Friday, December 31, 2010

Where does your yarn come from?

As much as I find the word locavore over-used, I do eat that way. Mostly, by eating local meat,
I not only know and support local farmers, but I know the animals: how they lived, what they ate, and how they were slaughtered. It's all important to me and I talk about how important it is to know more about your food in my book REAL FOOD HAS CURVES.

And as much as I can, I also like to know where my yarn comes from. Some factory in China?
Good to know. A native artisan in Peru hand spinning baby alpaca? Even better to know. What about tracing the yarn all the way back to the flock of sheep? Incredible -- and doable with Mountain Meadow Merino.

I discovered this at Stitches East in Hartford this past Autumnyarn from Laurel of She offered me a skein of Mountain Meadow to try out and
I couldn't refuse. It's the merino of my childhood. The kind of yarn that my grandmother
would have loved, natural colors, soft and bouncy, and it just calls out to be knitted.
But best of all I know it comes from this flock at Camino & Sons KID Ranch.

I had one skein to play with and came up with this adorable cabled Yurt Hat.

To purchase this pattern, simply click the button

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sweater Give Away - Enter by January 13th

Are you a member of If not, now's a great reason to join - and remember, it's completely free and and incredible resource. Think of it as facebook for knitters. Anyway, I've started discussion group on called KNITS MEN WANT. And I've posted a great new sweater give away to celebrate the fact that we have 600 members in that group. Here's what you can win.
It's the green sweater from my book KNITS MEN WANT. The very one you see here, worn by our adorable model and photographed by Jared Flood, Brooklyn Tweed himself.

What do you have to do to enter? Well, as I said, go to ravelry and sign up. If you're already a member or once you sign up join our group KNITS MEN WANT. Look at my notice for the give away. Find a knitted garment thats owned by someone else, something you really love. And take a picture of yourself wearing that - what ever it is. Post that picture and the story behind it as a reply to by notice of the give-away. On January 13th I'll put all the names of folks who entered into a computer program and get a random winner. I'll pay for shipping to wherever the lucky winner lives.

Good luck!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Knitting on the Road

Mark and I are on the road for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Four days in Austin then five in Dallas. Now packing my clothes was easy, one carry-on suitcase, done in about 5 minutes. But packing my knitting projects was another story. What to take for theplane ride and inevitable airport delays. Well, something small for starters, this isn't the time to be a hero and start that color-work sweater I promised Mark. Something in the round that I can do with magic loop, after all looking for a dropped double point needle in the coach section of the plane aint no fun for anyone involved.

So, I've chosen to make myself a pair of handwarmers from Knits Men Want.
Here they are from the book, knitted in Blue Sky Alpaca Merino blend. Very thick and warm.

But I just received a sample of baby camel yarn from Laurel at

The fiber and yarn comes from herds in Mongolia. Camel fiber is an undercoat, like Cashmere. Baby camel is the from the first shedding of a the young camels in spring. And the color is natural. What I didn't know was that 10% of all camels produce white fibers and that makes very rare yarn indeed!

I'm using an 8-ply version of this yarn which comes in 87 yard skeins for $14.95. There is also a 4-ply available for the same price with nearly double the yardage.

This yarn is a dream to work with, feels like heaven in the hands. I'm thinking I may need a sweater to match my new handwarmers.

So I'm stuck here at Bradely airport on a 2-hour delay, and expect that the rest of this handwarmer will be done (if not both of the them) by the time I reach Dallas.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

In the news at on the stage!

Great news. Mark's and my recipes are heading up the New York Times vegetarian recipe collection for the holidays. No, we're not vegetarians - we'll not in the past 30 years for either of us, though we both gave up meat in our early 20s. But we do love to find ways to make veggies the center of the meal at lunch and a few times a week for dinner. What have we offered up? How about a butternut squash pizza with caramelized onions and pine nuts as a Thanksgiving starter! Anyway, if you want to check out our recipes for the holidays, click here.

And there are a couple of cool articles about us in the Pittsburgh press. Click here for the article that just ran today. Very nice. And there are the recipes for the dishes we'll be making at 12:30 on the "celebrity chef" stage at the Pittsburgh Food Festival this Saturday.

Finally, there was also this pretty-tall-cotton piece recently in the faboo Pittsburgh magazine WHIRL (click here).

