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A Yarn Lover’s tour of NYC (with pickle detour!)

Like me, my friend, Ellen, is a yarn-lover. And an all-around crafty-chick.

So, when it came time for Ellen to visit New York City for the very first time, I knew I needed to include the best yarn shops in Manhattan on our tour.

Map of favorite yarn shops in Manhattan, New York City

I admit it: this isn’t a guide that hits every yarn store in the city. If you’re a New York-native, it’s probably too touristy of a walk for you.

What this guide will give you is an amazing day’s journey around mid-town and lower Manhattan, with lots of eye-candy for the crafty person. (And… just because I’m obsessed- you’ll notice a small pickle detour you should feel free to add-on!)

This walk begins from Grand Central Station, and proceeds as follows: walk West on 42nd st, turn left (and head South) on 6th Ave. Turn left (head East) on 15th Street and then turn right (going South) on 5th Ave. Turn left (heading East) on Broome St., then left (to head North) up Broadway. The pickle lover’s detour heads East on Houston, South on Essex and loops back to Broadway (then continue North to rejoin the walk instructions). Head North on Broadway (eventually hopping onto 5th) will take you back up to 42nd! The walk is approximately 9 miles.

1: Kinokuniya

address: 1073 6th Avenue

Kinokuniya is a Japanese book store (read my review of its Sydney branch in this post). Why is a Japanese book store on my yarn-lover’s tour? Because Japanese craft books are amazing! Check out this adorable needle felting book I bought:

So cute! The best part is that you don’t have to know Japanese to enjoy these books: they’re amazingly well illustrated and the knitting/crochet books are charted. So, with a little previous experience (of knitting/crochet/needle felting) and some effort- this whole new world of books is available to you!

2: M&J Trimmings

address: 1008 6th Avenue

This shop is a wonderland of trimmings: buttons, edgings, closures… whatever you need to finish off a knitting/crochet project in style will be here!

3: Habu Textiles

address: 135 W 29th St # 804

This stop is a block off of our walk down 6th avenue, but well worth it. Habu is known for its unique and interesting yarns. And even though you’ll occasionally find it in yarn stores, nothing’s like visiting the actual shop!

4: Container Store

address: 629 6th Avenue

Okay… this may not be terribly exciting for many folks in America, but Ellen is from Nova Scotia, and they don’t have the container store. And if you’re going to be buying yarn, you need to organize it, right?

For those who have never been, the Container Store is a magical world of boxes and organizational gadgets that you never knew you needed… until now.

5: Lion Brand Studio Store

address: 34 W 15th St

(Read a full review of the store in this blog post)

If all you think about when you hear ‘Lion Brand’ is cheap big-box store yarn, this store will seriously surprise you! This is the only store where you can visit Lion Brand’s ‘LB Collection’: an exclusive line of luxury yarns.

Lion Brand Studio Store - one of the nicest yarn shops in Manhattan

Combine the exclusive yarn line with beautiful (and ever-changing) art displays and samples and a comforting LYS-atmosphere… and you’ve got one of the nicest yarn shops in Manhattan.

6: Purl Soho

address: 459 Broome Street

(Read a full review of the store in this blog post)

I love Purl Soho. And Ellen loves their blog… so it was a must-see on our list.

Purl Soho - one of the loveliest yarn shops in Manhattan

It’s beautiful. It’s well-stocked with delish yarn AND fabric. It’s also filled with irresistible samples (the visit inspired me to add their Wedding Shawl to my queue).

Purl Soho is one of the loveliest yarn shops in Manhattan – the main reason our walk extends down into Lower Manhattan. It’s worth the walk! You’ll also probably like shopping around the rest of SoHo, too.

7: Katz’s Deli

address: 205 East Houston Street

(Just so you don’t get corrected by locals, the street is pronounced ‘HOWs-ten’, even though it looks like the Texas city).

Katz’s is a legend (and wonderful pickles come with their sandwiches)… which gives it the first spot on my ‘pickle detour’. And, come on… you have to eat, don’t you?

Try a yummy corned beef sandwich (or my fave, the Reuben), and don’t be alarmed by the zany ticketing/ordering system. Go with the flow, and you’ll be fine. Besides, you may even spot someone famous! (I saw Tommy Hilfiger last time I visted!)

8: The Pickle Guys

address: 49 Essex St # B

Like I said, I love pickles. So, if you’re like me, The Pickle Guys is the place to visit.

There’s more than just pickled cucumbers, here… I bought some pickled garlic and pickled mango. Delicious!

I admit, the biggest flaw on this walk is planning to look at food after you’ve just had an enormous sandwich at Katz’s. My advice: forget that your stomach is bursting, and stock up on pickles for later. You won’t regret it.

9: Chinatown

Chinatown isn’t really a stop, but a fabulous place to walk through. Filled with interesting markets, restaurants and stores, it’s a real delight. Besides, it’s on the way, so why not enjoy?

10: Farmer’s Market

address: Union Square

The farmer’s market at Union Square is really fabulous: on my most recent visit, I spied an ostrich egg (!), local NY wines, cheeses and countless other yummies. You might also want to pop into Eataly, an Italian-style market that’s nearby.

Aside from these stops, enjoy the walk up Broadway and 5th! There’s lots to see!

Enjoy your visit!

Of course, this walk is only a tiny part of New York City, but it was a bite-sized chunk that Ellen and I could tackle in one day. We were back on the train, heading home by 7pm.

What are your favorite yarn shops in Manhattan?


  1. Also downtown is Seaport Yarn. That’s in the Financial District and it’s easy to miss because there’s no sign. But it’s got some pretty good prices and a huge selection. Their customer service is a little…odd so be warned.

    Uptown is my favorite LYS, Knitty City. They’re a little on the narrow side but they’ve got their space well laid out. Excellent prices and great customer service. They’re not too far from the American Museum of Natural History and Central Park.

  2. Oh! And if you’re in Chinatown, check out the Tai Pei bakery on Canal Street. Best desserts ever and super super cheap. Also for good authentic Chinese food, the NY Noodle House and Wing Wongs (on Mott Street) can’t be beat.

  3. Such a great trip! I’m super jealous, that’s for sure. I’ve always wanted to go to Purl Soho and Lion Brand, and now I want to go even more badly. I hope you will share photos of some of the lovely things you picked up.

  4. I think my top spot was Kinokuniya… with Purl Soho a very close second 🙂

  5. Looks like a fun trip. I second Knitty City and the nearby cultural spots of the Upper West Side. Downtown Yarns is also great and not too far from your pickle place :).

    • Thank you so much for your great suggestions!!! Sounds like I *have* to make another trip!

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