Crafty Daughter and I just got back from our annual girls-only trip to New York. Sure, we did some typical touristy things, like visiting the Metropolitan Museum and the American Museum of Natural History. But mostly, to us, New York represents a giant craft supplies/handmade crafts shop.
First stop was Kinokuniya, a fantastic Japanese bookstore next to Bryant Park. Crafty Daughter and I both bought books there -- hers a patchwork book, and mine two crochet books. The crochet patterns are charted out, so there's no need to understand Japanese in order to follow them.
The book on top contains instructions for some really unusual crochet jewelry, that I can't wait to try out.
I also picked up some miscellaneous items from the stationery department.
After Kinikuniya, we headed to another bookshop -- Books of Wonder -- one of my daughter's favorite places in New York. And then the focus shifted to yarn.
We made it to three yarn shops on Friday, including two I'd never been to before. First stop was the Lion Brand Studio, which carries all of the Lion Brand yarns, with computers for printing out patterns and a sampling wall from which you can cut yarn for swatching to try it out. Their new LB collection includes this wool-covered stainless steel yarn (really thread), which is similar to a Habu product, except that LB's has a bit of sparkle to it.
Next, we headed to the relocated and much larger Purl shop in SoHo. Their new space is such a treat -- still a little tight because it's rather narrow, but much more spacious than the old locations (which had separate shops for yarn and for fabrics). I was somehow able to resist the lure of yarn, but my daughter picked up this pretty fabric bundle.
Final yarn shop for the day was Knitty City, on the Upper West Side. This was was a bit chaotic and crowded, but they did have some gorgeous Madelinetosh yarns, which was why I was there in the first place. I bought a couple of skeins recently at Webs, and was immediately hooked on their lovely colors. These three new skeins are destined to become small shawls. (Sadly, this photo isn't capturing the richness of the colors.)
Phew ... that was just Friday! On Saturday, our main activity was a visit to the Brooklyn Flea Market.
This is a wonderful collection of typical flea market booths, handcrafts (mostly jewelry and screen-printed t-shirts), and fantastic foods. It was hard to choose, but for lunch, I had a fresh, warm lobster roll and a waffle cookie with meringue and caramel filling. I got this wonderful ceramic tumbler from alyssaettinger design to hold my double pointed needles. Don't you just love it? She uses old sweaters to make her ceramic molds.
Last year, I was a little surprised to see a booth selling nothing but pickles, but I thought well, in New York, there's room for every little niche product, right?
But this year, there were two pickle booths! Are New Yorkers inordinately fond of pickles?
On Sunday, we spent the day in museums -- first the Silk Road exhibit at AMNH, and then "American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity" at the Met. (Crafty Daughter is very interested in fashion design, and the Met has had a number of fashion exhibits in the past few years that we've enjoyed.) After that, our aching feet could barely hold us up any more, so we headed to Penn Station for the trip home. Now that I'm rested up, I'm ready for another trip!