If you can't make it to the festival, follow us on twitter: @bruceweinstein and @markscarbrough. Or facebook friend us. We'll be chatting away this weekend. And if you're around on twitter on Friday at 3:30, we'll check in on the @finecooking holiday tweet-up.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Big Yarn - Small Yarn

Okay, so I bitched about knitting socks with sock yarn on size 2 needles. I even tried them on size 1 needles but just didn't have the stomach for it. But as I've written before, as knitters, we sometimes have to knit things we hate for people we love. And my friend Faye is going to get this pair of socks (almost finished) knitted with more love than merino.

And while I was still in sock mode, I took a stroll through the aisles of Stitches East this past weekend.

Sock yarn seemed to be the theme of the show. Booth after booth of it. One of the most beautiful was this light mossy green merino blend from Holiday Yarns. Talk about tiny yarn - 8 sts per inch on size 1 needles. I may just blend it with a skein of natu
ral beige yak yarn I picked up at Himalayan Trail's booth. Together, I'll probably get 4 or 5 sts per inch which will make this a perfect cardigan weight.

Then just when you're sure you're about to start knitting dental floss on toothpicks, this comes at you from left field.

No, it's not the velvet ropes they were using to hold back the crowd of rowdy knitters at the Hartford Convention Center. It's 100% polyester yarn that was bring given away at the Universal Yarn booth. Not sure exactly if I need a knitted bath mat or bathrobe belt, but it's sure soft. Even the dog didn't mind it used as a leash (he's a 65 pound collie, btw).

So we go from one extreme to the other. And somewhere in the middle I think I might just find a new sweater for this winter.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Vogue Knitting Review

Knits Men Want has been reviewed on dozens on blogs and I thank everyone for their kind words. But this month something truly wonderful has happened. We got reviewed in Vogue Knitting Fall 2010. And all was right with the world.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Come Cook With Us

Mark and I are spending most of November on the road teaching cooking classes. Please come and cook with us.

Nov 6th we're headlining at the Pittsburg Food Festival, cooking from our book REAL FOOD HAS CURVES.

Real Food Has Curves is a fun and ultimately rewarding seven-step journey to rediscover the basic pleasure of fresh, well-prepared natural ingredients: curvy, voluptuous, juicy, sweet, savory. And yes, scrumptious, too. In these simple steps—each with its own easy, delicious recipes—you’ll learn to become a better shopper, savor your meals, and eat your way to a better you. Yes, you’ll drop pounds. But you won’t be counting calories. Instead, you’ll learn to celebrate the abundance all around. It’s time to realize that food is not the enemy but a life
-sustaining gift. It’s time to get off the processed and packaged merry-go-round. It’s time to be satisfied, nourished, thinner, and above all, happier.

Later in November, we'll be teaching at Central Market schools throughout Texas. All recipes from our book HAM: AN OBSESSION WITH THE HIND QUARTER.

Sat., 11/13. Fort Worth Central Market. 6:30 to 9:00 pm

Sun., 11/14. South Lake Central Market. 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Mon., 11/15. Dallas Central Market. 5:00 to 7:30 pm

Tues., 11/16. Plano Central Market. 6:30 to 9:00 pm

Fri., 11/19. San Antonio Central Market. 6:30 to 9:00 pm

Sat., 11/20. Austin Central Market. 6:30 to 9:00 pm

Then finally, we're doing our cooking show and teaching classes on Holland Americas Amsterdam from January 14 to 26th Lima, Peru to Bora Bora, French Polynesia. It should be a blast. Please come and sail AND cook with us.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

x-mas gifts - some people get ketchup

Okay, I don't knit gifts for every one. This year our beloved editors and publishers of our cook books and food magazines are getting homemade ketchup.

First on the list comes a thank you to my neighbor (well she's 1.5 miles down the road, but when you live in the country that counts as being a neighbor) Marty. She and her husband Chip have a huge vegetable garden and donated 50 pounds of tomatoes to the cause. This is their gorgeous house and gardens where the tomatoes came from.

When I ordered the 20 qt all-clad stock pot I thought that would be the largest pot I could ever imagine using at home. I was wrong. It took 2 batches to process all those tomatoes into ketchup. First I had to chop and cook them briefly to soften the skins. Then I passed them all through the food mill to remove the skins and seeds.

