Although limited in both my knitting abilities and aspirations, I do love beautiful yarn and I managed to visit a couple of gorgeous yarn shops while I was in the Bay Area last month. I’ve already told you about the wonderful A Verb For Keeping Warm – one of the best names for a yarn shop I’ve seen and right next door to a baker called James and the Giant Cupcake. But San Francisco has another yarn shop and as soon as I Googled Bay Area yarn stores it became clear that I was going to have to make a pilgrimage to Imagiknit in the Mission district.
Leaving the boys to find a parking space, I set off down the street towards the shop – Sanchez Street where I left them was so steep that I felt that I should really be tacking back and forth rather than taking a direct line down the pavement. Given my natural clumsiness, I was quite impressed that I reached the shop on the corner with 18th Street in one, unbruised, piece.
When I stepped into the shop I realised that I truly was in yarn heaven. Two large, high-ceilinged rooms, stacked high with cubbyholes containing the most wonderful range of yarns from straightforward acrylics in vibrant colours and simple merinos to the most unusual fibres and dyeing techniques. The staff were fantastically helpful especially as I was looking for some non-animal natural yarn to make a scarf for my mother-in-law who has breathing difficulties and can’t wear some of the lovely yarns I usually knit with. The customers were lovely as well and really chatty. And my visit coincided with their summer sale which meant that my yarn budget went further – actually I had to restrain myself as given our book purchases I was already worrying that our bags were going to be overweight on the way home…
These are the yarns I came home with. The 100% tussah silk from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks feels amazing and was in the sale so quite bargainous; the purpley-blue Malabrigo Mechita is a single-ply merino that I plan to make a Just Knit It scarf with; the Araucania Ruca is 100% sugar cane and will make an amazingly soft scarf for my mother-in-law. Star of the show is the stippled Rhichard Devreize yarn which I have never seen before.
Quite the best yarn shop I’ve ever visited and the benchmark by which all others will be judged. If you’re a knitter and you’re going to be in the Bay Area then make sure you go. And if you’re not, then you’re missing a treat.