Last Sunday I had a free afternoon in New York. In planning what to do with said afternoon, the first thing I did was look at the schedules for the three New York area NHL teams. The Rangers and Devils were playing that afternoon, but it was the Stadium Series game at Yankee Stadium. I did not want, nor could I afford, to attend that. I didn’t even spring for tickets to the Stadium Series game in Chicago in February. My next idea was the one I went with.
After checking into my hotel, I headed down to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio.
The shop has some yarn art on the walls. There were tables where people were sitting and knitting. There were also computers where you could search Lion Brand’s patterns, which I thought was really convenient because then all of the yarn is right there! What I was surprised to see was all of the non-Lion Brand items the store carried. All of the yarn was Lion Brand, but they also carried pattern books, wool wash, project bags, interchangeable needle sets, etc.
The store has all of the Lion Brand yarns I see in the craft stores, but it also had the the newer, more premium of the Lion Brand yarns that I don’t normally see in craft stores, such as the yarns with cashmere. The LB Collection yarns. I’ve never seen most of those in stores, only online, so it was nice to check them out and see what the look like and feel like. I had a hard time deciding what to get. I was considering the LB Collection Cashmere, but I have some cashmere yarn I haven’t knit with yet. Then I was looking at the LB Collection Silk Merino because I want to make a pair of Reversible Wristers. There was this really lovely orange color that I wanted, but the pattern uses two colors, and I wasn’t happy with that orange in combination with any of the other colors, so that was out of the running. (I planned to look to see if there were other colors that might go better with the orange online. I still haven’t done that.)I finally settled on this.
LB Collection Wool Stainless Steel. I’ve seen the Habu textiles wool and stainless steel yarn, but never bought any. I had actually seen the Lion Brand version somewhere once before as well. There was a sample scarf tied to the basket this yarn was displayed in, and I was surprised how soft it was given that there is stainless steel in it. I really liked the sample scarf, so I bought enough yarn to make it. Expect it to show up sometime soon. Hey, maybe that can be my Ravellenics project!!
After I left the store I started to wonder whether yarn with stainless steel content would get tossed out by airport security on my way home. It didn’t.
I was also attracted to several a few things at the checkout counter. I’m a sucker. First, look at these cute Hiya Hiya stitch markers!!
You could also buy them with a little case for the stitch markers, but it was a lot more expensive. Personally I didn’t need the little case.
I’ve been wanting one of those bags that fold up really small so you can stuff them in your purse, and then you have a bag when you need it kind of bags. They had those at the checkout counter too, so of course, I got that too. I’m sorry it is wrinkled in the picture, but it had been all folded up.
Next I got back on the subway and headed down to Purl Soho.
What a wonderful store. The first thing I noticed is that right when you walk in there is a pile of swatches made from various yarns the store sells. What a great idea! Then shoppers know what that yarn will look like knitted up. I’ve seen swatches or sample projects in other stores, but not a big pile like this. You could just go through all of the swatches until you find something with the drape or feel that you like, then go find it on the shelf. How cool is that?
Outside of the Brooklyn Tweed Shelter yarn that I can’t get around here, I ignored most of the other yarns they sell because I can easily find many of them in other places. The only yarn I planned on purchasing was Purl Soho’s own brand, since that’s really the only place to get it. My original plan was to get one skein of yarn, but I got three skeins. Here they are.
I got one skein of Worsted Twisted in Peacock Blue.
I also got two skeins of Line Weight — one in Ballet Pink and the other in Toasted Charcoal.
Here’s how that went down. I found the Worsted Twisted first, and that Ballet Pink color jumped out at me. I grabbed it, and it felt so soft and nice and squishy! I figured one skein would be enough for a hat or cowl. Then I noticed the line weight right next to it and became confused. Worsted or lace weight? What to do? Get both! So, while still holding the Ballet Pink skein of Worsted Twisted, I started going through the Line Weight options. I picked up a skein of Peacock Blue Line Weight and really liked that. I looked at the two skeins in my hands, liked them, and almost walked away. Then I thought that really light pink would get awful dirty if I wore it as a cowl. I decided to switch. I got the Peacock Blue Worsted Twisted, but I didn’t see any Ballet Pink Line Weight. That’s when I picked up to Toasted Charcoal skein. It’s a different type of gray than I typically see and I thought it was really pretty. Again, I thought I was finished and was about to walk away, when I spotted the Ballet Pink Line Weight skein way up on the top shelf. It was the only one. I jumped up and grabbed it. Now I had two skeins of Line Weight and three total skeins of yarn in my arms. Remember, I planned on getting just one skein. I held the two Line Weight skeins in one hand and realized how nice the looked together. I could make a two-color shawl! So yes, I got all three. I figured what the heck, when am I going to be back there? Probably not for a long time.
I spent some time looking at the needles and notions, but not as much time looking at the fabric in the store. It looked very nice from what I could see of it — very interesting colors and designs. If I knew how to sew or started quilting I’m sure I would have been sucked in.
I went to the counter to pay, and I noticed they had a tote back and two project bags tacked to the wall behind the counter. I asked the gentleman who was ringing me up for one of the drawstring project bags. The one on the wall was the only one left, so that was the one I got.
All in all I’m happy with what I got. I could have gone a lot more crazy in both stores. Even though I bought more yarn than I had intended, I only went $10 over my budget (I was planning to get some project bags or something in addition yarn from the very beginning).
There was one striking thing about both stores, and that was the number of men who were working there. I would say approximately half of the staff in both stores were men. That is in sharp contrast to the yarn stores I’ve been to in the Chicago area, where I have only ever seen two men, each at a different shop.