Tag Archives: new orleans

Deep South Shop Hop, Stop 5: The Quarter Stitch, New Orleans, LA, July 11, 2015

Valiant Husband and I had planned this as the last stop, after our excursion to Diamondhead.  I had originally hoped to get off of work early the day before, and we were going to go to the French Quarter and then to Diamondhead and stop for dinner somewhere to wait out rush hour before driving back to New Orleans.  Unfortunately that didn’t end up working out.  Fortunately, I still had one more day to get the last stamps on my passport.  We went to Diamondhead first and then passed through downtown New Orleans and the French Quarter on our way home.  To avoid parking in a paid lot just to run into the yarn shop for a few minutes, Valiant Husband pulled into an illegal parking spot while I took care of business at The Quarter Stitch.  (Hence the selfie).

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Their lovely yarns are very much a splurge.  But I justified it since I had spent less than ten dollars on all of the pattern books at the last store.  And because it was the only thing I liked well enough to buy it.  As usual, they wrapped it up in a pretty package!

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This Blue Heron Yarns Rayon Metallic will make a lovely shawl, I think, and I have some yardage to play with since sock weight usually comes about 400-450 yards and this is over 500.  So I could probably go up a needle size and make something with a little more of an open weave and give myself just a tad more coverage over the shoulders.  I was looking for something in a blush pink, perhaps a bit lighter, go to with different neutral color dresses, but this really caught my eye with the subtle variation in the color and the shiny bit of gold.  My eye was actually drawn to a purple color at first, but when I looked further I decided on the pink since that’s what I had been wanting.  Since the color variation is subtle, I think whatever lace pattern I do will still show up nicely.

As I left the shop to dash to the car where Valiant Husband was waiting, there was a brass band procession coming down the street.  Only in New Orleans!  (I wish I could have gotten a better picture, but it was boiling hot, Valiant Husband was still parked illegally, and there was a police officer standing in the street so I didn’t want to make too much of a nuisance of myself!)

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I didn’t even get a picture of the last stamp on my passport, because they asked if they were my last stop, and when I said they were, they put the card right into the folder where they were saving them.

Just this week I got the confirmation from an e-mail from one of the shops, that other ladies had won the grand prizes, although I had already figured as much since no one had called me.  I am quite happy with the two skeins I won at my first stop!  And I am very much looking forward to enjoying everything I purchased.  Why is it that I can find time to BUY yarn, so much more quickly than I can find time to USE it?

I had better go get knitting…big time…

P.S.  It turns out that Softball Mom’s daughter and her team won big at regionals, so they will be going to the World Series, which is at a town on the Atlantic coast of Florida.  Cue the beach trip for them!

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Zero Work + One Needlebum = Much Knitting Mischief

Since Valiant Husband generally bails on me over Mardi Gras weekend to go to parades, we usually both take the day off on Monday, the day before Mardi Gras, to make up for lost time, and head to the French Quarter if the weather permits.  This year he was fortunate enough that Monday happened to be a federal holiday which means that he had the day off from the get-go.  I was unfortunate enough that I drew the short straw and had to go in for at least a half day since the three other secretaries in my department had already taken the day off.  I think there was an incident years ago when all of the secretaries were out and the attorneys ended up needing something, so now at least one of us needs to be there for part of the day.  Bummer for me.  At least they ended up not needing anything so I pretty much spent the morning printing out knitting patterns and watching the clock.

When it was finally time to go, we headed downtown and had lunch — my first burger and fries in weeks since I started my diet.  (I’m pretty much considering this week a wash as far as the diet goes.  Back to reality tomorrow.)  Oh my did those fries ever taste good.  Whoever says you lose your taste for it if you stop eating it, they are a big fat liar.

One of the purposes of my trip downtown was an excursion to The Quarter Stitch.

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I had visited this shop before and they seemed to have mostly needlepoint and just a few yarns.  Needlepoint is lovely  and I have tried it but I never got as much into it since I found the items I could knit, to be more useful.  So I have never frequented The Quarter Stitch.  But a friend had shared with me over Facebook that the shop carried a cute needle gauge shaped like a fleur de lis, and I decided I had to have one, and I planned on stopping by the store while we were in the French Quarter for Lundi Gras.  I was very glad I did!  They seemed to have much more yarn, with a variety of beautiful colors and textures that caught my eye immediately as I came through the door.  I SOMEWHAT broke my vow of No New Yarn in 2015 for some lovely Dream in Color Smooshy with cashmere in “cranberry melt.”  The lady at the store supported me completely that it was souvenir yarn which did not count.  Everything was wrapped nicely with a curly bow.  I picked up three of the smaller needle gauges that they offer on either a chain or a clip, for my two Co-Knitter Sisters so I can attach the gauges to their Christmas gifts later in the year, and for Knit Addict Co-Worker who wanted one.  They wrapped it up all pretty with a heart, and in Mardi Gras colors!

