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The amazing knitting stores from Bay Area!

There's something about San Francisco’s Bay Area that always make me feel inspired! I'm positive that a big part of this is related to the Tibetan Buddhist retreats and voluntary work at Nyingma organizations, which have been nourishing my life for the last 12 years. And, of course, there's an "extra topping" at those enchanted feelings: some amazing knitting stores! OMG!There's something about San Francisco’s Bay Area that always make me feel inspired! I'm positive that a big part of this is related to the Tibetan Buddhist retreats and voluntary work at Nyingma organizations, which have been nourishing my life for the last 12 years. The airport ride announcing the beginning of precious teachings. The memory of last minute shopping at Berkeley's Andronico's, Whoole Foods or at Elephant (that do not exist anymore), rushing through the hills, for some special ingredients for the TAP (Tibetan Aid Project) Fund Raise Dinner, Or at Downtown Berkeley working at the finishing touches for the Dharma Publishing Bookstore opening with my dearest sangha friend Magda! Definitely, those memories activate my deepest appreciation for the Bay Area! Can you imagine a place with the most gorgeous yarns, where you can seat, relax and try as many as you can? Yep...This is one of the features of Artfibers. Localized between Grant andKearny and pretty close to Union Square in San Francisco, Artfibers is one of the heaven's forms! According to the lovely Rosanne, the fibers come from all over the globe, but they are spuned and dyed locally. And the colors are to dye for. The store opens 7 days a week with free Yarn Tasting at all times for individuals and groups. I have to say that I was so enchanted by the variety of fibers and colors, that I froze! I highly recommend this amazing place!       Even living tons of miles away, I like to think that Imagiknit is one of my LYS! Since my first visit a few years ago, I think that this store is the most perfect of all! The clerk is so supportive and welcoming! And they send me special stuff toBrazil as well! They have always carried the coolest yarns, special indie publications (I just found some incredible material from Unpatterns that guide us to the create perfect garments - from top down and bottom up!), darling buttons, an array of patterns, magazines and notions! Add to this list all the needles and crochet hooks that you can dream about! At Imagiknit you will find whatever you dream of and also some unexpected treasures! I just love this place! It was a sunny Sunday a few weeks ago, when I drove in to a class of Easy Peasy Ribbed hat with Karen King at A Verb for Keeping Warm inOakland. And I have to say that it was pretty sunny inside of this gorgeous place! It was my first visit. Can you picture the most cozy and beautiful yarn store? Every detail at AVFKW is charming. They have the finest yarn selection, the most trendy notions and their breath taking own yarn line! I believe that one of the most recent projects with one of the AVFKW yarn's is Ysolda's Oxidize hat. And they also have the coolest fabrics that you can dream of! I had the good fortune to share the class with two adorable ladies and Karen King as a teacher! It was a calm Sunday and as we were knitting this charming hat (in my case with the fantastic Fibre Company worsted yarn!!), Kristine, the shop owner, was hand dying yarns at the next room! We chatted a little bit across the rooms, in the most cheerful and relaxing way! The store's atmosphere is radiant! Before I left, they invited me to see the new dyed yarns drying at the cozy store’s backyard! And this was my perfect Sunday in years! And - of course - I came back before I left the city for another visit at this precious place! A Verb for Keeping Warm is my new favorite place at Bay Area!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles is one of those magical places where I can be amazed for days after a visit! And this time I had a plan: to find rare and special books about knitting techniques and lace stitches. And I succeeded, as expected! I had visited the store last Halloween and the Lacis's staff was wearing the coolest costumes, totally related to the store spirit. So...I just got in the mood! I seated at the library and with the speed of XIX Century, I enjoyed my self throughout the most incredible books. Just to add a little something more about this place’s spirit, you can find here a copy of their statement of purpose:. “As a statement of purpose, the Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles will work:
    • to preserve the spirit of Lacis as created by Kaethe Kliot as a place of support, knowledge and encouragement for all involved in any aspect of the textile arts.
    • to preserve and maintain the lace and textile collections of Jules and Kaethe Kliot.
