Thursday, May 5, 2011

Living color...

About a month ago I had some free time before a concert at Boston's Symphony Hall, so I beelined to Newbury Yarns at (where else?) 164 Newbury Street. Hidden in plain sight, it's a bit tricky to find--I first walked past it and had to backtrack--and entry is a bit down-the-rabbit-hole.

That day my time was tight, so after a brief go-round, I said farewell and vowed to return in the near future. Earlier this week I made a longer visit that happily fulfilled my hopes.

Aldrich Robinson, gracious proprietor and resident knitting guru, has purposefully arranged yarns so that the shop is a celebration of color and texture. Rather than being grouped by manufacturer or fiber, the yarns are clustered in colorways.

She wants knitters to be inspired. "When people walk in here," she says, "I try to get them to think creatively about texture and color." She loves to be a soundboard for ideas about patterns, offering advice about color combinations, yarn weights, and visual effects, at any stage of the process, not only at the beginning.

One question I always muse on when I discover a  LYS is "what makes this place distinctive?" Newbury Yarns offers many answers, not the least of which is a unique line of hand-dyed yarns called "DIPS" (Dyed Independently Precious Skeins). Aldrich finds yarns from small local farms and a few not-so-local (think: Oregon). After being dyed in a rich assortment of colors, they're marketed under the DIPS label only through her shop.

I'll be writing more about Newbury Yarns in the future, as there's much to anticipate. Aldrich has a book of children's designs in the works; besides the wonderful selection of yarns and knitting accessories, her shop offers classes, knitting help, and, most appealingly, a magical portal from the circus of Newbury Street to a sanctuary of color, fiber inspiration, and creative energy.

No comments:

Post a Comment