Pearl Chin, who founded Knitty City on West 79th Street in 2006, died of lung cancer on Tuesday at the age of 71, the store announced. The store initially had expected to close for seven days of mourning, but has decided to stay open instead.
Chin opened the store as a “yarn studio” and it became a community gathering place. Knitty City sold materials, and held classes and gatherings. After the 2016 election, it was a central spot for knitting hats in preparation for the Women’s March. The store inspired “yarn bombs” wrapped around trees and other objects, including one dedicated to John Lennon. Pearl was known for helping everyone — experienced knitters and total beginners.
“She created a haven for knitters when we desperately needed one on the UWS,” wrote Amy Singer, on the store’s Facebook page.
“Pearl changed the world,” wrote Sara Sprung. “She created community in a big city , welcomed all in her shop, men’s knit night , donated yarn to women’s shelters, supported designers – she will be remembered and missed.”