I admit, I am kind of a lapsed knitter. While it used to be an all consuming passion, I now look guiltily at my half-finished projects and wonder when I’ll ever get around to them. (That’s a picture of my daughter in a coat I made her. I used to make one every year!)
That being said, I still like to look! And for any real knitter, visiting the yarn stores in a new city is always fun. So for all you knitters out there – here’s a list of a few of my faves.
1. The Yarn Company 2274 Broadway
My friends Julie and Jordana, aka The Yarn Girls, recently sold their shop after many years. It is, however, still going strong. I’m not thrilled with the new table set up – a row of seats facing the window – because I don’t think it facilitates conversation. But the new owners and friendly, anxious to please, and have an extensive selection of yarn, and even a sewing section in the back. FYI: The stairs to get to the shop are mighty steep.
2. Knitty City 208 West 79th
Big and spacious, this is a store that encourages you to take a seat at the table and stay awhile. A large selection of yarns with a big price-range (acrylics for kids just learning, hand dyed silks and cashmere’s for those who want to splurge) this is a shop worth visiting.
3. Gotta Knit – 14 East 34th Street; 5th Floor
This place gets mixed reviews for its owners (some say unbearably rude, others say warm and welcoming) but universal praise for it’s well selected selection of yarn. Another bonus: it’s right near the Empire State Building, so you won’t have to go out of your way to check it out..
4. Lion Brand Yarn Studio 34 West 15th Street
Yes, they have a shop. And it carries what must be every single Lion Brand Yarn made. Generally, I prefer shops with a wider range of yarns from more manufacturers, but you can’t argue with Lion Brand’s cheerful space, unique backlit displays, sampling wall where you can see what it feels like to knit with a particular yarn, and massive number of workshops and classes.
5. Purl Soho
The hipster epicenter of knitting in NY. Cozy, warm and inviting (at least if you’re under the age of 35), this is the cool knitting store. Look out for celebs, and an unusual, beautiful selection of high end (gorgeous but expensive)yarns and fabrics. They encourage you to sit and stay. Even to snack!
6. String 33 East 65st Street
The Upper East Side is nothing if not posh, and this store fits right in. But don’t be intimidated, if you can afford the high end, fabulous yarns here, you’ll fit right in. Like Yarn Co, there’s a big flight of stairs to get in, and like Gotta Knit, the staff gets mixed reviews. Personally, I find them a bit cold, but not unfriendly. Standard UES (upper east side) treatment. Don’t take it personally. You’re not in Kansas anymore! An elegant store with a sophisticated palette of yarns and patterns.
Of course there are tons more. This is NY! We’ve got a lot of everything. But this list gives you some choices in just about every part of town.