    • to preserve lace and textiles of all cultures from all periods including the patterns and tools of creation, the objects of their purpose and the literature associated with these objects.
    • to provide a resource center for research and documentation of these objects.
    • to educate and disseminate knowledge of lace and textiles
    • to provide and maintain a sales facility for generating financial support.
    • to encourage interest in lace and textiles by providing professional services for conservation and restoration, as well as design and consultation services for costume and accessories as appropriate for period re-enactments and bridal occasions.”
With the so much dreamed books preciousness at the counter - at last - I spent a long time appreciating the needles, notions, threads and on and on and on...Oh! And my favorite journals: they reprint old journals among other incredible materials as the "Love Courtship and Marriage OR How to win a Lover" that I simply had to bring home with me...I don't know why!!! At my dearestBerkeley, there's this enchanted place! This is one of the strongest motivations for me to work hard and save for a next trip! A little bit further there's another yarn store that I like a lot: Article Pract. During some of my retreats at the Nyingma Berkeley Instituteon my days off, I used to rush to take a bus in order to have a class or to buy a little something! They also have a good selection and a pretty nice sales section. It was at this store that I fell in love at first site with Lantern Moon baskets. And it has been enduring for years! And another great surprise was Nine Rubies in San Mateo! I was truly happy for being at Interweave Knitting Lab for classes and relaxation. The hotel wasn't near the stores and I had this mythic ideal of just immerse at knitting classes. Which I did...but with a tiny twist! With the precious help of the adorable help of unstoppable Interweave team (specially Meggie, Beth and Rosa), I switched a class and...I didn't have the appropriate yarn. The solution: rush to Nine Rubies Yarn Store. By the way, Mr Baig, a nice cab driver, helped me to get there and to come back in time for class! I visited their booth at the event where I went crazy with the Stonehedge Farms Shepherd's Wool. With moderation, I just bought a few skeins to make a colorful cowl. And even passing by the Nine Rubies booth for 3 days (still hypnotized by this incredible fiber from a US mill in Michigan), I was able to resist the temptation! As I had to find the perfect yarn for Meg Swansen and Amy Detjan class I fortunately visited Nine Rubies again. As a mother & daughter business, everything at the store is cozy and warm. Starting by the mom, that sensed I was on a hurry for a class, and kindly asked another customer to wind my yarn first than hers for this reason. Aside the counter, a friendly group of knitters (actually, one of them was my colleague at Cookie A class, !) were having a great time! The atmosphere was just perfect! And suddenly Nine Rubies became another motivating factor for work & saving for me! I have to add an online place that I had also the good fortune to visit the booth at Interweave Knitting Lab and confirmed the best impressions that I have when shopping online: Stitch Diva Studios with the adorable and talented Jennifer Hansen! She totally rocks! I love her patterns and she was fantastic with my indecision about 2 gorgeous bags! Can you guys understand how difficult it was the choice between a second Zhivago Weekender and the spacious Gatsby? Anyway, Jennifer was great with "Paula's Shampoo soap opera choice process" ( I hope that she can read this and have a good laugh!). You guys must shop at Stitch Diva Studios because they are simply the best people with gorgeous designs! PeaceKnitLove, Paula. Stores: - Artfibers: http://www.artfibers.com/ 266 Sutter St., third floor (elevator) San Francisco CA 94108 ( 415)956.6319 or (888)326.1112   - Imagiknit: http://www.imagiknit.com/ 3897 18th St. (at Sanchez) San Francisco, CA 94114 (415) 621-6642 -A Verb for Keeping Warm: http://www.averbforkeepingwarm.com/ 6328 San Pablo Avenue Oakland, California 94608 (510)595.8372 -Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles: http://lacismuseum.org/ 2982 Adeline St. Berkeley, CA 94703 -Article Pract: http://www.articlepract.com/ 5010 Telegraph Avenue Oakland, CA 94609 (510)595-PURL (7875) -Nine Rubies: http://www.ninerubies.com/ 28 E. 3rd Avenue, #100 San Mateo, CA 94401 (650)685-6205 Fax: (650)240-1326 Stitch Diva Studios: http://www.stitchdiva.com/  

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