Knit 2 Par 3

Saturday, July 15, 2006

You can always go....Downtown

This blog is about golf interfering with knitting, not taking the place of knitting. My repeated emails to Brendan and Elsie (woman at work who organizes the golf tournaments) to leave work now to play golf on Friday floated in deaf cyberspace. So taking some liberties for early closing Friday I left the office at 12:55 and headed Downtown, where all the lights are bright and the yarn stores are open from 1 - 10 p.m.

First stop was Purl in Soho. I appreciate the depth of stock this yarn store carries, but I can't warm up to them. Their stock of Alchemy can't be beat, and they must have every color of Koigu. I really enjoyed looking at their line of Tillie Tomas and Lorna's Laces too, particularly the sock yarn they have dyed just for them. They have a lot of helpful sales help too, but you just don't get a sense of craft there. I was reminded of a recent trip to Philadelphia where I visited Loop on Walnut Street - they had the same groovy yarn from small mills, in a similarly chic space, but it was just more welcoming. Anyway at Purl, I bought some beautiful mohair/nylon blend Alchemy yarn for an upcoming birthday gift project.

One of the ways a yarn store can be more welcoming is if they had a couch and some opportunity to swatch some samples. Purl hardly has any room for their skinny art school sales help, forget about a couch. Loop had a couch and a worktable and a big basket of yarn and needles to sample.

I took the crosstown bus east to Downtown Yarns, where, in spite of having no table and no chairs for lounging, the atmosphere is much more welcoming. They usually only have one or two people working there and they can't help too much, because they are in the middle of knitting. Maybe that's what makes it more craft oriented - the staff seem to be more involved in yarn. They have a great selection of wooly stuff there, as mentioned in a previous post. Didn't buy anything there, but fingered a lot brilliantly dyed of silky alpaca. Having previously distained alpaca I need to think about this attraction and what to make of it.

Hopped on the crosstown bus again and headed back to the West Village, to stop at The Point on Bedford Street. Of course I wanted to look at yarn but this is the most welcoming place prior to getting on the PATH to stop to pee - they have knitting magazines in the bathroom.

When this place opened a year or so ago, it had a great selection of yarn and a small coffee/pastry cafe. Now it has lots of food and a little bit of yarn. Every table was occupied but by one lone knitter, struggling through a beginner project. It reminded me of this picture. They do have a very good selection of sock yarn here, particularly that Regia yarn, at very good prices. It just seemed like a lonely place for the dually addicted.

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