19 February 2014

Feeding a Habit

On Sunday I went with a dear friend to two yarn stores in New York City. 

Knitty City, NYC

Entering the doors of Knitty City was like a over-eater going into a bakery.  I was a soft wooly substance abuser surrounded by her fibre demons.

The bins are overflowing with gorgeous yarns from all over the world. The colors are staggeringly beautiful with equally tempting names like Belgian Chocolate or Vetiver. And the staff is charming and quick to answer questions or give advice.

Big shout out to Pearl (what a perfect name!) for help with lace fibers
It's a small space, which only enables one's desire to stroke everything. There was linen, cotton, merino, silk, blends, alpaca, angora. A veritable feast for the eyes and fingertips.

And then there were the sale bins of patterns. I came away with yarn for socks and for lace making, and with patterns for a variety of small projects including a lace scarf and fingerless gloves. I have never knitted lace before but am eager to try.

Lion Brand Yarn Studio, NYC

Then it was on to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. Admittedly you can buy this yarn just about anywhere, but to see a wall of bins with all their skeins together in one place in all those delicious hues is remarkable. Not to mention the shelves, baskets, and drawers of needles, hooks, books, winders, needle guides, stitch holders, and every imaginable knitting and crocheting acoutrement.

I went there hoping to find the yarns that were mentioned in the pattern I fell in love with last week. They did not have the exact purple, but the one I chose was so close it was indistinguishable from the original.  And the staff at LBYS was equally helpful whether it was my brief struggle with a computer, or a question about a crochet hook.

Both stores had areas where you could sit and look over patterns, work on a project, or get the help you needed with a recalcitrant stitch you didn't understand.  At the Lion Brand store there was also a bank of computers where you could go to their website and download and print free patterns on the spot, or —in my case— consult a pattern for the kind, color and amount of yarn you needed for a particular project.

It was a field trip I will not soon forget, and one which will afford me many, many hours of happy labor over the coming months.


  1. Wow, what bliss! I love yarn stores and have to keep a very firm hand on my wallet to avoid emptying the bank account. I look forward to seeing the fruits of your expedition in due course.

    Incidentally I was fascinated to see that yarn is still sold in skeins in the USA. Here it's for sale already wound into balls ready for use. i haven't seen a skein of yarn for years.

    1. I am looking forward to using the new yarns, Perpetua! At Knitty City, they will wind the skeins into balls for you. But I like to wind mine at home, asking friends or family to hold their arms out, or using the arms of my rocking chair. I used to have a yarn winder but it was so ancient it finally fell apart.