Next, I added ground onions (a quick whirl in the food processor did that nicely) along with a little sugar (only about 2 cups for this entire pot), a touch of salt, and cider vinegar that I infused with cinnamon, fennel seed, all spice berries, star anise, garlic, and dill seed (from my own garden of course). Then began the fun. Reduce, reduce, reduce. This large pot took 13 hours to from wet and soupy to thick and ketchup-y.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Knitting Things We Don't Like

It's kinda the whole subtext of my book, Knits Men Want. Even if you find it boring to knit, so plain, so monochromatic, if he wants it, knit it anyway. Well, as a male knitter, I rarely have a chance to knit for women-folk - usually doing up oversized sweaters for me and Mark. Or thick warm socks for hiking boots or wearing in front of the fire. Knitting thick and bulky has become ingrained in me. Lace? Not likely.

And I've always said that sock yarn is for sissies. No man wants to wear thin little hand-knit socks knitted out of what looks like dental floss (albeit colorful dental floss) on toothpicks.

Then at dinner last week, in a moment of supreme generosity and love - brought on by my true admiration of my friends Rich and Faye along with bottle of incredible Cabernet, I promised them each a pair of hand knit socks. Rich will be easy. As a guy and he'll love a pair of bulky warm socks. Faye, on the other hand, is very feminine and only a sleek, sexy but funky pair of socks are going to do.

As you probably guessed, I don't keep much sock yarn in my stash, so I traded half a dozen skeins of Rowan SilkKid Haze for some Claudia Hand Painted fingering to knit Faye's socks. If you haven't used Ravelry to search other people's stash and swap things around, you don't know what you're missing.

Am I looking forward to using 2s (if my gauge swatch lets me, 1s if I must)? Absolutely not. But I push my students to try something new all the time. And I encourage every woman who complains that her man only likes bulky boring and dark things to give up the colorful yarn and tiny needles for a while.

I'll get a taste of my own medicine over these socks, but I expect that I'll be better knitter and a better friend when I'm done.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Great Sale Going On

I love to share the wealth. While it lasts. There's a killer sale going on at Twisted, in Millerton, NY.

It's a great shop where I teach on Wednesday evenings (6 to8) and Sunday mornings (11 to1).
Kim's put a ton of yarn on half price, like Aslan Trends Cotton, Natura, Greenland Merino, Seduce, and much more.

But it's only on until Columbus day, so act fast.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Join Us In Spain!

We're on the quest for the perfect Ham. Jamon Iberico. Produced in Andalucia, Southern Spain.
When: March 21st - 25th 2011.

Why have we put this trip together? Well, last year Mark and I wrote this book -
Ham: An Obsession With The Hindquarter.

See what's gracing the cover? A gorgeous Iberico Ham. Donated by A Taste of Spain. The same Spanish agency that's put together our amazing itinerary.

Our trip will start in Sevilla on Monday, March 21, 2011, and quickly move out to the beautiful Dehesa, the eco-system that has nurtured these "black" pigs whose acorn-eating habits (combined with artisanal craft) produce the prize delicacy of jamón ibérico. We'll be deep in the country at Aracena Natural Park, staying at an Andalucian-style posada, a perfect place to explore the region and its ham producers. Plus, it will be spring in Spain!

The next two days will feature trips to meet jamón ibérico producers, to see the pigs themselves in their gloriously protected eco-system, to explore Almonaster La Real with its castle-mosque, and even to have a cooking class with one of the up-and-coming chefs in Spain's burgeoning restaurant scene. From walking in the meadows to visiting food sites few tourists ever see, from exploring a beautiful landscape to getting our hands dirty in the kitchen, these days promise to be a highlight of any trip.

Except it doesn't stop there! Before we head back to Sevilla, we'll visit a local foie gras producer who raises his geese with no forced feeding--and then be ready for a day or two of sight-seeing in Sevilla that includes a visit to the local food markets and a private cooking class to learn the real secrets of Andalucian tapas, offered by one of the city's premier chefs and taking place in his lovely, penthouse apartment.

After a walking tour of the sights of old Sevilla and farewell dinner that evening, you can either take the transfer back to the airport, or you can arrange further trips to the countryside with A Taste of Spain (sherry or olive oil, anyone?), or you can pick up a car and head down to the Spanish coast for a few days of relaxation in the gorgeous Spanish sun.

This details for this culinary tour are being handled by Kora Dalager at Bonsai Travel in California. Her email is You can contact her directly or you can leave a comment here on this website and I'll send you the full brochure, including the exact hotels and the meals covered--every meat except one (and you know we'll all sneak away and make a great evening of it together). The land travel cost is $2490 per person, double occupancy. Space is limited to 10 people--and already several spots are gone.

