“I just want more of her.” A wonderful piece on the late lamented food writer, Laurie Colwin.

The New Purl

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Dear Ann,
As I headed downtown to inspect Purl’s new digs last weekend, I was a little uneasy. What if the Purl magic was meant to be contained within 2 box-size shops on one of the last “neighborhoody” streets left in Soho? What if it got diluted in more spacious digs on a major shopping street? What if the fabric and yarn weren’t 6 inches from your face? What if you didn’t feel an urgency to get in and get out quickly, to make room for the next customer? All of those things were part of the Purl experience that I’d grown to love. Shops so small, and so edited, that any addition or subtraction was noticed immediately.
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Relax! Everything is OK. The new place is great, and the recipe still works. It still feels almost curated, every item or collection of objects placed with intention. But a lot more air and a lot more merchandise. (The oilcloth is out! The linen is out!) And more people, who are not bumping into each other. On a great, if bustling, street of old cast-iron buildings.
Danger: they have room to display all the needlepoint canvases. Oh my. I was able, for many months, to pass by the Charlie Harper needlepoints, when there were just a couple on display. Now, resistance is futile. Move over, rug-hooking. Mama’s got a new craft.
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And while I will miss being able to pop into Once Upon A Tart for cornmeal biscotti (and to see what the woman behind the counter was wearing), this new neighbor is intriguing.
Next time you’re in town you will have to check it out. When can you get here?
Love,
Kay

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31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. All I can say is it’s a darned good thing I don’t live anywhere near either shop…..
    You can never have too many irons in the fiber fire Kay. The rug hooking, quilting and knitting will wait while you whip up one of those lovely needlepoint designs. I love it all as well.

  2. Jane above has said it all for me.

  3. … it’s fabulosity all over again isn’t it kay … gumby has yet to go and visit … and yes … we promised anna @ the tart that we will always come by even if the new purl is all the way down the beaten path of old … happy days indeed …

  4. Ooh, looks divine!

  5. July 15-18. My husband’s got a meeting. I’ve got a date with fiber. What a deal.

  6. Rudy’s? AND Purl?! That’s a double whammy.

  7. Rudy’s? AND Purl?! That’s a double whammy.

  8. What fun!
    Why is NYC so much farther away, now that I hate driving at night?? Must figure this out.

  9. How I wish I could say ‘~I’m catching a flight…’.
    xxx

  10. Oooh, that looks like so much fun!!

  11. I wish I could just magic myself there right now! I tried. It didn’t work. :) s

  12. I really want to get down there, but it is such a long haul on the bus/train from Boston that it may never happen.
    I can count on people here at least to do some extra shopping there in my name, right?

  13. Purl Soho is also a great place for online purchases. However, I do envy you the experience of REAL DEAL.

  14. It looks just perfect! :-)

  15. Ahhh! I was on a field trip to NY (from Boston) the first weekend it opened in its new digs! Just happened to find ourselves in SoHo so of course we went. So awesome! Got me some NY souveneir yarn AND it was free tote day! I can’t believe I didn’t see the guitar shop. Must have been too dazzled. Better not tell my husband…

  16. I was at the old Purl on April 2 for a last goodbye. I was sorry my trip wasn’t timed for the opening at the new location but it’ll be there when I get back, which will probably be in August. Can’t wait, looks gorgeous!

  17. Wow, that looks like fun. I could spend a whole day just looking in their windows!

  18. Charlie Harper? As in the fabulous wildlife artist? If so, I’m glad I’m no where near Purl’s. Our living room is already an ode to Charlie. To recreate one of his works myself would be too much. If you succumb, please keep us up to date on the current work in progress. (Brrrd Bath maybe?)

  19. thank you kay i maybe in florida but i can shop on line or give a call all the goodies i can not find here now i have found me a place
    i was born in elizabeth nj along time ago
    stores tucked away on side streets little
    stores with fabric on shelves way above my head
    yarn stores and notion shops dmc you know
    singer sewing town hat factorys with trim
    your own bascic hat then there was new york
    and my dads work place the old simmons company linden the factory now gone make you a bed?
    and all the new york stores that carried the bedding my lots of memories comeing back tonight

  20. Knit a “cozy” for an electric guitar?
    LoveDiane

  21. A change of venue for any local yarn store or favorite restaurant or even a friend is always an interesting proposition. What will remain, what will change for the better, what will be lost?
    The old Purl always sounded intriguing. I “visited” the new one online, and am not sure which I like better; the venerable-looking wooden floor or the wall o’ yarn.

  22. You have just described heaven for my and my DH. Anything for the kids?

  23. You have just described heaven for my and my DH. Anything for the kids?

  24. OMG!!! The corn meal biscotti from Once Upon a Tart is my FAVORITE!! I’m so surprised to hear someone else mention it. LOVE that stuff!

  25. Thanks for the enticing preview!
    I was fond of Once Upon a Tart, but they have a cookbook out, and it’s pretty comprehensive. So I’ll be looking forward to exploring the new surroundings on my next trip!

  26. I r.e.a.l.l.y need to make a trip to NYC.
    Wish it could be sooner than later.

  27. When I was in Manhattan a little while ago, I squeezed into the old Purl Soho atelier. I’m happy they’ve got a bigger space and will look for them the next time I buzz in from Chi-town.

  28. When I was in Manhattan a little while ago, I squeezed into the old Purl Soho atelier. I’m happy they’ve got a bigger space and will look for them the next time I buzz in from Chi-town.

  29. Charlie Harper needlepoint?!! Sigh… I love the man and his art. I’ve cross stitched some of his designs and just love his sense of humor. I don’t live close enough to shop, but please show us what you bought.

  30. Oh, cool. I have been waiting and waiting for needlepoint to become popular again….

  31. I was in NYC over the weekend, chaperoning the high school band trip. I was DYING to sneak away to Purl, and thinking about you, of course, the whole time. Sadly I did not get to visit either but it was a wonderful experience for the kids and my son even posed for a photo with me at Top of the Rock!