the trip to new york city was great fun. i enjoyed the city much more than i thought i would. i loved being able to walk everywhere; i appreciated the subway; and i came to understand what uptown, downtown and upper east side mean. once it was explained to me and i could apply it, it made perfect sense.
since i was one of the chaperones for 43 high schoolers, half my time was spent getting them to where they had to be, going with them, getting them back and keeping track of them during their free time; minimal time was for sleeping (we were in nyc after all); the time left over was free time for me. i saw some sights, did some shopping, loved the street vendors, was enthralled with grand central station, was blown away by time square being just as bright at midnight as it was at noon and took the big guy to dinner and a broadway show. we had pasta at this great place on 8th and went to see rent. it was really fun.
but i was hoping to find a moment to myself so i could slip off to an LYS. i had taken a list of nyc yarn stores with me and had two i really wanted to see. both being in greenwich village, a couple of subway stops away, it was just finding the time to go there.
friday seemed the perfect time. a group of kids and i went to the metropolitan museum of art friday morning. though we went as a group, once there, everyone went their own way. my goal was to see the egyptian collection, the impressionists and hopefully a mary cassatt or two all of which i was able to do in about 3-3.5 hours. by then my brain was totally full and i needed fresh air. a fellow chaperone said i had enough time to get to greenwich village and back before our 6pm dinner cruise. so i zipped back to the hotel via subway, once again checked in with my kids via phone, asked the concierge how to get to where i wanted to go, zipped off to another subway, got on and just as i was about to panic thinking i had gotten on the wrong train, there was my stop.
since i was not sure how much time everything would take, the plan was to find at least one LYS and hope i could find the other the next morning. i chose to go to purl soho, whose owner is the author of last minute knitted gifts. just when i realized i had the wrong address and concerned i would not find the shop, i decided to walk one more block, and there it was. purl soho is a lovely shop. extremely compact (not a lot of room in greenwich village) but lots of beautiful yarn packed into very tall cubbied shelves, which made looking at things on the top shelves a bit of a challenge. i found it interesting that the yarn companies were the same as the ones back home, but the yarn from those companies was totally different than what i was used to seeing. the staff was friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. they carried quite a few patterns, but very few notions. i assumed it was a space issue since this was a very compact shop.
i had hoped to find some mac and me patterns. there were two in particular i wanted, the shorty ruffle scarves and the silk and alpaca wrap. purl had both of them in stock as well as the blue sky alpaca which is the mac and me signature yarn. while i was debating whether to get yarn for the shawl, a light bulb went off. i had already bought a few nyc mementos for my sweet friend, josh was in nyc gathering his own mementos and my cute husband didn't want me to get him anything at all (though i did buy him a deck of cards from the top of the empire state building which will get use.) so there i was, standing in the midst of a very sweet yarn store, willing to buy yarn just because i was on vacation. what better way to satisfy that urge and bring a token from nyc than to buy yarn to make items for others! the yarn for my shawl could wait, but i could buy scarf yarn for both my sweet friend and myself. and the boys could get socks. so nine hanks of yarn that needed to be made into balls later, i left the store completely satisfied by my purchases. my sweet friend gets the two pink blue sky alpaca yarns for her scarf, which she also gets to knit, light pink for the scarf, bright pink for the ruffle; the grey and lavender bsa yarn is for me, gray for the scarf, lavender for the ruffle. the chocolate brown and white lorna's laces yarn is for my cute husbands socks and the caramel and white lorna's laces yarn is for the big guy's socks. not bad.
while showing off my purchases to my oh so wonderful roommate, kathleen, who oohed and aahhed over the sock yarn is when the second light bulb went off. i had wanted to get her a little something as a thanks for being a such a great roommate gift. knitting her something would be the perfect thing.
enter saturday. we were leaving late saturday afternoon and checked out of the hotel relatively early. this meant we had quite a chunk of free time. a group of us, both kids and chaperones, decided to take the subway to greenwich village and walk around. the only planned site to see was washington square park and the infamous arch. once that was done, navigator pat asked if any one had any place in particular they wanted to go to in the village. well... so off we were to the point cafe, a yarn store and coffee house all in one (i can hear the sighs from ireland). since it was quite a few blocks from washington square park, we had a nice walking tour of the village.
finally the yarn store. considering the point is both knitting store and coffee house, it is quite compact. a lot of the room is tables for coffee and knitting, which means the yarn has to be creatively stowed. which it is. some in big wire baskets attached to the wall and some in cubbies in the back. both knitting stores also string yarn from the walls, like laundry drying. since i was with a group, i did not really look around. i went right for the sock yarn and bought a quirky lorna's laces colorway for kathleen who has a wicked sense of humor. the yarn i did see was once again, yarn companies i recognized, only different yarns. since the baskets are high on the wall, an employee or stepladder is needed in order to see or touch them. though i am sure this would be no problem since the staff is friendly and willing to help. being mid-morning saturday, there were knitters enjoying a cup of coffee and company, as well as a beginning knitting class going on. the point was a bustling and friendly place. a nice place to knit while visiting with friends over a cup of coffee.
the yarn purchases rounded out my nyc visit. my sweet friend and i would love to visit again so we could shop til we drop. but that is for another trip. right now, i am just thankful for this one. and thanks for asking davimack.