Showing posts with label IMOndays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IMOndays. Show all posts

05 May 2008

IMOnday: Yarntopia, New York, New York

I'm just going to act like I haven't been MIA for almost a month and get back to posting...

Shop: Yarntopia
Location: 974 Amsterdam Avenue (SW corner of 108th Street), New York, New York
Telephone: 212 316 YARN (9276)
Website: Yarntopianyc
Hours: Wednesday/Friday-Sunday 12-7, Tuesday/Thursday 12-9, Monday CLOSED
Payment: Cash, Check, Credit Card
Other: Classes, Knit Night (Tuesday), Books & Magazines

What's the first thing a knitter does when s/he moves to a new town? Find a new LYS, of course! And this one is mine, just 11 blocks from my apartment. Dona is the friendly and welcoming owner. There is a central table often piled with swatches from the available yarns, including Blue Sky Alpacas, Rowan, Malabrigo, Debbie Bliss, Noro, Lorna's Laces, Cascade, and more. Behind the table (with quite a few chairs for Knit Night) is a comfy couch for browsing the nice collection of knitting and crochet books available at the back. There is a full stock of Addi Turbo and Lace needles, as well as Clovers, Susan Bates, and lots of tools.

I like the fact that, in addition to being knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful, Dona is one of those web-savvy LYSOs. The first time I went into the store she admired my Koigu Clapotis. I know most LYSes in NYC are web-savvy, and I think that's a good thing. Since so much of what's happening in the knitting world today takes place online (or is at least blogged about there), being hooked in can only help business. There is also a Yarntopia group on Ravelry, which is a lot of fun and a good way to make sure your knitsibs will be around on Tuesday nights.

While Yarntopia is my LYS, it isn't the only yarn shop in town, so keep your eyes open for future IMOndays. And stay tuned the rest of the week for some FOs (lace, wee togs, and Mother's Day gifts).

P.S. I'll try to get some Yarntopia pics to add to this post.

12 March 2007

IMOnday: Yarns in the Farms, Beverly Farms, Massachusetts

Shop: Yarns in the Farms
Location: 641 Hale Street, Beverly Farms, Massachusetts
Telephone: 978 927 2108
Website: yarnsinthefarms
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 12-5, Saturday 10-5, Sunday 12-4; Knit Nights Tuesday & Wednesday 7-9 ($5)
Payment: Cash, Check, Credit Card (starting 3/13/07!)
Other: Great classes; private instruction available; buttons, bags, belts, and books

OK, close your eyes and think of a cosy place filled with yummy fibers (many of which are hand-dyed), handmade buttons, tea and treats, comfy couches, and two super-friendly owners. Put it in a former antique/flower/sweet shop with a mural of angels behind the counter. Add friendly shoppers, great music, and a new art show every few months. And you've got yourself the best little yarn shop around. Oh, don't forget to put a little kids table in the corner with markers, paper, and toys.

No, they don't have every colorway of every yarn you've ever heard of, but that's not really the point here.

Now, open your eyes.

They do have GGH, Blue Sky Alpacas, Jo Sharp, Noro, Blue Heron, Green Mountain Spinnery, Cherry Tree Hill, Sheep Shop (#3 is coming any day!), Frog Tree, Reynolds, Louet, Schaeffer, Reynolds, and more; needles and notions from Bryspun, Susan Bates, and Addi (Turbo and Natura, not sure about the lace needles). They also have a thoughtful selection of books and patterns to get you started on anything. They even have some lovely rugs and toys from Crispina, which are made from recycled sweaters.

Some yarn is displayed in old wine cases, some in baskets, and quite a bit on boxy white shelves that show the yarn to advantage while keeping it from spilling out everywhere. There are lots of samples so you can see just what can be done with all that fibery goodness. The lighting is natural from all the windows, as well as some incandescents and little halogen spots on the ceiling, which makes for an uplifting shopping experience. (I find fluorescent lighting in yarn shops awful.)

But the truly wonderful thing about Yarns in the Farms is the people. Carolyn and Jill are just about the nicest people you could find and they have made a truly inviting shop. It seems Carolyn may be allergic to wool, so she's starting to work with a lot of "alternative" fibers. Of course, they have a new shipment of No Sheep for You, Tofutsies, and Euroflax. Jill is an artist, and you can see some of her amazing needle felting projects around the shop.

I've included pictures from a Knit Night a couple of months back, but you really need to come see for yourself. You could even take the Commuter Rail up to the Pride's Crossing station and walk over. However you get yourself there, do stop by.

23 January 2007


Coming up in the next few weeks: Yarns in the Farms, Windsor Button, and Arbella Yarns.

Check in with Purly in Gloucester for all your Greater Boston area yarn shop review needs!

22 January 2007

IMOnday: Seed Stitch, Salem, Massachusetts

Shop: Seed Stitch
Location: 10 Front Street, Salem, MA 01970
Telephone: 978.744.5557
Hours: OPEN: Tues-Sat: 11-5PM, Thursdays: 6-8PM (Community Knitting)
Payment: Credit Cards Accepted

I visited Seed Stitch for the third time on Sunday during their big sale. Apparently, they're moving a few doors away some time soon. Their current space is sort of long and narrow but full of light, which is good for the shop but not for items displayed (very attractively) in the windows. They have a long project table down the middle with chairs all around, sort of refectory style, as well as a couple of comfy chairs up front by the windows.

Most of the yarn is on shelves on either side. Some skeins of sock yarn are displayed on dowels, and a pile of Mmmalabrigo is in a cool cart thing on the ground. They stock Cascade, Rowan, Jo Sharp, J Knits, Malabrigo, Debbie Bliss, and a few others I'm blanking on right now. They also have little bags of colored roving, a decent needle selection (Addis and Brittanys for the most part). Victoria, the owner, is very friendly and personable, and she has a handful of employees.

While it's not the sort of place you're going to settle in to for the day, it is inviting and airy. The project table gives you space to figure things out, and I imagine it's a good set-up for a class. Be sure to check out the website for the class schedule. The book selection is pretty good, though most of them are spine-out on shelves, so you sort of have to know what you're looking for. Perhaps some are out on the project table when it isn't laden with sale yarn.

The first time I went there, I had Isobel in tow, and the space proved to be quite child-friendly. The open space would even accommodate a stroller, though you'd have to get it up one (two?) step(s) to get in the door - the charm of old Salem, dontchaknow.

The Art Director says, the logo for the store is colorful (chartreuse green and purple) and eye-catching. I like the font choice, having used it for our wedding paper trousseau back in the day. My only concern is that it's not the easiest thing to read, though it's not very difficult. It's elegant and a little different, which is good.

Overall, Seed Stitch is a new-style yarn shop that should satisfy most knitters (no fun fur, folks).

P.S. Can you believe I didn't buy anything at the sale? I walked around with some DB Astrakhan in my hands for a while but couldn't figure out what to do with it, since it's similar to the HPY Boucle sitting at home. I think I was still in Alpaca Sweater shock and not really ready to find the next big thing.

P.P.S. I'll let you know Seed Stitch's new address as soon as I know it.