As readers of this blog know, I am a big fan of the Warehouse Sales at Silk City Fibers in Paterson, NJ. As a manufacturer and wholesale, Silk City Fibers’ doesn’t regualarly sell directly to consumers. On the second Saturday of the month, they open their doors from 9.00am to 1.00pm to consumers.
The yarns offered vary from sale to sale. The yarns are on cones which may be a deterent to some knitters. Also, since the yarns are used in manufacture, many of them are relatively fine for the hand knitter but can be very useful for machine knitters and weavers. One way for hand knitters to overcome the issue of the fineness of the fibers is to wind several threads together. I have used multiple strands of yarns that would otherwise be too thin to make wonderful knitted projects.
In addition to their five rooms of wares, there are often boxes of mill ends up front. For me, these are often a treasure trove of unual yarns. While there may not be enough to make a full sweater or other project, they’re great for scarves and other small projects.
To the best of my knowledge, Silk City Fibers’ email list for the sales has been built via word of mouth, customer telling another.
For this trip, four of us drove from the upper reaches of Manhattan to Paterson after a quick pit stop at Dunkin Donuts for coffee and bagels. We made good time and were in the warehouse by 9.30am. My friends were focused on the Chunky merino which has 450 yards per cone. Together, they persuaded the manager to bring out other colors since they weren’t inspired by the ones that were for sale. Of course, the fact that they were buying twelve cones in total helped sway his decision.
Being into lace, I was focused on a cone of their Kashmir, a 15% cashmere, 15% silk, 70% merino blend, which was on sale. I bought a cone in a brick red which I plan to make into a spectacular lace piece.
Out of the mill ends, I found a 2 1/2 pound cone of Italian 100% linen in a New Yorker’s favorite color, black. While the thread is very thin, I figure that I can knit three threads together to make a great linen top. Additionally, I bought a 1/4 pound of a fine grey mohair with a thin silver sparkle to it. I tested knitting one thread before I bought it and it will create a wonderful stocking knit shawl.
As we were finalizing our decisions, one of the employees brought out four one pound cones of 100% alpaca that had been company samples. It was very soft alpaca from Peru in a fingering weight. I took the cone of white to use for a lace item.
We paid and left happy so that we could get back to the city before noon. Each of us had spent under a $100.00 for our stash enhancing bundles which were way below the retail prices we’re used to.