Hunting down just the right fabric, sewing machine, knitting needle, and even yarn is part of our wonderful hobby! There are so many places to search for these things from your local yarn shop, nation-wide craft stores, to online shops and websites. One unlikely place hobbyists may not think to look in is AMAZON.COM!
I have purchased many hard to find items that I was surprised Amazon carried, like this Pendant Yarn Cutter by Clover. They happen to carry many Clover items (heart them for sewing and knitting/crochet tools)! Along with OLFA rotary cutters, Gingher fabric sheers and much more! And for decent prices too.
They have an Arts, Crafts, and Sewing section! I especially like to find sewing supplies on here because they tend to have a large selection and for decent prices! But they carry anything from markers, colored pencils, drawing desks, and drawing pads to fabric markers, rotary cutters, and cutting mats! Stitch markers, crochet hooks, and even yarn and fabric. Ott-Lite crafting lamps, Dress Forms… And everything for your home crafting studio! Including Sewing Machines and Sergers!
Doing Your Shopping Online
I’m a big online shopper/browser for my fiber crafting needs. While looking for things like fabric and yarn are best done in person, shopping for machines, tools, notions, etc online can be a very efficient way of finding the perfect tool and for the best price. While there are so many wonderful sites out there, here are a few places to start:
Larger Knitting and Quilting Specialty Stores online like Fabric.com and Yarn.com.
Small Indie Yarn Shops Online like found on Etsy
Nation-Wide Craft Stores like Joann, Michaels, or Hobby Lobby
Big Box Stores like Target, Walmart, and Costco.
Are you a New Yorker? For more on where to buy Sewing, Knitting, or Crochet items in NYC, please check out my posts here in the Where To Buy section.
Look what I found when I went to visit Lancaster, PA earlier this year! Well actually I didn’t find it. I totally missed it. My BF found it and got it for me as a surprise :) :) :) Score! AWESOME FINGER PIN CUSHION!
It’s a tiny little pin cushion that fits on your finger! Traditional ones are much larger and strap onto your wrist. They’re much handier for the serious home sewer since they can hold a lot of pins at once. But this one is great for small projects and such. Plus it’s really cute!
It was freezing cold but we managed to browse around Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, PA and we also stumbled across this whole cache of Quilting and Yarn Stores right nearby! Jackpot! That’s where I found places like The Old Country Store and Bitty Kinna’s. And the Lancaster Yarn Shop where I first saw the Knitter’s Pride Interchangeable Needle Set in person! They remind me most of the Knit Picks Interchangeable Sets.
I bought my first Quilt Block Kit and am planning to make my first quilt block shortly! I found it at a quilting wonderland of quilt stuff and fabrics at The Old Country Store. I cracked it open and, although I’m excited to start, it was a little confusing already! The fabrics I got did not match the pattern, so it wasn’t easy to figure out which pieces were meant to be cut into what squares. I’ll have to tackle that soon though.
I ate Chipped Beef and Shoofly Pie for the first time. I. LOVED. CHIPPED BEEF! Ha. Which was basically some type of sliced corned beef or pastrami-type deli meat smothered in this white flour/milk/butter gravy. I ate it for breakfast! But didn’t care for the Shoofly Pie much which was basically sugar or corn syrup baked into a pie crust. We also ate Whoopie Pies! YES! We went to the Canning Kitchen in KKV and sampled a huge variety of pickled vegetables, pickles, jams, and spreads. Everything was weirdly sweet IMHO. But in general the food was great (albeit gut busting and not the most diet conscious). Great for every once in awhile or a little splurge.
We stayed at Eden Resort Best Western. The service was so warm and friendly, they made our stay very nice. The room rates were great and came with an awesome breakfast buffet each day! It was seriously the best meal I had all day while visiting. The bathroom was spotless and had these cool dual shower heads one with a rain shower head from the top and some water jets from the sides. The entire hotel was well kept and clean. They also had wonderful amenities like indoor and outdoor pools and whirlpools and sauna. The indoor one was really nice, it was crowded with kids (and not the cleanest) but decorated really nice. Great for families with kids and nearby attractions like Dutch Wonderland.
We saw lots of horse drawn buggies clopping around, weirdly old fashioned yet with modern materials. It smelled like horse poop everywhere, even at the hotel! There were even metal posts found along the streets for buggies to tie up their horses. It was affordable, we went in the off season, took the Amtrak (although a car is really needed) and trudged around in the snow. But we had a lovely little “country” getaway from NYC that turned out to be a great knitting and sewing trip too! (more…)
I recently discovered KnitMap!. Find your local yarn shop by simply typing in your Zip Code!! I tried it with my zip code and it is really comprehensive. It’s aim is to provide a searchable directory of local yarn shops neatly mapped out on Google Maps from all over the world. Just type in a city, state, country whatever! You can also rate and review! Complete with store hours, directions, and contact information.
