Yes, yes I realize that Sophia could do BOTH quilting and knitting. In fact, I bet she’ll be so whip smart she could do both AT THE SAME TIME. However, if I give her crafting soul to my mother, without a fight, what will we argue about? Hmmmm? Answer me that? Ha! Anyone who has been in, has observed, or has been within a spitting distance of a mother-daughter couple knows that there is no lack of topics to argue about.
So, we are back from Upstate NY and it was a lovely trip. I grew up there and still love to visit and spend time with family and friends. Sophia was lucky to be spoiled by great-aunts, uncles, second cousins and family friends. She was unfazed by the crazy that is our family. She will fit right in.
While in NY my mom and I travelled to three local knitting stores. I am surprised to hear that some of you are from and/or have lived in Rochester! I tend to think of it as a place unknown to all but me…that and I often tend to opperate this blog as if I am in a vacuum. Aside from my lovie friends I tend to forget that others are reading and not commenting. The lurkers have been out lately and reminding me that there are people out there – I love it because it introduces me to new blogs and you all are smart, fun, women!
Anyway – the yarn stores. I learned to knit after moving away from my home town. As a result I had no idea if there were yarn stores in the area. A few years ago I began to explore a bit and found two that I try to stop at each time I am at my parent’s house. I recently discovered that there were quite a few more in the area that I was missing! I tried to find reviews or a list of local shops but was not successful. So, for the google-fu-ers who find there way here I will review MY THOUGHTS on those knitting stores that I made it to during my last visit to Rochester. I hope to get to the rest of the stores sometime during future visits.
The first I mentioned yesterday – Spirit Works Knitting and Design located in Irondiquoit. This shop is large (by Boston standards) and well organized. The staff is friendly but not overbearing. I have probably been in this shop a dozen times and have never felt pressured or annoyed with the staff – which makes me think that they encourage browsing. (Which is what I find myself doing in many yarn stores not for lack of want but lack of bank account. Although I often get caught and cannot resist the temptation.) This shop carries many of the major brands both on the high end and low end. I am also pleasently surprised with the change in their stock. They have increased their inventory since they first openned and every visit brings a new surprise. They have also increased their book inventory and have tons of pattern pamplets. Judging from the activity in the shop and the store’s website and blog building community is high on this store’s priority list. There are some great areas within the store for social interaction. My dad and husband particullary like the grouping of couches near the front – complete with a coffee table. The store is just down the street from The Great House of Guitars (HOG) – a Rochester institution. If you’re new to the area or visiting and in to music and/or guitars it is worth a stop in, just check your OCD at the door and be ready to step back in time! Spirit Works is one of the stores that I visit each time I go to Rochester.
From there we travelled to a store that was new to me – Knit ‘n Purl in Brighton’s Twelve Corners area. I am not sure when this store was established but I have a feeling it has been there for awhile. I will have to check with my peeps in town to double check this fact. The samples sprinkled around the store are definitely of the older boxier type. The stock is incredibly well established and there is a large variety for such a small store. There were many yarns here that were not at Spirit Works – something that I love to see in local stores – variety amongst them! There was some Misson Falls and more Noro than I have EVER seen in any other store. The Noro was the biggest surprise. Noro has a ton of different yarns and I was psyched to see such a selection live and in person. This was my first visit to this store and I could see myself going back as it is easy to get to and close to my parent’s house. The store does not have as much space as Spirit Works and isn’t organized quite as well but it does have a system and the sheer volume of yarn would likely guarantee you would go home with something.
Our last stop for the day was The Yarne Source in Henrietta. This store is teeny tiny and packed to the gills it definitely made me a feel a bit overwhelmed. The staff was friendly and jovial. They were thrilled to meet Sophia and ogled over her for a bit. The stock was average, no Rowan which is a downside for a LYS if it is your only source of yarn. But with so many other yarn stores in the area I suppose this is not too big of a deal. The yarn seemed to be organized by color, but even this was not the rule. Color organization is a pet-peeve of mine. Only because you are completely dependent on the store clerk to help you find a specific yarn if you already have it in mind before you enter the store. The weekend I was there the store had a fashion show planned at a local country club. I happened to catch a newscast featuring this up-and-coming event. The fashions showed on what I saw of the broadcast were a bit off my radar. A lot of novelty yarns and funkier knits, not so much my cup of tea. However, if you are in to that kind of style judging from that broadcast this would be the store for you. I would be curious to see the rest of their fashion shows line of samples (there are a few shown on the homepage of the website).
There are other stores in the area…some that I have been to, others that I have yet to visit. I’ll be checking them out during future visits and hopefully will report back here!
Here is a picture of Sophia with her Grandma.
Here she is at 7 weeks.
She’s looking more and more like her dad every day, especially when she makes this face…