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Sunday, 24 November 2013

Yarn store round-up – Montreal, Ottawa and New York

Before I get to my craft shopping spree I just wanted to let you all know that my Autumn Paisley Maple  fabric design got 122 votes in the Spoonflower challenge! Not too shabby for a first go. I was pretty pleased with it, so thank you to everyone who voted.

Also note this post has a lot of links in it. I've tried to link to every shop I went to, and every wool and fabric I bought, incase anything catches your eye and you want to get some for yourself.

Now, on to the shopping. Today's post will be all about the yarns... In Montreal there was Espace Tricot – I really like this place. I mentioned last week (along with showing you the shop's wall of colour) that Amy bought a beautiful green Sweet Georgia yarn there – well my purchases were the Tanis cream and warm pink yarns at the bottom right. Both yarn companies are local to Canada. I definitely want to get my hands on some Sweet Georgia, but I think I'll have to use up some of this stash first.

Then on to Ottawa, I chose to visit Wabi Sabi. There were two purchases made here. The first was the Turtlepurl sock yarn at the very right of the shot. It's one skein for each sock and they're hand-painted stripes. I can't wait to knit those, I just need to find a good toe-up sock pattern, so if anyone out there uses one, please let me know. The other purchase from here was the brown alpaca at top right. Now, this broke the rule and is a South American yarn (albeit with some Canadian connections, having just looked at their website), it was just so, so soft I couldn't resist it. I feel a beanie coming on with that one.

Then to New York. I only really had two days there and a lot to get done, so as the yarn shops there normally open around 11am – midday and stay open late (my kind of hours) I went down to Purl Soho on my first evening. I know this is going to be an utterly sacrilegious thing to say for many of you, but I just don't like it as much now they've put all their yarns and fabrics in the one store. The selection seems more limited. Anyway, I still came away with the yarns at bottom left  – they're hand-painted Koigu Kersti and they knit up beautifully – they're already on the needles.

The next day was spent in Manhattan where I visited Downtown Yarns and – moving into fabrics – City Quilter (which I'll leave until the next post). Now, a note on prices for you Australian crafters, yarn cost pretty much the same, but fabric and craft books were about half the price they are in Australia. This makes absolutely no sense to me, surely you'd tax the item that competes with an Australian industry ie wool, but that's how it is. So if you're into fabric, make sure you have plenty of space in the suitcase when shopping in the US.
Clockwise from top left: Downtown Yarns, Brooklyn General Store, Purl Soho, La Casita.
At Downtown yarns I bought two things that it turns out I actually can get in Australia. They're the top left-hand yarns – the aqua Spud & Chloë, a lovely sweater-weight mix of wool and organic cotton, and the hand-painted, beautifully coloured Misti Alpaca. I think Downtown Yarns was my favourite New York yarn store. It had such a good selection of yarns from all over. The reason I went there was a recommendation from friends on Instagram and I'll definitely be going back.

The last day in New York was spent over in Brooklyn. Firstly at Brooklyn General Store – and while they do sell yarns, I only bought fabric there, so I'll leave it till the next post – and the last yarn store La Casita. I think I lost my mind there. I'd managed to cram in a lot of other shopping along with the yarns and fabrics, so by the time I got here I was exhausted and not making entirely sensible choices. The first thing I got was the gold S.Charles Luna (pictured in the middle bottom of the yarn shot). It's a kid mohair, silk, lurex blend. I have a plan for this though, I want to include it when knitting this modern quilt wrap on Ravelry that uses Rowan kid silk yarn. It's the second purchase I can't explain... probably the most expensive yarn I bought on the trip. It's the Prism Wild Stuff yarn in the shot above. I think that one will be sitting in the stash for a while. Any ideas with what to do with it would be most welcome!

So, that's it for the yarn shopping. Pretty successful all in all!

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