New York City has entered Phase 2 of its reopening. I wouldn’t know this since I rarely leave our home, except that I needed to find some small, strong magnets and so ventured out to our local hardware store. There, I saw first-hand what stores and their customers will experience in this new reality. Our go-to hardware store is a small family owned business just a few blocks from where we live. Once a jam packed, uncomfortably crowded place where you literally could not pass another person without flattening yourself against the rows of tools and supplies, they now only allow two people in at a time. Which meant I waited for ten minutes or so before I was able to go inside where they had reconfigured their entrance, dividing it into two lanes with a plexiglass divider separating the lines. In addition there is plexiglass dividing the customer from the sales person. Everyone had on masks, and instead of going into the store and rummaging around for what you need, you tell the salesperson behind the plexiglass divider and counter what you’re looking for and they get it for you. I was in and out in less than five minutes with magnets in hand.
The magnets were for an idea I had to use as a closure for my needle roll. When I asked people what kind of closure they liked best the vast majority said a ribbon tie, but second best was a magnetic closure, which was great, except I had no idea how to insert a magnet powerful enough to close through several layers of wool. All the magnets I had, encased in plastic pockets that are meant to be machine sewn on, weren’t powerful enough. But the magnets I was given at the hardware store are. So I attached them invisibly using a fusible fleece interfacing and it actually seems to work! All of this will be revealed in the YouTube video I’m posting this Saturday on my Otter Needle Roll playlist.
In the meantime here is Merlin. Merlin was left in the backyard of a rectory in Brooklyn. He was brought to a rescue shelter when he was several months old and lived there until we adopted him when he was just over a year old. I often wonder what Merlin would have been like had we had the good fortune of finding him when he was a kitten. As it is, he is very affectionate. He is adored, obviously, and is a wonderful sewing and stitching companion.