Posts Tagged ‘local yarn store’

24
Jun

A Verb for Keeping Warm

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, lys, travel, yarn

While I visited a lot of museums, my first stop when I go to a new city is the LYS. It makes me feel like I’m part of the community, like I could picture myself living there a little bit. Every store I’ve visited is different and really shows what the area is all about but at the same time it’s very familiar. There is no better home away from home for me than a LYS.

Speaking of homes away from home, I was just about ready to move in when I got to A Verb for Keeping Warm. I’d always wanted to go after seeing photos by other bloggers and it was so exciting to finally be able to make the trip. I decided to dedicate a day of my adventure to Oakland so that I’d have a good amount of time to spend at Verb. It was way more than what I’d expected!

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Verb is just a lovely shop with a great selection of the higher-end delicious yarns we all love. The fabric selection is something else. There were so many bolts that caught my eye, everything from organic, natural-dyed cottons to Japanese Nani Iro prints. There were a lot of things that wanted to go home with me. Verb recently released their first sewing pattern so I had to pick up a copy of that.

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Sarah gave me a little tour of the shop. Verb specializes in natural dyeing. They sell dyes (which I was VERY tempted to buy but have promised myself that I will not take up dyeing. I can’t have another hobby!) as well as their own line of natural-dyed yarns. I’m absolutely obsessed with these yarns and spent a long time petting them. Sarah explained that the fleeces come from a nearby organic cotton farm which is fertilized by sheep. The mill is also located within 90 miles of the shop and everything is dyed in house. I don’t think it can get more local than that.

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I wish I could’ve taken one of the natural dyeing classes while I was in town. Luckily, Verb’s owner Kristine Vejar is busy finishing up a book about the subject. Those of us who are not lucky enough to be in the Bay Area for lessons will soon be able to learn at home!

This bold red “Transitional Fury” really stood out to me so, I had to have it.

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My favorite thing about the shop is the garden. Not only is there a beautiful and sunny place to take your needles, there is a little garden of plants that can be used in natural dyeing. It really made me want to make better use of my window garden. Maybe a project for next summer? I got to meet Verb’s very own angora rabbit, Marcel. He was the sweetest! So soft and happy. He’s sheered four times a year and the angora yarn quickly sells out every season.

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I’ve certainly seen my share of LYSs. This one is definitely one of my favorites. I love it when a store not only is beautiful and friendly but has a really solid identity. Verb is really dedicated to being a great resource for all crafters and you can tell just by spending a few minutes in there. I’d love to take another visit (maybe when I can afford to bring more souvenirs home) and attend one of the classes there!

Have you been to A Verb for Keeping Warm? Do you want to learn more about natural dyeing?

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17
Jan

Further Reading 1/16/14

Written by Sarah. Posted in further reading

oud knitscene

I’m still feeling all dreamy over the Oud tank. I just love how it’s styled! Seriously, pick up a copy of Knitscene.  I’ve been so crazy trying to get Faro off the needles (it’s such a quick knit!) to wear to Vogue Knitting Live this weekend, I haven’t had time for much of anything else. (Also, I may have gotten sucked into reading Gone Girl. The book has completely taken over my life this week. I haven’t finished yet but I’m pretty close so save your spoilers!)

>>  CBS lists the five best knitting stores in NYC. I have a hard time choosing my favorite LYS in the city. I get asked that a lot. My answer: whichever one is closest! (Purl Soho, which I consider to be the most well known, got snubbed. Interesting!)

>> If you aren’t spending all of you money at VKL this weekend, don’t forget that Mochimochi Land is offering 20% off PDF patterns! Anna’s patterns are so crazy cute. If you haven’t knit one yet, you should!

>> Saw The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug two weeks ago. More on that soon, actually. But, hello! Look at these knitted Hobbit characters! I would totally knit a Gandalf.

>> What do we think about this hand-knit merino (shorts!) onesie from Sibling? I’m surprisingly ok with it but really that model could pull anything off.

>> This is a video about a party for sheep. You’re welcome.

