If you’re a knitter, you probably have your favorite local source for yarn. But if you’re from the New York City area or just visiting, it’s a safe bet that you also rely on the expert staff and beautiful stock from the shelves of Purl Soho when you can’t find what you need—or if you’re just in need of an extra dose of inspiration.
Located in NYC’s Soho neighborhood, Purl Soho has been serving creative customers since 2002. With a vast, yet carefully curated, selection of yarn, fabric, patterns, needles, and notions, the store is the go-to source for knitters and sewers alike.
“Purl Soho has always been known for our commitment to natural fibers and beautiful design,” says co-owner Joelle Hoverson, who together with her sister Jennifer and their friend Page Norman runs the retail and online stores. “In the last couple of years we have also introduced exclusive Purl Soho yarns, [which are] classic-style yarns that have really inspired our customers,” she continues.
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The store is a destination for out-of-towners and locals alike—I even went there once as part of a bachelorette party scavenger hunt—and on any given day you might meet shoppers from around the country or around the world. Each time you stop into the store, you will find something different and unexpected as the stock is continually changing as items sell out and the owners find new ones to share. (So if you ever see beautiful fabric from an obscure Japanese brand or a swoon-worthy skein of yarn, buy it while you have the chance because you may never find it again!)
The shop manages to feel both timeless and modern, and browsing the shelves, bins, and racks is like visiting a dream craft room: it’s meticulously organized, bright and colorful, and there’s creative potential galore.
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“Our number one goal is to inspire creativity. We only sell products that we love, in gorgeous colors, materials and textures and of superior engineering, all in the hopes that every customer will feel inspired to create projects conjured from the richness of their imaginations,” explains Hoverson. But in addition to inspiration, they also teach through formal classes in the shop—Beginning Knitting, Intro to Sweater Knitting, and much more—quick consultations while shopping, or via their online project journal, The Purl Bee. Keep dropping a stitch in a scarf? Having trouble blocking a finished project? Can’t find an extra skein of yarn to finish that sweater you’ve been working on? These are your people.
The team has also written three books, with the most recent being More Last Minute Knitted Gifts.
And for those who favor handcrafted yarn, they have some of the best around. “Purl Soho yarns are extremely popular, [including] Worsted Twist, Super Soft Merino, and one of our newest, Mulberry Merino,” says Hoverson. “Our customers have also always loved Jade Sapphire’s hand-dyed Mongolian cashmere, wildly creative yarns like Knit Collage’s concoctions and perennial favorites like Koigu,” Hoverson says.
So whether your yarn stash needs to be refilled or you just want to pin a handful of projects for the future, start with Purl Soho.
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