Ever away on vacation or just travelling a different city/country and looking to pop into a local yarn shop ? I do. So if you’re crazy about yarn, this directory is especially handy dandy.
It’s also especially handy for when you’re running around town looking for a special tool or shopping for a specific yarn/fiber for your next wonder design and need to raid EVERY LYS you can find.
Put your yarn store on the map too by adding it to KnitMap. Help us find your store!
Update, June 11, 2011: Dude, Where’s My Yarn is also an online directory I found recently. Not as slick nor as comprehensive as KnitMap but it could be a great supporting resource! A fun tidbit I noticed was that New York had the highest number of yarn stores per state listed, 80! With Pennsylvania in 2nd place with 76! Yes, New York could quite possibly have the most yarn stores per state in the country! Since it is user driven it’s not really clear if that’s actually accurate. It may just be that some states are not as internet saavy or have yet to find the site to post their store but you get the idea! Neat!
Loopy Mango ~ 78 Grand Street, New York, NY 10013 ~ (212) 343-7425
Between Wooster & Greene
I mean really heart. I found this shop and the exquisite knit pieces above while looking for bikini yarn like Cascade Fixation which just wasn’t doing it for me. Quite the mythical pipe dream considering I not only want to look good in my bikinis but I want to be able to SWIM in them too! But I digress.
This 2000 square foot wonderland of a boutique carries not only everything from home to clothing to accessories but in January 2011 they began carrying a sophisticated collection of yarn and notions. Some of my faves include Bagsmith Big Stitch yarn and tools and Lang Lanalux – a possible excellent contender for my swim dreams!
It’s a curious shop indeed. However you’d like to label it, whatever it is they carry, it’s gorgeous. Heaven. I have not been down there myself yet but will be stopping by hopefully this weekend!
They are Waejong Kim & Anna Pulvermakher who met at FIT, a jewelry designer and artist respectively. Waejong and Anna has also published a crochet jewelry book, 40 Beautiful and Unique Designs. They also have a blog dedicated to textiles and fiber arts. Swoon.
Update: That very Friday I ran down to Loopy Mango to check it out. Their little yarn annex in the back is FILLED with an exquisitely eccentric collection of yarns. I bought 6! The Ella Rae Lace Merino and the Lang Sol de Grade. The Lang yarn is exquisite. The prices are wonderful too. I got the Ella Rae’s for $20-$23 and saw them online for as much as $28! Very competitive. And they carry Clover Takumi Velvets! $15 each for Size 13 and 15 in 24″!
And there are lots of beautiful knit pieces hanging around for insipiration. The dress you see hanging on the dress form in the above pic is done in the Lang Yarns Sol Degrade. I’m actually in the process of making it now!
The elusive “local yarn shop”. If you’re an avid Knitter or Crocheter living in Manhattan then you’ll know a decent local yarn shop is a rare beast. Our frenetic city and its people have plenty of personality but not enough time for the personal. I find yarn shops here have trouble with balancing personal attention with what New Yorkers need. Professional!
So many shops just end up succeeding in being eccentric and moody with none of the benefits an LYS or a well run yarn shop can provide. I appreciate all the uniqueness that makes an LYS an LYS but I want one that has it all without having to intrude, pry, or cajole for the service.
Lion Brand Yarn Studio ~ 34 W. 15th Street, New York, NY 10011 ~ (212) 243-9070
Which is why Lion Brand Yarn Studio is worth its own mention. It’s the perfect combination of local yarn shop along with what I’m looking for in an NYC yarn shop! Personal yet professional attention. Unlikely on first glance since Lion Brand Yarn is actually a large nationwide company that you’d normally associate with a more mass market approach. But no. Their lovely bright studio, 2 floors, has all the character and style of a small boutique store but without the prices and all the comforts and perks a large store can afford!
Nowadays there are Purl Sohos and Lion Brand Yarn Studios, the two shops that come closest to what I’m looking for here. But it wasn’t so long ago that finding a passable yarn shop was just short of demoralizing!
So what’s so great about it? (more…)
Flying Fingers Yarn Shop
15 Main Street, Tarrytown, New York 10591
(914) 631-4113 (877) 359-4648
Field trip! I recently discovered something called the Yarn Bus. Which led me to Flying Fingers Yarn Shop in Tarrytown, NY about 40 minutes from Grand Central Station. A magical little shop set in the picturesque little town known for historic Sleepy Hollow. This shop is floor to ceiling, chock full, every nook and cranny, a veritable explosion of yarn. All hand curated by Flying Finger’s shop owner, Elise Goldschlag. This little yarn shop houses a distinctive collection of handcrafted yarns from all over the country and beyond.
