The Yarn Diva Inc.

Last October, my husband Wes and I, took a trip to visit our friends that had moved home to Missouri!  They have lived in lots of places in their lives, and have traveled quite a bit for work over the years too.  It was finally time for them to retire, and they made the decision to move back to their home state of Missouri.  So, we just had to see the Ozarks, check up on them, and meet their dog, Samantha, or as they affectionately call her, Sammy Sue!

While we were there, we got the royal treatment.  They picked us up from the airport in Springfield, and showed us all around their neck of the woods for a week.  We went to the Bass Pro Aquarium in Springfield, we went to Dogwood Canyon, we saw the amazing table rock everywhere but also at The Top of the Rock, we shopped at Branson Landing, and ate lunch at College of the Ozarks!  I KNOW I KNOW get to the YARN!!

So my girlfriend knows all about America’s Knitting because she’s the one who coined my slogan ‘Your Access To Yarn Shops Across America’!  So, we ventured over to Kirbyville, which was just down the road a piece to check out The Yarn Diva!  We were in luck because owner Sharon Werbel was there and we got to meet her, check out the store, and take some pictures.  She was busy with a customer when we arrived, but we did get to visit, and we found her to be very nice.

The store had a homey vibe — it was warm, friendly and inviting.  There was a big table to sit at, and Sharon told us that they did have a sit and knit time each week to gather, knit and make friends.

I follow the store on Facebook, so I know that they had a Halloween Party after I left Missouri.  It seems like a really fun and happy store.  I saw lots of brands I’m familiar with like Rowan, Manos del Uruguay, Berroco, Lang Yarns, and many more.  We talked about Joji’s patterns and all the new needle sets available for knitters today.

Missouri doesn’t have all that many yarn shops (11 state wide), but quilting and other crafts like cross stitch and needle felting are very popular.  I always have to find a yarn shop whenever I travel just because I like to see what other shops are like, and what other knitters are doing.  Thank you Sharon for spending time with us, I really appreciate it!

Branson has a lot to offer from all the outdoor activities on Table Rock Lake, to golfing on their many golf courses. So, if you are ever in Branson visiting…..don’t just go to the Dolly Stampede, head out to Kirbyville and take in The Yarn Diva….and say hello to Sharon for me~

ps – you can click on any photo to see it’s larger form!  Please email me if you have an idea for my next spotlight!

 

 

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*

Fidalgo Artisan Yarn

Back in April, my husband and I went to Orcas Island to visit my Step-Mom for the weekend!  As the name suggests, it’s an island, so you have to take a ferry boat to get there.  The ferry departs from a town called Anacortes!  As it happens, Anacortes has a yarn shop.  The name of the store is Fidalgo Artisan Yarn.

This store is so unique!!!!!  When I arrived Emily was working.  She was busy winding yarn for a customer, but was so welcoming and happy.  Who could not be happy working in a store full of yarn, fiber and clothes.  Yes, clothes….we’ll talk about that in a bit.

The store is easy to find, it’s right downtown.  We parked on the street, and there are all sorts of fun shops all around, and restaurants too.  This store is “FULL” of hand dyed yarn by owner Lori.  The only brand names you will see in this store is needles and notions and patterns.  Everything in this store is crafted by hand, right down to the Spectator Hats – we’ll get there in a moment.

There is so much to take in, you just can’t be in a hurry!  There is alpaca, silk, wool, bamboo, mohair, even camel.  All weights will be found at Fidalgo Artisan Yarn.  The colors are so beautiful, from clean brights, to neutrals, to soft colors.  Owner Lori came in while I was there, so I was able to meet her.  She is pictured below in the turquoise shirt.  She truly has a gift for color and dying yarn.

There are hand crafted wood bowls for yarn that are crafted locally, hand made jewelry, artisan clothing hand made and those fun spectator hats.  I also found fiber for all the spinners out there and some patterns by Churchmouse Yarns & Teas.  Fidalgo Artisan Yarn is on Instagram, so follow along, and remember they ship!

I had made up my mind prior to walking in that I needed a pair of sock blockers.  I did get my sock blockers, and also some yarn for a shawl.  if you are headed up to the San Juan Islands, get up there early, so you can get into Fidalgo Artisan Yarn and tell them Mary from America’s Knitting sent you in!

*you can click on any photo to see it’s larger form

Sunday’s at the Yarn Shop

It’s the weekend; time off…..time to get caught up, on sleep, chores, and also, you want to squeeze in a little fun.

Rainy Day Yarns

What is fun; shopping with the girls, going on a hike with the dog, date night with the husband, taking the family out to the movies?  Time off, it’s needed to decompress, unwind, cook the meals you’ve been wanting to make from Pinterest, go to or have celebrations, do our crafts.  I went on the PNW Yarn Crawl this weekend — that’s what I did for fun!

 

Yep, there were eight shops, and my friends really only wanted to do four.

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So, four we did!  The weather was perfect.  We started at Starbucks for coffee – that was perfect.  Then we hit the road — did 3 shops, then stopped for lunch at Smokin’ Mo’s (that was perfect).  At our second stop, we visited The Black Sheep Yarn Shop in Olympia.  It’s a new shop that we hadn’t been to before.  Michelle Cohen is the owner, and the store was busy for the crawl.  She had her children there helping, which was awesome.  They were learning sales and entrepreneurialism.  Michelle had lots of other helps too, but it really brings it home that these yarn shops are definitely small businesses.

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What is it like for the small business?  A lot of shops, now days, are open 7 days a week.  When I started America’s Knitting in 2007, most shops were closed on Sundays and Mondays.  As time went on, shops decided to be closed only on Sundays. Then shops decided to be open all weekend and closed on Mondays.  They are all different, but you have to have time off…for your other life.

Free Pattern from Allyn Knit Shop

Free Pattern from Allyn Knit Shop

It’s Sunday here in Silverdale, Washington this morning, and the sun is shining.  It’s 52* and a little breezy outside, fall.  I’m thinking about church, and when that starts.  My husband had to work today, because today was the only day that the plumber could make it out to our job.  Yep, we are contractors, small business people as is the plumber.  With the bad economy, many people went out of business; now there aren’t as many plumbers as there once was.  Business picks up, and the plumbers that are in business can’t get it all done.  The trade has sort of fallen off with no work, so they can’t even really hire anybody, so they are working on Sundays, so is my husband today.  It’s ok, it’s time to be grateful for the work, and people are happy to work!

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As I am home on this Sunday enjoying a little peace and quiet, I wonder what is going through the minds of yarn shop owners across the nation today.  They have to go open the store, maybe they are thinking about the family at home, possibly feeling left out, wanting a real weekend themselves.  Maybe the family will stop in and say hello.  If it’s slow, they are  probably getting caught up on bookwork, bills, taxes.  If they are busy, they are enjoying the sales of the day, seeing their customers and what they are planning to make, or seeing their finished items.  They are wanting a profitable day – maybe it’s a class day at the store and knitters are in, learning new techniques, learning to knit.  Is it all worth it?  I’m sure, every one of the shop owners feel they are living the dream, love, and enjoy every day of having their own business.  Working very hard to put their own stamp on it.

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I absolutely LUV yarn shops, as I’m sure you do.  If you are put off, or you weren’t feelin it…give it another try.  The local yarn shops is a great community, you’ll meet your knitting friends there.  You are missing out, by not knowing these wonderful people.  They do sometimes have a bad day, just like you.  Calling all yarn shops, send me photos of your store, your events, your town, your knitters.  I want to talk about your store.  If you are a knitter that loves photography, take some snaps of your LYS and email them over with a few lines.

-happy weekend, happy fall

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