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"Travel Blog: A Yarn Shop Grows in Brooklyn"
Author:  planetpurl
Tags/keywords:  Travel New York Brooklyn Yarn
Planet Purl heads to the Big Apple for a two-part yarn crawl. First up -- Brooklyn!
11/05/2008 - Yarn Tree


You don’t have to wear skinny jeans and flash your body art to get into Yarn Tree, but it’ll definitely help you fit in once you’re out on the street.  The Williamsburg neighborhood, where it’s located, is considered hipster central and is definitely one of the most popular places to visit in Brooklyn. It’s full of young people, artists, and various other harmless weirdoes-- kind of like the West Village used to be, only safe.

Lucky for you, there’s another great reason to head to this part of town.  Yarn Tree is a specialty yarn shop that focuses on small brands, with a distinct focus on organic and hand-dyed lines like 13 Mile Yarn, Catalina, New England Highland, Frog Tree, and one of a kind hand dyed pieces by Nancy Finn of Chasing Rainbows.  They sell natural dyes as well, and seeing as the owner of the shop has a book on natural dyeing techniques (published by Random House) then you can safely assume you’re buying them from the right place.  She even teaches classes in the store on dyeing in addition to spinning, weaving, felting, and of course knit and crochet courses.

What’s that strange sound?  Is it a camel in search of its hair?  In addition to the front room, dominated by yarn, Yarn Tree has a back room full of all kinds of different fibers for spinners and felters: camel, buffalo, bamboo, and even yak are in stock.  We’re sure that if you left the store in a yak jacket, you would impress the Williamsburg “elite” and maybe even convince a few that you are one of their own.

Yarn Tree
347 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211

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11/05/2008 - Stitch Therapy


Stitch Therapy is a peaceful place.  From the moment we walked in, soft music, lighting, and the owner herself all exuded a feeling of calm.  Maybe it has something to do with the Tibetan shop next door.  Whatever it is, it’s working-- nothing at all to distract you from all the yarns.  They have Berocco, Lana Grossa, Aslantrends, some very nice chunky yarns by Noro, Be Sweet, Elsebeth Lavold, as well as a small selection of rovings, spindles, and needles.

Maxine, the owner, also informed us that in addition to hosting regular classes and a knitting circle, she teaches 2 Day Boot Camps-- short and intense classes geared toward New Yorkers’ busy schedules, but it sounds like it could be perfect for the vacationing knitter as well.

All said, Stitch Therapy is a wonderfully quiet knitting oasis just off 7th Avenue, one of the Park Slope neighborhood’s most popular streets for boutique shopping.  There’s a cute coffee/tea shop on the opposite corner and a clean bench in front of the shop for you to ply your trade, or you can walk just two blocks East to Grand Army Plaza, the entrance to Brooklyn’s famous and beautiful Prospect Park.

Stitch Therapy
176 Lincoln Place
Brooklyn, NY 11217

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11/05/2008 - Stitch 'n Stitch


Stitch and Stitch spends every ounce of its flash on a wonderfully kitschy sign.  The shop interior is small, but every inch is absolutely packed with yarn and accessories.  No frills, no pretension, just a whole bunch of yarns at low-prices.

They carry as much Lion Brand yarn as we’ve seen in one place, as well as yarns by Phentex, Red Heart, Patons, and Bernat, along with a small selection of needlework threads and patterns.  They also have a nice selection of older magazines and pattern books on sale for bargain prices.

Stitch n Stitch
1316 Coney Island Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11230
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11/05/2008 - Knit-A-Way


Knit-A-Way can be described in one word: BIG.  Okay, maybe two words: BIG and ORGANIZED.  In our experience a lot of LYS’s either have a small neat little stash, or a giant unruly one, but Knit A-Way is a maverick.  Their long rows of yarn by Debbie Bliss, Fiddlesticks, Malabrigo, Feza, Karabella, Cascade, Lion, Reynolds, Di Ve, Tahki, Plymouth, Misti Alpaca, and several other brands are all meticulously separated by fiber type.  Their selection of alpaca alone merits a visit.

There isn’t too much in the way of other shopping opportunities in the immediate vicinity, but it’s only a ten minute walk away from the Atlantic Yards, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the rest of downtown Brooklyn.  If selection gets your heart racing, or if you have an empty yarn closet at home (so sad!), do check it out.

398 Atlantic Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11217

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11/05/2008 - Brooklyn General Store

The Brooklyn General Store is on the edge of one of Brooklyn’s cutest shopping neighborhoods-- Carroll Gardens.  Boutiques and delis abound, and there are even a couple of small movie theaters in the area.  This shop is a real gem in this district that definitely deserves some attention from visitors.

Now, “General Store” is in the shop’s name, and they give it small service with several bolts of beautiful fabric, but be sure-- this is a YARN shop through and through.  Their giant collection of sock yarn right at the entrance was enough to make us grateful for the falling temperatures, and their chalkboard full of class offerings sealed the deal.  This is a serious shop.

Their selection leans toward the upmarket with handspun and organic lines by Savannah, Road to China, Hello Mello, and Brooklyn Handspun, with some nice bigger commercial brands like Manos del Uruguay, Malabrigo, Louet, and Araucania rounding out their large selection.  They’re also the only shop we found in the borough that stocks Rowan (a Planet Purl favorite).

This is balanced out by a very minimalist and natural atmosphere that lets you do some high end shopping without having to encounter high end snootiness.  In that way, it’s emblematic of the best that Brooklyn has to offer.

Brooklyn General Store
135 Union St.
Brooklyn, NY 11231


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11/05/2008 - M & M Yarn Connection

A Yarn Shop Grows In Brooklyn... and sometimes in the least likely of places.  Many people praise Brooklyn for being the most “neighborhood-y” borough of New York City.  If that’s the case, then M & M Yarn Connection might be the most “neighborhood-y” yarn shop in the city, maybe the country.   The store is completely un-marked, sitting in the basement of a row house, on a typical tree-lined residential street.  The odd marketing strategy seems to have worked well enough though, since the shop’s been open for 28 years.

M & M was bursting with energy on our visit, with several women talking over each other back and forth across the shop, and the owner jumping in and helping many of them with a friendly word of advice, sometimes in English and sometimes in Yiddish.  Everyone seemed like they knew each other, and their was an excitement that you don’t often see in a yarn store.The yarn selection was also pretty vibrant, with most of the stock seemingly devoted to bright color blends.  They carry Steinbach Wolle, Austerman, Classic Elite, Tahki, Lanas, and Di Ve among others, but the real draw is the atmosphere and the people in the most unique yarn shop we’ve come across yet.

M & M Yarn Connection
1766 46th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11204

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11/05/2008 - A Yarn Shop Grows in Brooklyn
We can't think of anything better for a long weekend in the Fall or during the holidays than a trip to New York City.  Cheesecake, great Chinese food, theater, a couple of dozen yarn shops, and did we mention cheesecake?

NYC has 5 boroughs, but you'll find the mother lode of yarn in just two -- Brooklyn and Manhattan.  In this travel blog, we visit Brooklyn.  So pour yourself a strong cup of coffee, slice a nice big piece of cheesecake (cherry is our favorite), or maybe slather up a bagel with cream cheese if it's early in the morning, and come with us to Brooklyn.  By the way, cheesecake makes a great, nutritious breakfast on Planet Purl.
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