Yarn shopping and sightseeing in Manhattan, NYC

View from the Empire State Building

View from the Empire State Building

Last week, I was on  holiday in New York City with the family and in between the museum visits and sightseeing, I did manage to check out some of Manhattan’s local yarn shops.

You cannot go to New York without a visit to Purl Soho, which is situated downtown in SoHo, near Spring Street subway stop on Line 6.

If you are familiar with their blog Purl Bee, it is exciting to be able to see and touch their beautiful samples knitted up with their own brand of luxury yarns.  I went there twice, the first visit was a bit short, as I had the husband and kids in tow.  The second visit without the entourage was much more productive.

Purl Soho Yarns

Purl Soho Yarns

I was tempted by a few skeins of Loft and Shelter by Brooklyn Tweed for accessories, a very squishy skein of  Anzula – Cloud and a few skeins of Purl Soho own branded fingering line weight.

Yarns from Habu

Yarns from Habu

Habu, which is a few blocks from  the Empire State Building, was a research visit for me, as  I wanted to extend the Habu range in my shop.

Situated in a very tiny shared office suite, not far from Madison Square Gardens,  the showroom had  a good but limited stock of their current ranges.

If you are crazy about Habu, it is worth a visit, but it is a good idea to make an appointment before visiting, as it is more of an office rather than a shop and space is rather limited.  My kids and husband waited patiently in the lobby, whilst I was buying.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art

String Yarns, is a 10 minutes walk from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this is definitely a designer yarn boutique – think “Vogue Knitting”!

There was a big table to park the kids and husband for a short browse around the shop, which had a good selection of Koigu. The shop has lots of natural light and on the second floor with floor to ceiling windows, which overlook Lexington Avenue.   They stock a selection of designer yarns and their own brand of luxury yarns.

The Guggenheim

The Guggenheim

If you are visiting the Guggenheim in the Upper East Side, and are looking for some mainstream American brands alongside luxury hand dyed yarns and tapestry threads,  Annie & Co Needlepoint, is a local yarn and needlepoint shop which is a short walk away.  Annie & Co closes at 6.30, so there was time to finish a quick tour of the Guggenheim before closing time and still have about 30 min to browse.

The knitting world is really a very small world, as it turned out that one of the shop assistants at Annie & Co.,was going to be at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in a few weeks time!

Start the New Year with a Learn to Crochet One-Day Workshop

CrochetCrochet for Knitters – Taught by Karie Westermann, Saturday, 24 January 2015.  10.30am – 4.30pm with lunch included

Reserve your place or book online at www.bookwhen.com/beinspiredfibres

Are you a knitter who is mystified by crochet? Fed up seeing knitting patterns that use crochet? Feeling slightly scared by using just a hook to create thing?

This one-day workshop will teach you the essential stitches, read a crochet pattern, understand crochet terminology and then show you just how crochet can be applied to your knitting.

The possibilities are endless: you can use crochet as a finishing technique, embellish your knits, lend structure to your knitted projects and secure steeks.

Two Handed Stranded Colourwork Knitting Techniques

One-Day Workshop with Karie Westermann, Knitwear Designer & Consultant

For Advanced Beginners  and Experienced Knitters

Sunday, 12th October 2014 – 10.30am – 4.30pm – Lunch included – Course Fee £53/£55, materials are not included, but there will be 10% discount on the day for purchases for the class

colourworkpromoPlaces are still available, reserve your  online at: www.bookwhen.com/beinspiredfibresLast opportunity to book!

What is two handed knitting?

There are many good reasons for wanting to use the Continental style of knitting: it is fast, it is efficient, and it is brilliant for colourwork!

This class focuses on knitting colourwork using both hands and two different knitting techniques at the same time!

You will learn how to knit and purl Continental style and we will also take a look at yarn dominance and colour theory. (Please note this is not a learn-to-knit workshop but rather a workshop for English/throwing-style knitters who are looking to expand their arsenal of techniques and also for those who already knit continental to practice using the English method.)

About the teacher: Born in Denmark and currently residing in Scotland, Karie Westermann is a creative and multi-talented knitwear designer, knitting and crochet tutor, and translator. Karie has an impressive portfolio of collaborators including Rowan Yarns, Old Maiden Aunt Yarns, the Island Wool Company and the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. She is thrilled to be sharing her passion for Nordic knitting traditions and modern aesthetics with local knitters.

Learn to create quick and last minute crochet projects.

Learn to Crochet a Motif Scarf in One Day with Carol Meldrum

crochet_flower_scarf_1Spaces are still available, you can book online at: www.bookwhen.com/beinspiredfibres.

Suitable for complete beginners and refreshers

Sunday, 5th October 2014, 10.30am – 4.30pm – light lunch and wool included.  Cost – £53 / £55 pounds

Inspired by flowers of all shapes and sizes, learn how to create a variety of motifs and granny squares and how to join them together to create the perfect scarf or wrap.

On the day, you will learn how to do the basic crochet stitches, how to read from a crochet pattern, work in the round, change colour and how to join the shapes together. You will be totally amazed how quickly you will have a finished masterpiece!

About your tutor: Carol Meldrum is a textile designer, and workshop tutor and author of many popular knitting and crochet titles.  She is also the creative force behind the fashion accessories label Beatknit.

Since graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, she has worked within the textile industry as a designer for many High Street fashion outlets as well as internationally renowned hand label Rowan.

Professional Finishing Techniques for Your Handknits

prof_fin_tech_1 Be Inspired Fibres will be hosting a  workshop with Carol Meldrum, Designer, Author and Tutor

on Sunday, 28th September 2014, 10.30am – 4.30pm – a light lunch is included.  Course Fee – £55 /£53

Plenty spaces are still available and can be booked online.

