2018 Year End Report

Hello EVERYBODY,

Cashmere Cottage Yarn, Closed 2015

It’s that time of year again where I produce my year end report.  As you know, America’s Knitting went live in August of 2007.  It took me a year to get my bearings start reports, and keep numbers.

Creative Beginnings, closed 2015

After that first year I started a mailer that went out to all the yarn shops every September.  This mailer gives me a chance to ask for monetary support from the shops, but it also allows me to also clean up the map and data base during the 4th quarter of every year.

Beach Basket Yarns & Gifts, closed 2016

During the course of the year, people notify me of new shops opening up, and stores closing.  Some of this data I find on Facebook, some come from customers, and some of it comes from the shop owners themselves, and then the mailer.

Local Yarn Shop, closed 2016

So here we go…here are this years numbers for 2018!  We started the year out with 970 stores across the United States.  As of today, we have 937 stores.  This brings us down another 33 stores.

Yarnhouse Studio, closed 2017

While the economy is much better than it has been, still, knitters are doing a great deal of purchasing online to businesses that don’t have a brick and mortar presence.   All I can do is track the shops, do the math and bring you my findings.  But you know what’s going on.  It’s up to the consumer to decide where and how to spend their discretionary income.

Yarn shops have to keep up and work hard for your business, they have to earn it!   I thank all of you out there who support the small business of the local yarn shop.  I can’t help but wonder what it will be like with fewer yarn shops.  It’s true that you can’t feel fiber and see true color through the computer or phone, but more than that, it’s the community lost.  The personal contact, the friendships made, the relationships.

Yours in knitting,
Mary*

Wee Santa Hats

I belong to a knitting group that meets every Wednesday night. Ann Poor, one of our knitters, asked all her knitting friends to help knit Santa hats for the babies at OHSU Doernbecher Childrens Hospital where her daughter Molly works in the NICU.

Ann got quite a few hats knit up by various donors, but then, knitters are the most generous people I know.

Ann had done some research on a pattern to use and distribute for those willing to help, and she found a Baby Santa Hat Pattern for free over on The Spruce Crafts website.

Here are some photos of Santa with these precious wee ones! Thank you Ann for stepping up and organizing this project and making it happen. Having a vulnerable baby in the hospital at Christmas time can’t be much fun at all, and this made things happier!

I know that a lot of the knitters used Cascade Yarns Pacific for this project!

Knitters do GOOD!

The Sated Sheep

I love the name of this business!!  The names that the shop owners pick for their business are all different, but some are very clever, and this is one of them.

sate
[sāt]
VERB
sated (past tense) · sated (past participle)
satisfy (a desire or an appetite) to the full.
“sate your appetite at the resort’s restaurant”
synonyms:
satiate · fully satisfy · slake · quench · take the edge off · gorge · stuff · fill · overfill · overfeed · surfeit · glut · cloy
supply (someone) with as much as or more of something than is desired or can be managed.

This is how Allison (owner of The Sated Sheep) surely wants all of her customers to feel, that frequent her establishment!  As all of you know, I live in Washington state.  Sarah Wander, a knitter friend of mine, recently moved to Texas.  This is a store that is near to her, and one that she visits regularly.  When I asked her to help me with a spotlight, this is what she had to say…

“Located in Dripping Springs, Texas, just 25 minutes southwest of Austin is a little yarn store called The Sated Sheep. Run by proprietor Allison, The Sated Sheep aims to provide more than just good yarn and knitting notions.
Multiple sitting areas and cozy knitted throws are scattered through the shop. Unlike many yarn stores, there are no set times for drop in knitting, and no fine print or fees to join. Just sit and knit to your heart’s content whenever you feel like it. Patrons may enjoy a coffee made on site by Allison or a glass (or bottle!) of wine.
All of the yarns sold at The Sated Sheep are ethically sourced, and classes, along with multiple knitalongs, are held monthly.”
I follow Allison and The Sated Sheep on Instagram, and I can tell you, that she keeps up with all the latest brands and yarns that knitters want.  By the looks of these photos that Sarah took, I would be in heaven if this was my local yarn shop.  Thank you so much Sarah for helping me out, down there in Texas.
As with all the photos you see, you can click on them to see their larger forms.  I would love to do a spotlight on your LYS.  Email me with some pictures and all the deets, and we’ll get after it!

