I'm in New York City for two days meeting up with my blogging buddies from HG's Openhouse Blog and we are staying at the Eventi hotel.
My time here is pretty booked with HomeGood's events, but I had an hour or so this afternoon on my own and thought I'd google yarn stores and see what might be within reasonable walking distance.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Habu Textiles was just around the corner (less than a 3 minute walk from my hotel).
I had JUST blogged about Chrysanthemum which was knit, in part, from Habu's stainless steel silk and here I was just steps away from their NYC store.
This is NOT your regular yarn store. First I had to find the right door (there are 3 different entrances for 135 W 29th St.). Then I took the elevator up to the 8th floor to suite 804 and walked into a room full of yarn (no people to start), just baskets and shelves full of yarn.
Eventually someone did come out, welcomed me, showed me where to ring the bell when I wanted help and disappeared behind the curtain again. I was free to just be with all this yarn with no pressure to even make idle chit chat. It was amazing.
Habu carries unusual and difficult to find fine yarns from Japan and Asia for weavers, knitters, basket makers, stitchers, and artists. Naturally gold colored silk, raw and degummed bombyx silk as fine as 42 denier and up, hand reeled raw and degummed Akagi silks, extra fine silk, wool, cotton or wool/cashmere crepe, hand-tied ramie banana "basho", bamboo, silk & wool stainless steel, paper, hemp bark, etc. are only a few of over 300 selections they have. If you don't see it, ask and they'll get it from the back for you.
Since at least half the yarns I saw were wool-free, it was an AMAZINGLY inspiring space for a wool free knitter.
I spent about an hour with the yarn , petting it and gazing at it and if I had more money and time I would have brought about half of it home with me.
Instead I bought a small sample bag of wool-free fibers like one of those shown above. I'll show you my swatches as I knit them up, but for $10.00 my sample bag promises to be a whole lot of fun!
I spent the rest of my allotted funds on some stainless steel silk in a dark blue.
The staff were VERY friendly and helpful when I rang the bell and they certainly know their yarns well. If you ever find yourself in NYC with a few free hours, I can't think of a better place to visit. The shop is called Habu Textiles, but I'm calling it Serendipity!