It’s The Yarn Bus!
The Flying Fingers Yarn Bus will take Manhattanites from New York straight to their shop up in Tarrytown. Free! I didn’t take it myself but loved the idea. Especially because it’s so handy. You can save on a subway or train ride and take advantage of non-Manhattan prices while getting outta “Dodge”! Perfect. If you can catch the Yarn Bus, it’s no different than heading down to Brooklyn General. You can avoid all the stuff you don’t find appealing about New York yarn shops too. Like prices, crowds, and meager selections. They’ve made getting there easy, so what do you have to lose? The Yarn Bus runs on Saturdays and Sundays and makes roundtrips twice a day. Making a reservation is required so do call ahead. The Flying Fingers Blog also chronicles the Yarn Bus’s travels across country.
Jimmy Beans Wool has a yearly scholarship program called “Beans for Brains“. If you Knit or Crochet, you could be eligible to win money for school! Yup, if you’re a student who loves Knitting or Crochet and are looking for scholarships for school, here’s your opportunity! For the 2011-2012 Program, five lucky winners will get $3000 to go towards education! One winner will be selected from 4 regions of the United States – Northeast, Midwest, West, and South. The fifth winner will be selected from where Jimmy Beans Wool is headquartered in Reno, Nevada! Visit their scholarship page to apply! And good luck!
This year’s scholarship begins today! Applications will be accepted from February 1st, 2011 to April 1st, 2011. Award letters will start going out on May 10, 2011. Funds will be awarded beginning August 12, 2011.
Jimmy Beans Wool was started by a husband and wife team in May 2002! Along with a great selection of yarn and Knitting and Crochet tools and resources, they have a cute blog, and a section for free patterns.
A list of where to buy Knit and Crochet tools in NYC! From economical/beginner to those more advanced looking for very particular tools. See my list of yarn shops for where to buy tools in Brooklyn. See also my list of Beginner Crochet Tools and Beginner Knitting Tools. In general, if you’re particular about your tools I tend to find it hard to get exactly what you need without some footwork. Need Takumi Velvets or Addi Turbos in a very specific size? Sometimes I like to see the needles and try them in person before deciding. And sometimes ordering online will just take too long. So I look for some place local. I called every store on my list and only one had the Turbos in the size I needed. No one had the Velvets in the size I needed. So gathering your tools can be a pain but hopefully this list will help!
For worldwide and a local yarn shop near you, try KnitMap! to find your LYS wherever you are.
Lion Brand Yarn Studio
34 W. 15th Street
New York, NY 10011
Excellent hours and customer service. A beginner knitter or crocheter will find great prices and everything they need to start right here. Including great guidance by helpful store clerks. Good prices! The drawback is I don’t find their selection of tools to include very high-end choices. But they carry Clover and that’s a very decent mid-range brand and great for a beginner.
459 Broome Street
New York, NY 10013
If you’re looking for luxury tools, this is the place. This trendy store is chock full of high-quality tools. If you have the money to spend, get your tools here. You can’t go wrong with anything you choose here. The tools and supplies are well curated.
P & S Fabrics
359 Broadway (Grand & Leonard St.)
New York, NY 10013
Great hours. They are even open on Sat & Sun. Great selection and prices on econo range tools. Go for prices! Not the ambiance. Call ahead if you’d like to check on a specific item.
Fashion Design Bookstore @ FIT
250 W27th St. (7th & 8th Ave.)
New York, NY 10001
This university bookstore has a Knitting, Crochet, and Sewing annex chock full of an excellent range of tools and supplies for very competitive prices. Great selection of econo range to popular brands like Clover. This little hidden gem is my personal pick for notions. It’s my goto for that harder to find specialty notions like bodkins, tapestry needles, elastic etc.
Michael’s Arts & Crafts
808 Columbus Avenue (near 100th St.)
New York, NY 10025-5139
Hit or miss for Crochet or Knitting tools but a great last resort if you’re willing to travel all the way up to the 100s! They carry popular economy range tools.
See Also My List of Yarn Shops
Every yarn shop is also a Knit and Crochet supply store. So check these out too. For Manhattan and Brooklyn!
KnitMap! Try checking out this website for a handy way to find a local yarn shop near you.
The mega online store for crafty needs. The pros are they always have sales. So if you are a saavy shopper wait until your eagle finds a decent deal then go nuts!
Reputable. Excellent prices. They do not carry Clover brand Hooks or Needles. But they do carry Addi Turbo and Crystal Palace
Nice prices. They carry their own line of well-priced knit and crochet tools as well as their own line of yarns.
