October 28, 2010
Our sailing trip has brought us down the Hudson River from Lake Champlain and to New York City. Since we are spending a few extra days in New York City, both in order to do some work on our boat before we head out into the ocean and also to wait for a performance I have scheduled in New Jersey this weekend, I decided to take a “weaving field trip” into Manhattan and check out some unusual yarn and weaving resources located here.
Oddly enough, both places I visited featured Japanese weaving styles and yarn. First, I went to HABU textiles, where they import exquisite and unusual yarn for both weaving and knitting. Using only natural dyes and materials, HABU has the most outrageous selection of silk, linen so shiny it’s iridescent, luscious merino wools, and even an unusual yarn that is a blend of stainless steel and silk. It was a challenge to not spend a lot of money here! I had to seriously restrain myself and left with only some super fine merino wool yarn and a wee bit of irresistible silk.
Next, I took the subway to the upper east side and went to the Loop of the Loom, where I met Yukako Satone, the director of this charming yarn store, showroom, and weaving classroom. Loop of the Loom features a Japanese weaving technique called Saori, which isn’t so much a technique as it is a free style approach to weaving. Forget the complex weave structures and rigid rules, Saori weaving is a refreshing embrace of creative expression through yarn. While I was there some local children came in for a class, and it was wonderful to see how easy it was even for them to set up the looms and start weaving in their own style.
It was fabulous to get a dose of inspiration of the wide world of weaving that is out there….and I have some new yarn to play with here on the boat!
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