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The best NYC craft stores

Channel your inner child at these craft stores, they’re kid-friendly and adult-approved.

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Lion Brand Yarn Studio

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Lion Brand Yarn Studio

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Beads of Paradise

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Downtown Yarns

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Downtown Yarns

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Gotta Knit

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Gotta Knit

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Home Ec

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Home Ec

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Knitty City

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Knitty City

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Little Shop of Crafts

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Little Shop of Crafts

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Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

Make Meaning

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Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

Make Meaning

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Pins & Needles

RECOMMENDED: Best shops in NYC

Lion Brand Yarn Studio

Critics' pick

Lion Brand is like the godfather of yarn: The family-owned and -operated business started in New York in 1878 and is America’s oldest hand-knitting yarn brand. But don’t be intimidated by its lineage, the studio is welcoming to all skill levels. Inside the cheerful space is a unique display of backlit translucent panels showcasing a rainbow of available yarns. You can test-drive select options at a sampling wall, drop in on free sessions with the knitting (Wed 5:30–6:30pm) or crochet (Tue 5:30–6:30pm) doctors, and browse more than 4,000 complimentary patterns available to customers. A broad range of in-store workshops ($25–$75) are also available—some even include all the necessary materials, such as “Beginning Crochet” and “Beginning Knitting” ($50 for a two-week session). Others offer discounts on materials if purchased from the studio, such as “Intro to Fair Isle/Make a Hat” ($55 for a three-hour session) and “Intro to Cables” ($50 for a three-hour session).

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Flatiron

Beads of Paradise

Magpies will gravitate toward the shimmering host of funky-to-elegant beads (5¢ to $650), which are grouped in terra-cotta bowls and hang in strands from the walls. Sourced from around the world, the global theme continues with ethnic art from Africa ($200 and up) and silk scarves ($18 to $85) from Thailand that you can purchase along with bauble trimmings such as silk and leather cords (from $3). Introductory beading classes are held every Sunday from 12:30 to 2:30pm ($85). What’s more, if you’ve mangled the back of your favorite earrings, they offer jewelry repair services.

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Union Square

Downtown Yarns

In 2001, Rita Bobry decided to close her flower shop and turn her crafting hobby into a profession. Her cozy neighborhood knittery stocks needles, patterns and a multitude of coveted, hard-to-find knitting brands such as Debbie Bliss, Brown Sheep and Frabjous Fibers, as well as Frankie, Bobry’s golden retriever. But Bobry is most proud of her impressive selection of locally made fair-trade options. The laid-back hangout also offers two-week beginner crochet classes ($50), lace knitting ($50), hats for beginners ($50) and much more.

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East Village

Gotta Knit

Knitting isn’t just for grandmas and geriatrics anymore, and this colorful retail studio hybrid is proof. Gaining inspiration from regular trips to yarn shows in Italy, owners Laura Eackloff and Goldie Axelrod line the shop walls with sweaters that reflect what is currently on the runways and in fashion magazines, as well as next year’s forecasted trends. Aside from the inspiring decor, customer service reigns supreme here. The staff will hold your hand through a project every step of the way, from ensuring that cast-on edge is nice and neat; to helping finish seams so they look professional and handmade, not homemade; to even creating a custom pattern for you (free with purchase of yarn). Beginners should opt for private lessons ($60 per hour), which promise to teach you the basics of knitting in only an hour.

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Midtown

Home Ec

Patti Gilstrap and Seryn Potter, the designers of the hip locally produced Flirt label, opened this 2,000-square-foot sprawling space to be a home for “home to all things creative,” says Potter. The multiuse area houses a room for sewing classes and a design studio in the back where the Flirt label is manufactured. Crafters looking for guidance can book private lessons (Thu–Sat by appointment; $45 an hour). If you prefer to work leisurely on a long-term project, the weekly open studio time ($10 an hour, by appointment only) gives you access to a sewing machine and accessories, and a knowledgeable person always on hand to answer questions.