Svenson

My friend Meghan, is beautiful, fearless, smart, fun, and a darn good knitter!!  About this time last year, she set out on the task of knitting her husband a sweater.  The challenge….Brooklyn Tweeds Svenson using Brooklyn Tweeds Arbor in colorway Dorado, purchased at Churchmouse Yarns & Teas.  Meghan had never done cables before, and a mans sweater is a lot of knitting anyway.  She did a beautiful job, and the fit is perfect, and so is this picture.  Aren’t they all a lovely family?  Yes, she’s Wonder Woman, for real…Meghan even made the girls dresses using fabric from Liberty of London!  You are so inspirational Meghan (((hugs))).

MORE Hats

Yep, my friend Yvonne has the same thing going on with the hats.  She donates her for charity auction!  Here are her latest three…. First – Wavy Legs by Jody Brown!  The yarn that Yvonne used is Madelinetosh Tosh DK.  Yvonne purchased her yarn at WEBS, Northampton, Massachusetts!

… and as my grandson would say ‘gain’ Here’s Wavy Legs 2.  This time with Hula Hut Yarns Aloha DK purchased at Rainy Day Yarns, Gig Harbor, Washington.  What comes to mind with this one is the Aloha yarn — Yvonne goes to Hawaii every year, so it’s rather perfect!

Finally, Swirled Peace by Lisa K. Ross!  The yarn Yvonne used is Cloudborn Fibers Highland Fingering and Crystal Palace Yarns Mini Mochi.  Yarn purchased at The Swift Stitch, Santa Cruz, California!

 

Caps, Caps & more Caps

My friend Lynn has moved to Missouri….BUT, it can get cold in the winter time there.  Lynn knits sweaters, capes, ponchos, socks, hats, cowls, baby blankets…..you name it!  But right now, she’s on a tear for knit caps.  Here are her two latest!  First up…Cote-Nord Cap by Amy Christoffers.  This pattern was originally published in the Interweave knits Winter 2014 magazine.  But, now you can purchase this pattern single directly from Interweave.

Next up is Lynn’s Snow Ghost hat by Aimee Alexander.

Thanks Lynn for sharing your knitting, and have fun wearing those awesome hats this winter.

Here Comes Santa Clause

Is your LYS decorating for Christmas yet?  Well, if not, I’m sure they are planning that.  I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.  BUT, in the knitting world, the art of gift giving has to start early.  Look what Ronda over at Main St. Yarn Shop (Hartford, Wisconsin) made.  I wonder if she will have classes for these fun little guys or if they will decorate her store.  The pattern is Here We Gnome Again, and the pattern is by Sarah Schira.  The yarn that Sarah used is Malabrigo Yarn Sock.  The pattern has instructions for worsted weight yarn too, and can be found on Ravelry.

A Hat, A Shawl & Some Baby Socks

Carmel started out the year knitting fair isle hats, and she’s still doing that, and here it is November now.  She’s even started teaching others fair isle knitting.  Here is her Epistropheid hat by Kate Davies.  I love the way it turned out, and the pom pom is perfection!!

Next up with Sherri, owner of Rainy Day Yarns in Gig Harbor Washington.  Sherri is a knitting machine, all while running a business and taking care of her family.  Here is her Josephina shawl by Amanda Rios in Hula Hut Yarns Luna DK.  This pattern is free on Ravelry.

Finally, I finished two pairs of Lumberjack socks by Tin Can Knits.  Our employee had identical twin girls.  I had always loved this pattern, and thought I’d start small with the baby size and give them a go.  I used Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash.  One was a variegated and a solid.  I did a reverse on the second pair.  It’s wonderful when you can purchase a pattern, and have so many sizes to knit from.  What a value from Tin Can Knits.

