Located in Paterson, NJ, Silk City Fibers manufactures a wide variety of different types of yarns that they sell directly to manufacturers and via wholesale. Off the beaten trail surrounded by houses, Silk City Fibers has a sale where its doors to the public once a month on the second Saturday of the month.
Unlike your LYS, you can’t go to Silk City Fibers with the idea that I need X balls of DK weight yarn in fire engine red. Silk City Fibers is a corner of a warehouse that covers 5 small rooms that are filled with cones of fiber that can be used by hand knitters, machine knitters and weavers. You need to be open to the process of finding that unusual fiber. Further, the quantities can be difficult to estimate since you must buy it by the cone.
I first heard about Silk City Fiber from a woman at Habu who told me about it in a whisper since the diverse array competes with Habu which has a wonderful selection of unusual fibers at premium prices.
Mapquest instructions in hand, I made my maiden trip out to Paterson with my mother, a car-owning knitter. It’s a short jaunt from Route 80 and the George Washington Bridge. One trip was all that it took to get me hooked! Since my mother doesn’t believe in building stash (I know that sounds unknitterly but it’s true), I haven’t been unable to persuade her to accompany me on a return trip.
Carless Manhattanite that I am, I finally decided to venture out to the “wilds” of NJ via public transportation which translates to a bus via the Port Authority. If you’re willing to walk about 20 minutes from the main bus terminal, it’s not difficult to find. The surprising fact is that it’s in the middle of a residential neighborhood a block off of the main street. About half of the time, I’ve been offered a ride back to the bus terminal. Besides, the hour bus ride gives me another knitting opportunity. I look at it as an adventure and always have fun comparing notes with the other shoppers who have given me some great knitting tips!
This trip, one of my fellow knitters joined me adding to the pleasure of the trip and gave us time to compare notes regarding knitting issues. Since my stash keeps growing faster than I can knit, I usually set myself a limit before I go and tend to spend about the same amount each time. After long consideration, I left the thick Prussian blue cashmere at the register. Instead I bought some bubble gum pink (admittedly not everyone’s best color) silk and cashmere (85%/15% mix) for a mere $33.00! I plan to make some lingerie for the honeymoon! While it needs to be knitted with either 2 or 3 strand due to the thinness, I figure that I have enough for a top or a nightie! Additionally, I bought some gold thread which will make another honeymoon top.
My friend bought some luscious mushroom brown colored chunky merino to make a thick sweater. It knits up wonderfully since I’ve got some in my stash to make a sweater for my cutey! Additionally, she got some Egyptian cotton and a wine colored rayon for the spring. It was quite a haul!
Despite my encouragement, I haven’t convinced other members of my knitting circle to join me. The prices are great! Perhaps for the next adventure.