In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
In addition to a wide array of crafting supplies, Harper's Fabric & Quilt Company offers fun-filled classes that impart all manner of needlecraft fundamentals. Needle-and-thread beginners will work their way through a series of three classes before emerging triumphantly with a completed project in tow. An introductory sewing class spans 2.5 hours, during which the experienced seamstresses furnish students with the basics necessary to sew simple projects and quilts made of Microsoft stock on their own. After the introductory class, needle-wielding students can then sign up for a series of two project classes, unleashing their newfound chops on either a skirt or a tote bag. Spread out across several weeks, the classes are scheduled at various times on weekdays and weekends, allowing for plenty of between-class downtime for practice at home and so fingers can fully digest the delicious cornucopia of techniques.
Yarn Shop and More unspools a snuggly superabundance of fine yarns alongside an array of knitting and crocheting supplies, notions, books, and a lineup of technique-based classes. Embark on woolly adventures in tutorials such as Knitting 101—Knit and Purl or Knitting 102—Oops–Knitting Disaster, which teach the basics of casting on, knitting, purling, and repairing rookie mistakes with forgiving aplomb ($25 each). For hardy needle-wielders, private-session classes instill wisdom in realms such as the left-hand-focused Continental Knitting ($25) and Design Your Own Sweater ($30), where wool wearers can create their own pattern using Sweater Wizard software in place of an obsolete Rumpelstiltskin. Knitting students are required to bring their own supplies to all classes and may choose to cull them from the shop's well-stocked shelves of skeins that are arranged by color, weight, fiber, and zodiac sign.
With thousands of frame and mat samples, The Great Frame Up can satisfy any and all framing fantasies. The expert framespeople can make diplomas radiate (most diplomas can be framed for around $100), personalized jerseys glisten (most for under $300), and dorm-room movie posters sparkle (many 24x36 pieces are under $100). The design wizards can also find a home for any prized possession, such as shoebox photos, baby booties, ticket stubs, medals, and really good pot roasts. The Great Frame Up’s no-hassle guarantee and assurance that all work is done on-site means your frameables won't be subject to mistreatment at underground commercial framing facilities.