Coffee at the Grand

You ever get the feeling that you’re treading water? You walk into work and you’re like, “Dang, today is gonna suck.” I’m sure everyone has felt like that at one time or another, but for me the feeling was very literal. I walked into the dye studio to discover a literal flood pouring out of a burst pipe. Thanks to the Bomb Cyclone and subsequent ice storms, it was not my best day ever. Megan-Anne and I were supposed to be in the final stages of prep for Vogue Knitting Live in NYC. Stuff got ruined, others we were able to be salvaged, and mostly I am truly thankful that we keep the majority of our inventory safely boxed up in plastic bins.

I’m gonna be honest though. There were tears. Lots of tears. Then there was copious amounts of whiskey. And at some point, between fighting with the insurance company and trying to find a plumber, we decided to still go to VKL.

We had a fantastic time and came back from New York refreshed. And since we’re adults, Megan-Anne and I decided to deal with the whole situation by playing pretend. We stood just outside the doorway in our dye clothes, hair pulled back and coffee mugs in hand.

“You ready to rearrange the studio,” I asked.

“Totally. We’ve only been talking about this for a year.”

“Absolutely. I’m so glad we’re finally taking the time to do it. We’re not using our space efficiently.”

Megan-Anne said, “Mmm-hmm,” and then we both sipped our coffees and nodded as we stared at the dumpster fire that used to be our studio.

We put in long hours to get everything back up and running. Some things still need work, but it’s a relief to finally be 100% caught up on orders. And since the studio has been rearranged, we’ll be able to carry more stock and not have to dye to order as much, meaning you’ll get your yarn even faster! Wooooo, efficiency!!!

Now that our work space doesn’t resemble a disaster zone anymore, Megan-Anne and I are getting caught up on things that had to be put on hold while we dealt with the water damage. Number one on my list is Coffee at the Grand. And no, I don’t just mean sipping some delicious dark roasted coffee at a fancy hotel like some sort of dignified lady in a hat from Downton Abbey. I’m talking about the gorgeous shawl designed by Lesley Anne Robinson, AKA Knit Graffiti, in our Interlude Yarn.

She only loved the espresso at the Grand Hotel, and frequently spent her evenings there, drinking coffee in her favorite cocktail dress :: An elegant rectangular stole with chevron stripes, tweedy texture, and pom tassels, inspired by early 20th century fashion. All knit using a combination of one-color, two-color, and three-color brioche.

This stole was completely inspired by the amazing ladies of Lattes and Llamas, and their love for coffee. The colors of the yarn we chose together for this design remind me of the beauty found in the film, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, created by one of my favorite film-makers, Wes Anderson. I picture a lady of leisure wearing this stole around her shoulders over her favorite cocktail dress for an evening of Coffee at the Grand.

First of all, getting to partner with a talented designer like Lesley has been a real treat. I’m a huge fan of her vintage inspired brioche designs and can’t wait to work with her on new ones in the future. Second, it’s very strange to be someone’s inspiration, especially by someone I admire. Maybe it’s all the hormones or the fact that my business was a dumpster fire not too long ago, but it helped me get through the rougher parts of January. Now, when I get on the phone to fight with the insurance company, I drape our Coffee at the Grand sample around my shoulders, sip my espresso, and somehow can’t be shaken.

Megan-Anne, who is a much faster knitter than me, was a part of the test knit for Coffee at the Grand. She used ‘Bulbasaur’, ‘Stars Hollow’, and ‘Call Your Mom’ in Interlude Yarn. It’s made her addicted to brioche. She wants to brioche everything now. And I can’t blame her, brioche is so much fun. Plus, the cashmere and silk content in Interlude turned the shawl into butter. The decadence of it all has an empowering and calming effect.

Also, before I say good-bye, I just want to say thank you one last time to everyone who had to wait longer than usual to receive their yarn last month. From the amount of orders we had for Coffee at the Grand Trios, I know you guys were itching to start knitting Lesley’s shawl. I can’t express how truly thankful I am that everyone was understanding of our situation. You guys are the best! We’re coming out the other side stronger and more efficient because of your patience. Thank you.

~ Jac
I’m not crying. You’re crying.