Friendly Fibers

The fashion line at Zrinka in Nashua and Portsmouth is all about the owner Zrinka Orr – from the design to the color to the fiber choices.How do you choose the color palettes? I follow fashion trends and each year pick a palette that is carried out throughout the line. All skirts, tees and sweaters are dyed to match, so all pieces can mix and match. The laboratory gives me “lab dips” until the color is just right, and then I proceed with having the yarns dyed.Which fabrics do you use?I use natural fibers for their quality, durability and their soft hand. The baby alpaca comes from Peru. These fiber animals love the harsh winters on the mountainside and some even run free – their fleece is very luxuriant. The Pima cotton grows in the Piura region of Peru that has a special micro-climate. The fibers are extra long and have a soft buttery feel. Once you have worn Pima, regular cotton seems rough. My pima nightwear is very soft and durable.Where are the garments constructed?In Peru. Some items are machine knit or sewn in factories with computerized machinery and some are hand-knit by Peruvian women in their homes. It is a great opportunity for them to make extra money and stay at home. All of the detail work is done by hand.Why alpaca?Other than the great soft feel, I love alpacas and raise a few at my home in Hollis. They are very intelligent and fun. They love the winter, but in early spring they are sheared and I use the wool for craft projects.So What’s New?Same Street, New CornerMaine-ly New Hampshire moved, setting anchor on the corner of Deer Street in Portsmouth and tripling its size. Check out the cheese spreaders and serving plates made from crushed lobster and clamshells ($75). Maine-ly New Hampshire, 22 Deer St., Portsmouth. www.maine-lynewhampshire.comStar StuddedIf Barack and Michelle Obama wear hats during the inauguration, or if their two girls do, we predict lines out the door at Aaron Hats, 2729 White Mountain Highway, North Conway.Aaron Hat’s (just across from the Conway Scenic Railroad) is New England’s largest hat store and it’s brimming with high end fashionable hats of all shapes and styles for classy and styling men, women and children.Customer favorites include; the Indiana Jones brown wool felt for men ($40), classic Stetson Chathams ($145) in six colors, the Betmar cabled tam ($29)-a favorite among starlets, the Kangol cotton twill army cap ($28) and the Kangol Kids 504 wool cap ($40) just to name a few. You might even stumble across a celebrity or two.Bass guitarist Steven Gustafson, from 10,000 Maniacs and country singer hunk Darryl Worley shop here! Topping this great find is the store’s unique tag line, “Get a Hat On.” Owner Aaron Kesmetis swears it’s his mother’s fault. “There were seven of us growing up outside of Boston and before we’d run out the door my mother would look at us and yell, ‘get a hat on.” Hmm. Aaron Hats, White Mountain Hwy., North Conway. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Saturday. Closed Wednesdays. For more info visit It Out loudShimmy into OMG Boutique, Main Street, New London and inhale the glitz and glitter of this oh so funky gift store with a name that will have you saying,” Oh My Gosh,” which is exactly what sister owners, Missy Owen and Mindy Galluzzo want you to say- and you will. Some items will have you truly LOL (laughing out loud). Plan on spending some time in this store, you’ll get lots of chuckles and maybe pick up an item or two. Look for high heel cake servers in pink and red as well as leopard or zebra prints ($18). Check out the purses made from old record albums ranging from old movie sound tracks (The Sound of Music Album) to rock and roll, including Aerosmith, Boston, Jefferson Airplane and Fleetwood Mac, only $72 for a unique memory blast. There’s another whole line of purses made out of candy bar wrappers.Linger along the shelves of unique hand painted themed martini glasses ($26). You’ll want to turn over every one of them to read each hand painted recipe on the bottom of the glass. Old vintage wooden signs with antique pictures of skiing, boating or camping can be personalized and make great house warming gifts ($105). Another bonus, gift wrapping is free and it is sophisticated. The gift boxes are black and tied with bright fluffy pink thick wire ribbon. Store shopping bags are black with a pink logo and generously stuffed with zebra striped tissue paper or pink and black polka dot paper. The Aerosmith bag rocks.OMG Boutique, 394 Main St., New London. Winter hours, Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.Baby BathWe love this special delivery. The Stork Organic Baby Boutique, 273 Union Square, Milford is a lovely baby Boutique entirely environmentally friendly. Every item in the store has been carefully selected by husband and wife owners, Adam and Andrea Dubois, who have an infant of their own. From crib linens to 100% natural cotton clothing (which softens with every wash) to toys and delightful accessories, all the items are unique, stylish and loveable. The cream colored one size (o-6 months) Diamond Sleepsack is made from 100% organic Merino Wool and couldn’t be any softer ($135). The Baby Spa Tub is irresistible. The European style tub is designed to let babies bathe in a natural upright position with the water level coming right up to theie shoulders, keeping baby warm and comfortable. Its owner tested. “We used to give Adelaine her bath in a tub, but this is great, bath time goes faster and we use only about a gallon of water!” The store’s biggest seller is Sophie the Giraffe, a 7-inch teething ring that squeaks and soothes sore gums during teething. It’s made in the French Alps from 100%, natural rubber from the Heva Tree ($19.95). For winter hours visit or call (603) 673-5381.No Place Like HomeNo need to send a thank you note, but according to Interior Designer, Roberta Sheridan, the people in the Bedford area are thrilled that Home Comfort (based in Center Harbor) has expanded and opened a second new store in Bedford. “We just didn’t have a furniture store, it’s that simple.” Located along route 101 in the building of a former lighting store, Home Comfort, which opened in July, carries unique lines of classic, stylish and casual furnishings along with rugs, bedding (Pine Cone Hill), accessories and one or two things you won’t be able to live without. While you may not get a hot cookie when you walk in, you will be welcomed by a team of non judgmental interior designers who are willing to go out to your home if only to suggest a color scheme. This year look for tomato reds, light sages, butter yellows and deep plum to add the “pop” to interiors. A simple area rug and new toss pillows can put new life into any room. For a special splurge, sink yourself into a cozy comfy reading chair with down filled cushions from the Wesley Hall line and grab yourself a copy of My Sister’s Keeper, by New Hampshire author, Jodi Picoult. Home Comfort, 384 Route 101 Bedford. Open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m to 5 p.m.