So, who am I going to be seeing at VKL this weekend? I’m already there. Who knows what I’m wearing since Faro is still not finished. Come say hey, though! Like I always say, I’m really shy so, really, come say hi. Happy knitting!

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20
Sep

MY EX-LYS

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, life, new york city, yarn

Oh, funny bumping into you. I was actually just thinking about you. Remember that time I came in and got a great birthday discount on six skeins of Madeline Tosh Pashmina? I had such a good time that day. I haven’t been avoiding you. I hope you didn’t get the wrong idea about that. I thought we were cool, that we agreed that I should shop at other yarn stores.

You see, I moved across town and I just didn’t have the time for something so long distance. I was really sad about it, seriously. (And I was also sad about the really amazing shwarma spot that opened up on the corner, like, four months before I left. I haven’t found a decent falafel anywhere else.) But my new apartment was so much better. And, well, it’s just kind of a shlep to get over to you.

Oh my new LYS? You heard about that? Yeah, we’re really happy together. And remember how I said I couldn’t believe how close my apartment was to you? Only five blocks? My new LYS is only three. It’s a pretty great place. The selection isn’t as big but I think it really cuts to the stuff that I like. And they’re never that busy and they’ve always got what I need. Heck, my new LYS remembers exactly what I’m making! Yeah, it’s pretty wonderful, I know.

I mean, I know that a lot of people have been talking about how I bought a few skeins at Purl Soho and that LYS in Jersey. But, well, we’re pretty open to that, me and my new LYS. And, honestly, those rumors are just rude. If you want to know the truth, I’m on a tighter budget now so I’ve really been knitting from my stash. I’ve been making a lot of socks. Seriously.

Well, you look really great. And I’ve got to run. I mean, I don’t really have to run because my new LYS is open til 9. In the summer, too, yeah.  But I should go. I’ll come by sometime and the girl at the register can say, “I haven’t seen you in a while” but not because she hasn’t just because she says that to me every time I’m there. I do actually miss that…and I miss the big wall of Malabrigo I can just run through my fingers. And I miss the little displays of KnitScene magazine by the register…

But, listen. You and I were something. I wouldn’t change a thing. I know you miss me but this is just the way it’s got to be. I’ll see you soon, sometime. Maybe.

photo via purl bee

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18
Jan

In Which We Drool Over My VKLive Haul…

Written by Sarah. Posted in instagram, knits, life, new york city, photos, Uncategorized, want, yarn

My dad always talks about  a scene in the movie Moscow on the Hudson. I’ve never seen the whole movie but it stars Robin Williams as a Cold War Russian who defects and lives in New York City. In this scene, he goes to the grocery store to pick up some things for the family he is staying with. He asks the cashier where the line is for coffee, expecting to wait as he did in his homeland, and he’s directed to the coffee aisle. Seeing such a bountiful variety of coffee available in the American supermarket, he starts screaming “Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!” and has a bit of a nervous breakdown.

Walking into the Marketplace at Vogue Knitting Live was kind of the same experience for me.

I wanted time to browse the booths to I arrived about an hour and a half before my first lecture. The first thirty minutes there, I didn’t stop at any of the booths. I just walked around and saw yarn everywhere I turned. Wow. After the initial shock wore off, I actually managed to make it to the Soak booth where I got a temporary tattoo and bought one of those amazing Lorna’s Laces Maven and Heel gift sets I’d been seeing on instagram. I also bought a set of temporary tattoos (about which our friend Andrew said “Knitting-themed temporary tattoos? That’s quite a niche they’ve cornered”). I’m not sure why I bought them since I don’t rock temporary tattoos regularly but I had to.

I made a stop at Mochimochi Land and picked up a tiny hamburger kit! I told Anna all about why a tiny hamburger is the perfect thing to make Jon, about the movie, and the hamburger art I’ve been collecting for him.

