More San Francisco Shopping

You’ve all been very patient, waiting for me to draw a winner of the DIYCouture book. It is Giggles In The Sun, over in Oz! As soon as I get home, I will post the book to you, my darling.

In the meantime, I thought I’d complete my sewing and knitting shopping review of a day’ shopping in San Francisco. After my morning’s memorable visit to Britex Fabrics, I caught the F train over to Castro to see Imagiknit following a recommendation from Buttontree Lane.

I loved Castro. The minute you step from the train, you can feel the buzz of energy. I was very happy to have made the trip over here, if only to people watch.

Imagiknits is at the bottom of one of those ridiculously cliched San Francisco steep hills that stop being a cliche after you’ve walked up half a dozen of them!

This is one of the most comprehensive wool shops I’ve ever visited. It may surprise readers that I didn’t buy anything here, but I am not a big fan of spontaneous wool purchases. It can go badly wrong in my experience. If you don’t know exactly your make and how much wool you need and – crucially – the type of wool you need, you may just end up with a big waste of money on your hands. Plus, you know, I had to think about luggage space. So, no spending. I know, radical!

My next stop was SCRAP (a source for the resourceful with reputed vintage finds) over in … I forget where. A long bus ride away. Somewhere industrial. Hmmmm. I’d love to say that this was another great experience, but instead I am going to be honest. If you are a tourist with limited time and a reliance on public transport I shall urge you to leave this off your Must Do list. I admire everything SCRAP stands for, but I couldn’t find anything to spend my money on. I don’t admire any business or charity enough to indulge them – a set up like this has to be a genuine and fair exchange of money for goods. This didn’t feel like that, I’m afraid. I’m sorry! I truly am! Does anyone have an opinion or a memory of better times here?

Don’t get me wrong. This day’s shopping provided me with a fascinating cross section of San Francisco that I would never have enjoyed by following the tourist trail. Plus, I have some fabrics that will supply me with cherished memories for years to come. A success, in anyone’s book! Especially when a passing stranger commented on the outfit I was wearing, with a drawl out of the corner of his mouth: “Nice skirt, lady.”


Does anyone else have Sewing or Knitting shops they would recommend in San Francisco?


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16 Responses to More San Francisco Shopping

  1. stacyverb says:

    Funny you should ask this today, when I just posted about a blouse I made from some fabric I bought in SF (! It came from a store called Urban Burp that I found by accident when we went to Chinatown and parked in the Financial District. They have mainly upholstery fabric, but other stuff as well.

  2. Debi says:

    Wow…that knitting shop looks fun and colourful! I really loved Scrap when I visited with Mena but she knew all the ropes and showed me where to look for things. I got TONS of amazing buttons, belt buckles, etc. I do think, however, that it is the luck of the draw as to when you go and if they have stuff…..I’ve loved following your San Fran adventures!!

  3. Now that I have calmed down enough (been dancing through my living room for the last 30 min) I just wanted to say thank you thank you thank you.

    the wool shop looked very tempting and I am not sure whether I could have been as good as you. Having said that, I have frequently bought yarn without a project and now I have piles stashed everywhere, so I have put myself on a yarn diet (truly tempted when I saw this beautiful cotton/silk mix in the local chain store that usually only carries acrylic) until I finished my next 5 yarn projects. 🙂

  4. Lynn Madonich says:

    Fabrix on Clement Street is the best. It’s a discount store, not so organized, but full of character. So many good buys. You will love it on your next trip. Clement Street is packed with diversity, culture, restaurants, a great used bookstore, a dessert cafe and so much much.

  5. Michelle says:

    I was NOT good in Imagiknit. In fact I went back three times. Once we were in our apartment on Castro St at the end of a long afternoon and I said “Honeybun – just popping out for a short walk. Be back in, oh, an hour or so”. One time I said “I’m off to walk up 18th st and have a look at the Mission. Coming?” and of course he said yes, poor boy, and I got to see my lovely yarn store again!

    Also – bought (and felt) my first ever buffalo yarn there, and it’s just the most delightful stuff …

    Glad you got to go! And isn’t the Castro fun? Just felt so at home there.

  6. nice to know that the dinosaurs were appreciated!

  7. Laura says:

    I just got to SCRAP for the first time recently, and I would agree with your assessment – it’s a pain to get to via transit (not so easy via car, actually, either) and what you can find seems to vary a lot, and is more about finding cheap stuff than amazing stuff. If I were a visitor I wouldn’t bother. Instead I’d send people to the East Bay and tell them to go to Stonemountain and Daughter in Berkeley, and if there’s time, Piedmont Fabrics in Oakland. Both are accessible via BART. Also, I can’t remember if you went over to Fabrix in SF this trip, but it’s worthwhile (requires a bus ride) especially since Satin Moon is just across the street.

  8. Liz says:

    I have never been to San Francisco and after following your adventures, it has moved up my list of places to go. I think flights are cheap to the States at the moment…hmmmm

  9. Shams says:

    Yes, I would not recommend Scrap to a visitor. The fabric I’ve seen there is pretty junky. My favorite SF fabric store is Fabrix, but it can be very hit or miss.

  10. Alison says:

    Artfibers downtown is also great yarn shop. Beuuuuutiful yarn for reasonable prices. And they have a lot of their own patterns they have developed and will share for free with yarn purchase. I LOVE that you loved the Castro which is my home! I think it is a fun, eclectic place. Fabric Outlet is a gold mine especially if I need something fancy-pantsy like fake fur or sequins- because in the Castro, that’s how we roll!

  11. Cynth says:

    My favorite SF fabric shopping is actually in the East Bay – take BART to Downtown Berkeley, then walk a few blocks on Shattuck to Stonemountain and Daughter!

  12. I’ve never been to San Francisco but those places look great! I can recommend fabric shops in Barcelona if you ever need one 🙂

  13. tinygoldenpins says:

    If you do go to Clement Street (it’s in the lower Richmond) and really accessible on bus, go to Satin Moon — someone else mentioned Fabrix is across the street but I’ve never been there. Satin Moon is lovely!

  14. Jennie Gallo says:

    Wow your blog posts have brought back lots of memories, I went to SF a couple of years ago with my hubby and was amazed by Britex fabrics, there was also another little place I went to out in the suburbs which had a great selection of quilting fabrics called Peapod fabrics. It was a bit scary getting the bus there but I managed, also went to a couple of exhibitions at the museums including one on Cartier jewellery which was amazing. Would absolutely recommend it to anyone, just disappointed I missed the wool shop!

  15. Katherine says:

    oh man. i need to get me some of thatdinosaur camo fabric. . .

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