In recent years, knitting has gone from Grandma’s past time to become a full-blown insertion in urban public spaces. We followed the guerrilla yarn wrappings of artist Olek in places like Union Square, Wall Street and Astor Place and most recently, the wonderful work of fiber artist Xenobia Bailey, who transformed her textile and fiber art into two colorful mosaic pieces inside the new 34th Street Hudson Yards Subway Station. Globally, we traced Knit the City in South London and the yarn bombing in Los Angeles.
This month is the 8th annual New York City Yarn Crawl. This colorful, three-day event begins on Friday September 23 and will run through Sunday, September 25. The crawl will take you from Brooklyn through Manhattan, visiting local independent yarn shops, and meeting lots of “yarnistas” along the way. You can do the crawl in any order and at your own pace. Get ready for lots of fun as you knit your way through our list of the 11 participating shops.
10. School Products Yarn
School Products Yarn is the oldest yarn shop in New York City. Located at 13 East 37th Street in the garment district, it first opened in 1947 as a place to buy school supplies, with a small yarn corner. In time, the yarn corner became so popular that it filled the shop. The current owners have had the shop for over twenty-five years, and serve both hand and machine knitter’s. Truly a place for serious knitters, advanced classes are offered.
9. Annie & Company
Annie & Company is a full-service knitting and needlepoint shop, located on the corner of 92nd Street and 2nd Avenue. The shop offers events and classes in all related arts. On the heels of a very successful Anzula Trunk Show, Annie & Company will feature classes in circular bead crochet this October.
8. Downtown Yarns
Downtown Yarns is a neighborhood shop dedicated to keeping the craft of knitting alive. Located on Avenue A between 3rd and 4th Streets, the shop offers knitting classes at every level, with beginner classes starting this week. Just in – Merino Stream by Fleece Artist, and machine washable Malabrigo Rios.
7. Knitty City
Located at 208 West 79th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway, Knitty City is a yarn studio with a full calendar of events for yarn enthusiasts. Opening its doors in 2006, Knitty Citty has regular book signings by authors and designers, and classes at every level, including classes for children and even a men’s knitting night. The studio has a group of knitters who donate their projects to local hospices and nursing homes.
6. Purl SoHo
Purl SoHo opened its doors in 2002 as a yarn shop, and in 2006 opened Purl Patchwork, selling fabrics. In 2010, the shops were combined in their current location at 459 Broome Street, between Greene and Mercer, in a new space large enough for a dedicated classroom. Purl SoHo even has online video tutorials for those in need after hours.
5. Seaport Yarn
Seaport Yarn is located at 181 Broadway near Fulton Street, on the 4th floor. Opening in 2002, the shop boasts a vast number of books, patterns, yarns and accessories. While there are no classes, Seaport Yarn considers themselves to be a “yarnacholic’s” candy store, and the two owners, Andrea Waller and LaJuana Davis, who travel the country in search of merchandise, are sure to inspire.
4. String Yarns
String Yarns is located on the 2nd floor of 144 East 74th Street, corner of Lexington Avenue. The shop offers a variety of workshops and classes, and has a full calendar of guest speakers and trunk shows. String Yarns has everything for beginners to advanced and are well-known for their high-end yarn and unique patterns created by the in-house designer.
3. Slip Stich Needlecraft
2. Argyle Yarn Shop
Located at 288 Prospect Park West in the Windsor Terrace section of Brooklyn, Argyle Yarn Shop is a full-service, husband and wife owned shop that opened in 2011. With classes at every level in knitting, weaving, and spinning, they also have a variety of workshops geared for parents and their children together.
1. Brooklyn General Store
This old-fashioned shop sells yarn, fabric and sewing supplies. Located at 128 Union Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn, the Brooklyn General Store has created a home within the Old Frank’s Department Store, with its preserved floor to ceiling shelves, rolling ladders and old wooden floors. The store offers classes in knitting, sewing, quilting, rug hooking, embroidery and even furniture upholstery.
There are lots of workshops, trunk shows and special events during the Yarn Crawl, so be sure to check websites for listings at each shop. You can follow the Yarn Crawl Map or follow them on Facebook. Get in touch with the author at AFineLyne.