Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Shop Reviews (1 of 2)

These posts will include reviews and impressions of:
1. Soutache (embellishments)
2. Knitting Workshop
3. Loopy Yarns
4. Knitwerks
all located in Chicago and easily done in one day. I visited them all on Saturday, May 30.


2125 N Damen Ave (south of Webster), Chicago IL 60647

I went to Soutache because the group was going; up for something new but not expecting anything I was really interested in.

Was I wrong! The store was filled with beautiful things: rolls of ribbons and trims; feathers; silk flowers; hardware for key fobs, purses and dog leashes; hairbands; shoe clips; and buttons buttons buttons. My favourite were the 3" coconut buttons, round and square. (Perfect for a super bulky full length coat I have in the back of my mind.)

The woman tending the store (seemed like the owner?) was very friendly, helpful, and incredibly pleasant. She welcomed our group warmly, answered any and all questions (and answered them well), and generally made us feel at home.

The store was open and spacious. Displays were well-done and I really appreciated the bulletin boards with pages from fashion magazines showing lots and lots of embellished pieces. The store samples were well-made and inspiring.

I considered the prices very reasonable. I picked up some wooden and plastic purse handles for $12 a pair. Buttons were generally in the 1 to 2 dollar range, with larger ones costing a little more. The only trim I looked at was $9 a yard, but it was very wide and decorated.

This is definitely a destination store. If you need a little something to punch up an old outfit or to dress up a pillow or two around the home, head there and be inspired!

Store Hours
Tuesday - Saturday: 10-6
Sunday: 12-5
Monday: Closed (By Appointment Only)

Knitting Workshop
2115 N Damen Ave, Chicago IL 60647

Just down the street from Soutache is the Knitting Workshop. As we entered, the store clerk gave us a friendly greeting, but that's all the attention we got in the 20 minutes we were there. It didn't help that there was a woman sitting at the table knitting and talking non stop about all those things you don't want to hear about. (Bad TV she's watching, her family problems, etc etc. It just droned on and on.) At first I thought she was an employee which did not leave a good impression at all. When I gathered that she was more likely a customer, I just felt sorry for the employee who was trapped...

They carried a lot of yarn but it was not well-organized. Bins were overfull with yarn threatening to topple to the floor at any provocation. It was not very inviting. (You gotta feel free to touch the yarn, people.) And speaking of easy access, almost none of the yarn had prices marked. I am not about to ask about every yarn I might be interested in. I would like to be able to see the price right away to be able to assess whether I can buy it.

The prices seemed just a touch high of reasonable. But they had a lot of variety so I can live with that. Kathi did ask about some cashmere that turned out to be $240 a skein. Ouch! But it was a large skein, and I can accept pricey cashmere. (Maybe not buy it, but I can believe it.) I bring it up as an example that they are going to have stuff not every store carries.

The three of us left the store purchasing nothing. (The only store all day.)

Store Hours
Wednesday: 12-5
Thursday: 12-9
Friday: 12-5
Saturday: 10-5
Sunday: 12-5

Phew! I think that's enough reviewing for one day. I will write about the remaining two stores in my next post.


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