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There is MUCH more to New Orleans than Mardi Gras, and if you ever happen to visit for Mardi Gras or otherwise, it is well worth making the one-block detour off of Bourbon Street to pop into The Quarter Stitch.

In the meantime, until I can start another pair of socks and possibly try the Smooshy, I am very satisfied with how the Love Socks are coming along, once I refreshed my memory that I needed to twist the strands when I switched colors, to prevent a hole and keep the stripes smooth.  Laissez les bon temps rouler!

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Happy Mardi Gras!

I am fortunate enough to have the day off of work today since Fat Tuesday is a Very Big Deal here in New Orleans and the city pretty much shuts down except for Walmart and fast food.  It is a gray and chilly day, but dry at least, and since the supermarket around the corner is open I will run out after lunch for groceries to make chili for dinner for Valiant Husband after he gets back from the parades.  He can freeze his rear end off.  More power to him.  I am staying warm inside with several knitting projects and a stack of DVDs I just bought that I haven’t watched yet.  I went to plenty of parades during the first couple of years after I moved here, but at this point I am SO over it.  Given the crowds that gather even for the more family-friendly atmosphere in the suburbs closer to where I live (no flashing floats here!), you have to get there two or three hours ahead of time to park your car and stake out a spot to set up your chairs, ice chests, and etc.  To get up AND at ’em that early on my day off?  No thanks.  It’s not even 10 a.m.  I’m still in my pajamas.  And I don’t really need a bagful of cheap plastic beads they will be throwing from the floats, either, until someone can show me a way that they might be useful for my knitting.

However, thanks to Boss Lady whose daughter who is queen this year for one of the organizations which puts on one of the parades, this has officially been the Best Mardi Gras Ever.

Here are some pictures from the ball.  So sorry I haven’t shared them sooner.  Time got away from me and then it was about to be Mardi Gras which seemed the perfect time at that point.

Immaculate hair and makeup job by Talented Stylist and her co-worker.

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Yours Truly was in a rare un-bum-like mode, dolled up with the blinged-out Ruched Cardi.

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They had over an hour of presentations and pageantry beforehand with the entrance of the King and Queen, and although people who attend every year were griping about it, Valiant Husband and I even enjoyed that since it was a novelty for us.

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After the pageantry, they had bands playing in three different rooms, and plenty of food and drink, and it was a party and a half.  Valiant Husband and I had a complete blast and stayed until the wee hours when the lights came back on and the bands started telling everyone to leave.  Then we were recuperating for about a week afterward.  Thank goodness all we had to do the day after was eat junk food and watch the Super Bowl (and since our teams both had lousy seasons, we didn’t much care who won).  We just can’t do those late nights like we could when we were spry young 20-somethings.  My Fancy High End Shoes ended up off my feet and under the table by about 12:30 or 1:00 a.m.

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Then, this past Sunday, we were also invited to watch the parade from the reviewing stands.  There was a lovely brunch beforehand and they kept the champagne flowing while we waited for the parade to reach the end of the route where the stands were.  Then they finally sounded the alert and we all had to rush out of the banquet room and find seats at the stands, where there was more champagne flowing.  The stands were tented to provide shelter, but thankfully it was dry on Sunday.  Gentlemen had to wear tuxedos.  Ladies wore Sunday best.  I think Lady Mary (“Downton Abbey”) would have approved of my outfit.  I just love any excuse to wear a hat.

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At the stands, the King and Queen stopped and made toasts which we shared in.  You can see the Queen on her float in the background of this photo.

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The Queen seemed to be having the time of her life.  She was grooving to the music the whole way as her float was moving down the street, and must have kept it up during the two or three hours along the earlier part of the route.  Then she was going to be meeting friends later for the evening parade, which started five hours after hers.  More power to her.  I don’t think I could have done it even when I was a spry young 20-something.

After the parade (which ran a bit late), it was closer to dinnertime than I had anticipated.  So Valiant Husband and I hit the road and decided that we were not quite ready for the lovely day to end and that it seemed like a Very Good Idea to scrap our original plan of eating leftovers in favor of going out to dinner since we were all dressed up and it seemed a shame to let our outfits go to waste.  So he treated me at a very nice Italian restaurant which is one of our go-to’s for special occasions.  Hey, I have absolutely no problem with having my fancy dinner the day after Valentine’s Day when things are so much less chaotic since everyone else and the ten people waiting behind them aren’t also trying to do the same thing as us.

Hope you have enjoyed this little taste of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  Although I must say, I was very fortunate this year.  Most years I would have been watching the parade from the side of the street with the “peasants,” as Valiant Husband was jokingly calling them.  And I may never have a chance to go to a fancy dress ball ever again in my whole entire life.  So I enjoyed it thoroughly while it lasted!