Truly, this is the culinary trip of a lifetime to see what few tourists ever see. We hope you'll consider joining us in Spain. Just imagine how much fun we'll have--how many laughs, how much good food, and how very much jamón ibérico!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Gauge is everything - and how it works in Knits Men Want

I hear it all the time from students.
"But I hate knitting a gauge swatch!"
And they hear this back...
"If you want to be surprised at the fit, if you want to have wasted 30 or 40 hours knitting a sweater that the recipient can never wear, then don't knit a gauge swatch.
Sure, we see this little icon on every ball and skein of yarn we buy.

It means that the manufacturer only suggests using a certain needle size to achieve a certain number of stitches per inch knitting in Stockinette Stitch. In this case size US 8 (5mm) needles might give you 5 stitches per inch.

Might? Well, sure. I knit loosely and would probably test out size US 6 (4m) needles first. Then I'd go up to 7s (4.5mm), 8s (5mm), or maybe even down to 5s (3.75mm) all the while looking to achieve the number of stitches per inch called for in my pattern. And if you don't think there's a big difference between 3.75 stitches per inch and 4 stitches per inch, just do the math. One quarter of a stitch per inch adds up to 10 stitches in a 40" sweater. And that can turn your 40" sweater into a 42.5" sweater, yikes!

But is there really that much difference in the way different people knit the same yarn? I mean, if the manufacturer says 5 stitches per inch on US 8s (5mm), didn't they test that? Isn't that what most of us would get?

This is from Jacqueline Fee's The Sweater Workshop. The image on the right shows three different gauge swatches knitted by three different knitters. All knitted with the exact same yarn and needle sizes. It this doesn't show you that you need to test your gauge I don't know what will.

But what's the gauge swatch on the left? Jacqueline tested her yarn with 11 different size needles to get a gauge she liked. Wait a second cowboy, a gauge she liked? I though we were talking about looking for a specific gauge that a pattern might require? Well most of the time that is what we're looking for in knitting our gauge swatch. But sometimes we are just looking to be creative. To find a knitted fabric that we love and create something from that.

This is from my book Knits Men Want. Every pattern starts like this, with size across the top and gauge along the side. Sure, you can use the yarn I picked for the project and go with the gauge I liked and knitted the sample with (not always what the manufacturer had in mind). Or, you can choose any yarn, knit samples on all sorts of different needles, choose the knitted fabric you like best and measure your gauge (that is, stitches per inch). Go across the top for your size, down list to find your gauge of choice, and voila, you get what you need - be it yarn requirements or the number of stitches

And remember, you've made the commitment and bought the yarn and you're going to commit weeks to the project. So, even if you spend the entire first evening on a new project knitting gauge swatches, know that it is time well spent.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Reversible Herringbone Scarf

What is it about Herringbone that in suits and coats it gets eye-rolling but when you knit it up into scarves or sweaters it elicits such oohs and ahhs.

I was on book tour last month for KNITS MEN WANT and one of my stops was for a book signing at SIt-N-Knit in Bloomfield, CT. I used to teach there and it was nice going back for a visit. And as soon as the pleasantries were out of the way, I headed back to the sale nook to grab something for a flight to California - where I knitted on the TV show "View From The Bay" in San Francisco. Well, the first thing that caught my eye was a small basket of Duchess, by Classic Elite. It's a supersoft blend with Merino, Cashmere, and Angora in the mix. There were only 8 skeins left - 4 light brown and 4 dark. And at 40% off I grabbed them all.

Now, I'me a loose knitter so I always go with needles 2 sizes smaller than the manufacturer suggests, which was a 10.5 US. So I grabbed some 8s, 9s, and 10s, and figured I'd swatch my way across the country.

By the time we reached Chicago, I had stockinetted, gartered, seeded, and even cabled in all three sizes but it just wasn't jiving. I am a firm believer that picking the right stitch and pattern for any given yarn is everything. Even an inexperienced knitter can make something that looks fantastic when the stitch/pattern and yarn mesh well. And if they don't, even Ms Zimmerman herself wouldn't be able to make something wear-worthy. Across the aisle from me was a small woman in a 2-tone herringbone tweed suit (in JULY!). I thought how nice that might look knitted very tightly in my new Duchess yarn. I knit herringbone as a coudlbe knit stitch, each stitch being worked twice - first as you knit (or purl) it onto the needle and then again when you get to it on the following row, working it on the row below along with the new stitch being created on the needle. The result is a thick and warm yet very masculine garment that's reversible. But all that thick knitting required size 13s, which I wouldn't be able to get until I landed in San Francisco.

