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~

It’s A Country Christmas

In a dream, you may wander into a small cozy yarn shop, with a roaring fire, a cute dog all curled up on a loveseat (wearing pearls) surrounded by wonderfully soft colorful yarn.  You would be walking through the store slowly, as you touched merino, yak, mohair, silk and cashmere.  The light is warm, and in the back corner are lovely women knitting and visiting, and there’s a friendly woman who smiles and says ‘welcome!

Only it’s not a dream, it’s The Artful Ewe, in Port Gamble, Washington!  Every early December, Port Gamble has their Country Christmas.  What is Country Christmas?  Imagine, hay rides, hot chocolate, Santa, a town filled with lights, shops open, and when it gets dark, fireworks!  The Artful Ewe is my local yarn shop (LYS), so it’s easy for me to run over and capture this for you, and it’s my pleasure, Happy Holidays!

But first, you have to get to know Heidi Dascher and her business The Artful Ewe!  Heidi & I have something in common, her store opened in May of 2007, and America’s Knitting went live in August of 2007.  Heidi and I are probably very close in age as well, I would guess, so of course we had a life before her store, and my website.

Heidi’s Grandmother Gunda taught Heidi to knit when she was 7 years old.  Grandma Gunda was right handed and Heidi is left handed.  It wasn’t easy, as you can image, but Grandma was very patient, and Heidi learned to knit the right handed way.  Heidi laughs about it now!  Heidi was self-taught and, of course, by Grandma Gunda, no formal knitting, like classes and such, so she didn’t know any different.  Fast forward many years to 2005 and a meeting at the Kitsap County Knitters Guild (where other left handed knitters are), and the subject comes up.  Heidi says I’m left handed, and as ladies watch her knit, mention, you knit right handed.  Funny the things you learn along the way in life.

In my first paragraph, I mentioned the dog curled up on the loveseat wearing pearls.  That too is a real thing.  That would be Grace!  Heidi has a number of animals in her life but Grace & Semillon are Whippets, and they go to work with Heidi.  Now, mentioning work, I have to disclose that The Artful Ewe is only open to the public on Friday, Saturday & Sunday.  This is because Heidi is busy Monday through Thursday dying yarn back at the homestead.  Yep, Heidi’s store is filled with exotic yarn that she hand dyed herself.  You won’t find any brand names like Cascade, or Plymouth, or Kraemer Yarns, or even Swan Island, or any other brands for that matter.  You will only see the yarns that Heidi dyes herself.  This is what I would call a specialty store, for exotic yarn.  I would say that her prices are extremely competitive and the yarn is very high quality.  You truly, just have to see it and experience it for yourself.

Heidi’s dying history starts back in 2004.  She started this endeavor mainly just for her own personal knitting wants.  Her friends wanted her hand dyed yarn too!  Then she branched out to venues like Arts in Action over at the fairgrounds, and then more venues.  The local knitters guild joined up with the local quilting guild, they started doing once-a-month demonstrations at the Walker-Ames house in Port Gamble.  When that fizzled out, the town property manager offered to let Heidi use the vacant fire hall on the weekends, demonstrating fiber arts processes like spinning, weaving, knitting and felting.  She and her friend Linda Jacobs set up and opened the doors on Mother’s Day weekend 2007, and people showed up!  Six months went by, and then Heidi signed a lease and moved into the smaller space that she occupies today.

Today, Heidi is living at the family homestead dating all the way back to Grandma Gunda, dying yarn all week for her store, being an entrepreneur, and in charge of her own destiny.  She says “The Artful Ewe is my happy place”, and she means it.  So she’s got her homestead dogs that stay home and protect the home front, and her shop dogs (Whippets Grace & Semmy) that are her companions on the job.  Heidi loves to keep the shop fresh with new colors all the time, so if you are shopping and see something that you like, I suggest you buy it because you may not see for a while.  Heidi teaches knitting and spinning for free on the days that she is open.  When Heidi speaks of teaching others she uses words like ‘joy’ and ‘magic’  What perfect words to use at Christmas time.

The Artful Ewe gives financially to the Country Christmas fireworks display, and is truly part of the Port Gamble community and she also part of the fiber arts community at large.

Please click on any photo to see it larger form, and wander into The Artful Ewe on your journey to our little part of the world.  Happy Holidays to one and all, from The Artful Ewe and America’s Knitting!!

Ewe And I

I am *knot* a monogamous knitter, and I’m *knot* a monogamous shopper!

I love yarn shops — HELLO — that’s why I’m America’s Knitting.  I’m all about the yarn shop.  So, a couple posts back, I visited Loose Ends Fiber Arts.  They had asked when I was coming to Centralia, and I finally went.  Well that’s like a two and half hour drive for me.  My husband kept me company, and we brought our dog Mae.  We started off with coffee, made a pit stop, and had lunch after visiting the yarn shop.  Wes walked the dog while I was shopping in the yarn shop, and taking pictures.

Well, not even half an hour down the road is a town called Chehalis.  There is a yarn shop there too, and it’s called Ewe And I.  How could I drive all that way, and not slide into that store?

It has a super fun back story, and unique too!  So, There are two businesses really inside the store; Ewe And I ‘yarn shop’, and Black Sheep ‘Creamery’!  Meg Gregory with her husband Brad Gregory have a farm, and they have sheep, lots of sheep.  So, with the sheep, they get milk and make cheese.  They also get wool, and make yarn.  It’s a going concern, they’ve won awards and you can find their cheese other places besides the yarn shop!  You HAVE to check out their website to really see it all. 

The yarn shop is very nice, they carry lots of yarn, and brands you know.  Notables that I saw… Rowan, Knitted Wit, Jamiesons, Opal, Brown Sheep and of course their own yarn in the natural shades of the sheep.  I did purchase some Knitted Wit, as I have never owned or knit with that yarn and it felt like a special treat.  The store is what I would call full service, in that, they sell yarn and knit, but they also spin and weave.

The ladies were very nice and told me all about the store.  I encourage you to check out their website and of course, the creamery website too.  They are on Facebook as well, so you can keep up even if you can’t make a visit.  Thanks for showing me around Meg and allowing me to take some pictures … I’ll be back~ **you can click on any photo to see it’s larger version**

La Vita Lopi

Come wool it up with us as we celebrate Istex Lopi.
This January and February we will be celebrating Lopi Love with a Trunk Show and gathering provided by Berroco, who now represents Istex Lopi, on Sunday, January 29th from 1:00 to 3:00 and a LOPI KAL in February. Lopi purchases over $50.00 for the the January event or KAL will be entered into a special raffle to be drawn on January 29th.

FROM 1:15 TO 2:15 HEATHER WILL BE TEACHING STRANDED KNITTING WITH TWO HANDS AND 2:15 TO 3:15 CATCH HER DEMO WORKSHOP ON STEEKING YOUR LOPI PROJECTS.

 

2 Gray Hats & a Toque

Carmel is cranking out hats.  One she knit on vacation with Dale, one for her nephews birthday and one was a test knit for Jane Richmond in her new book Within written with Shannon Cook.  Here we go…first up the test hat, it’s called Lodge Toque by Jane Richmond, knit with Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool in colors Berry and Chocolat.  You can find this pattern in the new book Within by Jane Richmond and Shannon Cook.

Next we have Carmels Day Beret by Hannah Fettig.  This is the hat she knit on vacation with Dale.  The yarn she used is Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash Solids.  You can find this pattern on Ravelry!

And lastely, the  Antler Hat by Tin Can Knits.  Carmel used Cascade Yarns 220 SuperWash for this project.  I love the cables – her nephew is a very lucky guy.