Monday, January 22, 2007

Venezia and NY

I've been so wrapped up with the holidays, traveling and teaching (my busy time just started) that I almost forgot I had a blog! This swatch is actually a pre-swatch for my Venezia Pullover by Eunny Jang. I just wanted to see if the colors I chose work. There was concern that the browns instead of the golds would be too bland. This is from the Winter 2006 Interweave Knits. I fell in love with the sweater because the construction is incredible. It has a shaped waist and fitted sleeves, and the pattern on the sleeves even match up with the body! However I didn't like the baby poo yellow and the gold just looks funny on Asians, so I changed three of the colors. The two golds are now browns and in the picture on the website/magazine the contrast with the yellow looks like a sage green, but the actual yarn is grey. So I changed it back to green. I purchased the yarn from Two Swans Yarn and the service was great. This was my Christmas present to myself. While I was in NY, my husband called me and said, "Thanks for the Xmas present!". He purchased his own gift, so I did too :)

This photo by the way is courtesy of Dim Sum Knitting. I've been far too lazy to actually find the camera and download pictures to my computer!

Since I never got back to my report on NY here's a synopsis and I'll try to be brief.

Crafting in NY is so-so. I visited 3 yarn stores. Purl was by far the most beautiful. The yarn was laid out well by type and the bins were full. What I liked is that they had plenty of each color to do a project and the store was very packed when we visited it. The yarn selection was good and it relied heavily on basics. Not a lot of novelties and if I wasn't on yarn overload I would have definitely picked something up. I did go to their sister fabric store and picked up some fabric for my secret pal and a little piece for me so my sister can make me a crochet hook case.

The Point had a completely different feel to it. Where as Purl would be a place I would buy yarn, the Point is somewhere I would hang out. The yarn selection was not quite as good, and a lot of the yarn it seemed that there wouldn't be enough for a project. However, it was a bigger space and not as cramped on the inside. It had more of a community feel to it. They had some different yarns from Purl, and since they are so close to each other it's worth it to visit both. I think this is the store my sister goes to the most. People were very nice at both stores.

The last store I visited was Gotta Knit. The yarn selection was eclectic, relying heavily on luxury fibers but it seemed like there was only 2-3 balls of each color of yarn. It had a very barren feel to it and I'm not sure if it was because of a holiday rush or that's just the way the store is. The owner was very friendly but I'm not sure if I'd go there again.

New York yarn stores really surprised me because the prices were so good. You would think since rents are high they would do the typical slight raise of price over standard retail for the cost of shipping, etc. However the prices were right at retail and for the size of the spaces Purl and the Point really maximized the usage to the feel they wanted.

As for bead shopping, I prefer LA. I visited the diamond district and went to Metalliferous and Ross Metals. Both recommended on-line for chain and findings. I found that prices were higher on some things than Los Angeles, especially chain. I was looking for gold filled chain and couldn't find the chain I wanted. The bead shopping on 37th street was better, but nothing really stood out to me. I did find the gold filled chain I wanted at a small side shop. The highlights were Toho Shoji, which actually had good bulk swarovski prices if you purchased a gross. I also want to go back to Phoenix Beads since by the time I got there I spent too much to want to hit their minimum. I walked into a lot of smaller shops, but I think next time I visit NY I won't spend much time searching for bead shops. I wish my mom had been with me though, I think she would have enjoyed it.