Finally, with my needles in hand, I began the scarf, only to realize that the herringbone pattern was going side to side and I wanted them to shoot up and down the length of the scarf, not from side to side. So back to the store I ran for a 40" circular needle And began the scarf lengthwise, 420 stitches in each row. I had to keep telling myself that it's only 28 rows.

Like the pattern? Check it out (and all my other patterns) at and download it to make for yourself! to order this pattern, just click here! buy now

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

And The Winner Is....

The lucky winner is Roxanne Smith from Atlanta, Georgia. Good thing she won the cotton sweater since it's pretty warm down in Georgia. The picture is her baby - her ravelry avatar.

Thank you all for participating in the Sweater Giveaway and for spreading the word about KNITS MEN WANT.

This cotton sweater won by Roxanne is a new design that will be up for sale on very soon.

Stay tuned for when and how you can get the pattern to make one for the guy in your life.

Also in the news today, Astrid Reda from Germany sent my pictures of the reversible cable scarf from KNITS MEN WANT.

Beautiful job Astrid, I know your brother is going to love this.

I'm still in the middle of a 2-week book tour for REAL FOOD HAS CURVES - in Denver today, off to St Louis tonight. Working on a herringbone scarf on all the plane rides (11 flights in 13 days, yikes!). Will share pics and pattern soon.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sweater Give-away!

Okay, time for a contest. Take a look at this sweater.

I knitted it for the book and after the photo shoot, everyone involved asked me to make a few changes to the design. So, I softened the saddle shoulder a little, making it more of a raglan/saddle combo, which is pictured now on the front of the book. And we switched from the Mission Falls cotton to Berrocco Pure Merino.

I love them both. And I want to share the cotton one with the world. In fact, I'm going to do a random drawing to choose one lucky winner. All you have to do to enter is post a review of KNITS MEN WANT on, b&, or any other online book seller site or knitting site between now and June 15th. Just drop me a note so I know who you are. And if you've already posted one, you've got a chance at the sweater, just let me know who you are. I'll pick the name out of a hat on the 15th.

The black and beige sweater is a size medium and it's really comfortable.

Thanks for spreading the word, and good luck!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Up Coming Meet & Greet

Hey All

Please forgive my lack of postings this month, it's just been nuts. Yes, the book came out and I've been doing lots of TV and radio to promote it. In fact, I'm on my way down to Philly this week to do an NPR show called The Chef's Table. Chefs Table and knitting? Sure, why not.

What else is going on? Well, on Saturday May 22 I'll be at Purl Soho at their new location on Broome Street. The class if from 4 to 6 and you have to call and sign up. We'll be making the reverse cable scarf from KNITS MEN WANT. I'll show you all how to make it in the gauge it's picture in in the book and how to alter the design to fit bulkier yarns. Plus we'll go over a few other tips and tricks for knitting for the guy in your life.

Can't make it to Soho next Saturday? I'm doing the same class again at Colorful Stitches in Lenox, MA on Saturday June, 26. Plus, I'll be bringing goodies to munch on from one of my latest cookbooks. So join in the fun, either day, it will be great to see you!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Random Acts of Knitting Kindess

Everyone kept telling my how lucky I would be after the photo shoot for the book and then after all the LYS visits that the garments I knitted and that my dear talented friends knitted for me for the book, would be mind to wear and cherish. HA!

All the garments pictured in the book are in mediums and yikes, even some smalls. First, with the time deadlines that a book brings, it's so much faster to get things done when you do them up smaller. Second, most of the models who volunteered to for the photo shoot were smaller guys. And third, I don't think my sweet and generous friends who did some of the knitting would have offered to do it if everything had been sized for me, in an 48 wit extra extra long sleeves!

All that said, Barbara Fabian of Sit-N-Knit, did knit the 9 foot scarf in sock weight yarn in size 5 needles. Bless her for that.

So unless I lose 65 pounds and shrink from 6'4" to 5'9 nothing we knitted as samples is going into my wardrobe. Sigh. So I started up the henley in my size with Rowan Wool Cotton.

You'll remember from a pervious post that it was supposed to be for Mark, but he lost some weight recently and it was fitting me better. Great for me! Until I ran out of yarn rounding the final bend and beginning the second sleeve. I didn't think it was huge problem since the yarn is still in production. But the new skeins were a different dye lot and the color was way off. Then to my rescue, Pam (aka 2muchfun) on traded me the 2 skeins in her stash for 2 of the off color ones I recently bought. Hers were also a different dye lot but they were much closer to the original. Thanks Pam, you saved the sweater and inspired me. I'm going to start putting my stash up on and if anyone ever needs anything, give me a shout.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Free Give Away Contest - Win Projects or Yarn!

