After Susan arrived on Thursday, she did some “stash diving” at Surly’s and found a number of treasures before we even embarked on our quest! We left for NYC bright and early on Friday, hoping to get a couple of yarn store visits under our belts before the “theatah.”
Based upon the recommendations of our readers, our first stop on Friday was School Products — a counterintuitive name for a yarn store, but hey. It was full of various treasures, especially some nice cashmere. Even so, Sally was drawn to the wall of Koigu like a moth to a flame, though she already has a wall of Koigu of her own. Seventeen skeins (which was every skein they had) of a rich eggplant “solid” somehow found its way into her knitting bag. Hmmmmm…how did that happen?
School Products is owned by Bertra Karapetyan — author of Runway Knits and the force behind Karabella Yarns.
Next up: Habu Textiles.
Habu Textiles is not really a yarn shop, but does specialize in very exotic fibers: steel yarn (thread, actually) and an array of other fun things like silks and bamboo. It’s a fun place to browse and touch, but we didn’t buy anything. (Sally already has six or seven cones of exotics from Habu that she bought several years ago.)
Friday night marked Clay Aiken’s Broadway debut in Spamalot. Who could miss that? It was a crazy, irreverent, bawdy, funny show. Clay was wonderful in his multiple roles: Sir Robin, monk, idiot guard. We loved Tom Deckman, who played “Herbert,” as well and enjoyed the play immensely. There was a huge crush of fans at the Stage Door waiting to get Clay’s autograph, which we were unable to do — too far back. But we left feeling like the evening was a raging success.
First Stop: Purl Soho, which has more beautiful yarn per square inch than almost any other store we’ve been to. The shop is small, but it is more than worth a trip (or two). We could have spent a fortune here, but we tried to restrain ourselves. We bought some silk and mohair blends and some Blue Skye Alpaca and Silk for experimenting. Oh! And some sock yarn.
Soho itself is a fun area to wander around in. We wished we hadn’t eaten a late breakfast because right by Purl is a restaurant called Once Upon a Tart that looked intriguing if you know what we mean and we think that you do.
Next stop: Knit New York — a wonderful knitting shop with great coffee and even nicer people:
They encourage knitters to just hang out and knit, which was fine with us! This place was our favorite.
Here’s Nina, whom we met at Knit New York:
Nina blew us away! She is an extremely accomplished knitter at the very tender age of seventeen. She made her hat (Interweave Knits) and knew so much about all kinds of knitting. She has made two Rogue Hoodies (one sans hood for Mom), and just seemed so ahead of the game with her knitting. We would love to see where she is in twenty years! What a sweetie!
Here Sally is enjoying the ambience of the shop: it was great to sip coffee, knit and hang out in the warm and welcoming atmosphere — note wall o’yarn!! (Doesn’t she look tired? We were up way too late Friday night, especially Sally.) We relieved them of a lot of their yarn burden 😉 — it was the least we could do. We bought some lovely 5-ply cashmere from Artful Yarns (for fingerless gloves or mitts) and lots and lots of Sirino, a silk and merino blend from the Great Adirondack Yarn Company.
The fantastic staff agreed to pose for us, Chorus Line style!
From Left to Right: Anneli, Miriam (shop owner), Carlee, Brooke, and Meghan
We rushed back to the hotel so we could get dinner before going to Wicked, but got waylaid by the opportunity to have Clay sign our programs after the matinee — and he did!
Saturday night we dined atop our hotel in the revolving restaurant with a view of the city and then on to the play: Wicked was fantastic, as everyone knows. The production was amazing — we left there feeling like we had experienced a real Broadway show. Sally especially loved it, as she hadn’t seen it before. Then back to reality! We took the train back to DC early Sunday morning.
Here we attempt to capture the beautiousness of our acquired yarns:
The silks, the alpacas, the cashmeres… ::sigh:: Just packing the yarn was a treat because of the softness.
We had a totally wonderful time — made even better by meeting up with old and new friends. We say farewell to Times Square (view from our room):
View from Times Square!!
It was really cold there….Hey Cowboy, you seem to have forgotten your pants