Both ends of the space feature floor-to-ceiling windows, which makes the space feel wide open, and welcoming. This further encourages you to touch, investigate and knit with the yarns they have available, which wisely reinforces Artfibers's policy of letting you test out yarns before you buy. It's a policy that works because it's a strong-willed knitter who can try out these exquisite fibers without making a purchase.
There are three rows of waist-height displays, each showing the yarn in various forms: in skeins, knit up in swatches, and as finished garments. These are paired with individual reading lamps so that you can see how the yarn looks in both natural and artificial lights. Seeing all the possibilities for each yarn invites you to try it out for yourself, which you can with one of the tester cones.
Have you ever been to a yarn shop and they have a table and chairs, but you weren't sure if you were allowed to sit there? Well, at Artfibers, it seems pretty obvious that you absolutely should sit and knit with their yarns for a moment.
When I visited, I met Roxanne who was helpful without hovering and was kind enough to pause while winding a cone for a customer to ring up my sale.
There are some knitters who will find this an irrisistable temptation to visit both Fluevog and Artfibers. In fact, for some it might just be the best part of their vacation. Aside from these two awesome stores, this neighborhood is one of the more fashionable areas for San Francisco shopping. There are lots of alleyways with great eats, Cafe de la Presse is nearby, along with the world-famous Gumps department store and the Crocker Galleria. The Banana Republic Flagship store is across the street.
The table and chairs for knitting are next to the ginormous windows, which overlook Sutter Street -a great street to watch fashionable shoppers, San Francisco workers out for lunch and lost tourists.
The whole store is set up to encourage you to pick up some needles and knit. They have plenty of needles for you to use and each yarn has a testing cone for you to take to the knitting table.
When I visited, I met a woman traveling from the East Coast. The location is in an area where there are lots of hotels, and tourists out shopping. Knitting being the social hobby that it is, once you sit down to try out the yarns, it's a great way to connect with other travellers and knitters to learn about the hottest spots in the city. Artfibers, being the San Francisco institution that it is also draws a lot of locals, who can share with you their favorite haunts.
266 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA
Do you have favorite places to visit that you'd like to share? Have you been to Artfibers -what did you think? Let me know in the contents.
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I'm Angela. I'm an obsessed knitter.
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