Well, KNITS MEN WANT has had it's official pub date today. I've booked a few signings at knitting stores and hope you'll drop by for meet and greet as well as a bite to eat. Yes, I always bring food to my events.

Wed, April 14th
Knitty City
West 79th street between Amsterdam and B'way in Manhattan
6 to 8pm
Buy my book there and get a chance to win a free 2-hour class with me - for you and up to 3 of your friends.

Sunday April 25th
7 Dutchess Ave, Millerton, NY
6 to 8pm
Again, if you buy my book there you get a chance to win a free 2-hour class with me - for you and up to 3 of your friends.

And now, for the big Knits Men Want "Cringe or Crush Sweepstakes!"

Think about a guy you made something for. Did he cringe and recoil when you presented him with your labor of love? Or did he totally love it? Go to and leave your story. You will be entered to win one of four great prizes. To enter, just share your story in the Comments section before noon (EST) on April 30th, 2010.

After the deadline, we'll choose four entries at random. All winners will receive a signed copy of Knits Men Want. In addition, the prizes below will be awarded in the same order winners are chosen--it's luck of the draw in this sweepstakes!

First winner: This print from Knits Men Want by photographer (and Brooklyn Tweed blogger!) Jared Flood.

Second winner: Two projects from Knits Men Want, knitted by author Bruce Weinstein: the Watch Cap (in red) and Fingerless Mitts (in olive)

Third winner: The Thick and Warm Socks (in green)

Fourth winner: From ShibuiKnits, two skeins of their gorgeous Hand-Dyed Merino Worsted yarn, in “Stone.”

For the full rules, click here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

buttons and more buttons

It's always about the finishing. You can do the nicest job knitting ever, but if a seam isn't smooth or you pick the wrong size zipper or buttons that don't match, it's just not going to be a good piece. The first thing my grandmother used to do when she looked at another person's knitting was to turn the piece inside out. "Look at those seams," she would say. "Sloppy." The first time she looked at a hem I did by hand she asked me to hand her the scissors and she instantly took out my uneven sewing and rehemmed the pants for me.

Now when it comes to seams, I baste, the more often then not, run the seam through the sewing machine. Okay, I heard that collective gasp. And I've gotten it often from friends and students who abhor the fact that I would finish a hand knit sweater with a machine. But in the end, If the seam looks great, it doesn't bother me that it's not all hand finished. That said, the two little shoulder seams on the Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket were a cinch to sew up evenly and smoothly by hand. Which left only the buttons.

Mark and I took a drive into New York yesterday to tape a few video interviews for our upcoming book REAL FOOD HAS CURVES. It's a 7-step plan to get off processed food. And Guideposts magazine is doing an online interview with us. Our publisher, Simon & Schuster did one for their website as well. Anyway, the trip in gave me two incredible side benefits. First, I got to eat Incredible Chinese food for lunch at Szechuan Gourmet on 39th between 5th and 6th avenues. Second, I had a chance to stop in M&J Trimming on 6th avenue and 37st to go button shopping.

Unlike the small, sedate, and classy feel of Tender Buttons on the Upper East Side, M&J (in the garment district) is bright, gaudy, loud, and at times overwhelming. But you will find what you're looking for. I threw the surprise jacket on a counter and started pulling button boxed off the walls—Mark helped.

Kids' garmets are more forgiving. If a button is a little more over the top or just plain silly that can seem kind of cute on a 2 year old.We narrowed it down to glass pears, pewter flatware (the parents are both chefs so it all seemed appropriate), but what finally won out were these Italian glass buttons with lemons - in exactly the same colors as the yarn.

Picking buttons for my henley was a little more challenging—there seemed more at stake. This sweater took 32 skeins of Rowan Wool Cotton at $9 a skein. The buttons had to be perfect. But the nice thing about buttons is that they can be changed, so even if I got them on and didn't like them 2 weeks later, they could always be changed (what's another 5 hours in the car back and forth?).

I tried plenty. Round, oblong, plastic, leather, wood, horn. And in the end went with antler. Thin dark slices off the tips of elk antlers, each drilled with 2 holes. They weren't cheap ($3 each) but compared to the yarn it seemed like a bargain.