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Gowanus

Knitty City

The blond-wood bedecked craft-store-cum-community-center hosts a bevy of workshops and events, including a Crochet workshop (Sun 1–3pm; $30, includes 10 percent off materials) of knitters and crocheters who donate their crafts to charity, a Knitty City Book Club (second Thursday of every month, 6–8 pm), and a weekly Wednesday-evening (6–8 pm) dudes-only session—all of which are completely gratis. The space also provides knitting books ($7–$100), needles ($4–$25) and other tools to facilitate your next cable-knit creation, as well group beginners knitting lessons ($30).

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Upper West Side

Little Shop of Crafts

This tiny craft shop is packed with things to do:  Whether you’re nine  months or 90 years old, there’s something for everyone. At both locations, you’ll have a hard time choosing from the huge selection of pottery, plaster craft, wood organizers, boxes, mirrors, frames, and more, to paint or mosaic. You just pay for the materials, never the studio time. Individual instruction is also available for projects, including T-shirt designing ($17–$25) and Create-a-Cuddly ($19–$33). Stop by for their adult-friendly evening hours from 6:30 to 10pm (UWS: Wed–Sat; UES: Wed–Fri), where the complimentary wine is sure to get your creative juices flowing.

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Lenox Hill

Make Meaning

Critics' pick

In September 2010, Internet entrepreneur Dan Nissanoff decided to open a business where he could be imaginative with his children, and his candy-colored creativity space and retail destination is now a popular spot for kid-at-heart date nights and special-occasion celebrations, too. Get your hands dirty crafting candles ($24 and up), ceramics ($15 and up) or jewelry ($16 and up). In one potential project, chunks of glass that come in a kaleidoscope of colors and can be arranged into funky patterns, then kiln-fired into pendants, belt buckles or bracelet cuffs. Imbibe wine (half-carafe $12–$15, carafe $23–$29) at the UWS location to keep your imagination at peak performance, or sign up for a class for additional guidance.

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Upper East Side

Pins & Needles 

This fabric and crafting atelier offers private lessons and group classes ($50–$400) in sewing, hand embroidery and quilting for all ages and skill levels. Make sure to browse supplies like assemble needle felting kits ($32), as well as vintage appliqués ($5) and brightly patterned fabrics ($9–$35/yard) before getting started.

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Lenox Hill

String

A kaleidoscope of floor-to-ceiling colors—this gem of a shop might be packed with enough yarn to wind around Manhattan. It’s the go-to source for distinctive, high-quality yarns ($8–$260). In-store designer Lidia Karabinech, who has worked for Donna Karan and Ellen Tracy, will create a custom pattern for you, or help you select the perfect yarn—giving advice from the first stitch to the last seam. If you don’t have the time or desire to knit a piece on your own, String will do it for you. Other offerings include trunk shows featuring yarn from around the world, creative knitting theme events, and private lessons on subjects from beginning knitting ($50) all the way up to finishing ($50).

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Lenox Hill

Comments

9 comments
Walter
Walter

Go visit ROCK STAR CRYSTALS, a great rock shop which is fun for kids of all ages. They are located in the heart of Manhattan in Chelsea and it's near all subway. Reasonable prices, too!

val
val

I'm a cross stitcher going to NYC in Sept. 2013. We'll be staying in midtown manhattan. I find cross stitch shops seem to be disappearing. Are there any in that area that I could visit?

Travis
Travis

School Products NY New Yorkshire oldest favorite yarn shop. They are most know for cashmeres and cones yarns and bellow minimum prices. Great selection in a nice loft on the forth floor at 135 west 29th street a bit hard to find but well worth it. Look for deals on living social for their classes they are a steal

James Daniel
James Daniel

I make white oak baskets from select white oak that grows native here in the hills of the south. If your interested in a purchase, please contact me at 479.774.2677 ,text or call, my name is James Daniel or hefleybasket@yahoo.com

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