Category Archives: Shopping

Join Me at the Ringwood Farmer’s Market August 7

This Saturday, August 7, 2010, I will be at the Ringwood Farmers’ Market and Artisan Sale! This will be my first time at this event and I hear it is just great! The even runs from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. this Saturday, rain or shine.

In additional to fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruits, local artisans will have many different items available for purchase, including pottery, jewelry, pet items, woodworking, and of course crochet and knitted items!

The Ringwood Farmers’ Market and Artisan Sale is sponsored by Eat Local, Inc., who works to educate the public on the importance of eating locally grown foods, provide access to local foods, support local farmers, and cultivate a community in which the values of eating locally are promoted and celebrated.

I hope you can stop by and say hi!

A Touch of Peru in Denville, NJ

Today I joined friends for some late lunch shopping at the Sidewalk Sale in Denville, NJ. One of the shops I always wanted to check out is Bridges Peru , a great little shop with authentic South American items. So, I took a few minutes to check it out. All I can say is WOW!

It is safe to say I could get into some serious trouble in that store. In addition to items such as Yerba Mate, unique and beautiful jewelry and beaded bags, they have baby alpaca yarn, alpaca gloves and hats and beautiful hand-made tapestries! The work is absolutely wonderful and incredibly detailed. The variety of offerings are Bridges Peru is just wonderful! It truly is a great source of cultural education and fiber art inspiration.

I, of course, had to pick up some black alpaca yarn and definitely plan to go back and get a pair of fingerless glove/mitten combos and some Yerba Mate. If you are in the area, I highly suggest you check it out – you will not be disappointed!

Stitchin’ at…Nonna’s!

This week we are going to do something a little different. We are taking our Stitchin’ at Starbucks on the road! Join us at Nonna’s Yarn Cafe in Denville, NJ at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 22, as we help celebrate their fifth anniversary! Then at 8:00 p.m., let’s head down the block to Mara’s for some coffee and crochet!

Please be sure to call Nonna’s at 973-983-9276 if you plan to attend, so they have an accurate count for the evening!

Hope you can join in on the fun as we celebrate this great achievement!

Happy Birthday Nonna’s Yarn Cafe!

I love visiting local yarn shops. They provide a great sense of community for we fiber fanatics as well as introduce us to yarns the “big box stores” would never consider carrying. One of my favorite local yarn shops is Nonna’s Yarn Cafe in Denville, NJ. This shop is owned by two wonderful sisters and their store is warm and inviting. When I wrote my Armchair Traveler for Spin Off, I highlighted their shop!

Well, next week marks their fifth anniversary. And what does that mean? A party of course! Stop by on Thursday, July 22 between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. for all kinds of fibery fun like special yarn sales and give-aways! I know I’ll be there! Make sure to call or email if you plan on attending.

Happy Birthday Nickie & Josephine!!!!

Big Stitch Knitting

Earlier today I received an email from and they were advertising big needles. But these weren’t just any larger than normal size needles…as George Costanza would say about the “BIG salad,” these are “BIG needles!”

These big knitting needles come in sizes US 35 (19mm) and US 50 (25 mm).  They also have big crochet hooks and a book to go with them.

Now, I don’t know how those knitting needles feel to work with, but they definitely are intriguing! I don’t think I’ll be trying them any time soon. I think I’ll start with something a little smaller. I may definitely have to check out the crochet hooks though.

Craft Fair this Saturday

Get inspired this weekend at the Saints Peter & Paul Orthodox Christian Church’s Christmas Bazaar! There will be plenty of hand-made items (including yours truly), as well as professional vendors to get your holiday shopping done. Bring the kids so they can craft with Mrs. Claus and tell Santa what they want for Christmas! There will also be plenty of homemade Slovak goodies to snack on while you are shopping.

The event will run from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 5th. The Saints Peter & Paul Orthodox Church is located at 64 Beach Street, Rockaway Boro, NJ.

Be sure to stop by and say hi!

Buy Handmade This Season!

As the official shopping season begins today with “Black Friday,” I urge everyone to take the same pledge I do each year and buy handmade.

What is the handmade pledge? It is a promise to purchase hand-made items by local artisans, which are more meaningful than store-bought gifts. This is even more important to me this year in light of Ebay’s commercial that tell us that handmade items “smell like Church.”

Can’t make something? No worries. Shop at Etsy. Go to your local craft fair and buy gifts. If you live in the northern New Jersey area, shop at Peter’s Valley. Go to and sign the pledge.

There are lots of ways you can reject the commercial aspect of this season and give a gift that will last longer than the batteries needed to make it work.

Negative Feedback for New Ebay Commercial

OK, I have a gripe…

“Let’s talk about homemade gifts … No one wants them. I know it’s the thought that counts, but think harder. How about a snow mobile? It doesn’t have to be expensive. Go to eBay.”

This is how a new television commercial for Ebay starts out. The individual providing this opinion is holding a pair of knitted gloves with grandma sitting in the background trying to hear what he is saying. I have a major issue with this…and I will be the first to admit I do not have the best sense of humor. However, I am one of many who make hand-made items for those I care about enough to put the time and effort into making something as a gift. I also know for a fact that those who have received those handmade gifts appreciate them.

A perfect example is when I saw one of my three nieces for Christmas a year or two ago. As she sat on the floor looking at the wrapped boxes in front of her, she starred in wonder. Before she started to rip them open, she turned and asked, “Which one did you make for me Aunt Andrea?” You have no idea how much that meant to me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like Ebay very much and use their site more than I care to admit. However, I think this was a very insensitive advertisement, both to those who make and give handmade gifts and to those who sell handmade items on their site. If you do sell handmade items, I urge you to check out Etsy instead. This site is a celebration of all things handmade. It is definitely worth a look.

Rain and Cold at Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool

There is one word that stirs the hearts of fiber fanatics…Rhinebck.

This past weekend was the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival held each year at Dutchess County Fair Grounds in Rhinebeck. For for the past several years, the weather has been just wonderful. Well, this year we paid for it with cold and rain on Sunday. I bundled up however and set out from my house at 6:30 a.m. to get the bus at Jill Deal Yarns in Milford, PA to the festival.

The first thing I noticed as soon as I stepped off the  bus was the lack of crows of years past. It seems the threat of poor weather kept many of the crows away. While I was happy for the elbow room, I did feel bad for the vendors who travel such great distances to get to the festival. I also heard there were a few vendors who didn’t go to the festival at all over concerns of the weather. While speaking with some of the vendors, they said they had a “good” or “solid” weekend, but certainly not what it was in year’s past. Hopefully next year’s weather will be better.

Nevertheless, I had a great time! I picked up some wonderful yarns for a planned project, some lovely crochet hooks and of course some great snacks! I stopped by the Ravelry get together for a quick hello and zipped back and forth from barn to barn to see all the wonderful animals! I also spoke with a representative from a new yarn company St. Denis. The amount of inspiration you can find at this festival is truly never ending!

It is also always great to see my wonderful fiber friends. I was able to sit and visit with author and internet radio show host Mary Beth Temple as well as others. To me, one of the best parts of these festivals to see my fiber friends that I don’t get to see as often as I would like!

One thing I noticed (and wasn’t too please about), was the large amount of strollers. There seemed to be a lot more than last year. In a way it was a good thing it wasn’t as crowded as usual because it would’ve been impossible to maneuver around them.

Overall, I had a great time and am sorry it is over already! One of these years I will make it a full weekend trip. But I wait in anticipation of all its fibery goodness until next year.