Course Details:

Often with hand knitted or crocheted garments it can be the finishing off that can let you down. In this workshop, you will learn how to achieve that professional look to your knitted garments. On the day we will work through tried and tested increasing and decreasing methods, picking up stitches and creating button holes and button bands.

We will also look at the various mattress stitch methods and where and when to use them to get the best results and how and when to block. On the day you will be asked to bring a selection of pre knitted swatches with you to sew together.

About your tutor:

Carol Meldrum is a textile designer, workshop tutor and author of many popular knitting and crochet titles. She is also the creative force behind the fashion accessories label beatknit. Since graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, she has worked within the textile industry as a designer for many High Street fashion outlets as well as internationally renowned hand knit label Rowan.

Carol is a successful workshop tutor with a full calendar throughout the year travelling UK wide teaching all aspects of knit & crochet on an informal basis to both groups and individuals.

Classes Schedule for Autumn 2014

Be Inspired Fibres is delighted to announce that its autumn knitting, crochet and finishing classes are now available to view and book online at www.bookwhen.com/beinspiredfibres

Coming up for September …

Learn to knit Two-at-a-Time Toe Up Socks with Becky Mead
– 2 x 2hrs on Sunday 14th and 21st September 2014 – 2.30 – 4.30pm

Professional Finishing Techniques with Carol Meldrum (suitable for beginners to experienced)
– One Day Workshop – 28th September 2014 – 10.30am – 4.30pm

Learn to Knit Top Down Seamless Sweater – 4 x 2hrs on 8th, 15th, 22th, 29th September – 6.30pm – 8.30pm
– NOW CANCELLED.

Indie Burgh Yarn Crawl – Destination Yarn Shopping in Edinburgh

Just a reminder that on Saturday 21st June 2014, Be Inspired Fibres Yarn Shop will be part of Edinburgh’s very first yarn crawl, organised by Jess at Ginger Twist Studios.

Yarn crawl back for webyarn crawl front for web

This is a great chance to meet other yarn fanatics, crocheters and knitters on a tour of Edinburgh’s participating independent yarn shops.

If you are interested in joining a group with a guide, send your name and contact number and preferred start time either morning or afternoon by emailing: indieburghyarncrawl@gmail.com

You can also check out Indie Burgh Yarn Crawl’s Ravelry Group for more information.

There will be an opportunity to enter the raffle at each stop and after the tour, you can recover at the after-party @ The Safari Lounge located at 21 Cadzow Place, EH7 5SN (from 2pm – 7pm), where the raffle will be held at the end of the day.

As it is also coming up to Be Inspired Fibres’s One Year Anniversary, there will be a special 5% discount on all purchases on the day and a free small sachet of Soak Wash for purchases over £20.00.(while stock last)..

As the school summer holidays are upon us already, the shop will be closed for a week from Friday 27th June and re-opening on Tuesday, 8th July, as I will be on vacation down in Cornwall with the family.

See you next Saturday in Marchmont, near the Meadows!

Learn to Crochet with Carol Meldrum in Marchmont – Sunday 22nd June

As knitting was always more accessible to me in the past, I never really managed to get into crochet, but having recently completed my first few crochet projects, which are not granny square blankets, but actual items and accessories I can wear, I am now totally hooked!

My first crochet project - "Emma Lace Scarf" by Simona Merchant-Dest

My first crochet project – “Emma Lace Scarf” by Simona Merchant-Dest

I can now see the benefits of being able to crochet, as you only need to learn 4 basic stitches, and the possibilities are endless. It is great for last minute gifts, embellishments for garments, jewellery making, toys, home accessories and also for finishing off projects. I also find it is great for using up odds and ends of wool and also single skeins of yarns that I have been collecting over the years. The great thing about crochet is that once you learn the basics, you can really see results quickly and you start building up confidence fast.

So I am really delighted to be able to fit in Carol Meldrum’s Learn to Crochet workshop here in Marchmont, Edinburgh on Sunday, 22nd June, 10.30am – 4.30pm. Carol is a very experienced tutor and designer based in Scotland, but travels widely around the country and the world teaching. The course is aimed at complete beginners or people who would like to refresh their basic skills.

The workshop price £50 / £55 includes a light sandwich lunch and wool, but you will need to purchase or bring along a 3.75mm or 4.00mm hook. For further information and online booking please visit:http://bookwhen.com/beinspiredfibres

Learn to Crochet with Carol Meldrum

Learn to Crochet with Carol Meldrum

Introduction to Fair Isle Knitting in the Round

2 x 2 hour sessions on Sundays 19th January and 26th January 2014 – £36 / £ 40
Taught by Jo Kelly, Director of the Edinburgh Yarn Festival
2.30 – 4.30pm

There are only 2 places left and still enough time to book…

Introduction to Fair Isle in the Round

Introduction to Fair Isle in the Round

This course is aimed at beyond beginners and will provide an introduction to stranded colour knitting and knitting in the round at the same time. You will get started on a pair of fingerless mittens designed by Jo and practice colour work techniques, which are used in Fair Isle and Nordic knitting.

Session One: – casting on for knitting in the round using circular needles, practice the magic loop technique – making perfect ribbing – reading a pattern and a colour chart – working with two colours

Session Two: – more advanced colour work techniques (weaving in long floats) – working a thumb gore – finishing and blocking – if time permits – an introduction to designing own patterns.

Bookings and payments can be made online at www.bookwhen.com/beinspiredfibres or you may call the shop on 0131 629 2059 or email beinspiredfibres@gmail.com to reserve a place and pay in person by credit card, cheque or cash.

Materials are not included in the tuition fee, but there will be a 10% discount on all purchases for the classes.