Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Can you ImagiKnit?

Hi Knitters,
While I was in San Francisco I had a quick moment to visit the wonderful yarn shop, ImaginKnit. I had popped on their site to find the address and to make note of anything unusual about the shop before my stop but I really had no idea what to expect. ImagiKnit is on a corner and the street going up the side of the shop is incredibly steep. See how it looks pretty unassuming from the outside?
I was happy to be greeted with Blue Sky Alpacas Pretty Cheep Bags hanging across the front window. Those bags are the best for storing little projects and whatnot.
I found the Spud & Chloë right away. That's the Sweater yarn above. However....
um, yeah. Have you ever seen so much yarn in your life? I mean talk about inventory. ImagiKnit has it ALL. First off, the store is really like two stores. It is huge and spacious. Secondly, every inch is covered with gorgeous yarn and I think it is organized by fiber? or was it yarn weight? I know they had a sock yarn area and a bulky weight area. Anyway, there was lots of staff on-hand to help and they were super nice and friendly. I asked if they minded if I took some photographs before I started snapping away.
They had Blue Sky Alpacas, Spud & Chloë, Madeline Tosh, Yarn Collage (remember from a couple posts ago?), Manos, Malabrigo, Classic Elite, Debbie Bliss, Noro.... the list goes on forever and a day. Click here to see their extensive yarn selection. It is fantastic.
There is comfortable seating all over the place, couches, chairs, tables. There is a homey feel, very comfortable. I was very much struck by the number of knitted samples that were placed all over the shop. They had knitted hats, tables (literally) of sweaters, scarves, blankets, afghans, etc.
TC liked this wall of fun. On the floor behind her is one of those cool cashmere scarf kits. I should have bought one. Darn it. I have looked at those many times and then I never get one in the end. The kit contains enough cashmere yarn for a good sized scarf and 7 different pattern options. I have never knitted with straight cashmere and I only own one cashmere sweater. This is something I really want to try. I would get the pink scarf kit if I had the chance again. Oh well, things come and go. They have men's and women's versions available. Maybe I'd get black instead of pink.
This is the room when you walk in the front doors. See the cement floor? Love that.
Oh, I found the Spud & Chloë Outer, too. Love that Outer so much. In fact, I can't get enough of it. This is the top seller of the Spud & Chloë line and I understand why.
This is the second room of ImagiKnit. It is just as good as the first. This is the room with the tables with samples stacked up very high. I was really impressed. They had a lot of baby items displayed, too. See how they have two mannequins set up with men's knitwear? Pretty unusual.
Now you can see the walls in the second room. There were also lots of accessories and needles and bags to choose from. The options are endless in ImagiKnit. The staff was really friendly and welcoming. I enjoyed meeting them.
They even carry the Spud & Chloë pencil bags right along with the Blue Sky Pretty Cheep Bags. Both are terrific to store little things.
The second column of shelves from the right houses my favorite cotton, Blue Sky Worsted Cotton! They have the new Multi along with the organic and dyed cottons. What a vast selection they offer.
Do you see the wall of button tubes on the left? TC and I spent a long time looking at the button selection. Incredible. Oh, and who is that big guy sitting at the table reading a pattern? Someone better call security! Just kidding, that's my husband who is a man with a whole lot of patience, bless his heart.
Okay, so this last photo is something kind of cool and different ImagiKnit offers. Malabrigo sends sample or trial new colors of their yarns to this shop. Sometimes the colors become regular colors and sometimes they don't! Katelyn told me that they get sent bags of Unknown colors that can't be found anywhere else. That's what the unk on the label above means.

Great shop, great area, great city! Can't go wrong. I bought a skein of Madeline Tosh sock yarn in a lovely mix of greens and TC got a ball of pink fluffy stuff, super bulky weight (not sure of the brand).

Oh, and they had lots and lots of my books (Itty-Bitty Toys and Hats) and I signed them all! If you want an autographed copy you should give them a call or stop by to grab one. I met Jonah at the register when I was buying my yarn and he was really nice to meet. I think he is the manager.

You should definitely check out ImagiKnit if you are in the area.

3897 18th St. (at Sanchez)
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 621-6642
Monday-Saturday 11-6:30, Sunday 11-4
ImagiKnit - san francisco

This week is flying by, right?
Talk to you soon.
best, susie
p.s. I bought this pattern for a scarf. You might like it, too.


Jen said...

I am a big fan of this store! I live near SF and like to stop by whenever I am in the area. I'm so glad you found it too.

Trisha said...

Wow, what an incredible shop! How lucky for the people that live there. Next time I visit SF I will definitely be buying some of my souvenirs there!

barb :0) said...

