The Point versus Loop
Since I’ve been going to yarn stores, I’ve realized that this country is running out of pun-y names for their yarn stores. (Not to mention pun-y knitting blog names. Adam’s mom came up with mine–he comes from a pun-y family.)
There used to be a flickr group devoted to yarn stores with pun-y names, but it’s now just a yarn store photo group. I think the best needlework pun I have seen was in an issue of Blueprint. It was a caption for a sewing machine, and it said “I got 99 problems, but a stitch ain’t one.” Ravelry‘s tagline is “Where my stitches at,” which is pretty good too. Though I’m not sure I should be advocating needlework puns that rhyme with rich, as Barbara Bush the elder would say.
I went to Philadelphia for work a few weeks ago, and I scheduled myself onto a late train coming back, so I could eat something there and visit a yarn store. Yarn stores, yay!
This was really a wonderful and inspiring store. It reminded me of Purl, here in New York. Whoever orders their yarn has an amazing sense of color, and their store is filled with plump yarns in wonderful hues. They had just gotten a shipment of Koigu and it was spread all over their sofas, and there was yarn! Everywhere!
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I judge fairly harshly on how stores are styled. First of all, they need have to have some sort of color palette. Both Loop and Purl sort by yarn brands, but it almost feels like they sort by color. They both offer a ton of jewel- and candy-colored tones. Even if a store offered beautiful neutrals, I think I could be lured. What I don’t like is when you go into a yarn store and it looks like you’ve wandered into someone’s storage area in their garage. I’ve been in some yarn stores, and they have a combination of baby pastels and dust bunny-ish yarns, and it just seems like someone’s attic. At Loop, the yarns seem like pigments–inspiring materials to paint with.
(I loved this sweater…and look at those colors in the back! Don’t they look great?)
My second criteria is that there has to be a lot of yarn. I hate going into yarn stores (or any sort of store, actually) where there’s only a few skeins here and there. I want to feel a sense of abundance in a store. (I told this to my mom once, and she was worried that this made me sound like I grew up in abject poverty, and that I ran around saying, “Please sir, I want some more.” Don’t worry, I had plenty to eat growing up. It’s just that I like stores to have a lot of stock.)
And here I must now discuss The Point.
I know many many New York knitters like The Point. It is always well-reviewed when New York yarn stores come up, but I am here to complain. Many years ago, before I learned to knit, I remember walking by The Point at night and thinking it looked like the most wonderful place. I said to my friend, “Wow, that yarn store looks so nice–it makes me wish I could knit.” But since I have actually become a knitter, I realized that this store has some problems. I think it has to do with the way they display their yarn, which is in baskets (as you can see in this photo). There’s something weirdly skimpy about the selection in those baskets, and they’re difficult to get yarn out of. You need one of those trash-picker claws to get the yarn out of the top baskets, and it’s hard to see the different colorways available in each basket. In the back, the skeined yarn is held up by hooks, and once agin, there’s something unwelcoming about the display. There’s something uninspiring about the way they display their yarn and it never wants to make me buy stuff here.
That being said, they have a lot of tables here for people to sit and knit, and their staff always seems nice. I think they need to carry more yarns and display them in a better (perhaps more conventional) manner, and have a more inspiring selection.
Address: 1914 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Phone: 215-893 9939 or 877-893-9939
Address: 37a Bedford Street
New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212-929-0800 or 877-60-POINT