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Jan 22 / Laurie Northrup

Knitting pattern: American Girl doll mini mittens

There are a lot of ways to make tiny mittens. This is how I do it. This pattern is essentially in alpha phase–I would love feedback from test knitters.

Other students of knitting history can weigh in, but I’ve been thinking about this pattern a lot lately. I originally developed it at the end of 2009 to make a pair of plain red mittens for my Molly doll.

My guess is that 2-needle mittens would have been a lot more common for handmade items in Molly’s era, but I hate seams and hate seams on small items even more. read more…

Nov 30 / Laurie Northrup

No, really, why does everyone hate Price Chopper?

This post started life as a comment on All Over Albany back in 2013. I pasted into a blog post, then abandoned it in my drafts for five years.

The thing is, it’s all still true. Though I don’t go to Price Chopper as much as I used to, I still go there. People still complain about it. Why?

Here’s what I wrote:

I am completely baffled as to why everyone on this site hates Price Chopper so much. Maybe it’s because I’m from Syracuse, where out of multiple options, the Chopper has the best prices. You know, where the regular people who can’t afford to shop at Wegmans every week go.

Maybe it’s because in my Capital Region moves, I keep ending up near the nicer stores: from the Guilderland one near Crossgates, then Westgate, and now I live near Slingerlands, which was pretty terrible during renovations.

I mean, I do a little shopping everywhere. I get my quinoa at Trader Joe’s unless it’s on sale at Honest Weight, where I’m a member. I stock up on sodium-laden frozen dinners at Walmart and buy three pounds of butter at a time at BJ’s. I go to Fresh Market… well, pretty much only for the peanut butter malt balls if I’m already in that area of town, and that’s about it.

And yet I still — STILL! — will turn to the Chopper if I have a pantry to restock. The things that I buy are consistently cheaper there, especially if I play sale schedule games and pack some coupons. Is it because I don’t buy meat? Am I just dazzled by discount games? What am I missing?

I’ll be turning in my AOA bylines, commenter account, and spot at the next birthday party now.

Oct 24 / Laurie Northrup

Story research does weird things to my Amazon suggestions

Man, I do ONE story on Halloween costume trends

Amazon suggestions

Oct 9 / Laurie Northrup

Speculoos cookie butter cups: now a thing?!

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Speculoos Cookie Butter Cups

SPOTTED ON SHELVES: Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Speculoos Cookie Butter Cups


Sure, Trader Joe’s on a holiday weekend will be difficult, but I owe it to the world to check this product out and make sure it’s safe for the people I care about to consume. Yes. That’s it.