(...wiping cookie crumbs off my face....)
Hi! I am eating one-third of the most luscious peanut butter cookie I have had in a long time. It’s from French & Brawn market, across the intersection from Unique One. The reason I am eating only one-third of it is because it is about the size of a dinner plate; I will get the rest later, I assure you! Mmmmm it is crunchy on the outside and a bit chewy on the inside, full of peanut-buttery goodness, and indeed -- whole peanuts are interspersed throughout. It is sweet without being too sweet; buttery without being greasy. In a word, it is perfect. Despite the time stated in my post, it is actually 10:30 a.m. and I have just finished vaccuuming the store, went to the bank and post office, did the paperwork from yesterday, and tidied up the office a little. There have been no customers in yet today. So before I jump into more rigorous activities of opening mail, assigning opened mail to various folders, ordering things, taking care of stuff on my to-do list, folding sweaters, steaming new wool sweaters to be put out, and knitting special order sweaters, I figured I would take a few minutes to *gasp* write yet another blog post. :)
In fact, I could stop right here and say, there, I posted! But I won’t. : )
I can tell you about the clothing trade show I went to last week. Every January I have to go to the New England Apparel Club clothing show in Marlboro, Massachusetts, so I can order summer clothing to sell here at Unique One when all the summer tourists arrive (summer tourists! I love you!!). It is a little weird to shed winter boots and wool coat and scarf and hat and mittens to wander around looking at bikinis and tank tops and shorts and straw hats... bit of a shock to the system. But oddly, entertaining. It didn’t help that there was a fierce snowstorm in the middle of my stay (I stayed 2 nights; the snow was in the day in the middle, thank goodness!). Let’s see what I ordered:
First of all I did order a bunch of sweaters -- it is a sweater shop, after all -- I ordered some great sweaters from Alps, a wonderful Massachusetts company; actually I ordered a TON of them and they will start arriving the earliest, after April 1. I love to order from Alps because nearly all their products are made in the USA. Some items are not, but I think those items are worth it. I’m really looking forward to the Alps order because there are several cardigans in there that I want myself! New this year (for me) are cotton turtlenecks, made in the USA, I believe.They will retail for about $20 each. I found people asking for basic turtlenecks a lot last year; this year I will have them.
I also ordered more of the Icelandic Designs sweaters. These sweaters are gorgeous and expensive, and popular. They are so beautifully embroidered. Unfortunately, despite their geographicc name, the Icelandic company’s goods are made in China, primarily, and believe me, I hear about it. Yet I am willing to carry these beautiful garments because of their quality and unique appeal. They are well made and there really is nothing like them. They will start arriving in the late summer. Most of them retail for between $150 and $200.
I found a fabulous new line of sweaters called Mermaid, and they are made in Fall River, Massachusetts! I just love selling New England products. I got 3 cotton blend items... a cool ribbed boatneck pullover, knit side to side; a lovely, simple cardigan with 3 buttons at the top; and a shawl collared cardigan. I always have to be careful, when ordering sweaters, not to order items that are too similar to what we make for sale here at Unique One. Last year we got asked a lot for cotton cardigans, and I only really make one style, a simple boxy style. Luckily I found these from Mermaid. I also got 3 wool blends.... I got a cute boxy shaped wool boucle cardigan, a long shawl collared tunic in a lovely, light, drapey wool/mohair/nylon blend, and a dress!!! Yes, a knitted dress.... simple, warm, elegant. It is beautiful.
Okay... I really did buy some summer clothes, too. I got some utterly amazing skirts from Sandy Starkman. They are expensive (the Sandy Starkman line is also sold through Nieman Marcus; you might see them in the Nieman Marcus catalog). They are long, nearly ankle length, with a pointy-fluttery handkerchief unfinished hem, multi-layered, and completely romantic. I also got a Sandy Starkman sundress, which I ordered for the incredible cobalt blue it came in as much as anything, and two jaw-droppingly beautiful jackets. One has a great deal of cutwork, creating a lacy, open effect for decoration in the yoke and back; the other is nature-inspired, a beige linen type of jacket with beautiful embroidery and beads (wooden and otherwise) sewn on it. I hope customers love them as much as I do because they are tremendously expensive but OMG are they gorgeous!!!
I got three different sets of clothing from the Produce Company, cute capris and short sleeve tops and skirts, very very summery. Colors range from beige/cream to indigo, white and fuschia, to light green and dusty blue. Produce clothing is so cute, and it is made in the USA!~
Heh heh.... I ordered adorable cashmere baby socks in 3 different styles.... polka dot ones in turquoise, lilac, olive and gray; striped ones in lime, coral, baby pink , and baby blue, and argyle -- yes! cashmere argyle baby socks! -- in pink, blue, olive, cocoa, teal, denim and fuschia. These baby socks are just too cute, you could die from the cuteness.
I also picked up a couple skirts from a new-to-me company called Salaam, and they are in Vermont! Again, love of the New England product.... these are the cutest skirts. I only got two styles, “Flappy”, a short, straight style, and another no-string drawstring style, longer and more flowing. Both are coming in very cool prints, some quite 1960’s mod, and some more 1930’s mod, heh heh. I love them not only because of the New Englandness but also because they will look totally killer with my cotton Unique One sweaters.
I got two lines of clothes from Click; two lines of clothes from CMC (Color Me Cotton), and three lines from Cut Loose. All are clothes made in the USA. There are a variety of wonderful skirts, cropped pants, vests, short sleeve tops, both pullover and buttoned, jackets, and dresses coming.... the designs this year seemed especially good looking! I ordered a variety of colors, including lime, poppy, serene (a light blue), barley, black, bouquet (pink!), white, indigo, flax, red, tropicana (bright blue, I think), and spring green. I can’t wait for bright colors to start filling the store! But it will be a while... most of my summer clothing won’t ship til at least June 1. If I could afford it I would have it come sooner! But I have to have it arrive so that when the bill comes due, the summer tourists will hopefully be spending the money to pay for all the stuff!
I had fun at the clothing trade show.... now you know what I was doing there!
I’ll do a more knitting-related blog post soon, I promise! Unique One is so much more than a knitting store, I get sidetracked sometimes, heh heh. I *am* knitting up a storm, however, and I will tell you all about it soon!
Happy knitting & dreaming of summer clothing :)