Having visited the Purl Soho website any number of times and for the most part held back from going wild, I was excited to find their warehouse in a search of LA-area yarn shops. At home, I have a copy of their Botanical Yoke pullover waiting to hit the needles, all queued up in my Ravelry 2019 Challenge list.
Perhaps the Purl Soho Warehouse is not technically an LYS? I assume they do a lot of order fulfillment for the Purl Soho online business. Somehow I convinced my brother to take me there on my first full day in town, before we set off on a whale watch from Dana Point.
This storefront in Irvine, CA doesn’t even have a sign hanging out front to announce its presence, but it was open for business as promised by Google maps! Upon entry, there was a lovely table adorned with suggestive samples that begged to be stroked.
A few shelves bordered the entryway, making the front area feel like a retail establishment. But beyond – oh, my – there were shelves and shelves of gorgeous textures and colors to explore.
Basically everything you’ve ever drooled over on their website (and more) was available here. The yarn is organized by weight, and then within that I’m sure there is some clever color or number system. Much of it appeared to be pleasingly gradient- or rainbow-oriented. All of their luscious kits were also available here (of course), including throw blanket kit colorways I didn’t even see advertised online.
One serious weakness I have is Liberty of London Tana Lawn cotton fabric. It’s amazing that I even still have money in the bank and haven’t purchased yards of every single print they have ever produced. Astonishingly, the Purl Soho warehouse has a very complete and up-to-date collection – in fact, this is the most variety of Tana Lawn I’ve ever personally seen in one place, perhaps with the exception of Lil Weasel in Paris, but I suspect not.
My not-so-effective willpower has held out against spending down my retirement funds many times, and in particular I have not purchased any colorways of William Morris’ Strawberry Thief print approximately 137 times. That may be an underestimate. Guess what – you’re right. I gave in this time. Only one colorway was available at PSW, but it was the right one – such gorgeous rich blue hues and complementary jewel tones.
While I was tempted to pick up the eggplant/ecru manta ray print (!!), or the ecru/greys lovely sailing rope motif, my brother voted for this one as I held each one up to my face. (Who knew he’d be such a good shopping companion? He also had a number of perceptive fiber-related questions as we explored, including regarding an alphabet worth of cute embroidered animal kits.)
Over the past few months, I’ve been attracted to unusual (for me) colors, and my selections from PWS were in line with this left turn. While I doubt I will be saturated with speckles or space-dyes any time soon, I relished the opportunity to bask in some of their brighter and deeper solids, keeping in mind that there are some burgeoning textured designs in my mind that require some silky fluff as well as plush drape.
My final yarn selection included two colorways of Posy (sw merino, cashmere, nylon) and two colorways of Tussock (mohair and silk).
Now if only my day job included knitwear design…