I’m not one to pick up a new hobby since I quickly lose interest and patience. So when I find an endeavor worthy of commitment, it’s time for major applause. This year, at the gentle coaxing of my designer friend and knitting teacher, Jamie Kreitman, I took up knitting with a passion. She persuaded me to pick up two needles to empower myself with the skills to create fashion. In knitting, not only does one create an item, but the fabric itself is created at the same time as the design. The sense of gratification is so overwhelming when I see a piece I’ve been knitting come to life! We’re both inspired by what we see online and offline. Our shared Pinterest board is our scrapbook and go-to resource of incredible inspirations and ideas which we refer to and discuss as departure points for our next projects. As knitters have told me, it’s de rigueur to always have a future project planned while working on a present project. It’s head spinning, yarn spinning, wheel spinning and challenging. And I love clicking my needles (think Dorothy) and stitching away.
During this past miserable 2018 winter, we promised each other that once spring arrived, we’d take a road trip to visit the newly opened Loopy Mango yarn shop located in Beacon, NY. Beacon has become an artistic and bucolic magnet town situated on the Hudson River 60 odd miles north of NYC. DIA, the contemporary art museum, established a branch a few years ago in this town which is quaint and walkable. Boutiques, galleries, coffee shops and great restaurants line the main street and this area serves as a weekend escape for many a New Yorker. Loopy Mango, once located in Soho, NYC, recently reopened their flagship store in Beacon. After stopping by their booth at Vogue Knitting Live in NYC this past January, we were eager to pay a visit to their latest outpost.
Visiting local yarn stores can be overwhelming due to the enormous bounty of delectable colorful yarns stocked from all over the world. I find these stores a bit cluttered and lose focus after a few minutes. Selecting yarn in these stores requires knowledge and vision which I’m still developing as a newbie. Nevertheless, yarn store sales staff share a love of knitting and offer excellent customer service.
So how is Loopy Mango different and how was I able not to lose it once in the store? Loopy Mango has a laser focused singular vision, a clear esthetic and well curated selection. Their spin is fashion oriented in tandem with craft education. They manufacture and produce some of their own hand crafted yarn at their mill in Florida. Other yarns are made in Italy from 100% merino wool and cotton.
As a beginner, I love that Loopy offers DIY kits which contain a pattern, yarn and knitting needles, which range from beginner to advanced. Think of it as the Blue Apron of the knitting world. Currently I am knitting their “Super cropped cardigan – Merino No. 5”which is on the intermediate level. Knitting doesn’t always come cheap if you want quality, great color and fashion impact. The yarn in this kit isn’t $5 yarn you pick up at the big box stores. So expect this Loopy Mango kit to set you back $126.
Lucky for me, the sales staff at Loopy Mango greeted us warmly and had a good sense of humor. I entered the magnificent white space like a tornado, talking a mile a minute, laughing, touching yarn, moving things around and staging where my Wheelchair Barbie could be photographed. The backdrop of colorful and beautiful yarn, luscious knitted samples and great light made this a non-stop Instagram photo op.
We shot some video and I immediately felt compelled to purchase a summer fringe DIY cotton beanie kit. This lightweight fringed hat reminded me of something comedienne Phyllis Diller would have worn during one of her standup routines. Watch this video to see the fabulousness of this hat. Kudos to Loopy Mango for selling this edgy pattern, since I can’t imagine many knitters wearing this fashion forward design. If we could get women to burn their boring baseball caps, this would be the replacement I suggest. Off with the cap and don this fun, fringed statement hat!
After cooing over the yarn and touching and grabbing everything in sight, I left with the fringed hat yarn, while Jamie purchased a coordinating fringe bag knit kit. I’m chomping at the bit to get started on my hat. Remember I said before, you always have a new project lined up as you’re working on a current one? This is a fine example. Now, if only Loopy Mango had a bright red cotton to make this hat. Red is my signature color and favorite one at that. Well, sometimes wishes come true.
Should you visit Beacon, do visit the DIA Museum, then stroll along the main road. I recommend two places to eat. One is the “Vault,” a tapas and spirits restaurant located in an historic bank building complete with working vault. The second is “The Roundhouse” which is also a historic property overlooking a beautiful waterfall, has outdoor seating and quaint boutique hotel located adjacently.