The NYC yarn crawl was/is this weekend (I'm working today so it's hard to remember it's still the Columbus day "Holiday Weekend"). I Crawled yesterday, but I don't think I'll be doing it again.
a) Too close to Rhinebeck! I can't get my knitting friends excited about going on a yarn crawl with me when we're all going to Rhinebeck next week. We can just as easily yarn crawl by ourselves another weekend when there's less going on.
b) The hours kinda sucked. Yesterday, stores opened as early as 11 am and closed as late as 7pm, but most were open 12-5. When you only have 1 day, 5 hours isn't very much time to really check out a new LYS, or a shop as chock-full of yarn as Knitty City.
I started out at The Yarn Company on Broadway at 82nd St. It was my first visit to the shop, and I didn't realize that they are "The Yarn Girls", so that was cool. It's a pretty shop, they had a few sample garments that I wouldn't mind knitting sometime. One scarf was knit lengthwise using 4 colors of yarn. I think they just did seed stitch using a different color each row, but the effect was really pretty. Then there was a beautiful grey scarf, it looked like a 6-stitch cable with 6 stitches of purl between them, which were cabled on the reverse side of the scarf. You know I love reversible scarves, and this was so symmetrical too!
Sadly, I never learned where to find the pattern for the grey scarf. I asked about the price of the kit for the multicolor scarf and was told, "It's $100. It's cashmere." As if I don't understand that there are more- and less-expensive fibers out there.
I purchased a pattern booklet at 1/2 price, to make #3 the crochet cardigan, and #7, the felted handbags. I also found a knitting tool I'd had my eye on for a reasonable price, and then for spending $25 I got a free Yarn Girls book. Still, I don't plan to return to The Yarn Company. The Upper West Side is the most inconvenient part of Manhattan to reach via subway from Queens, and none of their products warrant a special trip since I can find most of them at other LYS that are closer to my home or work.
After TYC I walked to Knitty City. I'm an idiot, because even though I've been to Knitty City a few times before, and I emailed myself the address of all the LYS I was planning to visit, I walked all the way down to 72nd Street before realizing that KC is up on 79th St. Sigh. I had purchased an unlimited metrocard and was kinda tired of walking, so I took a bus up Amsterdam to 76th. Don't judge me. The bus was kind of full and I'd accidentally started a conversation with either a homeless man or an unusually unkempt non-homeless man, and either way getting off the bus ASAP was worth walking a couple of extra blocks.
Knitty City was as excellent as always. First someone said hi to me & I had no clue who she was, but then I figured out she's a Tuesday Knitter from Knit in Roslyn. Still have no idea what her name is, but I faked it well enough, I think. Then I found Tofutsies in the sale bin, and it was 1/2 price. I know I'm supposed to be boycotting STWC, and I am doing very well resisting, but I figure helping clear out a closeout isn't supporting them much. The KC staff couldn't find the skein of Madelinetosh DK in Tart that I'd reserved last week, but they found me another skein so it was cool :) They tried to find me some DK in Baltic but didn't have enough in stock for my project, which is just as well with Rhinebeck approaching. I appreciated them trying, ya know? And everything was 10% off, but that's not huge, so I didn't mind waiting to buy it later. And then I ran into with Moutons & her friend Diane (of the Madtosh Meetup cookies), which was really nice. To sum up: friendly staff, found the yarn I wanted and a good deal, and ran into some knitting friends too - all of my favorite things to do at an LYS :)
Last stop for me was Lion Brand Yarn Studio. Their Yarn Crawl sale was 10% off bags, the LB collection yarns, and some other stuff, and a free tote with purchase of yarn. The tote is HUGE - like 2 feet tall huge, seriously. Beth & I got some at Maker Faire a couple of weeks ago. I was determined to buy some yarn so I could get another, but on the other hand, Rhinebeck is next week, and they have a special where you get a certain percentage off on your birthday week, which in my case is 1 month away.
I ended up getting a skein of Wool Ease (15% off this month) to make a chemo cap for Cody's collection. Did I ever mention that? Cody is Teri's son, and back in March he got really sick and didn't have health insurance, so the doctors and hospitals wouldn't treat him properly until he got seriously ill, so they kept *sending him home until it would get to that point, treat him a little but not fully, he would get worse and go back to the doctor/hospital, and repeat from *. He still managed to accumulate $16k in medical bills from the very little they did do, so naturally this was cause for panic too. Also, they still hadn't fixed him! Finally in like, July, one of the hospitals gave him a grant to cover all his medical expenses through the end of 2010 - including the $16k and any other treatments he'd already received for this. As a "thank you" for treating Cody, Teri's knitting friends are making Chemo and Premie hats and sending them to Teri for Cody to turn in to the hospital. They've gotten like 200 hats so far, 20 of which are from one of my knitting friends, Marj, who is officially Super Awesome in Teri's book (as well as my own). She's never even met Teri or Cody, just loves knitting chemo and premie hats!
Back to the yarn crawl... LBYS was very busy but they had plenty of staff on hand to help everyone. Other shops should take note ::cough cough:: yarn company ::cough::. I petted their new LB Collection yarn: Angora! I decided that I don't like the texture of Angora, and the colors were Fugly. However, I do love their other LB Collection yarns and colors so overall, very worth a trip if you are in the area.
After LB I was supposed to meet some friends at City Bakery at 5 for coffee, however J ran late and arrived at 5:45 and they close at 6 on Sundays. So we went out for dinner to a Thai restaurant instead. I had a bad Thai food experience before so I have been resistant to going back, but for Jackie I'd try it again. I got a spicy fried rice dish that was yummy, so now I don't dislike Thai food, just their strangely squishy noodles.
To sum up the day, I tried a new LYS, kept stash enhancement to a minimum, and discovered I like a whole new cuisine. That's a good day in my book, but I'm not sure how repeatable it will be next year, so I think one official nyc yarn crawl is sufficient for me :)