Tuesday, July 01, 2008
I've just returned from a 10 day trip -- mostly business but some vacation, too. Of course, I managed to visit 3 fiber-related emporia in three different places! First I'll tell you about Knit One in Pittsburgh. You see, I live mainly in Manhattan but even when I'm in NJ for weekends, the lys are fairly small, sometimes even tiny and cramped. Knit One, by contrast, is in a large -- even vast by lys standards -- wonderfully warm and welcoming space. Stacy, the owner, has succeeded in creating a user-friendly space that is a knitter's heaven as well as haven. Yarn is arranged by weight and then by type. So, baby yarns, sock yarns and novelties, etc. are grouped together. In addition to the shelves lining the walls, there are also stand-alone units in a charming array of styles. What I also loved, and what The D.B. took advantage of, is the inviting seating in various arrangements throughout the store. Tho' chock full of different yarns, the store is tidy and organized which really makes a difference to the self-reliant shopper. I couldn't think of a yarn that wasn't included in their collection. We ended up spending hours at Knit One when we meant only to shop for about half an or so. It's also possible to drop in with your knitting and hang out -- we saw knitters do just that while we were there.
The best part of the whole experience was the individual attention available to yarn shoppers. Rochelle was on duty when we arrived. She is so very welcoming that we felt right at home immediately. Rochelle took me on a yarn tour of the store, showing me how the yarns are arranged. Because she's so yarn-savvy, she helped me find just what I was looking for -- easy care natural fibers for baby knitting. I had the privilege of speaking with Stacy, too, when she arrived and really enjoyed our conversation. Although I love my NYC lys, I confess to being smitten.
Knit One is in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, just "up street" (Pittsburghese for "up the block") from where The D.B.'s father lived and on the same block as a now-closed family-favorite special occasion restaurant, Poli's. Pittsburgh is a city of steep hills, which the natives take for granted. Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill's main drag is no exception. It all adds to the atmosphere.
Don't miss this store if you're even vaguely close to Pittsburgh. In fact, I told someone yesterday to urge her knitting daughter to find a college she likes in Pittsburgh just so that she can have a good lys! How's that for a college-finding criterion?