Monday, August 11, 2014

Machine Knitting Trip Part 1: Shopping

Last weekend, I took a very sudden vacation to New York City to take a machine knitting class at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn.

A while ago a generous person gave me a knitting machine to use, but after a year of improperly installed sponge bars and jammed carriages, I knew that I needed help. I found a knitting machine class on tumblr and found that it was relatively easy to get to. Immediately, I found that my mother wanted to share a hotel room to reduce the commute time and so we made plans.

The trip began with a visit to Economy Candy, Yonah Schimmel's Knishes, and Katz's deli. I won't post all the food pictures, but this is the unparalleled pastrami at Katz's.

After eating a lot, I went to visit Downtown Yarns to thank them for their large selection of Noro yarns. A few months ago, I purchased some Taiyo Sock that inspired my Petal Cowl pattern. We met two really nice ladies, one of whom is the owner, and an adorable puppy.

Here's one of the ladies modeling the sample in front of their yarns. I can't say that this is my 100% favorite Manhattan yarn shop, but I would recommend them highly to anyone that is looking for a diverse selection of modern fibers. Their selection is half composed of very quality, wearable solids that are great for sweaters and interesting textures and colors that are kind of flamboyant, but great for accessories and details. On this trip, I got 2 skeins of Noro Koromo, a tweedy self striping yarn with an unusual texture. It is going to probably become a tank top.

If you are ever in the neighborhood, you should definitely visit Downtown Yarns at 45 Avenue A on the lower east side.

Next we made a journey all the way to the UES to visit the Yarn Company. I've enjoyed their booth at Vogue Knitting Live because they have exclusive colors of many popular yarns. In person, the store had pretty much the same thing I had seen in their booth, so the visit wasn't super exciting. They had one outstanding yarn called Stonehedge Crazy

It is an incredibly soft and springy merino spun from mill ends. Because it uses leftovers, each skein is unique and unpredictable. Other than this and a basic solid wool, their selection is mostly variegated hand dyed colors. If that's your thing, you should absolutely go. If, like me, you do not particularly like multicolor yarns, you may not find a lot here that you can't find elsewhere with more color options.

This concludes the shopping portion of the trip. In part 2, I'll talk more about the class, knitting machines, and the facilities at the Textile Arts Center.

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