice, and serve them right for stealing your fleece.
My mother used to make me pick fruit. It was always (always) hot, sticky, buggy and so totally not cool. I feel her pain. Then, on the other hand-yahoo! one less hot/sticky/buggy thing YOU have to do.
Odd how my POV varies depending on which side of icky I am on.
What an amazing story! I think I would have been afraid that when I "poked" the ceiling the whole thing would have come down on me. What a cool name for a yarn shop....and the new shop will be great!
probably the bazillionth question, but is that right in Kensington? I'm from Waterloo, we're heading over there next weekend, I plan a visit to kensington and I'm sure I could talk my bf into a stop there
Not a regular commenter (I figure you have so many comments to read already), but had to chime in on this. It was marvelous to virtually attend the opening of Lettuce Knits. Want to thank you for sharing.
Also, I've been meaning to write you a letter (via your publisher), but life keeps preventing such, so I'll just quickly say many thanks for your saving me future knitting disasters. In one of your books (think it was the first?) I just read how a 'superwash' (pft-talk about a misnomer) sweater (knit with a new-to-knitting guy friend) grew like mushrooms when hitting h20. Aha! So THAT'S what happened to me a few years back. And I thought I was to blame, even though the beautiful bobble and lace swing jacket fit like a glove before a quick dip (no agitation) in the washer. Gave it to a friend. Reknit the blessed thing (cuz I so loved the pattern) again, but actually moved up a needle size due to swatching this time (figuring I was doing it "better"). Rinsed it again. Grew again. Gave away again.
Yes, I bought more of the same superwash yarn (I hadn't yet read your book) for the same (no-longer) blessed bobble and lace swing coat/jacket. In fact, I was foolish enough (cuz the company had announced they were discontinuing that particular yarn; they have since reintroduced it. And to think I used to work in marketing! Giving birth must have wiped out that section of my brain.), I was foolish enough to buy not just enough for ONE more swing coat, but TWO! (Well, you know, if the raisin color I first and twice made it in shrinks a THIRD time, now I also have a putty color to make it fourth as well.)
BUT, AHA! Armed with YOUR book, FIRST I read that superwash GROWS IN WATER! (D-UH! I've only been knitting 20+ years. I probably would have figured it out in another 10 or so...) THEN I read something about swatching (and WASHING the swatch! And DRYING IT!) What a concept! I've only read that hundreds of times before in knitting mags. And books. But yours was the one that sunk in.
So before this becomes its own book, please accept my thanks (and apologies now for a lengthy comment).
MWA! You may have saved my knitting life - or at least its sanity over a few projects to come.
My family has a sour cherry tree, we love it to death, my father employs a fake owl named hooty ever year to scare off those terrible birds. The other day after I had helped trim 30 meters of spikey hedge he looked at me and said "you know, you're almost as useful as hooty"... we use a normal step ladder to get to the top for picking.
-Andrew (from Syracuse)
rain rain go away
come again another day
but if your don't, its o.k.
i can stay inside and . . . knit!
Oh, I want to visit lettuce knit!!
Now that looks like a fun party! My kind of party. It looked like it was a blast!
I didn't read the whole thing, but it was good.lol great
"I try to accept Nature and all it's variability"
ITS, not IT'S. (The apostrophe is only used when it's an abbreviation for "it is".)
Sorry, I can't help myself!
Wow, I can't wait to see the new and improved store.
Good for Meg. Now maybe we can all fit in :-)
Hurrah! What a triumphant return for Lettuce Knit! And what a gorgeous store! I love the idea of a knitting patio.
Hi Stephanie! I just got a package in the mail yesterday from my dear friend Miss Sally Evans in Lexington, KY. Apparently she hosted your book signing in Lexington a few months ago and got you to sign a copy of Yarn Harlot for me!!! She didn't even know I'm already a big fan (and already had the book, but hey--this one's signed! And now I have one to give away!) She said in her letter than she "laughed all the way through your event, and I don't even knit (YET!)"
Hurray! And thank you for signing my book!
What is your address, I live in western OK and have been looking for a yarn shop, but I need to know where to find you.
I have just finished reading your wonderful book and I want more! What a little gem it is. I am wondering - i have a small but very beautiful knitting shop in London, England, Loop, and I would love to stock your book here. (www.loop.gb.com) Can you tell me who distributes your book in the UK so we can sell it to our customers instead of just on Amazon (where I had to get it). Please let me know. And, if ever you are venturing this way I would love to have you at our shop for a reading or anything you like. Thank you for your wonderful, inspiring and very funny words.
many thanks, Susan