Vol.1 Hiromi in New York

New Series Cohana and Ninigi

Along with the introduction of Cohana's products and campaigns, we also would like to share stories and the latest information related to handicrafts, focusing on "people" who passionately work in various fields of handicrafts.


We will be sending this issue in two parts: Vol. 1 as Part 1 and Vol. 2 as Part 2. In this first part, we interviewed Hiromi about her handicraft history, how she became a professional knitter in New York, and the current situation of knitters in New York.


Please share your handicrafting history with us.

My mother and both my grandmothers were involved in all kinds of handicrafts, so from my childhood, it was very natural for me to sew small items, knit, make accessories with beads and nuts. I always went to my grandmother's house near by to make something after school.
Looking back, my time as a student in Michigan was the only period of time I was away from handicrafts. I was probably too busy studying.



After graduation, I moved to New York and gradually started making things again. In New York, there is an area lined with handicraft wholesale stores. I think the reason I resumed handicrafts was because I became close to these handicraft stores that had a different selection and colors from those in Japan.


How did your favorite handicraft Knitting become your job?

In New York there is a handicraft wholesale district called the Garment District or Fashion District, located in Midtown Manhattan between 34th Street and 42nd Street and between 5th Avenue and 9th Avenue.



Fashion District Symbol 1 : A tailor at the sewing machine



Fashion District Symbol 2 : Statue of Needle, Thread and Button


It is an area where stores related to handicrafts such as fabrics, laces, ribbons, buttons, parts, and hardware are all gathered. I used to walk around this area often to shop and get inspirations.



Inside the handicraft store M&J in Fashion District 
Look at the extensive selection of handicraft materials.


Also the cutest retail shop that grabbed my heart was Purl Soho in Soho neighborhood in Manhattan. I soon became a frequent customer.


Purl Soho at that time. No physical store is currently open.


About seven years ago, on their website I saw an opening for a sample maker to make samples using their yarns and patterns.
I took the plunge to apply. I wanted to challenge myself to see how much I could knit beyond the realm of a hobby, and to knit a variety of things, sometimes even things and yarns that I would not pick! I wanted to try my hand at knitting professionally. I simply loved this store and wanted to get involved in any way I could. 

After successfully passing the interview and swatch test, I continued as a freelancer for about 4 years, and was fortunate enough to be hired full-time as a Sample Coordinator.



 Please show us your most recent work.



The Incredible Blanket ©Purl Soho


The Theme of The Theme of The Incredible Blanket was to use 40 colors. The idea was not to adopt the usual stripes, but to create a crochet-like atmosphere where the colors are coordinated each other.



I recently started knitting a mini size of The Incrediable Blanket for myself.



What are the trends and scenes for knitting in New York?


There are several major events held in the fall and winter when the knitting season arrives. Vogue Knitting Live is one of the biggest knitting events held annually in the hotel in Times Square in Midtown.



The Vogue Knitting Live event last year (2023)

The event this year will be held at the end of this month.



There are also many knitting parties organized by yarn shops on a daily basis. In the summer, there are weekly gatherings in parks to knit outdoors, wine and knitting gatherings at bars, men's knitting nights for men only, knitting parties for sexual minorities (although anyone can participate), and many other types of knitting parties. After all, New York is a great environment for knitters to enjoy knitting anywhere and by anyone!



Knitting hang out at a cafe with my coworkers after work


Speaking of "anywhere," it is common to see people knitting on the subway. I am one of them, and while I am knitting, I get talked to, or I talk to, and we start a conversation, exchange Instagram IDs, and the circle of knitters expands.


The friendly and open atmosphere is very New York! It's a beautiful thing about New York City indeed!

The interview with Hiromi will continue in the next issue. Please look forward to it!




Hiromi's favorite Cohana


I love the divider pockets on the outside instead of the inside! I can quickly access frequently used items such as hand cream, a mini ruler for measuring gauge, and a short knitting stick in use, and it is also convenient and useful to quickly take all the items in the tote with me when I move from my work desk to the sofa to knit.




Thank you very much for your cooperation!

Hiromi Instagram 

Purl Soho Instagram / Website