A few weeks ago I found the pearl that is Purl City Yarns, a boutique yarn shop, in Manchester's Northern Quarter and it is an absolute treasure trove for any yarn enthusiast!
I had popped in to have a peek and was quite literally blown away by the incredible range they have on offer. None of your 'normal-verging-on-boring' standard's here, instead treats galore of unusual brands, huge ranges (all clearly sectioned and labelled into yarn weight categories) and simply stunning locally hand-dyed yarn.
....to name a few...
During my first visit I was struck by how relaxed and friendly it was, there were two ladies on the comfy central sofas knitting and chatting away. I was greeted, asked if I needed help then left to wander when I declined. I felt like my eyes were as big as saucers taking it all in.
Eventually I asked to be directed to any local yarn and Vicki took me straight to the locally hand dyed WildFire Fibres range, it was so beautiful I could not resist and picked a skein for my Afghan blanket. We had a brief chat about the shop and I explained that I try to find local yarn wherever I go on my travels and how happy I was to find such gorgeous local DK yarn...
It turns out Vicki is incredibly modest as doing a bit of research on Ravelry once I got home, I discovered that she is the talent behind that very yarn, Wildfire Fibres!
This last weekend I took The Big One along for another visit so I could take some pics and he could pick some yarn for his new beanie...for which I have the following brief: Long-ish, not too tight, but not too slouchy...wish me luck!
We picked 2 skeins of squishy-gorgeous Drops Karisma in Charcoal and reluctantly I pulled myself away from all the delicious yarns on display and headed to the till.
There was a customer ahead of me who revealed she was a new knitter, both the ladies in the shop were so warm, so welcoming and encouraging. They told her all about Ravelry and the events they have in the shop. Now I know this probably sounds like obvious customer service but I can't tell you the amount of times I have been patronised and made to feel generally inferior as a young knitter. So despite having such a superior range of yarns available, on both the occasions I have visited Purl City, I am happy to say that is where the sense of superiority ends!
Vicki recognised me and she and the other lady (didn't get her name!), proceeded to tell me all about a new yarn they are launching in the shop this week. Possum! Yes real Possum, as in the New Zealand animal. They explained that due to being so destructive to New Zealand's environment and therefore being annually culled, their fur had been going to waste and so have since been spun into yarn! Purl City are throwing a New Zealand themed evening on Wednesday night to celebrate the launch which I am hoping to attend.
Now if that doesn't convince you that this is not your normal yarn shop I don't know what will!
"If I stitch fast enough, does it count as aerobic exercise?"
- Author unknown