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"Travel Blog: Philadelphia"
Author:  planetpurl
Tags/keywords:  Philadelphia travel knitting yarn shops
Join us in the city of brotherly (and sisterly!) love for a little yarn shopping in the US cradle of freedom.
04/09/2009 - Tangled Web

It took us a while to get from the city center out to the fancy Chestnut Hill area (almost two hours in Friday afternoon traffic), but we were still excited to see Tangled Web. Our expectations had been built up- when some of the other shop owners asked about our itinerary, they would respond to Tangled Web with, “Oh yeah, they’re big.” We were not disappointed.

Two stories with high ceilings, and the first floor stuffed with yarn- they may be nestled in a cute boutique filled village, but it is a Fiberzilla. Tangled Web stocks Plymouth, Cascade, Jo Sharp, Classic Elite, Claudia Hand Painted, Lana Grossa, SRK, SWTC, Rowan, Aslan Trends, Frog Tree, Nashua, Lamb’s Pride, Malabrigo, Jade Sapphire, and Wagtail. They have a big number of knitted up samples, and enough space to accommodate just about everything from low to high-end and a good selection of novelty yarns as well.

Speaking of space, the entire second level is for sitting and knitting, and also where the classes are held. No need to worry about rubbing elbows or getting your project tangled with someone else’s on the table- there’s room enough for everyone. Plus, it has a nice open floor plan that manages to let the light in but keep most of the sound out from the floor below.

Some people assume that when a store gets too big then customer service is bound to suffer. Customer service after all, is one of the reasons we shop at an LYS rather than giant chains.  Tangled Web had so many friendly service people I don’t think they’d ever have this problem. Friendly, and always just around the corner- they seemed to anticipate every customer’s needs. Some of the other shoppers were happy to chime in when we were talking with the employees, and there was a real sense of community here.

Tangled Web
7709 Germantown Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19118


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04/09/2009 - Sophie's Yarns

Located in the heart of Philly’s long Fabric Row on 4th Street, Sophie’s Yarns is a sophisticated store set in a classic-looking building. Philadelphia’s fashion district is one of the oldest in the country, and it’s absolutely filled with wonderful distractions that may make this store difficult to reach- but you are strong, and yarn waits for you.

Now when we think of class and sophistication, we think of one yarn first- Rowan. Sophie’s may not have the widest selection in the city, but we’ll never question a shop’s decision to focus on Rowan. Sophie’s has a whole bunch of it. They also carry some Debbie Bliss, Cascade, Araucania, Noro, Regia, some great chunky yarns by Misti Alpaca, and Ella Rae.  They also carry bags by Off Hand, Clover needles, and a few buttons.

Sophie’s Yarns has been open since 1995, and they definitely make up for quantity by stocking only high quality yarns. The owner creates a lot of her own designs (some published by Interweave) and they put a strong focus on teaching. Some of their courses are associated with local Temple University, and the shop has plenty of space for their in-store classes. Even if you’re not taking a class, you’ll probably enjoy just having a place to rest surrounded by yarn after shop hopping down Fabric Row.

Sophie’s Yarns
713 S 4th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

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04/09/2009 - Nangellini

There’s a fun and funky neighborhood along South Street, and Nangellini is keeping up with the pack, if not leading it.  The side streets are decorated with mosaics and murals, music pumps out of the storefronts, and the sidewalks are full of “characters”.  One of them, pushing a cart down the street called us “Mack” for the first time in our lives.  Mighty pleased, we think that finally earned us the right to call the town “Philly”. 

Nangellini earns its street cred by combining bright pop art with knit art and yarns in one big gallery space.  It may be the only shop in the world where you can get both a Star Wars painting and a variety of organic yarns (the owner said she likes to cater to the vegans).  If you do manage to find another spot like this, well... let us know! We want to go there too. 

They were carrying Kraemer (which is local), sari silk and banana silk from Frabjous Fibers, Louisa Harding, Claudia Hand Painted, Mirasol, Custom Yarns by Linda, Ice, Noro, Cestari, Elsebeth Lavold, FFF, Jojoland, Gedifra, and Katia, and their very own store brand.  Their stock is always changing, but the main criteria are: color, sparkles, and fun.  To rephrase Jerry Maguire, “You had us at sparkles.”

832 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 1914
(215) 413-5001

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04/09/2009 - Loop

Just a short walk away from Rosie's, we found our next shop, Loop.  Can you imagine how much easier exercise would be if you had two great yarn shops to walk between a few times a week?  And we were informed more than once by the locals that Philadelphia’s a great walking city. 

The owner of Loop told us that his goal was to apply a modern approach to the local yarn store, and we think he’s succeeded.  It’s not going to remind you of your grandmother’s porch, but we appreciated the sleek rows of yarn separated by hip couches.  Plus, the abundance of three crucial elements: light, space, and yarn make it a great spot to sit and knit. 

They carry a good deal of Malabrigo, Koigu, and Blue Sky Alpaca along with lines by Nature’s Palette, Noro, Debbie Bliss, Filatura di Crosa, Tahki, Mission Falls, Alchemy, Lorna’s Laces, Loop D’ Loop, Trekking, a German sock yarn called Schoppelwolle, and a mega skein called Zauberball.  They have a good selection of books and buttons and a lovely line of superwash merino called “Colorful Yarn  that’s spun in Pennsylvania and dyed in the neighborhood.  We love local yarns, and that’s almost as local as it gets. 

If you happen to sew (it’s okay, we won’t tell your jealous half-finished afghan in the closet), then you should leave some time to visit Spool next door.  It’s a companion shop designed in the same style and they carry some wonderful fabrics.

1914 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 893-9939
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04/09/2009 - Rosie's Yarn Cellar

Our first stop in Philadelphia, Rosie’s Yarn Cellar is tucked away below street level on a quiet block in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood- one of the oldest parts of the city.  With the sheltered location, low ceilings, very busy crowd, and the youthful enthusiasm of the staff, it had the feel of a "speakeasy" for knitting.  Pass the Cosmos! 

They carry Louet, Nashua, Cascade, a lot of Noro, K1C2, a little Rowan, Classic Elite, Reynolds, Araucania, Ella Rae, Misti Alpaca, Sirdar, Debbie Bliss, Lorna’s Laces, O-Wool, Manos del Uruguay, and some really fun mill ends from Koigu for sock knitting.  They have a small selection of needles and books, but what makes them most interesting is the atmosphere and the service. 

Many of the staff members at Rosie’s are designers;, several of them having been published by Interweave Knits.  The shop has been there for 15 years, and they told us there’s “nothing we can’t do.”  It’s a big statement for a little shop, but one that would be well worth putting to the test.

Rosie’s Yarn Cellar
2017 Locust St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

(215) 977-9276

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04/09/2009 - Welcome to Philadelphia
In March of 2009, Planet Purl travelled to Philadelphia for a bit of yarn shopping.  Come along with us!
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