Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lacis Shop and Museum

I’ve been going to San Francisco every year for several years now to attend a business conference. Each year I do a Google search of needlework shops in the area and it usually comes up with the same couple of shops. This year we decided to go to Sausalito the day before the conference started. I did a Google search for needlework shops in Sausalito and it brought up the Lacis Shop in Berkeley! It is just a quick BART ride from our hotel so on my free day I hopped on BART and headed there.

The Lacis website indicates they are right across the street from the Ashby Station. They are, sort of. When you get off BART, go up to the street level. If you see a building across the street that says Ed Roberts Campus, stay where you are, pivot to the left and walk to the intersection of Adeline and Ashby. Cross the street at the light, continuing to walk along Adeline. When you cross you should see shops on your left and the street on your right. Just go a couple of doors down and you will see Lacis!

You will be able to spot Lacis quite easily because the windows are full of lacey type items. The shop itself isn’t fancy. In fact, you could say it has character. Once inside it is very easy to become overwhelmed. There are displays and fun things to see in every nook and cranny. My strategy? I looked at the various notions located at the front of the store, things like Teneriffe forms and Kumihimo disks, until my breathing became somewhat regulated. Then I headed straight back to the book nook. 

The book area of the shop has more of a library feel than a big box book store feel. I spent about two hours looking through the books, grouped by subject area, many of them out of print, unusual or otherwise hard to find. I could have easily spent two more hours! I did pick up a few books that I know I won’t find at Barnes and Noble!

One is a Hardanger book in Japanese. Very pretty designs and instructions for doing some specialty stitches I hadn’t seen before. Another was a book in Italian that included lovely designs for pulled and drawn work.

The rest of the shop included a variety of notions like knitting and crochet needles, tatting shuttles, scissors, boning for costuming, lace, etc. This would be a really great place to go if you needed that special something for a period costume design.

Attached to the shop is a free lace museum. They were just getting ready for a new exhibit so I was only able to see one room of lace. This room was corded off. Just ask one of the staff and they will gladly let you in to look.

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