A Dream Comes True: The Lion Brand Yarn Studio Opening in NYCcomments (6) November 24th, 2008
Last week I found myself curled up with the flu in Brooklyn. I decided that rather than just sit there sniffling in front of Law & Order reruns, that perhaps I'd go and check out the new Lion Brand Yarn Studio in Manhattan, pick up some yarn, and knit a scarf for Vicky, our CraftStylish web producer (it was her birthday on Sunday). I found the fabulous post that Tina Hilton wrote up a few weeks ago about the new studio to look for the address, but when I got there I realized that it hadn't opened yet (something I missed in my Dayquil stupor). I was taking the pictures of the storefront when this man came up and asked if he could help me. I explained that I was very disappointed about the store not being open yet and that I was an editor of CraftStylish.com. To my surprise, the man's face lit up—it turned out that he was the CEO of Lion Brand Yarn, David Blumenthal, and he loved the piece that Tina wrote. Mr. Blumenthal ushered me inside of the building and treated me to a tour behind the scenes of Lion Brand and into the absolutely gorgeous showcase yarn studio that was to open in just a few days.
It was amazing, and I felt like the luckiest craft editor in town. I told Mr. Blumenthal that 15 years ago I was the singular lady who was knitting on the subway and that I used to rummage through the yarn bins at Pacific Fabrics on lower Broadway for discounted Lion Brand skeins. Back then, I would never have believed (although I did dream) that knitting would become so mainstream or that 15th Street would become the address of one of the most beautiful and inspired yarn studios in the world.
Mr. Blumenthal introduced me to the brilliant Lion Brand Creative Director, Karen Tanaka, who is responsible for all of the fantastic new colors and fibers in the Lion Brand line and for all of the hip and fashionable patterns available to purchase or for free on the Lion Brand site. Karen explained to me how she let her own passion direct these changes and her exquisite color and fashion sense are visible everywhere in the studio.
Oh, the studio! It is simply beautiful. One wall is lined with the gorgeous skeins of Lion Brand yarns, and the opposing wall "waves" with inspiration stations: a yarn swatching area, state-of-the-art computers, and a coffee bar to commune around. The entire space is beautifully lit and features eco-friendly, green design in the sleek bamboo floors and countertops. This is heaven for the fiber-arts enthusiast and a transformational space for anyone: Simply standing inside of this space brings on a burst of creativity. As for myself, my flu symptoms seemed to disappear, and all I wanted to do was knit something fantastic. (I picked up some Lion Brand Thick N Quick and whipped up a fab scarf for the birthday girl over the weekend.)
Well done, Lion Brand! Yet another wonderful thing to give thanks for this week. If you are in NYC, treat yourself to a visit. The studio is located at 34 West 15th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues).
Also, be sure to check out Tina Hilton's Dare to Make It Knit-Along tomorrow (Tuesday, November 25th), which coincidentally is a Lion Brand pattern. Don't you just love serendipity?