Don't know about you but much of my life is spent waiting: for the subway; for appointments; to meet people; and for my plane to board, take off, fly and land, so I like to fill these moments crocheting granny squares that are so portable and versatile. I've just finished my latest project so I needed more wool to start something new to occupy me on yet another flight that I'm taking next week.
I usually stock up on wool at Manhattan's Vogue Knitting Live or at Smiley's Yarns Manhattan Sale but with neither on the horizon I'd have to visit a real live wool shop. My first thought "Purl Soho", my second "small bank loan"; checking out their website proved me right - a pattern caught my eye and the kits for it were a whopping $195-$780. I put my thinking cap on - there had to be a way to make this blanket, or something similiar a whole lot cheaper than that, for a start it didn't actually need to be made of Koigu Premium Merino!
I'd heard of another wool shop in Manhattan - Lion Brand Yarn Studio - but never visited. Checking out their website I spotted just the right wool for the job and headed over with Flicky last Sunday afternoon. Here's some photos of the Manhattan gem that I've discovered (apologies up front as they're poor quality from my phone).
We're here - 34 West 15th between 5th/6th. You can't see it in this photo but that's a crochet and knitted 'under the sea' window display, just fabulous. Check out those yarn bombed door handles too!
The store entrance - lots of themed projects on display here 'made in America'.
A Wool Wall
There's lots of interactive activities all around the store - you can trial yarns and try your hand at knitting and crochet.
At the back of the store there's lots of notions and accessories - wool bags, gadgets, books, etc. I succeeded in resisting a wool winder - I've wound by hand my whole life, did I really need it?
Needles and Hooks!
The staff were super friendly and helpful, nothing was too much trouble and they even offered to take this piccie of Flicky and me.
Great displays using benches, steps, boxes and baskets - it all looks amazing while still being customer friendly.
Found it - that's what I'm here for!
A 'Martha Stewart' area.
Another scrummy Wool Wall.
Baskets of goodies.
I love how they've used these old drawers to display the wool.
There's a large centre table and chairs for you to sit to plan your projects and knit/crochet a while. I was amazed with how comfortable I felt in the store and even more telling - Flicky loved it - pulling out a chair she sat at the table to wait while I wandered happily around. When I finally came back she told me something weird had happened, then she picked up a nearby knitting sampler and proceeded to knit some more of it ... I taught her to knit on a rainy afternoon when she was 12 but she didn't take to it and it's never been mentioned since, turns out it's like riding a bike, you never forget how!!!
The staff chatted with us and told us that on Tuesday evenings, 5.30 pm to 6.30 pm there's a Crochet Doctor in the store offering free help and advice for your projects and there's the same on Wednesday evenings for Knitters. In fact there's lots of free events - Thursday nights there's a knit/crochet meet up and the last Thursday of the month is Film night 'Flicks with Sticks' - how great does that sound?!
Here's the goodies that I brought home with me. That yarn bag with a thread feed hole will be very useful when I'm on the plane - did I ever tell you about the time I was flying out of Paris and my ball of wool rolled down the plane during take off? My husband was horrified and kept tugging at the strand of wool still in my hand to try to bring it back but, of course, the more he tugged the further the ball rolled - I giggled through the whole event but he was not amused! Hopefully this bag will ensure we never have an episode like that again ;)
The best thing about the day, apart from discovering a wonderful new store and staff that I feel so at home to drop in on again, was the slight glimmer of hope that maybe one day my daughter will allow her deeply surpressed crafty side to surface and we can make things together!!!
For details of other fabric, yarn, trim and notion stores that I've visited around the world along with the NYC stores I love, exhibitions and events I've attended and wonderful people I've been lucky to meet click the links below or in my side bar :D