Oh Goodness .... LOVED this shop !!! I started walking at 5th street, so took me a while to get there .... but was SOOOOO worth it when I did !!!!! It was a real treat :0)

Kekumukula said...

This is the yarn store I go to for my yarn; I go during the week because parking is easier to find. Everyone is so helpful here and knows their stuff! Sorry I missed you there. My brother and his fiance had bought Itty Bitty Toys for me from here last December.

Bonnie said...

We lived in the city during graduate school. It's such a great place. Glad you are having a fun vacation. And thanks for the heads up on this great yarn store.

barb said...

I feel like scheduling a vacation to SF just to go to ImagiKnit. That shop is incredible.
Thanx for all the photos and posts during your vacation. It has been a blast living vicariously thru you.

knitting thru the itty bittys

Allegra said...

I loved ImagiKnit when I visited SF a couple of years ago. Did some serious damage (to my wallet!) there with loads of fabulous yarns. There's a lovely teahouse kitty corner to the yarn shop, called the Samovar Tea Lounge, which is a great place to eat and drink tea before a second trip to the yarn shop! (To get some Jade Sapphire Cashmere in red, of course!)

Kekumukula said...

I just noticed your new header for your blog. Looks great; love that green.

Ashley said...

I learned to knit at Imagiknit. When that's the first yarn shop you go to, everything else has a tough act to follow.

Tiphanie said...

I *finally* got a chance to go to ImagiKnit yesterday! I couldn't believe how much yarn they have. The staff was very friendly... lovely store. I bought some Spud and Chloe, yay! Can't wait to knit with it. I had a laugh at the pic of your hubby and your caption. I'm not sure mine would be so patient. Can't wait to see what you and TC make out of the yarn you each chose. I wanted to ask them about your visit, but you hadn't posted this blog yet and I wasn't sure if you went in incognito, hee hee! I should have, though. I'm glad all the great things I heard about the store were true, and I didn't steer you wrong. =)

Susie said...

Thank you for posting all the pics and comments. I'll be in SF in about 2 weeks and my son lives only about 2 blocks away from Imagiknits, can you believe that? I can hardly wait!! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the wonderful review of this awesome shop. I really hope I can stop by when I am in SF next week. Your love of rainbows must certainly be a true one based on the pattern that you mentioned in the post :) It is great to have so much fun with fiber! --Ramona

Lucy said...

Everytime you show us a good yarn store, Susan, I just want to ask "why isn't there such a nice one in Sydney?" and sigh... I buy my yarn from US online stores and have to pay the postage. Sigh...

Hopefully there're some good ones in Hong Kong and Guangzhou when I move there.

Judi A. said...

Oh, how many of us wouldn't die for a shop nearby like that! Wow!! Definitely will be a go-to place when/if I ever get to SF again. Such a neat city, and so much to offer to so many different people.:-)

klhp said...

Oh, I nearly drooled when I saw the list of all the yarns ImaginKnit carries! Why, oh why, do I live so far from San Francisco?

I showed my husband the pictures and said, "Look, Honey, it's my heaven." He laughed and said, "I guess we'll have to book a trip to San Francisco." What a wonderful guy! :)

Anonymous said...

I've only been in there once but I loved it & thanks to this post I'll go back & spend more time there (this time with a legal parking space, thankyaverymuch).

knittingknirvana said...

That UNK malabrigo is awesome!!! :)

Sandee said...

Wow, those tall shelves of yarn.... In EARTHQUAKE Central! I assume the shelving is bolted to the wall.

At least if the yarn falls off, it probably doesn't hurt anyone.

Why didn't I know about this place during the years that DS 1 was at Stanford? We used to go into SF every time we visited him? He hopes to go back there one day to finish up his PhD, so there is still a chance for me to visit this shop.

christine m. east of toronto said...

oooooooooooooh! i feel weak! i couldn't take that post in all at once. first i scrolled through all the enticing pictures (too impatient to read and then look!), then i went back to the top to start reading again, but kept scrolling down to look at all the yarny yarn goodness once more. then i had a sensory-delight overload and had to go lie down! ooooohhhhhhhh what an awesome place!

Lisette said...

Love this post! I made the trek from Sacramento to Imagiknit last December. Loved the store and the yarn walls!

This shop is a must for any visitor to the City by the Bay!

Everyone that works there is super friendly and helpful! Also, saw the owner at Stitches West. She is super nice just like her staff!

P.S.: Did you "pop" into the nearby bakery/cafe Tartine?

sbourgeois said...

Wow, just found your blog and what an entry! I used to live in the Bay Area and frequented ImagiKnit. Lovely store.

I'm knitting my way through Itty Bitty Toys! Working on Princess and the Pea and bunny. Love them ALL!