I also checked out Stitchuary. I was really looking for unique yarns and spinners, less interested in LYSs. The ladies at Stitchuary were really lovely and their yarns are fantastic. All from local farms which I love. And they almost talked me into buying 2000 yards of this gorgeous undyed grey and brown alpaca for an aran sweater (as if it’s difficult to almost talk me into buying yarn). But I was good. I’m going to wait on that one but I will absolutely be buying from them in the future.

Long Island Livestock Company was one of my favorite booths. Their yarns are delicious but I couldn’t pass up this gorgeous skein. I love the idea that all of the alpacas and sheep are owned and sheared by the same woman. It’s a very traditional feeling. I’m also a sucker for small-batch undyed yarn. I’m not sure if it’s because neutrals are my favorite colors or if it is that I love the animals and I want to show off their natural beauty but I really love undyed yarn!

Each skein has a tag with a photo of the alpaca whos fleece was used in it. I think it’s brilliant. It really shows you how much they care about their animals and how much care goes into the yarns’ production. And, besides, how could I not buy yarn with these adorable little furry faces! And they’re kissing! Take my money, please.

I went to three lectures and one class. (I really went all-in since it was my first VK Live.) Two lectures were about business. One left me feeling discouraged. The other was pretty dry and very technical. I also heard Debbie Bliss speak about designing for babies. I think she’s just adorable and British and she calls diapers nappies. I really enjoyed the Perfect Fit class. Carla Scott of Knit Simple made garment fitting super easy and I actually had a lot of fun drawing little scale drawings of my measurements.

Overall, it was a bit overwhelming but what fun. It was really fun to see so many other knitters and to hear more and more similarities between us. I was sad that I didn’t meet more people. I chatted it up with a few people and a bunch of vendors but I would’ve really liked to meet up with some other knitters. Hopefully soon I can do that, though, and next year I’ll be cruising VK Live with some of you! What did you think? Did you have fun?

Oh, and, this is me:

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01
Jun

An Open Letter to all LYS Regarding Summer Hours

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, life, new york city

Dear Local Yarn Stores everywhere,

I love you. You always have the softest yarn. You hardly ever carry those icky acrylic fibers and ugly novelty yarns. You are so friendly. You remember my name and you always know what you’re talking about. I think you’re just great. When I grow up, I want to be just like you.

I know that Summer is not really “knitting season”. You can’t bring an afghan to the beach. No one wants a cardigan for 4th of July. Knitters are practically obsolete when the temperature rises above 60. I understand the logic behind your shorter hours during the week, your near-inexistence on the weekends. Heck, I even get it if you want to take Tuesdays off. I’d do the same thing if I could!

But, listen. I have a habit that I need to feed. Yes, maybe I’m a yarnaholic. Fine. I admit it’s a problem. Whatever. But I work nine-to-five! And Jon has a nephew due in three months! I need to adorn this baby with as much love-in-every-stitch, softest-fibered booties/hats/blankets/tiny sweaters as I can! I can’t get to you before you close your doors at 6. I don’t have a sufficient lunch hour for nuzzling my face into your luscious mohairs! Help me out!

I was excited to see that you are open Saturdays from 12 to 4! I postponed brunch for some yarn shopping at your store! Brunch! The holiest meal of the week! But, alas! All of the lights were off and the door was locked. But the sign still read “Saturday 12-4”. I wondered if you were playing some kind of trick on me. Or if you were actually so forgetful as to not update your shop hours. So I waited a week. I tried a different LYS. I arrived during its noted hours. Thwarted again! Could you, too, be so inconsiderate as to not even write a small, handwritten sign informing me of your hours over the holiday weekend?

Here we are, LYS. I am heartbroken. I thought you would always be there for me! Helping me figure out my gauge, suggesting the best length circular needles. I thought we would be together forever! Me ordering beautiful hand-spun yarns and you putting aside that one skein of the dyelot I desperately need because I accidentally bought too little yarn because I wasn’t really reading the pattern thoroughly like I always am, I should really pay attention to these things a little better.

I’m willing to take you back as long as you change your automated voicemail with your updated store hours so I know exactly how early I need to leave work.

Please, LYS, I need you in my life.

Yours forever and ever,
S

photo from Wood and Wool Stool

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