The Knitty Gritty
A knitting craze has hit the West and is due in Moscow anyday. From London to Chicago and Sydney and back again, young women (and men) have proclaimed knitting as the new yoga thanks to its meditative properties.
With an overwhelming abundance of craft-oriented stores sporting budget-priced balls of wool, cotton, mohair, angora and novelty chunky yarns, Russia is a knitter’s paradise. And if you don’t knit, it’s high time to start gettin’ knitty wit’ it.
Knitting is a perfect way to unwind after a day behind a PC screen. Knitting give us a chance to create something tangible with our own hands and to comfort our overextended selves in the process.
A handful of Westerners have discovered the joys of yarn shopping in Moscow. One of them is Kate Pickering, a graduate student in Russian history at Columbia University who is currently working in the archives researching women in the Russian gentry. She is also an avid knitter and maintains a web site about knitting in Russia. Visit her site at www.columbia.edu/~kmp30/knitting.html.
Zolotoye Runo, 9 Lyusinovskaya Ul.
One of Moscow’s best yarn stores is the factory store of Semyonovskaya Pryazha, which offers up pure wool yarns, cottons, and a host of fun novelty yarns for around 35 rubles a skein. There are also knitting needles, yarn gauges and accessories galore. The yarn store Orlis imports Peruvian alpaca yarn – the softest of the soft – which it sells for less than $3 a skein.
Moscow expats can join the knitting craze and help “take back the knit” from the local babushki by starting their own so-called Stitch ‘n Bitch knitting groups. Started in New York a few years ago by Debbie Stoller as a way of reviving fiber arts, initiating new knitters and socializing, such groups are found in coffee shops and cafes all over North America. Maybe it’s time Moscow had its own such group?
Zolotoye Runo, 9 Lyusinovskaya Ul., 237 2276, 7/2 Avtozavodskaya Ul., 2nd floor in the Arka shopping center 234 7437, M. Avtozavodskaya
Orlis, 27/1 Lubyansky Proezd, 923 2470, M. Kitai Gorod 5/9 Profsoyuznaya Ul., 124 0511, M. Akademicheskaya
Semyonovskaya Pryazha, 5 Izmailovskaya Ul., 963-2974, M. Semyonovskaya