The NYC Yarn Scene

Brooklyn General‘s booth at Vogue Knitting Live! in NYC, January 2019

Recently, Vogue Knitting Live! came to to NYC. I’ve been to London’s massive autumn Knitting & Stitching Show but never to VKL, so off I went with my craft buddy Paige. VKL takes place over an entire weekend at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, the city’s second largest hotel, and it sure did need the space – the show is huge! Situated on multiple floors above the lobby, it’s truly a see-it-to-believe-it event: endless booths filled with yarn and all things knitting plus a fashion show-ish stage. No photograph could capture the scale of it, but here are some snapshots:

My favorite booth at VKL? First runner-up is the knit ball pit (above) but my award goes to Handspun Hope, producer of gorgeous organic yarns and clothing:

All items are made by, and directly benefit, women and children in Rwanda. Visit their website to watch a heartening video of their story, set in the stunning beauty of this African country still healing from one of the most devastating civil wars in history.

If you’re a knitter who’s thinking, “Gosh, I’ve always wanted to visit New York City…..” – visit during VKL. It may be the stone cold deadest time of the year but hotels will be at their cheapest, you won’t have to battle crowds, and you can also check out NYC’s yarn scene.

NYC’s yarn scene? Hey, this is an amazing place to be if you’re any kind of crafter. Number one, we have a whole lot of yarn stores – take a look at this list of stores for the most recent NYC Yarn Crawl – ranging from a cozy neighborhood shop like Brooklyn’s Woolyn, to a luxury mecca like String on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, to a bargain emporium like School Products Yarn in the garment district. What’s my fave? Hmm, a toss up between Purl Soho (little but such unique and lovely items) and Lion Brand Studio (a dream studio that happens to be a shop). Plus most of these stores have their own knitting and crochet communities – knit nights, knit-a-longs, classes, and more – so you’ll never be alone if you knit in NYC.

AND we also have the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival every October in Rheinbeck, two and a half hours north of the city. This is a hard core event, not recommended for the faint of heart – you can buy a skein of yarn or an entire sheep! Taking place mostly outdoors at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, there are 275 vendors and umpteen animals to see, and 35,000 to 40,000 people attend during its two days. I spent a whole day there and did not see it all (but that’s possibly because I spent quite awhie watching the sheepdog competition 🙂


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