Exploring sewing in Manhattan and looking for decent selections of quality sewing tools, supplies, and notions without having to go to 15 different stores just to overpay has been like the quest for the holy grail. Sadly, New Yorkers are relegated to high-end boutiques like Purl Soho or the grimy Garment District where its dinginess doesn’t at all equate to value. Overrated and underwhelming sums it up quite nicely. While I have yet to find my sewing mecca, here are the best ones I’ve found so far in NYC and online! Here’s my list of Beginner Sewing Tools too. See also a short list of where to find Trim and Notions.
Note: Brooklyn has a nice cache of fiber arts boutiques as well but I have yet to venture down there to check out the situation. So for now they will go unsung.
So what’s so great about this university bookstore? The densely packed sewing “annex” that is an emporium of sewing supplies and tools for home sewers like me. To me it’s a veritable gold mine of sewing stuff. I can go to one spot to find a great selection of zippers, elastic bands, fusible interfacing, felt, poly-fill, thread, shears, chalk, and a myriad of other random sewing needs. All for fabulously competitive prices especially notable considering everyone would rather spend their money on nice fabric and trim than interfacing! With broad selections ranging from economical to professional and different forms and brands of each, it’s perfect for the beginning sewer like myself. They have dress forms too and rudimentary sewing trim like buttons and ribbon.
It is my #1 choice for sewing supplies in Manhattan so far and has great hours. It’s actually an art supply with a very comprehensive sewing section since it supports FIT’s fashion design students. So it’s also a great place to get some peripheral sewing supplies like sketchbooks or pencils etc. if you so choose. They also have a wonderful selection of knit and crochet tools and notions. And a rudimentary selection of econo-yarn.
P & S Fabrics
359 Broadway (Grand & Leonard St.)
New York, NY 10013
Great hours. They are even open on Sat & Sun. Excellent selection of sewing tools and supplies as well with competitive prices! Mostly Dritz brand and more obscure supplies. They also carry a nice array of knitting and crochet tools. A decent one-stop shop. They also carry things like buttons and felt.
So far Fabric.com has been my best friend online when shopping for those sewing supplies that no one wants to spend a fortune on. Always having great sales and decent prices with a huge inventory of sewing supplies like thread, zippers, interfacing etc. And very prompt and speedy shipping.
When shopping online, I’m looking for a site that is comprehensive yet easy to browse especially when searching for an obscure item and of course with broad selection, excellent value, and prompt shipping. Although their site looks pretty ghetto, Fabric.com does all the above very nicely. While they don’t do sewing tools as well, they still carry some.
Joann is a large nation-wide craft supply and great for sewing tools like shears, chalk, quilting rulers, self-healing mats etc. Prices aren’t amazingly competitive, they often have “sales” where the sale price is just a normal price elsewhere but they do hit the mark on prices from sewing machines to dress forms on occasion. Their shipping is on par to slightly less speedy than Fabric.com.
What I don’t like about this site is that it’s difficult to find what you need, even though you’re sure they will carry it. A few months ago I did a search for acrylic rulers, sewing rulers, and/or quilting rulers in a variety of combinations and didn’t get a single result. By name brand too! And browsing through the extensive products page by page was too cumbersome. It looks like they have since updated it slightly but it’s still dubious and therefore ineffective for shopping for things like “sewing rulers”. Frustrating.
I found this site randomly from a web ad on my site! Checked it out because I was looking for a good place to buy thread! They carry their own line of threads which I will try! I also found a wonderful selection of quilting tools and notions to go along with it!! I highly recommend checking it out. Excellent thread prices and great prices on great quality no frills items like EZ Pull Bodkins, Seam Guides, Wonder Tape, extra-long glass head pins, bobbin boxes, Chaco liners, Fons & Porter, Collins…
Their motto is “By quilters for quilters” ! It’s a one stop quilt shop in essence so they also carry fabric, books, patterns too! They are part of Knit Picks!
Kpixie.com carries a wonderful collection of exquisite and exquisitely curated yarns! They specialize in hard to find yarns and patterns for knit or crochet and carry some lovely tools and notions too. From Olympus, Loop D Loop, Blue Sky Alpaca, Spud and Chloe, Louet to Classic Elite brands. And the most unique and sophisticated lines from each. I found Kpixie when I discovered Make Make Yarn, a cute variegated yarn made by Olympus Japan. You can find them all at Kpixie.com along with great knitted up samples displaying just how these variegated yarns knit up.
Make Make Yarn about $18 a ball – 90% wool, 10% mohair . dk weight . 25 g / 68 yds / ball