There are so many reasons to love the Brooklyn Yarn Café, many of which have little or nothing to do with yarn – or coffee for that matter. This bright, cozy and uber-welcoming shop is a rabbit hole for anyone who enjoys sipping a refreshing beverage and nibbling a slice of homemade pizza (try the owner’s veggie pizza – it’s indescribably delicious) while browsing through a huge but somewhat-cluttered collection of creative supplies including obvious sewing-related goods plus jewelry, quilts, fabrics and more.
Let’s start with the yarn: you’ll find a massive variety including Rowan, Berocco, Spud + Chloe, Malabrigo, Cascade, Fair Trade, Artisan and Noro yarns, as well as a few lesser-known labels like Linares and more. Clearly however, the star of the “sew” (I had to) when it comes to BYC is their massive schedule of classes for learning everything there is to know about sewing and quilting, baking, creating handmade skincare products, soap and candles – and some other activities you never thought one could create a whole 101 class on.
Now onto the classes: where do I begin? How about at the beginning with their Basic Sewing class which I have taken twice and emerged with a tote bag that I use all the time and never fail to respond to compliments with (I made it myself!) and an almost-square pillow that blends perfectly with my charmingly flawed thrift-shop sofa. The course normally costs $599 for 5 weeks, but I happened to have caught two discount opportunities and took each for $299. Tip: BYC holds discounts all the time, so it’s advised that you never take a class at full price.
A one-time beginner’s “Quickie” class costs $129, and the Advanced Sewing class offers 7 weeks for $800 (each non-discounted quotes). In the sewing realm, they also offer classes exclusively for pillow- or tote-making, quilting, pattern making and more. Let me add that Rosemary the instructor amazes me with her degree of her patience, warmth, imagination and knowledge of her craft. I've never once been afraid to ask her a question, no matter how elementary I felt for having to ask.
Here you can also delve into some more obscure activities like baking where classes run the gambit from cupcake and cake-pop design, to pie-baking, to sugar cookie and novelty cake decorating. Most baking classes are about $95 for two hours of instruction and you can learn about making both vegan and gluten-free goods, too. If natural, organic home and/or beauty goods are your thing, there’s a whole lotta love for you here, too. Try one of their skincare product classes and walk away with body butter or sugar scrub, lotion, or lip balm you made on your own. You can also participate in a soap-making class. And if you want to make it a family thing, bring the kids in (ages 7-13) where your tot can emerge feeling like a superhero having just made her own school tote bag, kitchen apron, pajama pants and elastic-waist skirt (4 weeks, 2hrs/wk, $400).
The Brooklyn Yarn Café is one quirky shop. Some complain that it is a bit unorganized packed with too much to do in too small a place, but I find it snug and overall heavenly. You can spot me there a lot; I hope to run into you while I snack on some of the best brownies and iced coffee I’ve ever tasted as I lay back and let my creative, DIY-inclined mind decide on my next homemade endeavor.