PopUp Shops

Yarn shops are getting very creative with new and limited merchandise in store.  I am loving this idea.  Indie dyers working together with the local yarn shops.  The Indie dyer gets to be involved in the local yarn shops without having to fulfill huge orders and local yarn shops get to have the indie dyers on site without having to purchase a large inventory order.  It seems like a win win for everyone.

I recently went to see Earl Grey Fiber Company over at Rainy Day Yarns located in Gig Harbor.  It was a planned girl day.  My friend Jana and I planned to go, check out Earl Frey Fiber yarns, have some lunch, do a little shopping, and get in some knitting time, chat and get caught up.  We both really needed a day like that.  It’s so great that the yarn shop can instigate a great day.

As I look out the window, typing this, I am looking at snow falling, but just two weeks ago, it was almost spring like and beautiful outside, with the sun shining.  I had heard of Earl Grey Fiber Company before and do follow them on Instagram, but typically shop at yarn shops.  This gave me an opportunity to go out and actually see the yarn for myself.  I follow lots of folks over on Instagram.  Often times, not always, you’ll see a yarn and love it, purchase it and then when it arrives you aren’t thrilled with it.  I don’t know if the excitement has worn off, or if the picture was enhanced to make it look better than it really is or what.  But seeing all the colorways together really gets the creative juices flowing.  Seeing them all there, made me imagine socks, and all those fade projects that are so popular.  If I don’t get on the bandwagon, fades will be a thing of the past. Heather, owner of Earl Grey Fiber Company was wearing a lovely Find Your Fade, and she also had some bags there.  Jana and I were admiring her fade and we looked at all the bags, and I thought I knew which bag I wanted until Sherri (owner of Rainy Day Yarns) came over and was looking at them too.  Then I started looking at them in a different way — that just wouldn’t happen online.  I suddenly changed my mind to choose a different bag.

So, 2 skeins, a bag, and new needles later, we left the store for lunch.  We headed down to the water and lunched at Tides Tavern.  Tides Tavern is right on the water with their own dock for boaters and a deck for outside dining.  We sat in the crowded bar and noshed on quesadillas and beer.  We visited, laughed and even got a few rows in.  Then, we were off to shop.  I really wanted to go to Ann Taylor LOFT, and Jana, being the one who gets all these store emails, knew that they were having a storewide 40% off sale that day.  Again, so much fun looking around, trying on clothes in the dressing rooms; we both left with purchases.  After our shopping portion of the day, we headed back to Kitsap County for a little coffee and knitting time.  We indulged, and split a yummy cookie, and got some relaxing knitting in over at Cups!

My kids are grown, and I work from home, but I still need a girl day every now and then to unwind and do all the things girls love to do.  It’s important sometimes to skip the housework, and get away from husband and family and work.  Rainy Day Yarns also has other small batch dyers in store like Sunsoaked Sister and Buxom Cat Knits (formerly Hula Hut Yarns) and their own in house Rainy Day indie dyed yarns.

Get out to the yarn shop and just see what’s new.  If you can’t make a purchase, it will surely get you re-inspired to finish that languishing project that needs some of your attention.  You will be glad you did and you will enjoy yourself.  I always say … “you’ll meet your best friend at the yarn shop”!

ps~these pictures can be seen in their larger form by clicking on any of these pictures.  These pictures look a hair fuzzy and the website creator tells me its an issue with the current theme and a new site is being built and will be live sometime soon – stay tuned!!

Cable Fiber Studio

Back in October, Diana Cripe, the moderator of the America’s Knitting group over on Ravelry spent the weekend in Port Angeles, Washington with her husband…here is her story!

While in Port Angeles, for the weekend of Oct. 12-14 for a model RR show that my husband was involved in, I went to this great yarn shop downtown.  I found out the day before, that Saturday was their 7th anniversary and they were having a Yarnival!!  You know I had to check this out.

The owners, MarySue and Beth were very nice and welcoming.  For the Yarnival they had two games to play to find out what your discount would be.  You could either toss 3 stuffed sheep and you got 5% off for each sheep that went into the basket, or you could spin the spinning wheel that had numbers of what discount you got.

I did not do either as I got a great skein of sock yarn from the sale shelves for 20% off, so that was nice.  They also had a drawing so you filled out a slip of paper with your name and email, etc.

They have a very nice shop with a lot of different yarns.  They have a very nice area in the back with a large table and also a nice sitting area.  There is also shelving full of fleece.

After dinner I found out I had won the grand prize from the drawing.  It was a bag of 20 skeins of Cascade 220 Superwash Merino in a variety of colors.  Wow, was I surprised!

What a great store with wonderful owners and lots of fun yarns etc.  If you are ever in the area, please stop in.

Thank you Diana – I really appreciate you taking pictures and telling all about your yarny adventure!

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!

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!

 

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.

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.

 

Oregon Knitting Co.

At America’s Knitting, we love to spotlight yarn shops across the nation.  We are based out of the pacific northwest, so of course we are better able to show more west coast yarn shops.  I get photos and stories from knitters, and I also do spotlights myself when I’m out and about.  This story and these photos come from our moderator over in our Ravelry group, Diana Cripe.

Diana, lives in Washington, but was traveling to a retreat in Oregon for the weekend.  Doesn’t that sound like heaven….a retreat?  I would love a weekend where I could just hang out and knit; no phones, no cooking or gardening, no work, just knitting.  Sounds relaxing!  Anyway…here is what Diana had to say:

On my way to a retreat on the Oregon coast, my friend Amy and I stopped at the Oregon Knitting Company in McMinnville, Oregon on the way.  This was the day before LYS Day.  This cute shop was located inside a little indoor mall type building.  The shop is not very big, but has a lot of yarns to offer.  The woman working there, sorry I did not get her name, was very nice, and funny and helpful.  When I found the wall of Findley, I was mesmerized.  I found so many colors I could not decide and was not sure what I would do with it.  I got a photo of one woman working at the table, don’t worry I always ask for permission and tell people what it is for before taking a photo.  After the retreat, and deciding what I would make with that yarn, we stopped again on our way home.  Before leaving the retreat my friend Amy was told by another friend to NOT let me buy purple!  I got this gorgeous teal, and plan to make Jared Flood’s Rock Island Shawl one day. 

The shop was beautiful and if  money was no object, I would have bought a lot more!

Just a little inside baseball, Diana loves purple and has lots of purple yarn in her stash.  I say “you can never have enough purple yarn….or teal”!!  Thank you Diana for checking out this yarn shop and taking these photos.  I can’t wait to visit some day myself.

If you want to see your LYS here in a spotlight…take some photos and send them to me.  I would love to see a spotlight from Arizona, Hawaii, North Dakota, Maine – work with me people!!