Saturday, March 23, 2013

soho, purl and makie

 the mr. and i took an 18th anniversary trip early this month to nyc. we've been there once before, nearly 15 years ago when i was 6 months pregnant with our first. we went on a whim for 2 nights with no real idea what we were doing. that was a fun trip and opened my eyes to why everyone loved new york so much, an affinity i could never fathom until i'd been there.

fast forward to this trip and we had lots and lots of ideas of what to do. one of my secret wishes was to visit purl soho in real life. i've ordered from them once or twice and dreamed of browsing through in person, but knew better than to suggest we spend any of our precious trip time in a fabric shop. especially since i didn't think we'd be anywhere close to it on our planned travels.

however, when the mr. said he wanted to check out soho's ironwork district and find lunch there, i saw my opportunity. "do you think maybe, if we happen by it, i could pop into this shop i've always wanted to see?" he actually said yes! when we exited the subway in soho, i googled purl and it was .3 miles away. after lunch (and a lot of reorienting ourselves with our phone maps) we managed to find purl.
as the name would indicate, it's primarily a knitting shop. however, they do have a selection of fabrics (wool felts, linens, liberty of london, organic and imported cottons, etc) that is nothing like what's available to me locally on the almost-west coast.
i am not, nor will i ever be, a knitter. but their cute little gal sitting at the counter by the door spinning yarn and their mouthwatering selection did sorely tempt me. even the mr. saw a sample or two that he deemed, "cute - very cute, actually," almost in a "why don't you make one of these?" way. he was such a good sport that he took the camera from me and unasked, photographed me in the shop.
oh, yes, i was walking around with that sappy smile on my face. these are totally candid shots he took. what a sweetheart! after taking a few snaps of me, he said he was going to check out the place next door. i was alone and free at last! no hubby hanging over my shoulder questioning what i might pick up or purchase. 

 i thought about how much daughter#1 would have loved these hand puppet kits, but at $18 a kit, i knew she could just as well make up her own original softie, probably even just by looking at the photos.
 box of shiny flosses and some lovely mixed-color mettzler threads unlike any i'd seen before.

there were even a few quilt samples on the wall. purl offers classes by the likes of heather ross and denyse schmidt. maybe next time we go (the mr. wants to make it an annual trip now) i can arrange for a class. that would be dreamy.

this basket of vintage-looking offerings caught my eye. i thought they must be finds from old linens. but when i turned one over, i thought, "of course!" liberty of london 1/2 yards. just gorgeous and soooo many choices. i selected only 3, due to the cost, then kept browsing. my picks: mirabelle f, poppy and daisy j, betsey a. i'd been inspired by some adorable softies i'd seen in another soho window while hunting down lunch and thought these might be perfect for softie bits.

 next i spied the scrap bags - another perfect softie find. i really loved that blue bag on the left, but decided on the reds because it had some neutrals in it that would make good softie faces or limbs. i was looking at that bag of oranges and yellows in the front when my mr. walked back in, completely surprising and flustering me. i'm not sure i meant to buy both scrap bags, but i was unnerved at seeing him again so soon. he'd been gone all of 5 minutes and i already had an armload of fabric. he was bored and i needed to get moving, so i made my way to the front to pay before he could object or look too closely at what i was holding. unfortunately, he also walked up to the register with me and heard the total. i had to remind him that i hadn't even hinted at wanting anything at tiffany's the day before and that i really would prefer fabric from soho. he got over it quickly enough.

a parting shot from purl: an adorable baby cardigan. sigh. oh, speaking of babies, the one other fabric purchase i made was a set of organic cotton 1/2yrds to make either a quilt or 4sq for the baby we're hoping to expect soon. i didn't photograph it yet: browns, ginghams, elephants, linens. baby but very soho.

the other shop i mentioned stumbling upon as we tried to get our bearings while searching for lunch was this tiny gem:
just an itty bitty storefront window display and a white door. but the dangling softies were what caught my eye. i am still a sucker for softies and these were as handmade charming as they come.
i was stopped dead in my tracks. the mr. was half a block ahead and turning the corner before he realized i wasn't keeping pace.
looking down below the softies, there were some lovely fresh flowers and a small but sophisticated selection of handmade baby items. the whole scene just oozed newborn softness and elegance.

 the bunny lady was my favorite. i think she might have liberty ears. see why i was inspired by those 1/2yds and scrap bags? i neither wanted to or needed to spend $85 for a softie when i could make my own souvenir from soho.

 the mr. backtracked to me and admired the 100% cotton fur booties while i drooled over the silver polka dotted bib. he offered to go inside but i knew that was pointless. i'd fall in love with some $100+ baby item and want it for our daughter. better just to dream from the window and photograph.

i stepped back to see the name of the boutique, then searched the front over a minute before finding this one small hint hanging from twine in the door window:
MAKIE. and nothing else but the address and website. oh, yes, a website. so now you can browse and drool, too. without hopping a plane to soho or even leaving your home screen. enjoy!


  1. You look like a kid in a candy store! :)

  2. This post was great. I think I would make the same face if someone took a candid of me in Purl :)

  3. Hydee! I just found your blog and I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed reading your posts! I came to this post from a link in one of your earlier entries and I realized I hadn't commented on anything yet. That needed to be fixed! Your entries are smart and detailed and wonderfully creative! You have excellent pictures and I always drool over your fabric picks.

    I hope one day soon I can start my own blog. What an awesome way to connect with quilters from around the country and world. I'm doing the Gypsy Wife quilt too, although I don't really have a place to share my progress. Fun quilt, though!


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