If you’ve never meandered down Main Street in Manayunk on a Saturday afternoon, you are sorely missing out. I’ve lived in the Philadelphia area for over seven years now and I just recently discovered it, don’t make my mistake. Go now. I mean, you should probably finishing reading this post first or else you’ll get distracted by So Crepe and walk by Hidden River Yarns without realizing it. Then, you’ll be super sad you missed out on all the beautiful yarn.
Personally, as a pregnant woman, I would totally never get distracted with the possibility of delicious French desserts and meander past the yarn store I came especially to Manayunk for. But, I could see how other people would. ;)
After delicately eating a cherry bun in an incredibly lady-like manner, I was able to refocus and cross the street for some sweet fiber goodness. I was expecting a cute store. You can pretty much assume that any local yarn store that makes it beyond one year will be aesthetically pleasing. Hidden River Yarns is practically art. Everything about the store from the original wood floors to carved tile ceiling make it impossible not to feel just a little more zen inside its walls than you did out on the street. The walls are lined with a curated selection of fine yarns and the store owner, Lisa Johnson, can tell you about each and every skein in the store.
As much as I loved the atmosphere, the real treat was hanging out with Lisa, who is a walking piece of Philadelphia yarn history. She was the first employee of the Fibre Company, hung out at the late Rosie’s Yarn Cellar since its inception, and is now the owner of one of Philly’s premier yarn shops.
I like one stop shopping under the right circumstances. When I go to Costco, I can get salmon, a desk chair, bulk gum, and a hot dog in one delightful, sample-filled trip. I don’t feel that way about my yarn though. Salmon and hot dogs are one thing, but yarn is special. I didn’t get my wedding dress at the same store where I buy my jeans. I love going to specialty yarn shops to get special fiber for special projects.
Lisa shows her impeccable taste and love of yarn in the selection of fiber she stocks. The Fibre Company is joined by companies like MadelineTosh, Manos del Uruguay (one of my all time favorite yarn brands!), and Quince & Co. I didn’t really plan on buying on this trip, but I got sucked in by Fibre Co’s Canopy yarn. I’d been thinking about making the Asymmetrical Stripe Sweater from 60 More Quick Baby Knits, and I just had to have this yarn for it. This baby is going to be so spoiled. ;)
The icing on the cake of my visit was the incredible sense of community that Lisa has created within her store. The store was busy while I was there and she knew almost every customer by name. A grandmother came in to show off her new grandson. Regulars came by for help with a pattern and a brand new virgin knitter came in for yarn for her first project. Lisa took the time to learn her name too.
I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t spent time at Hidden River Yarns before this trip, but that’s not a mistake I’ll be repeating. There’s a knit night on Thursday’s that I plan to hit up soon. Chances are you’ll come to Manayunk for the snacks, but stay for the yarn.
Dive right in, the yarn is fine.