|On the Road:
Note: This review was written in 2001. Purls North has since closed.
Opened in 1997, the original branch of Purls, located on the north side of town, is in an area that was unspoiled desert when I was a child.
Today it's filled with housing developments and seemingly endless strip malls, including the one Purls calls home.
This shop, tucked beneath a blank exterior, occupies a moderate-sized space that is crammed with colorful yarns, needles, books, kits, and accessories. It is managed by the daughter of Sharon Wittenberg, Purls' founder.
Surprisingly Vast Inventory
Tucson's warm climate left me unprepared for the yarns I saw here. There were plenty of warm-weather rayons, ribbons, and cottons, but there was an equally large number of wools.
I found piles of Jo Sharp and Lorna's Laces, Trendsetter yarns, Brown Sheep, Patons, Baruffa, Classic Elite, Schaffhauser, Austermann, Phildar, Berroco, GGH, and several others. Purl's is also the only Rowan stockist in Arizona, and the Rowan yarns are only stocked at the north shop.
Purls maintains a fairly even balance between affordable acrylic blends and luxurious splurge yarns.
The same is true for the needle selection, which includes Plymouth bamboo circulars; Clover, Pony Pearl, and Brittany straights; and Addi and Inox circulars.
Purls also stocks several appealing kits, including a range of Ironstone throws and Fiesta shawls. Buttons, beads, books, and pattern leaflets are aplenty.
Entertaining the Non-Knitters in Your Party
Purls north is located just a few miles beyond the Tucson Mall, a gargantuan tribute to contemporary consumerism. This means you can drop off any non-knitters there, or at the nearby Border's Books & Music, before heading off to Purl's.
If you continue on Oracle Road past Purl's for several more miles, you'll pass yet more vast expanses of new housing developments before hitting the Catalina State Park (on your right). It has miles and miles of beautiful hiking trails.
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Chat with Purls Founder
7862 N. Oracle Rd.
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