 

America’s Knitting….well, so is Canada!!

Whenever I travel anywhere, I always find a yarn shop to visit.  Also, while traveling, I always have my camera.  Well, in September, I went to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  AND, I found a yarn shop, 88 Stitches!

My friend Jana and I were traveling up to Vancouver, BC to attend Knit City.  It’s an annual event held up there in late September.  We always call it our west coast Rhinebeck.  It really is the perfect venue.  It’s just the right size, not small, but not huge.  It’s got tons of celebrities, or as I like to call them ‘Kniteratti’!  There are tons of booths full of yummies, and tons of classes with all the famous people, and an all around good time.

Jana knows me well, and had heard about 88 Stitches on the Grocery Girls podcast.  Last year, we had visited Baad Anna’s, which was located very close to our hotel.  This year it was 88 Stitches in Langley.  Honestly, it was the first thing we did — even before checking into our hotel!

It was a lovely early fall day, we found the shop with the help of some GPS, then parked the car.  When we went inside, the two lovely gals working, were happy to see us and eager to help.  It was clear that they were busy working, putting up new inventory.  We just wanted to look around, touch and feel, and take some pictures.  I was however, looking for a needle.

Leila (I think) was helping me with my needle situation, while Jana was looking around.  Then I started looking around, and found a rad basket and cute notions pouch and tape measure.  I totally get sucked in.  I made my purchase and took my pictures.  They had a wonderful selection of yarns including Sweet Fiber Yarns, Baa Ram Ewe, Berroco, and Lettlopi to name just a few!

As we finished up, we asked Marilyn for a few lunch suggestions before heading on into Vancouver.  She gave us three suggestions, and exceptional directions into Langley proper.  What an amazing town!!  The shops were amazing and the restaurants, and bakeries, and candy shops all looked wonderful.  We ended up at a brewery called Trading Post Brewing.  The place was rustic on the inside with an amazing covered patio out back with blankets and a gas fireplace.  The beer was good and we had fried chicken sandwiches that were dreamy!

Thank you Marilyn for the great directions, thank you Leila for the help with my purchase.  I still love my basket and bag.  I want to visit Langley again soon!

As always, if you want your LYS featured send us some digital pictures and a few lines and we’ll get them up right away.  Click on any photo to see it’s larger form.

 

Fiber Arts Fine Yarns

When I started America’s Knitting, I wanted all the nations yarn shops all in one place online for everyone’s convenience.  How boring, it wasn’t enough.  I wanted to know all the yarn shops and talk about all the yarn shops.  So I started doing spotlights on yarn shops every chance I got.

Of course I started local…ones I could get out to for a visit – take some pictures!  Well, I live in Washington – NOW WHAT?  Well, I went down to Oregon and visited some shops in Portland and did spotlights, and my girlfriend Dawn took a trip back home to Connecticut, and shared a visit to a yarn shop for me.  Then I started getting contacted by yarn shops themselves and did a few yarn shops…Maine, California, Montana.  Then some of my readers started traveling and sending me photos and a few lines and I posted those spotlights…Arizona, Alaska!

Well my girlfriend Libbie just relocated to Florida for her husbands work.  She visited a yarn shop called Fiber Arts Fine Yarns in Odessa!  I asked her if she could take some pictures for me…and she did.  Here is what she had to say about the store:

The owner was there and was super friendly. They were  showcasing customers finished projects. Good parking. A little coffee shop cafe in the same strip mall as well as a brew pub next door. (Darin appreciates that!). He was able to taste a few local brews and grab a growler while I bought some locally dyed yarn.  That all being said, I haven’t been back. But, I haven’t really been knitting. In a rut.

Libbie needs to meet some knitters and join a knitting group!  I always say, you’ll meet your best friend at the yarn shop.  All that being said, Libbie & Darin are still getting settled in and are building a house.  Libbie needs her knitting mojo back!!  Thank you Libbie for taking the pictures and getting them to me.  I hope you get back to knitting SOON~