Monday, August 2, 2010

Knitting with Friends, Yarn Shop Review & Recipe

Last week I had a chance to meet with a friend I've not spent enough time with, for an afternoon of lunch, knitting and a little yarn shopping.  It's all too easy these days to get wrapped up in the bustle of a busy schedule and lose touch with people. We decided to meet at an adorable little bakery and cafe called La Chatelaine.  

Upon entering the restaurant you are greeted with the aroma of baking pastry, a cheery shout of Bonjour! and a tempting array of menu selections.

We both opted for the Salade Nicoise, beverages and a pastry.  

I love this healthful salad, having become addicted to it during some time I spent in France years ago (see a recipe at the end of this post).  Our salads were served with a mustard vinaigrette dressing.

La Chatelaine is cozy, set up to look like a French country home with lots of small nooks, fireplaces, stone archways and a sunny terrace with umbrella tables.  After eating, we got down to some serious knitting and catching up.  

Here is my friend Lynn (Lynnpetro on Ravelry, although she admits to spending more time on Facebook than Ravelry - how could she?!  LOL), shown with her knitting pin for using the Portuguese technique. 

Lynn likes to knit with this speedy method after learning it from another terrific local knitter, Andrea Wong, and she makes gorgeous sweaters and other projects like the double knit vest in natural wool here.  I've also tried Portuguese knitting and loved it, although I've not kept up my skills.

After lots of talking and knitting, we walked over to Temptations, a LYS that started life as an antiques shop and evolved into a great place to buy beautiful yarn.  

A lovely perennial garden greets customers.

Temptations has an excellent variety of great basic yarns like Cascade and Brown Sheep, 

but I'd say their strength lies in interesting products from lines like Habu, Alchemy, Noro, and Malabrigo. They've also recently begun to include more spinning-related items in the shop.

Situated in a renovated old home on the shady, historic High Street, this shop is full of twists and turns, seating areas, and small rooms filled with yarnie delight. 

A tiny alcove off the pattern and book room holds clearance bargain yarns at  20-50% off regular price.  The day we were there, it was bursting with items from Louisa Harding, Noro, Harrisville, and more.

Karen, the owner (at right below), and her staff are helpful and enthusiastic.

Time flew by, and after making our purchases, we headed our separate ways once more, but not before promising to get together for knitting and hanging out more often. 

And at last, here is the recipe I promised for a Salade Nicoise, a little different from the one I had at La Chatelaine. 

There are many variations of this salad, some which include lettuce (as we had at lunch), others with no cooked vegetables or potatoes.  I love to swap ingredients for whatever is in season, like using green or red bell pepper instead of beans, artichoke hearts instead of potatoes, or substituting grilled salmon for the tuna.  Have fun experimenting with fresh ingredients from your area.  Bon appetit!

Basic Salade Nicoise
Serves 2
1 medium tomato, quartered
2 green onions, sliced
4 Radishes, sliced
2 stalks celery
1 small green pepper, sliced
2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
4-6 anchovies
6 ounces cooked tuna
2 small boiled potatoes quartered (optional)
2 cloves garlic, sliced
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. vinegar
Salt, pepper to taste

Arrange vegetables, tuna, egg and anchovies on chilled plates.  In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and garlic, place salt and pepper on the table.  Drizzle dressing sparingly over salads and serve.


  1. favorite place in the world. LOL! Followed closely by La Chatelaine, however, we usually go to the one in Worthington. It's our favorite spot for weekend breakfasts on cold winter mornings.

  2. And now that there is a Jeni's Ice Cream shop on the same block - DANGEROUS!!!