Sunday, August 16, 2015

MEMPHIS, TN: Day Two

Fowl play...

If you spent your night taking in the Beale Street scene, you may need a hearty breakfast.  According to my sources, the best place for that is:

Brother Juniper's
3519 Walker Ave
Memphis, TN 38111
901-324-0144

Granted, there can be a line, so getting there right when they open at 6:30 may be useful if you’re a crack-of-dawn kind of gal (which I am NOT).  Even if you have to wait, it’s worth it, but my sources say opting for bar seating can shorten your wait time. Southern breakfasts have all the good stuff:  home fries, cheese grits, biscuits—and this place excels at all three.  The omelettes are clearly the way to go here.  It seems like everyone gets a different mug, which only adds to the homey feel of the place.


The Booksellers at Laurelwood
387 Perkins Ext
Memphis, TN 38117
901-683-9801 

Okay, this looks like a mall, and it acts like a mall, but Laurelwood is a collection of nice shops worth your time, including this large, lovely bookstore.  You know what I’m going to say here: Independent bookstores NEED your business!  A truly pleasant place to pass a few hours, there is a better-than-average gift assortment and a respectable bistro attached to this store as well.  Buy a book—keep authors alive and writing!


Dinstuhl’s Candy
436 S Grove Park Rd
Memphis, TN 38117
901-682-3373 

Just down the other side of the Laurelwood shops you’ll find this memphis confectionary legend.  The speciality I loved?  Cashew crunch—a cashew brittle on a bed of coconut.  Known for their fudge—and for darn good reason—there were all kinds of interesting goodies here that felt different from your average chocolate shop.    Opt for the Memphis box in 1 or 2 pound varieties, or go big with the Tennessee Goodie box which weighs in at a waistline-expanding 3 pounds.  Chocolate guitars, pyramids, or records?  Get’em here.

Once your done, drive downtown for one of the most unique amusements Memphis has to offer:

The Peabody Hotel Duck March
Peabody Hotel Lobby
149 Union Ave
Memphis, TN 38103
901-529-4000 

Who’s got one of the best jobs in the world?  The Peabody Hotel Duck Master, that’s who. Every day at 11am and 5pm this flock of hi-falutin’ hospitality waterfowl board the elevator and descend from their rooftop “Duck Palace” lodgings to march across the lobby and take their place in the hotel fountain. On a red carpet.  To an adoring crowd.  No kidding.  It sounds silly—and it is—but you’re depriving yourself of a great, make-you-smile tradition if you miss it.

National Ornamental Metal Museum
374 Metal Museum Dr
Memphis, TN 38106
901-774-6380 

Some small museums are real gems, and this one turned out to be one of my favorite stops on our trip.  An intriguing mix of permanent collections, working forges, and rotating exhibits gives you a deep appreciation for something that normally doesn’t get much attention.  The gift shop has some exquisite pieces, including jewelry, but one of the highlights for me is the stunning wrought iron gazebo with a breathtaking view of the Mississippi.  Even on a hot day, it was the perfect place to sit and have a quiet moment with my knitting.

Duly inspired, head on back out to the suburbs to today’s fiber fix:

Rainbow Yarn & Fibres
1980 Exeter Road
Germantown, TN  38138
901-753-9835

Owner Brigitte Lang has been knitting since she was five.  When she lived in Oregon, she worked in a yarn shop.  Friends and customers call her “a knitting ninja.”  For years, people would come to her house, showing up on her doorstep Saturdays with their knitting problems in hand, seeking help. So when she realized the people of Germantown wanted their own yarn shop, Brigitte naturally stepped up to the plate.  That’s what problem solvers do—even in the knitting world.

The store is small but personable, filled with a respectable selection of good quality fibers.  “I stock with what I like, with an eye for quality” offers Brigitte. Sure, you’ll find a few trends here, but mostly you’ll find the ingredients for a successful knitting experience, no matter your skill level.  And should you run into trouble, help is most definitely at hand.  Settle in on the back couch and a solution will be in sight before you know it.

Here are some projects you might want to consider:

Moonshine Slouch Hat
Want a slouch hat but with a whimsical twist?  Take one hank of Juniper Moon Farm’s Moonshine and use this Ravelry pattern to work up a soft hat with ribs that make the most of the fiber’s beautiful sheen.  Tassels take the whole topper up a notch.  Look at that lustrous color!

Risoni Silk Lace Scarf
It’s hard to find warm weather knitting, but this clever one-row lace scarf does the job beautifully.   One tiny 25 gram package of Risoni Silk works transforms into a delicate, breezy scarf perfect for summer wear.  And oh, the colors! It's an ideal small-scale travel project with impressive results.  You’ll get the pattern free with your yarn purchase.


Sunshine Tank Top
Got 600-900 yards (depending on sizing) of any 5-stitches-to-the-inch yarn in your stash?  Download this Ravelry pattern and you’ve got everything you need to make this not-so-basic tank.  The trim at the neck and waist adds just the right amount of dash.  Go for a more versatile solid, a bright pop of color, or let the yarn do the talking in a texture or pattern.  This is a project I’d knit many times with lots of different yarns.

Knit A Long:  Brigitte’s Lace Cowl
Great for gift knitting but cozy enough to keep to yourself, this simple but stylish cowl knits up quickly with two balls of Tahki’s Juno.  An exclusive pattern—free with yarn purchase—comes in two sizes and is easy to memorize.  This is another project where different yarns will give you a nice variety of results.

When you’re ready to end your day with a down home good meal, head to a Germantown favorite:

The Germantown Commissary
2290 S Germantown Rd
Germantown, TN 38138
901-754-5540

“So good you’ll slap yo’ mama.”  Even though I’m not quite sure what that means, the long lines in front of this tiny, rustic eatery mean the food really is that good.  Get here early, and be prepared to squeeze through a warren of tightly packed tables, but know your efforts will be rewarded with terrific ribs, the best fried onion rings ever, outstanding pulled pork sandwiches, and even barbecue nachos (my surprisingly excellent choice).  We were told to make sure we tasted any pie and their unique banana pudding—and I was glad we did.  The lemon ice box pie (a personal favorite) was fabulous, and while I’m not a huge fan of banana pudding, everyone at our table agreed it was delicious.  Yes, you’ll wait to be seated (even at 3pm when we went!), but no, you won’t regret it.


There you have it, DestiKNITters—two diverse, delicious days in Memphis.  Proof that knitting adventures can be found even in towns famous for other things!  

Next up, we cast on Brigitte’s Lace Cowl to remind us that summer’s hot and humid will all-too-quickly become winter’s cold and windy.

1 comment:

gaylemae said...

Having lived here 20 years, I know all the places you honed in on. Your review is spot on for all!