|On the Road:
by Carol Sulcoski
Editor's note: Since this review was published in May 2001, Sophie's has undergone major business changes. The store is now located at 918 Pine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 and the phone number is 215.925.KNIT (5648). Lisa Myers is no longer co-owner. It is now solely owned by Jennifer Carpenter.
Carol Sulcoski, the author of the original review, notes that 2017 Locust Street is now home to Rosie's Yarn Cellar, a yarn store owned by Lisa Myers. Carol is now a staff member at Rosie's Yarn Cellar. She has no affiliation with, and has never visited, the new Sophie's Yarns located at Pine Street.
The below article is listed here for archival purposes, but it is thus no longer accurate.
Just off Philadelphia's ritzy Rittenhouse Square, in a street chock full of historic brick rowhouses, you'll see a hand-painted sign pointing you toward Sophie's Yarns.
Don't let the basement location fool you -- Sophie's is a warm and inviting shop, with a surprisingly large selection of yarns, patterns, and other knitting needs, given its intimate size.
What You'll Find
Sophie's stocks yarn and patterns from some of the best-known names in the business -- Rowan, Dale of Norway, Mission Falls, Classic Elite and Colinette come to mind -- along with their own exclusive pattern designs.
Yarns are primarily natural fibers: glorious wools, crisp cottons, and more exotic offerings like cashmere and linen.
A Visual Delight
What strikes me every time I visit is how everything that Sophie's carries manages to be absolutely beautiful. Best of all, Sophie's has a cozy and friendly atmosphere, nurtured by its knowledgeable and helpful staff.
Speaking from Experience
It's the kind of place where a cat or a baby sleeps happily while mom knits in a nearby rocker; where a grandmother whips out her cell phone to find out her grandchild's current size before stocking up on baby yarn; where the shop's owners are painstakingly piecing together an afghan made from a dearly departed knitter's sweaters as a keepsake for her family -- all of which I have experienced during visits to Sophie's.
When I needed to make my first steek, and couldn't bear to pick up the scissors, I faithfully trotted into Sophie's, sweater pieces in tow.
I was ushered to a comfy chair and urged to avert my eyes while co-owner Lisa pulled out the store sewing machine then nonchalantly sewed and clipped away. (Needless to say, the sweater looks great!)
If you're ever in Philadelphia, and need a yarn fix, I highly recommend a trip to Sophie's.
918 Pine St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-7pm; Sat-Sun 11am-6pm