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Wool Gatherings

[whitespace] Atelier Yarns

Getting crafty at Atelier Yarns

By Diana Rupp

If you think knitting is strictly for old ladies and mommies-to-be, think again. A whole new generation of knitters (many of whom, like me, are in their late 20s) is finding the age-old art to be addictive.

Atelier (at'l-yay') Yarns, named after a French for workshop or studio, was one of the first stores to identify and meet the demands of the growing trend. "I opened the store because nobody was catering to younger knitters," owner Grace Cooper says. "This kind of place is something of a rarity in the knitting world."

Unlike run-of-the-mill yarn barns which tend to offer only tired monochromatic acrylics and polyesters, Atelier's stock of designer yarns ranges from wools and chenille to silk and mohair in beautiful colors and patterns. This eclectic selection translates into fun and funky knitwear, from cashmere shrugs to Nordic-inspired alpaca hats to oversized angora turtlenecks. "It's all about the quality of the ingredients," Cooper says. "These yarns make the knitting worthwhile."

In addition to carrying the finest materials around, Atelier offers ongoing classes at every skill level. Cooper's hands-on, egalitarian approach to teaching transforms even the most craft-impaired into able, confident knitters. "It's just two sticks and a piece of string," Cooper explains matter-of-factly. "There's no real mystique to knitting. But it's just enough of a challenge to keep you interested."

There's also a weekly drop-in workshop to give more experienced knitters a chance to meet, talk, trade patterns and network while working on projects. With all this activity, Cooper has to work overtime to keep up with the popular store's enthusiastic clientele.

"There are those people who come in here and knit their way out of the room," Cooper says. "I'm constantly having to develop and add new ideas, which is exciting from a design aspect. It really keeps me going."


Atelier Yarns, 1945 Divisadero St. Call 415/771-1550 for a schedule of classes.

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From the January 18, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.




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